A Latin-rite bishop representing Syria will be the guest presider for two upcoming liturgies in Ithaca.
Bishop Giuseppe Nazzaro, OFM, the vicar apostolic of Aleppo, Syria, is scheduled to celebrate the 4:30 p.m. Mass Saturday, June 16, at Immaculate Conception Church, 113 N. Geneva St. He will then preside at the 11:30 a.m. Mass Sunday, June 17, at St. Catherine of Siena Church, 302 St. Catherine Circle.
Bishop Nazzaro, 74, is a native of San Potito Ultra, Italy. He was ordained a Franciscan priest in 1965 and appointed vicar apostolic for Aleppo in 2002. Bishop Nazzaro was interviewed as part of the documentary "Christian Witness in the Middle East" that is scheduled to air on the Eternal Word Television Network this Friday, June 8, at 1 p.m. and Saturday, June 9, at 5 a.m. In that program Bishop Nazzaro lends his insights on the lives of Christians in Syria.
According to Vatican Radio, there are approximately 12,000 Latin-rite Catholics in Syria and 40 priests in the Vicariate of Aleppo. In recent months Bishop Nazzaro has publicly implored Syrian government and rebels who have been engaged in extreme violence to declare a cease-fire and engage in peace talks. A late-May uprising in the troubled land left more than 100 people dead, many of them women and children.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Bishop Nazzaro’s visit to Ithaca has been cancelled.