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Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon

2010 Walkathon Inspires Spiritual Walk of Life

In a show of faithfulness to the Assyrian Church of the East, more than 300 church members took part in a physical and spiritual walk to raise more than $22,000 for the building of two new churches for the Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon. The 2010 Walkathon encouraged the young, old, fit and fighting to power-walk, trek and stroll their way through the scenic 10km route from the future site of Ss. Peter and Paul Parish, Kosovich Place in Cecil Park, to St Hurmizd Cathedral in Greenfield Park. A sea of green-shirted participants was visible from afar, proudly displaying motivational words from the Epistle of Paul to the Philippians, 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” The annual marathon fundraiser was organised by the Youth Association of the ACOE alongside Ss. Peter and Paul Parish committee members, with the aim of raising donations for the building of Ss. Peter and Paul and St George Parishes. Officially opening the 2010 Walkathon with a prayer, Reverend John Kushaba, priest at Ss. Peter and Paul Parish, said partial fundraising was to be donated to the Starlight Foundation of Australia. “It is encouraging to know that while …

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His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM Metropolitan Visits Melbourne

The faithful of the Assyrian Church of the East in Melbourne were this weekend blessed by the Episcopal Sojourn of His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Metropolitan of the Assyrian Church of the East for the Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon. His Beatitude visited Melbourne to assess the condition of the church and provide direction and stewardship to its faithful. His Beatitude arrived in Melbourne on Friday 27 August 2010, and gave leadership to a series of meetings with the parish priests and various committees. In these meetings, the Metropolitan discussed numerous points of importance to the parish faithful and laid out concrete measures for the ongoing success of the parish. Sunday 29 August 2010, marking the First Sunday of Elijah in the ecclesial calendar, saw His Beatitude consecrate the Eucharistic Liturgy in the St. George Church located in Reservoir. Hundreds of faithful packed the small church, which was purchased in 1979, to take part in the service. In his sermon, His Beatitude exhorted the faithful to be in constant prayer and asserted the importance of humility, good works and mutual respect in the spiritual life of every Christian. His Beatitude was assisted during the service by Rev. …

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Ordination of Reverend Narsai Youkhanis

The Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon’s newly ordained priest Reverend Narsai Youkhanis has commenced his lifetime service to the Assyrian Church of the East, following an emotional laying of the hands ceremony at St Hurmizd Cathedral. The ordination, on 22 August 2010, was led by His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia and assisted by Cor Bishop Reverend Ashur Lazar and more than 30 clergy members including parish priests, deacons, sub-deacons and lectors. In a symbolic ceremony filled with ritual prayers to the Holy Spirit, H.B. Mar Meelis Zaia placed his blessed right hand on Deacon Ramsen Youkhanis, raising him to the ranking of priesthood and a commitment to work in the field of the Lord under his chosen name ‘Reverend Narsai’. Attending the early morning ordination were more than 2000 faithful, who filled St Hurmizd Cathedral with a mix of tears and joy, and took part in the new priest’s first offering of the Holy Eucharist, which followed a sermon and gospel reading for the 7th Sunday of summer according to the church calendar. Rev. Narsai said he felt confident through the strength of God, following the gracious gift of the Holy Spirit, the laying on of hands. “When …

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Assyrian Genocide Monument Begins Process of Healing

The power of a united Assyrian community was realised on Assyrian Martyrs Day, which was commemorated by the official unveiling of the Assyrian Genocide Monument in Bonnyrigg Heights, Sydney on Saturday 7th August 2010. The monument, the first of its kind for the worldwide Assyrian community, was officially approved by the Fairfield City council on December 15, 2009 and sponsored by the Assyrian Universal Alliance in honour of the 750,000 Assyrians who perished through orchestrated massacres and deportations in southeast Turkey in 1914 and following years of World War 1. The unveiling was witnessed by more than 2000 Australian and Assyrian community members at a passionate and patriotic ceremony, opened with a smoking ceremony by Aboriginal elders and marked with a one-minute silence of respect for the fallen. His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia, Metropolitan of the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East in Australia and New Zealand, praised the passion of the present generations while leading a prayer for all those who had lost their lives in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. “Bless all this world so that it may comprehend Your will, compassion and Your son’s sacrifice. So through Him we can learn …

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Assyrians in China – Lecture by Dr Ken Parry

Thursday the 22nd of April 2010, was an evening of knowledge, wisdom and a clear understanding on the history of the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East’s missionaries in China and India. Dr Ken Parry, a senior lecturer and researcher from the Ancient History Department of Macquarie University and is a world renowned authority on ancient philosophy, church history and theology, lectured to a congregation of church faithful in Edessa Reception with the presence of H.B Mar Meelis Zaia, other university lecturers, along with priests and deacons and faithful of the church. His extensive travels in Asia enabled him to give first hand information on the ancient missionary work of the church of the east that cannot be found in textbooks. The presentation by Dr. Parry opened the eyes of the congregation and expanded their knowledge of the remarkable message propelled to China and India over a thousand years ago. H.B Mar Meelis Zaia, being a graduate of the MA East Syriac Studies of Macquarie University, also presented a speech on this note and was highly supported both historically and factually by the lecturers present (having taught H.B Mar Meelis during his studies). [nggallery id=32]

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Prayer Memorials for the Late Mar Narsai DeBaz Held by Churches and Schools

Hundreds of people attended a memorial service at the St Hurmizd Assyrian cathedral of Greenfield Park in Sydney’s west on Tuesday (16th). The service was in remembrance of H.B Mar Narsai DeBaz, the Metropolitan of Lebanon, Syria and all Europe for the Assyrian church of the East. People also lay flowers and wreaths on the cathedral gates along with messages and cards of sympathy. Among the attendees local Assyrian organisations and politicians payed their respects. Priests from the Ancient church of the East of Sydney were also present. The Assyrian Church of the East has now entered into its 6th day of the Great Fast and yet during this fast, the faithful not only grieve over their sins but now also mourn for the loss of one of their dear Church Fathers; His Beatitude; the late Mar Narsai DeBaz. Ss. Peter and Paul Parish conducted prayer service in the English language, lead by the Parish Priest, Rev. Genard Lazar, in honour of the late Metropolitan of the Assyrian Church of the East in Lebanon Syria and Greater Europe, commencing at 8pm at St Hurmizd’s Cathedral in Sydney. Reverend Genard presented a short eulogy on the life of the simple, meek and …

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Visit of the Iraqi Ambassador in Australia to His Beatitude for Christmas

His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM was visited by His Excellency Ambassador Ghanim Taha Al-Shibli, the Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq in Australia, and Dr William Isaiah, Charge  of the Iraqi Embassy in Japan, and Mr. Mohsen al-Samarrai, an Iraqi consul in Sydney, In addition to  Mr. Havel Sean representative of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Australia. [nggallery id=33]

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Unveiling of the Memorial Plaque for Assyrian Levies in fairfield

“… Lest we forget” On Saturday 31st October 2009, approximately 250 proud Assyrians gathered in Fairfield’s Ulverstone Street Park in Sydney, NSW to witness the Unveiling of a memorial park in honour of the Assyrian Levies. Mr Gaby Kiwarkis of the Assyrian Levies Association welcomed all at 10:00 am followed by a prayer by His Beatitude Archbishop Mar Meelis Zaia, Metropolitan of the Assyrian Church of the East, Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand. Guest speakers on the day were Lieutenant Steve Zakaria RAN, Assyrian Australian Association; Mr. Andy Rohan, Assyrian Sports and Cultural Club; Mr. Joseph Adams, Assyrian Bawar Association, Fairfield Councilor Zaia Tooma, Mr. John Savige – Lt General Sir S. Savige, Mr. Lindsay Grigg – Captain Nicol MC Rep. New Zealand Defense Force, Hon. Charlie Lynn MLC. Prior to the unveiling of the plaque, His Beatitude the Metropolitan lead all into a prayer of commemoration followed by the official unveiling by His Beatitude and the laying of the first wreath. Wreaths were also laid by the Colonel, then the Levies, then MP Charlie Lynn then Assyrian Sports and Cultural Club, followed by the Scouts. [nggallery id=34]

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Sleepless Assyrians Become Stars for a Good Cause

The Assyrian Church of the East Youth Association of Sydney sacrificed a night’s sleep and became stars on Saturday 12th of September to help raise money for two main causes: the Starlight Children’s foundation, doing their part to help bring magic and laughter into the lives of seriously ill and hospitalised children and their families and secondly to the newly founded organization ACERO (Assyrian Church of the East Relief Organisation) to help and support Christian children and their families in war torn Iraq and its neighbouring countries. Youth Association held the tiring Wake-A-Thon with over 100 participants from the Assyrian community at Edessa Reception Hall (behind St Hurmizd’s Cathedral) in Greenfield Park. Chor-Bishop Father Ashur Lazar officially marked the beginning of the Wake-A-Thon with a prayer at 7pm. Over 500 people attended the dinner party. Participants danced and partied throughout the night till 2am, entertained by ten famous and beloved singers of the Assyrian community in Sydney who also donated their time and service for this worthy cause. When party was concluded at 2am the 100 participants with the sponsorship form stayed back to sacrifice their sleep to raise funds. A breakfast and various games were organised in order to …

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Charity Fundraising Bazaar

The Ss. Peter & Paul Parish – Assyrian Church of the East of Australia, held its first ever charity fundraising bazaar on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd of August 2009 at the Assyrian Australian Social Centre. During the 2 days, merchandise which was donated by the Church faithful was sold at a charitable price in anticipation of raising funds for the building of the proposed Ss. Peter & Paul Parish Church premises in Cecil Park. Stalls were hired out by individuals who were granted the opportunity to present and sell their goods. The expertise of the Ss. Peter and Paul Parish hospitality committee assisted by the 
St Mary’s Parish ladies committee and other faithful of the Church; provided food, sweets and refreshments which were enjoyed by the attendants of the bazaar. Reverend Genard Lazar, Parish Priest; extended his welcome and gratitude on behalf of the Parish to all those who organised, donated, helped and s upported this cause in anyway. Mr. Chris Goffett, parish president, also spoke of the joy of the parish committee in organising such an event. May our gracious Lord God continue to bless and guard our Holy Church and Assyrian nation through His Son Jesus Christ …

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Senior Accommodation in Sydney

Recently a delegation representing the Australian Federal and State Governments, members of the Department of Housing, visited the Senior Accommodation Living Projects initiated by the “Assyrian Church of the East Retirement villages Australia Ltd” a branch of the Trust of the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East, Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand, to observe the progress and the resent development. H.B Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Metropolitan of the Church greeted the delegation and took them for a tour of the project and presented a brief on the latest progress achieved by the Church in providing the local senior community with a better accommodation. H.B explained of how the Church is eager to find solutions to the local tenancy problem facing this sector of the community who find it difficult to face the rising cost of tenancy in the Fairfield area.

The delegation consisted of the following members:

Sally Trovena (FaHCSIA), Sue Finnegan (FaHCSIA), John Paszek (HNSW), Helen O`loughlin (HNSW), Gallna Laurie (HNSW), Vivian Hanich (HNSW),Chrisina Foran (HNSW), Tanya Fichmond (HNSW), Nancy Tan (HNSW) and Julian Noylan (HNSW).

The delegation commended the Church and H.B for the project and praised the Assyrian Community for consistently endeavoring to find solution for the …

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Qasha Shaju Paulose Visits Sydney

Qasha Shaju Paulose arrived in Australia at the end of June. He is currently visiting Australia from New Zealand to fulfil the Priestly duties in place of Reverend Genard Lazar who is currently in California of United States for the 23rd Annual Holy Apostolic Assyrian Church of the East Youth Conference. He has been offering the Holy Eucharist in St Hurmizd Cathedral, and St Johns Park High School hall, with his last service to be conducted on the 19th July. The Ss Peter and Paul Parish parishioners have also been blessed with some personally challenging sermons on Friday night preaching at St Marys church. We would like to thank him for his caretaking role with the Ss Peter and Paul Parish and wish him a safe trip home for his return flight as he will be returning to New Zealand. [nggallery id=40]

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Housing Hope for Needy

AFFORDABLE rental properties are being built in Fairfield as part of a national scheme that will offer new accommodation for low- and middle-income families. The 58 properties, now under construction in Polding Street, are to be built and managed by an association between Churches Community Housing and the Assyrian Church of the East that shares the site. Archbishop Mar Meelis Zaia said the Assyrian church had already started construction of the homes before they found out about the Federal Government scheme. “The Churches Community Housing informed us of the scheme and as we were one of the first to apply, we were also one of the first to be approved,” he said. Archbishop Mar Meelis Zaia said that due to the shortage of affordable accommodation in the area, there is already a waiting list of more than 120 people. “The people on the waiting list are mainly elderly residents that can not to afford to rent privately anymore because they are on the age pension,” he said. “As long as they meet all the eligibility requirements, they will be the first to be housed in the properties.” Archbishop Mar Meelis Zaia said the Polding Street properties were expected to be …

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His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM Visits Melbourne

Melbourne’s St. George Church was honoured with a visit from His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Metropolitan of Australia and New Zealand during a 4-day Arch-Episcopal Sojourn to the city. During his time in Melbourne, His Beatitude took the opportunity to engage in a number of meetings, in particular with the Parish Council and both Parish Priest’s Rev. Gewargis Toma and Rev. Hurmizd Gewargis, where the general progress of the Parish was examined and a number of plans put in place to ensure the continued success of the Parish. On Sunday the 29th of March, the Sixth Sunday of the Great Fast, His Beatitude consecrated the Eucharistic Liturgy for many hundreds of faithful who came to receive the Holy Qurbana and welcome His Beatitude. In the evening His Beatitude took time from his busy schedule to hold a meeting with the St. George Church Youth Group where he exhorted the young faithful to remain strong in their Christian faith and work together for the advancement of each other’s spiritual lives. The success of the youth program in Sydney was discussed, with particular reference made to Sydney’s Ss. Peter and Paul Parish. His Beatitude informed the youth in attendance of his …

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Faithful Raise Over $10,000 for Victorian Bushfire Victims

The faithful of the Assyrian Church of the East have responded to the call to help those in need. During recent church services His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM made an appeal to all the church faithful to respond to the devastation of the Victorian people. He announced that at this time of great national disaster, a Christian’s duty is to help those in need, and the very least we can do is give financially to those whose lives have been destroyed so quickly and fiercely. As Christians our compassion drives us to act on behalf of the vulnerable and right now the suffering of the people of Victoria needs our immediate response. Thank you to all who have generously donated to this appeal. The funds will be forwarded to the Australian Red Cross. As a church, and as individuals, our prayers and our hearts go out to all affected by the recent Victorian bushfires. [nggallery id=30]

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