Father Labib Kobti
and Al-Bushra
BIO 2 from Latin Patriarchare with Picture

Born in Beirut, Lebanon On August 31.1950 (Son of Fawzi Francis Kobti and Verginie Elias El-Sharif). Studied at the Latin Patriarchate Seminary of Jerusalem from 1963-1975. Worked as a teacher at Terra Santa College 1973-1974 (Franciscan Fathers of the Custody of the Holy land) in Bethlehem and director of the Youth Groups at FRERES School in Bethlehem 1972-1974.

Ordained priest on July 6th 1975 at the Capuchin Cathedral of Beirut, Lebanon. Worked as Assistant pastor at Beit-Jala Parish from 1975-1977. Assistant parish priest at the Parish of Hashimy / Jordan 1977-1978. Teacher at the Seminary of Beit-Jala and CO-director for the Priestly and, religious vocation office for the diocese (Jordan, Palestine and Israel) from 1979-1992. He taught at the Seminary Latin, French, Music, Geography, History, History of the Church. He was at the same time spiritual director for minor and Major Seminarians and a teacher of Religion at the parish Schools, in Beit-Jala and Bethlehem.
In 1982 he was sent to Rome to study Canon Law. Got his Ph.D. in Canon Law in 1985 from the Lateran University.

Was sent then to serve as Secretary to the Apostolic Vicariate of Lebanon 1985-1986. Worked as Judge and Defender of Bond at the Latin, Syrian and Chaldean Ecclesiastical Tribunals in Beirut, Lebanon.

Was sent back to Rome in 1987 to continue his studies in theology and got MA: in Theology (Ecclesiology). He worked as assistant pastor at Jesus the Worker parish in Rome. Was recruited by the Vatican to Study at the Pontifical Academy that prepares the Vatican Diplomats in 1989-1990. But because of health problems at that time had to leave his studies. Was sent to serve as Parish priest in Marj Al Hamam, Jordan 1990-1992.

Served as Judge and Defender of Bond at the Latin Tribunal of Amman, Jordan and general director all the Latin, Patriarchal Vicariate of Jordan for the Youth Groups, scouts, Legion of Mary, Family Groups; at the same time he served as spiritual director of the Association of Feminine religious Congregations of Jordan (about 13 different feminine, congregations and sisters), teacher and spiritual director at the Rosary Sisters and the Franciscan Sisters schools in Amman, Jordan.

Was sent by Patriarch Michel Sabbah, 1992, to serve the Arab-American Catholic Community in California. He established two, missions, St. Joseph in Pomona, Los Angeles and St. Anne's of the Sunset in San Francisco and was commuting every week between the two missions for 6 years, serving at the same time the Arab-American Catholics in Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon.

He created a magazine Al Bushra (5 thousand copies) in English and Arabic. The Magazine used to speak about the Christian Arab Heritage, the challenges of the Christians of the Middle East and the human rights of the Arab People. He worked as a second judge and Defender of the Bond at the Maronite Tribunal in Los Angeles.

In the summer of 1994 he created a website Al-Bushra that promotes justice, peace and truth on the issues of Middle East Human Right. The website got a lot of awards. He has been invited by many organizations and Universities to speak on the issues of the Holy Land as a Human Rights advocate.

In October 1997 he was chosen by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, (ADC) Los Angeles and Orange County as the man of the year and received the "Alex Odeh Humanitarian Award".

In November 1998 he was assigned to serve only San Francisco as the Latin Patriarchate sent another priest to serve Los Angeles and Southern California.

Was assigned by Archbishop William Levada as Pastor of St. John of God (1290 Fifth Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122), effective July 1999, besides his work as Pastor of the Arab-American Roman Catholic Community in northern California. His direct superior as a diocesan Priest is the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. He speaks Arabic, French, English, Italian, Spanish. He is bi-Ritual Latin Rite and Maronite rite (the Maronite rite uses the Siro-Aramaic language of Jesus at their, liturgy). He left SJOG on June 30, 2002.

In 1999 he was invited to join the Knights of Holy Sepuchre, he was invested by Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop of Los Angeles in October 1999 in Phoenix, Arizona.

He was assinged effective July First, 2002, as pastor of St. Thomas More (1300 Junipero Serra Boulevard, San Francisco, CA 94132). St. Thomsa More became also the new sede of the Arab-American Catholic Community in North California.

* Cofounder of the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation in 1999 in Washington D. C.
* Founded in San Francisco, April 1999, the Catholic Business Network (CBN-SF), an organization that wants to apply the principles of the Catholic Faith in the marketplace.
* Founded in San Francisco a Committee for Justice and Peace at St. John of God in 1999.
* Working for justice and peace for Guatemala and San Salvador with the Sanctuary Committee.
* Working for the lifting of the Sanctions against Iraq.
* Have been a speaker in many, Churches, Synagogues, Mosques, Universities, High Schools, Rallies, Demonstrations, Radios and TVs for Justice and Peace in Palestine.

He created Jerusalem 2000.org a new website that serves the Great Jubilee in the Holy Land. He created also Bethlehem.org, Nazareth2000.net, SJOG.org

He created an EXHIBITION on the Holy Land, where people can visit the Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon, you may see it on the internet at: http://www.sjog.org/oasis.htm.
The museum was transered to St. Thomas More when Frather Labib was assigned as a pastor.
He was invited to speak by ADC , the International Catholic Forum, the Open Tent Middle East Coalition and many other Universities, Churches and NGOs and Human Rights groups.
 

Al-Bushra was the first in the world to broadcast LIVE on the interent in 1998 the midnight mass from Bethlehem and Holy Turstday and Easter from Jerusalem as well The Annunciation feast from Nazareth

Awards and honors:

1) 1977 Franciscan Third Order
2) 1992 Youth Group Chaplain Award from the latin Vicariate of Jordan
3) 1997 American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, (ADC) Los Angeles and Orange County as the man of the yearand received the "Alex Odeh Humanitarian Award".
4) 1997 Arab American Roman Catholic Community of San Francisco Award
5) 1998 Arab American Roman Catholic Community of Los Angeles Award
6) Al-Bushra participated, june 1999 at the International Festival for Websites in Milan, Italy
7) 1999 Daily Catholics best Al-Bushra SITE OF THE DAY Date: 2/8/99
8) 1999 Justice and Peace CIN List (Catholic Information Center) Recognition Al-Bushra website
9) October 2, 1999, Knight in the Equestian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem
10) April, 15, 2000 The Arab Cultural Center Millennium Award
11) October 1, 2000 Jordanian American AssociationAward
12) Octobr 1, 2000 Arab Amercian Community Award, San Francisco
13) October 20, 2000 Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation Award
14) October 2000, Albawada.com: five trees for Al-Bushra (at: Albawaba)
15) Novemebr  17, 2000, Arab American Community Award, Los Angeles
16) December 25th 2000. Bethlehem.org, the web of the week (www.kath.net - katholische Online-Zeitung aus Österreich)
17) May 26, 2001. American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee / SF Chapter (ADC) Award
18) October 5, 2002, Commander in the Equestian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem
19) March 15, 2003, Knight in the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller

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