Deacon Saed Rihani was born in 1959 in the village of Huson, Jordan to Yousef and Wardeh Rihani, the last of six children of a family of all boys! The family immigrated to the USA starting in 1964 with Abu-Ghazi coming on his own, then over the next five years bringing the rest of the family. In 1969 the family was united in Chicago, where they were to spend the remainder of their lives!
The family settled in a modest 3 bedroom apartment in the near south side until 1972, the family later purchased a house, and moved to the far southwest side.
Deacon attended a Catholic grammar school, followed by a public high school. Deacon attended St. George Orthodox Church in Oak Park,Illinois where he assisted Father Athanasios Emmert in the Holy Altar. As Deacon entered College he was instrumental in organizing the Teen SOYO at St. George, along with a group of dedicated officers from various families. He served as President of Teen SOYO for the first two years, then continued on to Senior SOYO. As the youth groups both grew, Deacon continued to assist in the Holy Altar and found a new love for serving the Church.
In College, Deacon studied Computer Science for the first two years. As his thoughts turned to serving the Church, he changed his undergraduate major to Psychology, with the guidance of his pastor at that time. Fr. Emmert encouraged Deacon to consider the Seminary in order to possibly later serve as a priest of this Archdiocese.
Upon receiving his BA in Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Deacon applied to the Metropolitan to become a Seminarian of the Archdiocese. Upon acceptance, Deacon attended St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Yonkers, NY. While at St. Vladimir’s , Deacon served as assistant to the pastor at Virgin Mary Church in Yonkers, under the late Fr. Michael Khoury. In his third year, Deacon served as assistant to the pastor at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn, NY under the direction of the now Rt. Rev. Bishop Demetri Khoury.
Upon entering his third year, Deacon Saed was ordained Sub-Deacon by His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP at St. George in Cicero. Upon graduation in 1985, Deacon served as Pastoral Assistant and Youth Director at St. George in Montreal, Quebec (Canada). Deacon was married in Montreal, then moved to Chicago to pursue his life goals.
Since then Deacon served the Church while working full-time at the City Colleges of Chicago in various capacities. In 1988, he was ordained Deacon by His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP at the Parish Life Conference in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Deacon served St. George from 1988 until 2004 when he was assigned to the Church of the Virgin Mary in Alsip. In 2012, he was reassigned to serve at St. George.
Deacon is blessed with two beautiful children: Dalia born in 1988, and Michael , born in 1991.