The Rev. Alex J. Hazzouri, a priest of the Diocese of Scranton, died on Thursday, Nov. 15.
Born June 5, 1931 in Scranton, he was the son of the late Alex and Zahia Soma Hazzouri. Father Hazzouri attended Scranton public grade school and was a graduate of Scranton Preparatory School, class of 1949. Former Governor Robert P. Casey and Congressman Joseph M. McDade were classmates.
He took two years of pre-seminary college studies at St. Charles College, Catonsville, Md. and two years of philosophical studies at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, Md., graduating in 1953. He continued his theological studies at the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., receiving a licentiate degree in Sacred Theology in 1957. He was ordained to the priesthood by the Most Rev. Jerome D Hannan, D.D., late Bishop of Scranton, on June 15, 1957, in St. Peter’s Cathedral, Scranton.
After a summer assignment at St. Jude’s Church, Mountaintop, Father Hazzouri was sent to Catholic University and Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome for graduate studies in Sacred Scripture, receiving the licentiate degree in 1960.
Following his return to the United States in October of 1960, he was appointed assistant pastor of Our Lady of the Snows Church, Clarks Summit. From 1962 to 1966, he was on the first faculty of St. Pius X Seminary, Dalton, as a professor of Sacred Scripture. Later he was assigned as assistant pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Church, Plymouth, and St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Archbald.
During his priestly ministry, Father Hazzouri also served as chaplain of Mercy Heights Hospital, Scranton; St. Joseph’s Children and Maternity Hospital (now St. Joseph’s Center), Scranton; St. Mary’s Villa, Elmhurst; and St. Joseph’s Hospital, Carbondale.
He also did pastoral work while in residence at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church, Wilkes-Barre and, for nine years, from 1987 to 1996, while in residence at St. Mary of Mount Carmel Church and St. Casmir’s, Dunmore.
Father Hazzouri was fluent in everyday Arabic, which he learned at home and from the priests and founding members of his home parish, all of whom emigrated from Lebanon to the United States in the early 1900s.
Father Hazzouri took up residence at Villa St. Joseph, Dunmore, on July 8, 1996.
Father Hazzouri enjoyed good conversation and was good at it, due to his extensive reading. He once confided in a friend that he had read every Second Vatican Council document straight through and always tried to incorporate the Council’s teachings and tendencies in his preaching.
He was preceded in death by his parents; four brothers, Joseph A. Hazzouri, Sarkis A. Hazzouri, Dr. Albert A. Hazzouri and Adeeb A. Hazzouri; and by two sisters, Delal Hazzouri and Waddad Abdalla. He was also preceded in death by a dear grandmother, Milly Soma; and a very dear aunt, Anna Carino.
He is survived by two sisters-in-law, MaryAnn Douaihy Hazzouri and Lorraine Deeb Hazzouri; and by many loving and caring nephews and nieces.
Father Hazzouri’s family wishes to thank his caregivers of the past several years for the excellent care he has received. Special mention is offered to Michael Hazzouri (Adeeb), Rosemary Gallagher, Anne McAndrew (Joseph) and Barbara Hazzouri (Sarkis), who were particularly helpful, especially at mealtimes.
A Pontifical Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by the Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L., Bishop of Scranton, with homily by Bishop John M. Dougherty, on Monday at 11 a.m. in St. Ann Maronite Catholic Church, 1320 Price St. in West Scranton. Committal will follow in the church before interment at Cathedral Cemetery. Relatives and friends may pay their respects on Monday at the church from 9:30 a.m. until Mass.
As per his and his family’s wishes, memorial contributions may be made to the Scranton Diocesan Annual Appeal, 300 Wyoming Ave., Scranton, 18503; or St. Ann’s Maronite Church Annual Fund, 1320 Price St., Scranton, 18504. Arrangements are under the care of the Kearney Funeral Home Inc., 125 N. Main Ave., Scranton.