Photography

Reverend Basil G. Samra

February 24, 1942 ~ July 16, 2023 (age 81) 81 Years Old

Reverend Basil Samra Obituary

Reverend Basil George Samra, a priest of the Eparchy of Newton for the Melkite Catholic Church in the United States of America, passed into eternal life on Sunday evening, July 16, 2023 in Indian Harbour Beach, Florida where he resided since 2010.

Fr. Samra was born in Paterson, New Jersey, February 24, 1942 to George H. and Elizabeth (Balady) Samra. Initiated into Christian life in Baptism, Chrismation and Eucharist soon after birth, he was raised in Paterson, New Jersey, working early in life as a newspaper boy for the Paterson Evening News. He graduated from St. George Elementary School and Central High School, both in Paterson NJ and in 1961 enlisted in the United States Navy, serving a long period of his naval time at the submarine base in New London-Groton, CT.

In 1971 he entered into the Deacon Formation Program, newly established by Archbishop Joseph Tawil of the Melkite Catholic Church in America. On July 1, 1973, he was ordained a deacon by the same archbishop at St. Ann Melkite Catholic Church on Marshall Street in Paterson, NJ. A disastrous fire destroyed St. Ann Church in August 1970 and a temporary church was set up in the parish hall until a new church could be relocated in West Paterson, NJ.

Soon after diaconal ordination he left his secular work at Automatic Data Processing (ADP) and joined the clergy staff as a full time deacon at St. Ann Melkite Catholic Church now rebuilt in West Paterson (Now Woodland Park) NJ. He involved himself in all aspects of parish life along with the clergy and was also fully involved in the ground maintenance of the complex until 1983 when he heard and accepted God’s call to continue his theological education for priesthood. Having ten years of great pastoral work he entered St. Gregory Melkite Seminary in Newton Centre, MA to complete his studies. On May 4, 1986 he was ordained a priest by Archbishop Joseph Tawil at St. Ann Church.

After priestly ordination Fr. Basil served as assistant rector at Our Lady of the Annunciation Cathedral, West Roxbury, MA, and then pastor of several parishes: Christ the Savior, Yonkers, NY, 8/16/1988; St. Joseph, Lansing, MI, 7/15/1991; St John of the Desert, Phoenix, AZ, 3/7/1995; and St. Joseph, Akron, OH 12/1/2004. On December 6, 1988 he was appointed Director of the Office for Melkite Charities for the Melkite Eparchy. By late 2010, he was forced to retire active parish ministry because of COPD and emphysema, unable to survive without oxygen. He moved to Indian Harbour Beach Florida and lived in a condo near his sister Barbara and her husband Greg, caring for himself until his death.

Fr. Basil’s parents predeceased him: his mother Elizabeth in December 1977 and his father George in Jan 2004. He is survived by his sister, Barbara Samra and her husband Gregory Fairbanks; brothers, Bishop Nicholas Samra, Bishop Emeritus of Newton, and George H. Samra, sister-in-law Joan Samra, niece Jenna E. Samra and nephews Stefan B and George A Samra, his maternal aunt, Georgina (Balady) Dahab and many cousins.

The funeral services will be held at St. Ann Melkite Catholic Church, 802 Rifle Camp Rd, Woodland Park, NJ 07424 on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 25-26, 2023. Viewing at the church Tuesday 4:00 – 9:00pm during which the Funeral Service for a Departed Priest will be chanted at 7:00 pm. Viewing on Wednesday at 10:00 am with Trisagion for the Departed at 11:00 am followed by burial in the priest section of Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Totowa NJ. A meal of mercy will follow at The Brownstone. 351 West Broadway, Paterson, NJ, 07522.

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Services

Viewing
Tuesday
July 25, 2023

4:00 PM to 9:00 PM
St. Ann Melkite Catholic Church
802 Rifle Camp Rd
Woodland Park, NJ 07424

Viewing
Wednesday
July 26, 2023

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
St. Ann Melkite Catholic Church
802 Rifle Camp Rd
Woodland Park, NJ 07424

Trisagion
Wednesday
July 26, 2023

11:00 AM
Holy Sepulchre Cemetery
52 Totowa Rd
Totowa, NJ 07512

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