Home > Diocese > Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon

Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon

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 …

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

Consecration & Testimonial Dinner – Live

مباشر …. مراسيم الرسامة الأسقفية للاركذياقون نينوس ايليا، اسقفاً على فكتوريا ونيوزلندا، بوضع اليمين المباركة لقداسة البطريرك مار كيوركيس الثالث صليوا وأصحاب الغبطة والنيافة. Live broadcast of the Consecration of The Rev’d Fr Ninos Elya, Bishop-Elect Diocese of Victoria and New Zealand by His Holiness Mar Gewargis III Sliwa, Catholicos-Patriarch Of the Assyrian Church of the East. St Abdisho’s Church Coolaroo, Victoria, Australia

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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, …

Read More »

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.

Read More »

ACERO Australia’s Inaugural Luncheon

The Assyrian Church of the East Relief Organization (ACERO) is the international aid agency of the Assyrian Church of the East. ACERO Australia is the Australian arm of the international aid agency, and is established to provide benevolent aid and relief to refugees, the displaced and other victims of persecution, war or natural disaster. On Sunday 9th October 2016, ACERO Australia’s NSW Chapter held a luncheon as a gesture of the Charity’s appreciation for the overwhelming generosity extended by its various business and association sponsors during times of intense need. The blessed occasion was presided over by His Eminence Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Metropolitan of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon of the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East, and Founding Chairman of ACERO and ACERO Australia. Attending as guest of honours was the NSW Ecumenical Council, represented by the Council’s General Secretary, the Very Reverend Fr Shenouda Mansour. The occasion was a resounding success and saw in excess of 40 businesses and associations gather to offer their collective support to the Charity and its aid and relief works. Guests were treated to various informative presentations delivered by the following esteemed individuals: • Keynote address from His Eminence Mar …

Read More »

Inauguration Dinner of the St Narsai Alumni Association, Sydney

On the evening of Tuesday 21st June, Sydney’s Saint Narsai Assyrian Christian College hosted an inaugural dinner celebrating the establishment of the St Narsai Alumni Association. The word alumni, in its Latin definition means pupil and is commonly used to refer to a graduate or former student of a specific school, college or university. Therefore, an association of alumni collects the graduates in an organisational manner. The College saw it fit to establish such an organization due to its growth over the years, reaching over 500 enrolments currently. The main purpose of this initiative was the reuniting of the graduates in maintaining their social and familial ties, as they once had during their schooling years. A number of the graduates from the classes of 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 attended the evening; reuniting friends after so many years. The official program was graced by His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Metropolitan along with clergy, Assyrian Schools’ board of directors and staff members. The program consisted of speeches, musical performances and video presentations. In His Beatitude’s remarks, the concept of fellowship and keeping close ties was emphasised. As the Assyrian Schools were founded on solid foundations, the friendships should last …

Read More »

Australia and New Zealand’s Youth Associations #ServeHim at the Auckland’s 3rd Archdiocesan Youth Conference

Youth Associations of the Archdiocese met in Auckland, New Zealand on Wednesday the 1st July. His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM Metropolitan, Rev’d Fr Narsai Youkhanis (Sydney), Rev’d Fr Ninos Elya (Sydney), Rev’d Fr Antwan Mikhail (Melbourne), Syriac Scholar Prof Rifat Ebied (Sydney) and members of the youth from Sydney, Melbourne and Wellington were welcomed by the Auckland Youth Committee, parish priest Rev’d Fr Toma Kanoon and the Church committee. The clergymen and conference speakers and attendees checked into Auckland Mercure Hotel in the heart of the city. The 2015 youth conference officially began with a warm and traditional welcome by a Maori entertaining group performing the Haka in honour of the guests followed by prayers in St Mary’s Church Manurewa led by His Beatitude. Following the prayers, welcoming speeches were presented in Mar Narsai DeBaz Hall (rear of the Church) by MC Deacon Oliver Sliwa, Rev’d Fr Narsai Youkhanis Youth Chaplain, Rev’d Fr Toma Kanon Parish Priest and His Beatitude Mar Meelis. The second day of the conference comprised of seminars at the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) where Rev’d Mark Beale of the Anglican Church spoke about Serving God in Body and Spirit, Rev’d Fr Narsai Youkhanis spoke …

Read More »

Inaugural ACERO Benefit Dinner Held In Sydney, Australia

On 1 February 2015 ACERO Australia in association with NSW Ecumenical Council were proud hosts of the Inaugural ACERO Benefit Dinner held in Sydney, Australia. The blessed evening was presided over by His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Metropolitan of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon. The inaugural ACERO benefit dinner was held with two key aims which were focused on raising awareness of the plight of Assyrian and Christian minority groups across the Middle East in addition to raising much needed vital funds for ACERO’s life giving relief works across this region. The occasion was a resounding success and saw in excess of 500 guests across Sydney’s local and wider community gather to offer their collective support to the Middle East’s Christian communities. Guests were treated to informative presentations on the subject of Christianity and plight of Christians across the Middle East from the following esteemed individuals; – His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Metropolitan of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon – The Very Reverend Father Shenouda Mansour, General Secretary of the NSW Ecumenical Council; – Sr Elizabeth Delaney, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches in Australia; – Reverend the Honourable Fred Nile MLC, of the Christian Democratic …

Read More »

Catholicos-Patriarch Calls 3-Day Rogation for Christians of Iraq

His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos Patriarch of the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East, has sent an epistle imploring all members of the church and the Assyrian nation to hold a 3 day fast (Rogation) beginning Monday the 1st of September. The purpose of this rogation is to beseech the mercy of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ upon our Assyrian nation and all who are being persecuted in the Middle East, in particular Northern Iraq. May God accept our rogation just as He accepted the rogation of our forefathers the Ninevites.

Read More »

Inaugural Jerusalem Pilgrimage for the Metropolitan See of Sydney

On the 30th June 2014 180 Sydney and Melbourne parishioners departed Sydney’s Kingsford Smith International Airport and travelled to the Holy Land of Jerusalem, accompanied by Rev’d Fr Narsai Youkhanis and Rev’d Fr Ninos Elya and numerous deacons. The pilgrimage took approximately ten months to organise, with the 180 attendees divided into six groups of thirty pilgrims: red, yellow, green, blue, purple and orange. Each group with its own tour guide and air-conditioned coach busses from the St Thomas Church Touring Services in different languages; English (red, blue, orange and purple) and Arabic (yellow and blue). The pilgrims were accommodated at the Ritz Hotel in Jerusalem where a full buffet was served for breakfast and dinner, and lunch was provided at different restaurants depending on the locations of the day’s schedule – all three meals’ cost covered. Aside from meals, chilled bottles of water were provided for each pilgrim throughout the day. The ten-day tour began with a free day on Tuesday the 1st July – allowing time for check-in to the hotel, relaxing and unwinding after a 30 or so hour flight from Sydney via Bangkook, Thailand. On the following day the tour schedule commenced visiting sites such as …

Read More »

New Church Consecrated in Auckland, New Zealand

Courtesy – Manukau Courier A new church is helping forge cultural roots for a small community. The Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East opened its doors in Manurewa on Saturday. Father Toma K Toma, who came to New Zealand from Iran in 1992, acknowledges the church has come a long way from its early beginnings and is happy to see it thrive in South Auckland – “it’s a dream come true”, he says. People in the neighbourhood are very impressed with the new building and ask many questions, and he’s proud to share his religion and culture, he says. When he first arrived in the country only 10 families attended his services which he would run using Anglican church facilities. Now he has a congregation of more than 200 families. The Church of the East began during the early Christian missionary activity in the middle of the first century. It established itself through the regions of Mesopotamia which included areas of modern-day Iraq and Syria. The Assyrian people are the major ethnic community within the church but Father Toma says its doors are open to everyone. He hopes its facilities will be available for community events and weddings. …

Read More »