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Dn. Ramen Youkhanis

Pope prays for peace in Middle East with head of Assyrian Church

Pope Francis spoke about the “great suffering” that many Christians are enduring in the Middle East, and prayed for peace in the region, especially in Iraq and Syria. The Pope was meeting Friday with Mar Gewargis III, the Catholicos Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East. He said many Middle Eastern Christians are following in the footsteps of Christ, as they are forced to leave their homelands to escape violence. Pope Francis noted that the Christians fleeing persecution belong to different communities. “They are forging fraternal relationships among one another,” he said, “and thus becoming, for us, witnesses of unity.” He joyfully recalled Mar Gewargis’ presence at the Day of Reflection and Prayer for Peace in the Middle East, held on 7 July in the Italian city of Bari. Thanksgiving for theological dialogue Pope Francis then turned to relations between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East. He said the two Churches share a “particular reason for thanksgiving to God”, which is the Joint Committee for Theological Dialogue. The two Churches signed a Common Statement on “Sacramental Life” on 24 November 2017, which set out a shared vision of sacramental theology. Pope Francis said the Committee …

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Archbishop Mar Meelis Zaia receives the 2018 Australian Assyrian of the Year Award

The 2018 Australian Assyrian of the Year award was presented to His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Metropolitan of Australia, New Zealand, and Lebanon, in recognition of his selfless devotion and tireless efforts toward the conservation of the Assyrian faith, language, and cultural heritage; and for being a driving force behind the establishment of the first Assyrian Christian college in the Western world. History of His Eminence accomplishments: In 2002 the first stage of St Hurmizd Assyrian Primary School was officially opened. Starting off with only 80 students, today the school accommodates for +700 Kinder to Year 6 students. In 2006 St Narsai Assyrian Christian College was officially established as it welcomed the Year 6 students from St Hurmizd into the high school stage of education. It was with great pleasure that two out of the four stages of the College’s campus in Horsley Park was officially opened in January of 2018, which accommodates for approximately 700 students. Expected capacity once completion is 1200 students. In 2011 Grace Child Care and Early Learning Centre was officially opened. Due to high demand, another preschool was opening at SHAPS in 2012 which was named St Hurmizd Early Learning Centre. His Eminence not …

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Australia’s Assyrian community marks historic opening of St Narsai Assyrian Christian College, Sydney

On Sunday 21 January, the new campus of St Narsai Assyrian Christian College, a year 7-12 co-educational Christian independent college of the Assyrian Church of the East was officially opened in a historic ceremony at Horsley Park, New South Wales, Australia.

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Sydney’s Children on their Inaugural VBS

The Assyrian Church of the East Children’s Association (ACECA) in Sydney held its inaugural Vacation Bible School (VBS) in from Monday 8th to Thursday 11th January 2018. The “Camp Out” themed event catered for 120 children that often attend the Association’s regular weekly Wednesday night ministry. The VBS included two full days of fun and interactive learning; bible explorations, wilderness games, projects with a purpose, bible adventures and arts and crafts. Lanterns that taught them ‘Jesus is the Light’, caravan banks that taught charity through ACERO and GUTSY bears that taught love were just a few projects and activities the children worked on. The third day was the children’s fun day out, where parents were invited to share in the celebrations. A picnic was held at Plough and Harrow (Abbotsbury) where children were booked in to experience the Treetops Adventure Park, trekking as high as the trees and swinging to and from their posts; what campers can really do in those forests. The VBS concluded with a closing campfire ceremony on Thursday presided over by His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Metropolitan, Reverend Chor-Bishop Narsai Youkhanis and Revered Father Shamuel Shamuel. Children sang and performed, and showcased everything they had …

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Catholicos-Patriarch Consecrates Mar Benyamin Elya as Bishop of Victoria and New Zealand in Melbourne

On Sunday 16th July 2017 by the grace of Almighty God, the Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon under the leadership of His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM was blessed with the consecration of His Grace Mar Benyamin Elya as the first Bishop of the newly-created Diocese of Victoria and New Zealand.   Visiting from the Patriarchate of the Assyrian Church of the East in Iraq, His Holiness Mar Gewargis III Sliwa, Catholicos-Patriarch was assisted in the consecration which commenced at 8am on Sunday 16th July at St Abdisho’s Cathedral, with the following prelates present alongside His Holiness;   – His Beatitude Mar Aprem (Metropolitan of Malabar and All India)– His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM (Metropolitan of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon) – His Grace Mar Emmanuel Yosip (Bishop of Canada)– His Grace Mar Awa Royel (Bishop of California, USA)– His Grace Mar Narsai Benyamin (Bishop of Iran)– His Grace Mar Paulus Benyamin (Bishop of Eastern USA)– His Grace Mar Abris Youkhanan (Bishop of Erbil)   After the Consecration the new Bishop of Victoria and New Zealand celebrated the Holy Qurbana. More than 1500 faithful were in attendance for both services.     The church services were attended by the following …

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New Priest Ordained in Erbil, Iraq

On Friday 23rd June 2017 at St John the Baptist Church in Ankawa, Erbil, Deacon Martin Nabil Nikola was ordained to the rank of priesthood at the blessed hands of His Holiness Mar Gewargis III Sliwa, Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East. In attendance was His Grace Mar Abris Youkhanan, Bishop of Erbil and Patriarchal Vicar, Archbishop Mar Grigorios Sliwa Shimon of the Syrian Orthodox Church along with numerous reverend priests, deacons and nuns from many sister churches. Biography: Reverend Martin was born in Baghdad in 1990 and completed his primary and secondary education in the city of his birth. From there he moved to Erbil to study philosophy and theology at Babel College, successfully graduating in 2014. He was ordained a deacon by His Holiness Mar Gewargis III in St Odisho Church, Baghdad on 18th December 2010. Revered Martin is married and will serve the Assyrian Church of the East at St John the Baptist Patriarchal Cathedral in Ankawa, Erbil.

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Five Clerical Ordinations in Australia

His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Metropolitan of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon has elevated three priests to higher holy orders and ordained two priests for the Archdiocese. On Sunday 26th March His Beatitude elevated Rev’d Fr Korkis Toma to the ranking of Cor-bishop at St Abdisho’s Church in Melbourne. Rev’d Fr Korkis is the priest of the latter parish. On Sunday 2nd April His Beatitude elevated Rev’d Father Ninos Elya and Rev’d Father Narsai Youkhanis to the ranking of Archdeacon and Cor-bishop, respectively at St Hurmizd’s Cathedral. The Rev’d Archdeacon Ninos Elya, formerly  parish priest of Saints Peter and Paul Church and chaplain of the Assyrian Schools is to be consecrated to the episcopate on 16th July in Melbourne for the newly formed Diocese of Victoria and New Zealand. Rev’d Cor-bishop Narsai Youkhanis is the secretary to the Metropolitan and chaplain for the youth and children’s associations and will now take up responsibility for international youth ministry for the Assyrian Church of the East. On the same day, Deacon Sami Reverend Shamuel was ordained to the ranking of priesthood and will assume the name Rev’d Father Shamuel Shamuel and a role as chaplain at St Narsai Assyrian Christian College and the responsible clergy member for the Christian education in the Archdiocese. Also, Deacon Neil Makko was ordained to the ranking of priesthood and will take on the role of parish priest at Saints Peter and Paul …

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Announcement of Sydney Clerical Ordinations

On Sunday 26th February being the beginning of the Great Lent in the church’s liturgical calendar, His Eminence Mar Meelis Zaia AM offered the Holy Eucharistic service at St Hurmizd’s Cathedral, Greenfield Park. By which the announcement of Sydney’s clerical ordinations was made to the congregation, to take place 8:00 am on Sunday 2nd April at St Hurmizd’s Cathedral, and are as follows: Reverend Father Ninos Elya to be elevated to the ranking of Archdeacon for the Holy Church, in preparations for his consecration as bishop on Sunday the 16th July in St Abdisho’s Church, Melbourne as elected by the Holy Synod. The Church will be anticipating the attendance of His Holiness Mar Gewargis Sliwa Catholicos Patriarch accompanied by a number of esteemed prelates. Reverend Father Narsai Youkhanis to be elevated to the ranking of Chor-Bishop for the Holy Church, in commencing his international youth ministry as elected by the Holy Synod. Deacon Neil Makko to be elevated to the ranking of priesthood and taking on the responsibilities of Saints Peter and Paul Church in Cecil Park, Sydney. Deacon Neil will relieve Rev’d Fr Ninos as he commences his bishop duties for Melbourne in July 2017. At the same time, …

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Northern Iraq’s Village of Sarsing Mourns the Death of Rev’d Patros Younan

“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” (1 Thessalonians 4:14) On Wednesday 16th November 2016, the village of Sarsing in Northern Iraq mourned the death of Reverend Father Patros Younan, parish priest of St Matthew’s Church. The Late Rev’d Fr Patros Younan was born in the year of 1969, was married with four children; two boys and tow girls. He was ordained a priest on the 18th February 2012 by His Grace Mar Iskhaq Yousip, bishop of the diocese of Northern Iraq and Russia. He served at St Matthew’s Church in the village of Sarsing and other surrounding churches. The funeral service will be held 1:00 pm on Friday 18th November 2016 in St Matthew’s Church. The Church in its entirety convey their condolences to his family and parishioners, and pray that the Lord grants him His Eternal Kingdom as a faithful servant.

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Metropolitan Mar Meelis Visits ACERO Dohuk Apartments

ACERO’s Dohuk Chapter today had the immense honour of welcoming His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia, Metropolitan of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon to ACERO’s Dohuk Housing Conplex. Commencing the visit at 10am, the Metropolitan led prayers at the Complex and was given a tour of the facilities by Mr Odisho Dawood, care-taker of the site and Chairman of the Dohuk Chapter. Accompanied by a number of reverend priests and other dignitaries, His Beatitude made time to visit with all residents and pray over those suffering from illnesses and other conditions. ACERO’s UK Headquarters and the ACERO family around the world offer our thanks to His Beatitude for making the time to visit and for his ongoing support of ACERO’s work in the Middle East.

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Metropolitan Mar Meelis Meets Lebanese President

During the latest visit to their diocese, His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM met with the Lebanese President General Michel Aoun in his presidential palace Baabda – Beirut. His Beatitude conveyed his sincere congratulations and well wishes to the President, on behalf of the Assyrian Church of the East’s Holy Synod and the Assyrian community in Lebanon in its entirety for the presidential elections of the Republic, and prayed for Lebanon and its people to live in peace and harmony. Upon His Beatitude’s visitation, a thorough update on the living conditions of the Assyrian community who have been displaced from their homeland and are currently seeking refuge in Lebanon was presented. The great sufferings of these families was brought to the attention of the President, and a recount of their traumatic experiences in Iraq and Syria. In concluding their visitation, His Beatitude conveyed his best to the President, praying that the Lord strengthens and guides him with the work entrusted to him by the Lebanese people; to bring process and prosperity.   His Beatitude Mar Meelis was accompanied by Rev’d Chor-Bishop Yatron Kilyana and Mr. Essam El-Assaad.

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Catholicos Patriarch Meets Pope in the Vatican

His Holiness Pope Francis warmly welcomed the Catholicos Patriarch Mar Gewargis Sliws III on the monrning of Thursday 17th November along with select few prelates in the Vatican City’s Redemptoris Mater Chapel. The Pope pressed great emphasis on the zeal and faith of the Christians in the Middle East during this time of turmoil, and applauded the Church for its support and aide during this time. An excerpt from the Servizio Informazione Religiosa (Vatican City’s news central) reads below: Deep grief “for what is still going on in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq and Syria”, where “the terrible violence of bloody conflicts, which no reason can justify or allow, is poured down on hundreds of thousands of innocent children, women and men”. Pope Francis expressed this this morning as he met with the Catholicos Mar Gewargis III, Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Redemptoris Mater Chapel in the Vatican. “There – Pope Francis said –, our Christian brothers and sisters and several religious and ethnic minorities are, unfortunately, used to suffering great trials on a daily basis”. “Amidst such great suffering, to which I implore for an end – the Pontiff said – we see Christians …

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Assyrian Church Consecrates Bishops for 2017

The Holy Synod of the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East, headed by His Holiness Mar Gewargis Sliwa III convened in the city of Erbil, Iraq commencing on Monday the 7th November till Saturday 12th November 2016. The Synod opened the meeting with the offering of the Holy Oblation in St Youkhana Mamdnana Cathedral (St John the Baptist) in Ankawa, Erbil. The Holy Synod elected two priests to be consecrated bishops in the year of 2017, namely; Reverend Father Dr Tyari Jonsen for the Diocese of Erbil and Patriarchal Vicar and Reverend Father Ninos Elya for the Diocese of Melbourne (Australia) and temporarily New Zealand. Biographies 1- Reverend Father Dr Tyari Jonsen Reverend Tyari was born in Erbil, Iraq in the year of 1978. He was ordained a deacon by Metropolitan His Beatitude Mar Gewaris (currently His Holiness) in Baghdad on the 23rd November 2002. He was ordained a priest once again by the Metropolitan at the time in Kirkuk’s St George’s Church on the 14th January 2007. Rev’d Tyari received his Bachelor Degree in Political Science from the University of Baghdad in 2007. Rev’d Tyari also received his Masters Degree in Theology 2011 from Alphonsian Academy in …

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