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Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon


On Sunday 23 May 2021, the Assyrian Church of the East and Assyrian community of Victoria celebrated the historic opening of the newly constructed St Abdisho’s Assyrian Centre in Coolaroo. The Centre is a Diocesan project to provide an accessible space for members of the community including youth, seniors, women and other groups. The facility will also be the permanent home of the St George Assyrian Language School. The Grand Opening and Blessing function was led by His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Metropolitan of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon and His Grace Mar Benyamin Elya, Bishop of Victoria and New Zealand. The opening was attended by The Honourable Nazih Elasmar MLC, President of the Victorian Legislative Council, Maria Vamvakinou MP, Federal Member for Calwell representing The Honourable Anthony Albanese MP, Leader of the Opposition, Frank McGuire MP, State Member for Broadmeadows, Cr Joseph Haweil – Mayor of Hume City, Viv Nguyen – Victorian Multicultural Commissioner, Victorian Multicultural Commission Commissioner Mohammad Yassin, Hume City Council Councillors Cr Sam Misho, Cr Jim Overend and Cr. Naim Kurt and a range of other dignitaries and representatives from a range of sectors. The program included performances from students of St George Assyrian Language …

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Bishop Mar Awraham Youkhanis Ordains Priests for Diocese of Western Europe

On Sunday 23 May 2021, His Grace Mar Awraham Youkhanis Bishop of the Diocese of Western Europe elevated two deacons to the ranking of priesthood to serve in Western Europe, Reverend Father Ninos Babisha and Reverend Father Shimshon Temmo. After necessary visa paperwork and applications are completed, Reverend Father Ninos Babisha will commence theological studies in Vienna, Austria, and will be responsible for our communities living within Austria. Reverend Father Shimshon Temmo will commence his theological studies and service in Athens, Greece, caring for our communities living in Egaleo and Thessaloniki, along with his wife Mrs Mirna Temmo. His Grace extends his gratitude and thanks to His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM Metropolitan for his support. Australia’s border closures caused many issues for the plans of the Diocese of Western Europe. His Grace Mar Awraham desired to ordain the new priests in their respective parishes in Europe. Nonetheless, His Grace was able to travel to Sydney, Australia to fulfil the ordinations in order to prepare for the arrival of the new priests into Vienna and Athens. May the Lord bless Fr Babisha and Fr Temmo as they commence their service in Europe, and embark on a God-fearing and holy priesthood, …

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Sydney’s Children on the Fourth Annual Summer VBS 2021

The Assyrian Church of the East Children’s Association (ACECA) hosted its fourth annual summer program, from Monday 11th January to Friday 15th January 2021 at St Hurmizd’s Assyrian Primary School, Greenfield Park. The week long program, themed “Rocky Railway” took the children on mountains of fun, a faith-filled adventure where children discovered how trusting Jesus pulls them through life’s ups and downs. Each day 250 children were lead into spiritual lessons with 50 of ACECA’s most dedicated and hardworking teachers and volunteers. Through station rotations: imagination station, Loco Motion Games, KidVid cinema, and Wild Bible Adventures, the children experienced how to trust our Lord in every situation. The event organisers ensured a COVID Safety Plan was in place protecting the health of the children and volunteers throughout the program. See below link for a video compilation of the event: https://fb.watch/356clydPfV/

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Sydney Priests Graduate with Masters of Theology

On Monday 16th November recently ordained priests, Reverend Fr Ramen Youkhanis and Reverend Father Shlemon Dinkha graduated with their Masters of Theological Studies from the Australian Catholic University, Strathfield. Initially planned to have graduated in April 2020, however due to COVID the graduation ceremony was postponed to November 2020 alongside hundreds of other ACU students. Rev’d Fr Ramen and Rev’d Fr Shlemon were ordained on Sunday 6th September 2020 in Sydney as the official parish priests of St Hurmizd’s Cathedral and St Mary’s Church, respectively.

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Metropolitan Mar Meelis Zaia Ordains Priests for Sydney Parishes

On Sunday 6 September, His Eminence Mar Meelis Zaia AM Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon elevated two deacons to the ranking of priesthood to serve Sydney’s Saint Hurmizd’s Cathedral and St Mary’s Church, Reverend Father Ramen Youkhanis and Father Shlemon Dinkha (formerly Riyadh), respectively. The ordination was celebrated by the Metropolitan with the participation of His Grace Mar Benyamin Elya, Bishop of Victoria and New Zealand and His Grace Mar Awraham Youkhanis, Bishop of Western Europe. During the service, the Metropolitan also announced that Revered Chorbishop Fr Ashoor Lazar would be elevated to Archdeacon (the highest ranking of non-episcopal priesthood in the Assyrian Church of the East) for the Archdiocese in the new year, subject to the easing of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. His Eminence also conveyed his warm wishes and immense thanks to Reverend Father Kivarkis Atto who has reached the age of retirement. Fr Atto has been the parish priest of St Mary’s Church since 1995 and has worked tirelessly for the parish and its members. The newly appointed and ordained priests will lead Sydney’s St Hurmizd’s Cathedral and St Mary’s Church parishes and serve the Assyrian Church of the East community in Sydney …

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Archbishop Mar Meelis Zaia Announces Ordination of Priests

The Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon is pleased to announce that on Sunday the 6th day of September 2020, His Eminence Mar Meelis Zaia AM will ordain Reverend Deacons Riyadh Dinkha and Ramen Youkhanis to the ranking of Priesthood for the Holy Church. The ordination will take place at St Hurmizd’s Cathedral at 8:00am. As we are facing the current pandemic, the ordination will be streamed live (further details to be provided closer to date).   Reverend Deacon Riyadh Dinkha’s Biography Rev Dn Riyadh was born in Baghdad, Iraq on the 14th day of September 1979 to parents the Late Shlemon Dinkha and Ms Mariam Qashow. He migrated to New Zealand in 2000, and settled in Australia with his family in 2013. Rev Dn Riyadh spent his childhood immersed in church services in Iraq and continued to do so after taking on rank in the Holy Church. Throughout his time living in Sydney, he has served as one of the Deacons to the Cathedral with commitment and diligence to all of its services, in addition to leading adult bible studies for parishioners. Rev Dn Riyadh is a registered architect and builder. After the ordination, Dn Riyadh will be …

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