NEW YORK – His Eminence, the Most Reverend Saba Esper, is the new Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East and the Holy Synod of Antioch elected His Eminence to lead the Archdiocese during its extraordinary session on Feb. 23, 2023 in Balamand, Lebanon.
His Eminence now leads and oversees the Archdiocese’s parishes, missions, departments, institutions, and organizations in the United States and Canada from the headquarters in Englewood, New Jersey. The auxiliary bishops aid him in his administration across the continent.
Metropolitan Saba was born in Latakia, Syria in 1959. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Tishreen in Latakia, and a bachelor’s degree in theology from the St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology in Balamand. His Eminence is fluent in Arabic and English.
Prior to his election as Metropolitan of North America, His Eminence cofounded The Hauran Connection with the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America. This charitable project enhances Orthodoxy in this ancient Christian land in the face of strife. More than $1 million has been raised in more than 15 years.
Developmental projects and charitable endowments for the Bosra Archdiocese under Metropolitan Saba include a medical clinic in As-Suwayda, dormitories for 150 university students in As-Suwayda and Daraa; 48 studios for retirees in The House of Love; the Bethany Spiritual Retreat Center in Kharaba; Bread for All that distributes food to the poor regardless of religion; ongoing agricultural projects; and The Good Samaritan, a multifaceted charitable organization for parishioners displaced or affected by the recent Syrian war.
His Eminence was ordained a priest in 1988 and elevated to the dignity of archimandrite in 1994. He pastored St. Michael the Archangel Church in the Archdiocese of Latakia until 1998. During that time, Metropolitan Saba edited and published the Orthodox Christian magazine ‘Farah’ geared toward children and families.
In 1998, Metropolitan Saba was elected and consecrated as an auxiliary bishop to His Beatitude Patriarch Ignatius IV of thrice-blessed memory. In 1999, His Beatitude and the Holy Synod of Antioch elected him as metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Bosra, Hauran, and Jabal Al-Arab in Syria.
Simultaneously with his pastoral and episcopal duties, from 1995-2006, His Eminence served as instructor of Pastoral Care and Introduction to the Old Testament at the St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology in Balamand.
His Eminence established a publishing house in the Bosra Archdiocese, the Al-Arabiya magazine for adults, and continued issuing Farah for children. An English version has been produced since 2010. Metropolitan Saba authors weekly articles on his Facebook page and has written on various topics in Al-Noor, Patriarchal, and Al Arabiya magazines. He has authored a number of books on pastoral life and theology.
Metropolitan Saba has also translated a number of titles from English to Arabic, including works by Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, Metropolitan Anthony Bloom, Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, and Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko.
His Eminence’s patron saint is St. Saba (Sabbas) the Sanctified, commemorated on Dec. 5.