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Peter Azzo

Chicago Commemorates the 100th Martyrdom Anniversary of Mar Benyamin Shimun XXI

“There is no greater love than this: that a person would lay down his life for the sake of his friends” -The Gospel of John 15:13 The Diocese of the Eastern United States commemorated the 100th martyrdom anniversary of Mar Benyamin Shimun XXI with the opening of a new monument dedicated in his honor as he sacrificed his own life for the sake of the Holy Church and the Assyrian nation.  Upon arrival to Montrose Cemetery, His Grace Mar Paulus Benjamin, Diocesan Bishop of the Eastern United States of the Assyrian Church of the East began the a prayer service alongside His Grace Mar Gewargis Yonan, Bishop of Chicago of the Ancient Church of the East, and Reverend members of the clergy.  After the prayer service, His Grace Mar Paulus Benjamin extended his sincere gratitude to Dr. Norman Solhkhah and Dr. Edison Ishaya for their efforts in honoring the martyred Catholicos-Patriarch, Mar Beyamin Shimun XXI.  The monument was then officially unrevealed to the public by His Grace Mar Paulus Benjamin, His Grace Mar Gewargis Yonan and Dr. Norman Solhkah. A luncheon followed the opening of the momentum at Crystal Palace Banquets in Mount Prospect, Illinois.  His Grace Bishop Mar Paulus …

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Mar Yosip Khannisho Parish Lays Foundation Stone in Gilbert, Arizona

“…Upon this rock I will build my church…” -Matthew 16:18 On the Second Sunday of the the Great Fast, after the celebration of the Holy Qurbana, His Grace Mar Aprim Khamis, Bishop of the Western United States, Rev. Archdeacon Frederick Hermiz, Rev. Koshaba Sholimun, and the Rev. Deacons along with the faithful of Mar Yosip Khannisho Parish laid the foundation stone of their church in Gilbert, Arizona. The clergy commenced the service with a procession of chanting antiphons (oniyathe) unto the construction site.  His Grace Mar Aprim Khamis then placed a picture of the blessed Mar Yosip Khannisho into a brick to be the cornerstone of the Church and delivered a brief history of the parish acknowledging the help of the loyal members of the Assyrian Church of the East and Assyrian nation throughout the years. The church is expected to be completed in 6-7 months by the grace of God and the donations of faithful members of the Church worldwide.  If you are interested in donating a personalized brick, which will be placed in the entrance hallway of the new church, please visit www.projectmaryosip.com and for other various donation visit, GoFundMe.com/ProjectMarYosip. Mail can be sent to: PO Box 735 Gilbert, AZ …

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Bishops Mar Awa Royel and Mar Paulus Benjamin attend the 66th annual National Prayer Breakfast

His Grace Mar Awa Royel, Bishop of California and the Secretary of the Holy Synod, along with His Grace Mar Paulus Benjamin, Bishop of the Eastern United States, attended the 66th annual National Prayer Breakfast in the nation’s capital on February 8, 2018.  Initiated in 1953, the National Prayer Breakfast allows for government officials and religious leaders to converse and establish professional relationships while bringing glory to the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  The gathering was attended by the President of the United States, Mr. Donald J. Trump, along with approximately 3,500 other attendees including members of congress, various state officials, and religious leaders from all four corners of the earth.

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Presbyteral Ordination in the Diocese of California

On September 13, 2017, The Feast of the Holy Cross, His Grace Mar Awa Royel, Bishop of California elevated Rev. Deacon John Piro to the ecclesiastical rank of presbyter at Mar Zaia Cathedral in Modesto, California.  Rev. Fr. John will serve as an assistant priest at Mar Addai Parish in Turlock, California.  Following the ordination, His Grace Mar Youhannan Yousip, Auxiliary Bishop of India, celebrated the Holy Mysteries and there was a fellowship meal in the Church Hall. Video of Rev. Fr. John’s Ordination Biography of Rev. Qashisha John Badal Piro Reverend Qashisha John Badal Piro was born on February 7, 1973 in the city of Turlock, CA. to his father Reverend Cor-Bishop Badal S. Piro, and Bereshwa Piro.  He is the youngest of 7 children.  He began his ecclesiastical education in the Assyrian Church of the East in both Syriac language and liturgical service at the hands of his father beginning at the age of five years.  This was instrumental in building a strong foundation in the Apostolic faith of the Church of the East, which is evident to this day. At the age of 12 years, he was ordained a hypodyakhna (subdeacon) for Mar Addai Parish and served …

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Deacon and Sub-Deacon Ordinations in Illinois

“…Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty...” -Acts of the Apostles 6:3 It is with great joy that His Grace Mar Paulus Benjamin, Bishop of the Eastern United States, accepted the request of Very Rev. Fr. Cor-Bishop Dr. Gewargis Toma, parish priest of Saint Andrews Church in Glenview, Illinois to ordain one deacon and two sub-deacons for the growing parish! On the sixth week of the Great Fast, His Grace Mar Paulus Benjamin placed his blessed right hand upon two new Sub-Deacons; namely, Sargis Giliana and Tawer Matloub.  The newly ordained Sub-Deacons are great examples for the youth as they were both born and raised in the diaspora, but have spent countless hours studying the Aramaic language and the Apostolic traditions of our Holy Church. Lord willing, on April 23, 2017, during the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, His Grace Mar Paulus Benjamin will also elevate Afram Liwi Zakaria and raise him to the Holy Order of Diaconate for Saint Andrews Church.  We request the prayers of all the Church faithful, across the world, for the ones who have been called to …

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Fasting and Great Lent

FASTING AND GREAT LENT The institution of fasting: Fasting is as old as the human race is. From the Old Testament we learn that God instituted fasting in Paradise. It is written: “The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” (Gen. 2:15-17) The above mentioned verse makes it clear that fasting existed before the Adam and Eve committed sin by breaking the commandment of God, and fasting was not established as a treatment for their sin. The fasting in Paradise consisted of abstaining of the fruit of the tree, the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God by commanding Adam and Eve not to eat of the particular fruit wanted to teach them the discipline of self-control and spiritual growth. Fasting was practiced both in the Old and New Testament and throughout the history of the Church. What is the similarity between …

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The Suffering, Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ

The Suffering, Death, Burial and Resurrection Of Jesus Christ It is recorded in The Scripture that the High-priests, The Scribes, the Pharisees, the learned theologians of that time in history were possessed of a particular hatred for our Lord Jesus Christ.  Jesus was not accepted by the above mentioned figures for the following reasons: 1. The majority of regular people followed Him and His teachings, accepted His miracles, etc. It is written: “And when the chief priests and the scribes heard it, they kept looking for a way to kill him; for they were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was spellbound by his teaching.” (Mark 11:18) Again it is written: “They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.” (Matthew 21:46) Again it is written: “Every day he was teaching in the temple. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people kept looking for a way to kill him; but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were spellbound by what they heard.” (Luke 19:47-48) 2. He was straight forward with His teachings, and revealed their teachings as false.  It is written: “Again …

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Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The second Qnuma (person) of the most Holy Trinity, God the word, is called the Son of God. This same Son of God, God the Word, became man, and was called Jesus.  It is written in the Holy Bible that He was conceived and born of the Virgin Mary and He was called Jesus.  The Prophets of the Old Testament and the Evangelists of the New Testament, who had expected the coming of Him to save humankind called Him Christ. It is written: “She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) Again it is written: “And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.” (St Luke 1:31) Saint Matthew in the book of the generation of Jesus says: “And Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah…” (Matthew 1:16) Pilate the Roman Governor calls Jesus the Messiah which means Christ the anointed one. It is written: “So after they had gathered, Pilate said to them, ‘Whom do you want …

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Martyrdom

“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.” (Psalm 116:15)              Martyrdom-Introduction Martyrdom in the Old Testament: Cain and Abel: The history of sacrifice and martyrdom began in the Garden of Eden with Cain killing his brother Abel simply because God was pleased with Cain’s sacrifice and rejected his. Joseph, the son of Jacob: was sold into slavery by his brothers because his father showed more compassion and love to him than to the rest of his brothers plus he told them his dream that he was to be exalted above his brothers. Martyrdom of Shmoni and her seven sons: “Early in the morning the faithful Shmoni offered prayer to God saying: God do my Judgement. From the cruel Antiochus: For he is slaughtering my sons like lambs: and he is threatening me as a lion.” (Khudra volume III page 328 Commemoration of Shmoni and her seven sons) Daniel and his two friends were cast into Furness of fire were saved by the Lord. Martyrdom in Christianity and the New Testament: Martyrdom has been an important part of our Christian Church history from the moment of its birth.  It first started with the persecution of our …

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Diocesan Spring Youth Retreat of Illinois

There was complete silence as we walked through the 2 mile hike.  We saw wild turkey, eagles, and beautiful spring scenery in the forest of Kansasville, Wisconsin without a word.  When else would children get an opportunity to be completely cut off from the world and learn how to be silent, still, and listen to the voice of God through nature?  The 2016 Assyrian Church of the East Spring Youth Retreat was a perfect chance for our youth members (ages 14-21) to not only have fun and grow closer as a youth, but also to learn biblical skills through bible studies and activities.  We were blessed during the retreat from April 22nd-24th to have His Grace Mar Paulus Benjamin, and St. Andrew’s Parish Priest, Rev. Cor-Bishop Fr. George Toma join us during the weekend.  The retreat theme was discipleship and the bible verse from Matthew, “And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  You are never too young to disciple to others and as church leaders we want to ensure that our children know how to preach the Word to their peers and family members.  The weekend was split into three parts.  Friday’s lesson …

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The Lord God

The Lord God Who is the almighty God? What is he like? From reading the divine words of God written in the Sacred Scriptures we can find answers for all the questions we have regarding the almighty God. Of course our intention from asking all these questions about God should not be to understand and comprehend the divine nature God completely. We human beings in our limited mind can never be able to comprehend and grasp all the knowledge about the almighty God. No one has ever perfectly understood God except his only begotten son Jesus Christ. We Christians believe in the presence of God even though we do not have a complete knowledge and understanding of His divine Nature.  If a human being has difficulties understanding his own being, how much more he will have difficulties understanding the divine Nature of God? God through his divine revelation reveals to us the necessary knowledge we need to know about Him. The Holy Bible teaches us that God is a real person. God is not just a man made Idea. God has revealed himself as a person to Moses. He spoke with Moses as a real person who has a name …

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