Rev. Dr. Rodrigue Constantin
Abouna Rodrigue Constantin was appointed pastor of St. Rafka Church by Bishop Elias Zaidan on July 1, 2020. He grew up in Beirut, Lebanon in a family of six and joined the seminary at age 18. Upon completing his S.T.B. in theology at the Pontifical School of Theology at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik in 2001, he joined the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon under Bishop Robert Shaheen. He was ordained a priest on July 20, 2003, and his first assignment was as the administrator, then pastor, of Holy Family Maronite Church in St. Paul, Minnesota, from 2003 to 2014. During his pastorate, Holy Family Church relocated from downtown St. Paul to a larger church and land in the suburban Mendota Heights, MN.
In parallel with his priestly ministry, Abouna Rodrigue completed a Master’s degree in Theology at the St. Paul Seminary (2010) and a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis (2012). In 2014, he was granted a temporary student leave to pursue doctoral studies in theology at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. In 2020, he earned a Ph.D. in moral theology. His dissertation, Passions, Virtue, and Moral Growth in John of Apamea’s Dialogues on the Soul, is the first academic exploration of the fifth century Syriac work Dialogues on the Soul from the perspective of moral theology. Based on the Dialogues, Abouna Rodrigue argues in his dissertation for the importance of attending to one’s emotions in the process of moral and spiritual growth. Abouna Rodrigue’s academic interests include virtue ethics, the dialogue between psychology and theology, and Syriac patristics. He has taught several undergraduate courses at CUA including introductory courses to theology and moral theology and Social Ethics. Alongside his pastoral ministry at St. Rafka, Abouna Rodrigue teaches various ethics courses at Madonna University and pastoral counseling at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, among other places.