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Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell Visits Assyrian Primary School in Sydney

On Thursday the 13th February 2014, St Hurmizd Assyrian Primary School (SHAPS) along with St Narsai Assyrian Christian College (SNACC) warmly welcomed The Honourable Barry O’Farrell MP, Premier of the State of New South Wales to a special reception held at the Assyrian Church of the East’s Edessa Hall in Greenfield Park, New South Wales, Australia. Premier O’Farrell was received by His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon accompanied by reverend priests, SHAPS Principal Mr Sargis Makko, SNACC Principal Mr John Haskal, church trustees, members of the Assyrian Schools Board and a large congregation of students, staff and parents. The program commenced with the performance of the Australian National Anthem, Assyrian Church Anthem and the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer in the Aramaic language by the school choir, followed with a welcoming speech given by Mr Makko. In his remarks Mr Makko noted that the growing size of both schools and growing population of the Assyrian community in Australia was cause for both joy and happiness. Mr Makko went on to thank the Australian government for the significant contribution it has made in making the existence of the Assyrian Schools possible …

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Assyrian Church of the East Hosts Major Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Event in Beirut

“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20 The Assyrian Church of the East in Lebanon has hosted an ecumenical celebration marking the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The event, on 26 January 2014, was held at St George Cathedral of the Assyrian Church of the East in the Beirut suburb of Sed el-Bouchriyeh. The ecumenical gathering, the largest of its kind ever held in Lebanon, saw representatives of 10 churches come together to celebrate the important event. These churches were: – Antiochian Orthodox Church – Armenian Orthodox Church – Assyrian Church of the East – Chaldean Catholic Church – Coptic Orthodox Church – Maronite Catholic Church – Melkite Catholic Church – National Evangelical Church of Lebanon – Syriac Catholic Church – Syrian Orthodox Church Senior prelates and clergy from the noted churches were represented at the event. The ecumenical prayer event commenced with the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer in Arabic, followed by an address from The Rev’d Fr Michel Jalakh, Secretary-General of the Middle East Council of Churches. The Secretary-General welcomed all prelates and distinguished guests present stressing that the spirit of ecumenism should be the …

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Metropolitan of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon Calls on Chaldean Catholic Archbishop in Sydney

His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon has called upon His Excellency Mar Jibrail Kassab, Archbishop of the Eparchy of St Thomas the Apostle for Chaldeans and Assyrians of the Chaldean Catholic Church for Australia and New Zealand. The Metropolitan called upon the Archbishop on 30 December 2013 offering the fraternal greetings of the Assyrian Church of the East on the occasion of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ and the New Year. The Assyrian Church of the East delegation was received by a number of clergy of the Chaldean Catholic Eparchy and church administrative committee members. During the meeting His Beatitude offered his congratulations to the sister Chaldean Catholic Church and His Beatitude Mar Louis I Raphael Sako, Patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church on the occasion of the holy season. A colloquium was held on the circumstances facing the Christian communities in both Iraq and Syria, with both prelates praying that the faithful of all churches living in these countries may be protected from various dangers facing them at the present time. The delegation of the Assyrian Church of the East included the Rev’d Cor-bishop Ashoor Lazar, the …

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‘The Martyred Church’: Archdiocesan Youth Conference Held in Melbourne, Australia

The 2nd Youth Conference of the Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon convened in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia between 12 – 15 December 2013. The four-day conference brought together 120 young faithful of the Assyrian Church of the East from Melbourne, Sydney, Toronto (Canada), Auckland (New Zealand) and Beirut (Lebanon) under the theme ‘The Martyred Church’. The conference theme, based upon the text of the same name by Dr David Wilmshurt (of the Chinese University of Hong Kong) inspired the proceedings of the Conference. His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Metropolitan of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon was guest of honour for the entire duration of the Conference and was accompanied by 6 parish priests from Victoria and New South Wales; being Rev’d Fr Narsai Youkhanis, Rev’d Fr John Kushaba and Rev’d Fr Ninos Elya of New South Wales and Rev’d Fr Korkis Toma, Rev’d Fr Hurmizd Jarjeis and Rev’d Fr Antawan Mikhail of Victoria. Also in attendance were Professor Rifaat Ebied of the University of Sydney and Mr Konstantinos (Dean) Kalymnios as guest academic lecturers at the Conference. The youth attendees arrived in Melbourne on Thursday 12 December from their respective cities. On the evening of the same day …

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Sydney Assyrian School Students Hold Assembly Marking the Barnabas Fund ‘Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church’

The students of St Hurmizd Assyrian Primary School of the Assyrian Church of the East in Sydney, Australia have participated in the Barnabas Fund Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. On 1 November 2013 the students gathered at the ‘H.H. Mar Dinkha IV Assembly Hall’ to remember and pray for suffering Christians throughout the world. During the program they also recited the Lord’s Prayer in the Assyrian language. The Rev’d Fr Ninos Elya, school chaplain noted during the program, “It’s good to pray for Christians but it takes greater strength to pray for your enemies.” Addressing the students, school principal Sargis Makko discussed the great importance of praying for fellow Christians and spoke about the tremendous work done by the Barnabas Fund in aid of suffering and persecuted Christians worldwide. The students expressed their gratitude to the Barnabas Fund, a partner of the Assyrian Church of the East Relief Organisation (ACERO), for the work it has done to support all Christians and in particular Assyrians in the Middle East. It is noteworthy that Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of the Barnabas Fund visited the St Hurmizd Assyrian Primary School in November 2010. During Dr Sookhdeo’s visit, His Beatitude Mar …

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Sydney College Students Commemorate 2010 Baghdad Church Massacre Anniversary

On 5 November 2013, the students of St Narsai Assyrian Christian College of the Assyrian Church of the East in Sydney, Australia gathered to commemorate the 3rd anniversary of the October 2010 terrorist attack upon Our Lady of Salvation Syriac Catholic Church in Baghdad, Iraq. During the heinous terrorist incident 58 Christians, many of whom were women and children lost their lives following a lengthy siege of the church. Addressing the assembled students, Jacob Awraham, Assyrian language coordinator at the College discussed the sacrifices and suffering of the Christians of Iraq following the commencement of the Iraq War in 2003. In particular, Mr Awraham noted that the storming of the church and martyrdom of the many faithful came during a time in which they had congregated to celebrate the liturgy and pray for peace and stability in their homeland. School principal John Haskal spoke urging the students to reflect upon the tragic events and immense suffering of Iraq’s Christian community which has led hundreds of thousands to flee the country. He exhorted the students to uphold their Christian values, Assyrian national identity and heritage. Mr Haskal went on stressing the great contribution of the Assyrian people to civilisation and urging …

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Lebanon Youth Mark Patriarchal Anniversary with Student Graduation Ceremony

On the occasion of the 37th anniversary of the consecration of His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV as Catholicos-Patriarch, the Assyrian Youth Association of the Assyrian Church of the East in Lebanon organized a graduation ceremony honouring Assyrian students having successfully undertaken secondary and university level studies. The ceremony, held on 20 October 2013 and held at Mar Guiwargis Cathedral in the Beirut suburb of Sed el-Bouchriyeh commenced with Assyrian and Arabic hymns. Following this Rev’d Fr Yatron Koliana delivered an address highlighting the importance of the occasion and the immense importance of the active participation of young faithful in the life of the Holy Church. Addressing the attendees, Rev’d Fr Georges Youkhanna, Parish Priest of Mar Guiwargis Cathedral emphasised the significant role of the youth in the church and the importance of renewing spirituality in the lives of the young faithful. Speaking next on behalf of the graduates being honoured at the event was Ms Carla Simonian who noted that the graduates were specifically honouring the memory of the renowned Assyrian journalist, nationalist and martyr Professor Ashur Yusef due to his significance as a champion of education as a means of national advancement of the Assyrian people. Assyrian youth leader …

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Sydney Youth Raise Thousands for Breast Cancer Research and Syria Relief Effort in Annual ‘Walkathon’

The annual ‘Walkathon’ of the Assyrian Church of the East Youth Association – Sydney (ACEYA – S) was held on Sunday 22 September 2013 with the participation of over four hundred faithful participants. The annual event seeks to generate funds for the support of both a local Australian charitable organisation, the Assyrian Church of the East Relief Organisation (ACERO) and the general work of ACEYA – S. The event was held under the theme: ‘For we walk by faith, not by sight’ (2 Corinthians 5:7). Therefore, the walk communicated to faithful the Christian message that life’s journey is one of faith and that this faith will triumph the obstacles or adversities faced in life, whether sickness or other trials. The attendees gathered eagerly in front of St Hurmizd Cathedral following the Eucharistic Liturgy registering their names and receiving their packs which included a t-shirt, hat and bag. The event was this year graced by the presence of His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Metropolitan of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon who welcomed the hundreds of attendees, spoke about the importance of the causes being supported and bestowed his episcopal blessings on all participants. Shortly afterwards balloons were released into the …

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Assyrian Church of the East Participates in 8th Forum of the National Council of Churches in Australia

Between 5 - 9 July 2013, the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) held its 8th National Forum in Melbourne, Victoria under the theme ‘Mission Shaped Ecumenism: What is the Call of God for the Church?’ The 5-day Forum was held at the Catholic Education Leadership Centre, located in East Melbourne.

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Mar Meelis Zaia Metropolitan and Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Mar Louis Raphael I Sako Meet in Sydney

A delegation of the Assyrian Church of the East, led by His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Metropolitan of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon has welcomed to Australia His Beatitude Mar Louis Raphael I Sako, Patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church.

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Children’s Association Established in Sydney

The Assyrian Church of the East in Sydney has recently established the Assyrian Church of the East Children’s Association (ACECA) with the motto of Children of God. The Children’s Association was officially established by Rev’d Narsai Youkhanis along with the ACECA committee in February and the teaching term commenced in March with the blessings of His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Metropolitan of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon. Registrations for the ministry were available throughout February for children aged between three and thirteen. The curriculum comprises of a practical and hands on bible study, daily prayers, church hymns and Assyrian language for the different ages. For parents of children under the age of three, ACECA organises an hour long childcare program with the support of staff at the church’s Grace Childcare Centre located at Polding Street, Fairfield. “It is inspiring to see a sea of over 200 Assyrian Christian children gathered every week wearing their ACECA shirts eager to learn, create friendships and grow together, both spiritually and physically”, said one of the parents. Currently there are over 200 children registered with over ten teachers voluntarily committing their time for the hour long ministry on Wednesdays from 6-7pm at the …

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Christmas Celebrated at Sydney Hope Festival

The inaugural Hope Christmas Festival has been held on the grounds of Assyrian Australian Social Centre (formerly Nineveh Club) in Edensor Park, Sydney. The event, described as a resounding success by its organisers, the Assyrian Church of the East Youth Association – Sydney, attracted thousands of faithful and locals.

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