On Friday, August 15, 2008—the commemoration of the Virgin Mary—a new parish priest was ordained for Mar Zaia Parish in Modesto, California. On that joyous day, attended by some 750 faithful from all parts of California, His Grace Mar Aprim Khamis, Bishop of Western USA, ordained the Rev’d. Deacon Sawa Shawel Tamras to the priesthood. Also in attendance for the momentous occasion were: His Grace Mar Sargis, Bishop of Baghdad; Archdeacon Nenos Michael of San Francisco; Cor-bishop David Royel of San Jose; Cor-bishop Fredrick Hermiz of Phoenix; Rev. Auchana Kanoun of Ceres; Rev. Jameel Wardah of Turlock.
The new priest was given the ecclesiastical name of ‘Father Shamli.’ Fr. Shamli Tamras was born in 1951, and studied for some years at the Assyrian Church of the East seminary in Dora, Baghdad; he was ordained a deacon by His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos-Patriarch, in October of 2007. Fr. Shamli holds a Master’s Degree in Chemistry and presently teaches Chemistry at Fresno State University. Fr. Shamli succeeds Rev. Kando Kando as the parish priest for Mar Zaia, who was relieved of the parish and transferred to the parish of Chandler in Arizona. Fr. Shamli’s brother, Rev. Eshmael Tamras, was also recently ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Europe, by His Beatitude Mar Narsai De Baz Metropolitan, and His Grace Mar Odisho Oraham, Bishop.[nggallery id=43]