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Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon

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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Sydney Youth Meet with Archbishop

On Tuesday 4th February ACEYA (Assyrian Church of the East Youth Association) Sydney held its annual Youth Meet, presided over by His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM and clergy. Youth members attended the Meet in listening to His Beatitude’s keynote address about the challenging times we as Christians are facing in the society and the importance of God in our lives. With helpful tips, His Beatitude worked through the challenges with the youth and delivering guidance on coping mechanisms to persevere in faith. The youth had the chance to fellowship afterwards with one another and share in a delightful meal together as a family in Christ. This marks the beginning of the youth ministries across Sydney parishes for 2020. The Church in Sydney takes this opportunity to thank all volunteers in ACEYA for their hard work and dedication in teaching and working for the youth and the wider community.

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Melbourne Ordains Priest

On Sunday 26 January the faithful congregation of Melbourne gathered to witness the ordination of a newly instated priest for the parish. Reverend Father Morris Daoud, a committed and longserving clergyman of the church was elevated to the priesthood by the Diocesan Bishop, His Grace Mar Benyamin Elya accompanied by visiting prelate from the Diocese of Western Europe, His Grace Mar Awraham Youkhanis. The ordination took place at St Odisho’s Cathedral in Coolaroo, with hundreds of parishioners gathered for the occasion. Afterwards a celebratory breakfast was hosted in Mona Lisa Hall with heartwarming speeches by the newly ordained Fr Morris, and their graces Mar Benyamin and Mar Awraham. Biography of Rev’d Fr Morris Daoud: Fr Morris was the first born to his parents Dawood Yaqo and Nadira Mesho on the 13th June 1980 in Messan Emara, Iraq. In 1985 the family moved to Baghdad. Fr Morris gained his knowledge in the Assyrian language from Deacon Shimon in the church of St Ephraim in the village of Bersiveh, the village of Fr Morris’ parents whereby he spent many of the summer breaks. In 1990 the family moved to Mansouria, where Fr Morris further studied under Deacon Akheqar until 1993. In October …

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Sydney’s Children Roaring at VBS 2020

The Assyrian Church of the East Children’s Association (ACECA) hosted its third annual summer program, from Monday 13th January to Friday 17th January 2020. The week long program, themed “ROAR” set an epic African safari that taught the children all about God’s goodness. 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, stampede sports, KidVid cinema, and wild bible adventures, the children experienced God’s goodness in every situation – when life is unfair, sad, changes, scary and even when life is good. The last day of the program featured a special assembly where the children welcomed His Eminence Mar Meelis Zaia AM Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon, accompanied by His Grace Mar Awraham Youkhanis of the Diocese of Western Europe, upon his visit to Australia. The presentation showcased all that the children learnt in the week. His Eminence Mar Meelis reinforced the importance of seeing God’s goodness in every situation.

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Sydney Parishioners Gather for Carols

On Sunday 15 December, the Assyrian Church of the East events committee (Awyuta) hosted its 6th annual Carols by the Cathedral. Thousands of parishioners gathered for the event to celebrate the upcoming Holy Feast of the Holy Nativity. The Carols programme featured the gifted Paulini Curuenavuli from Australian Idol 2003, Diana Rouvas winner of The Voice Australia 2019 and Jessy Harfouch, along with Sydney Parish and Schools choirs. The day comprised of a variety of rides and amusements, delicious food and a concluding fireworks finale! Awyuta thanks all the sponsors, service providers and parishioners for making it a wonderful day for the entire family.

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Sydney Children Commemorate the Nativity

The Assyrian Church of the East Children’s Association (ACECA) in Sydney held it’s annual end of year Christmas Concert themed ‘A Night in Bethlehem’. Students performed the drama of the nativity, recited prayers, hymns and songs commemorating the night our Lord and Saviour was born with their families. Afterwards, sharing a meal and enjoying their last night together at ACECA for 2019. As mentioned, this event marks the end of the 2019 children’s bible studies ministry, which takes place Wednesday nights and caters to almost four hundred children. ACECA takes this opportunity to thank the teachers who commit to teaching the children bible studies on a weekly basis with fun and interactive lessons bringing the scriptures to life. Thank you also to the parents who give us the opportunity to teach the children the faith and allow them to fellowship together in the love of Christ. Registrations for ACECA commence mid January 2020. Photography courtesy of Mirna Makko.

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