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18th Annual Assyrian Food Festival in San Jose

The 18th annual Assyrian Food Festival took place Aug. 21 and 22 in San Jose, California. His grace Mar Awa Royel Bishop of California attended this event, along with Rev Archdeacon Nenos Michael of Mar Narsai Parish, San Francisco, and Father Lawrence Namato of Mar Yosip Parish, San Jose and many other dignitaries from the state of California and the city of San Jose. This year we were blessed with record number of attendees, approximately 5,000. Those who attended had their choice of beef, chicken, and vegetable kabobs, as well as rice with dill and lima beans, a traditional yogurt soup called boushala, Assyrian eggrolls called bourak, hummus, mixed olives and dishes with exotic names like kouba, jajik and goupta. Desserts include dates, baklava, a rice pudding called booshalad khalva and familiar items such as ice cream. While food is the focus of the event, there is a parade, live folk music and dancing and a special area for children with activities. The festival is designed to showcase Assyrian traditions and to educate others about the heritage of the land called “the cradle of civilization.” The festival took place at the Assyrian Church of the East, Mar Yosip Parish, located …

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Delegation Visits Washington D.C.

In response to an invitation from the Westminster Group of Washington D.C. and Barnabas Aid USA, a delegation of the Assyrian Church of the East visited the U.S. capitol from July 10-15, 2010. The Westminster Group had hosted a delegation of the ‘Council of Iraqi Christian Leaders’ to meet with various senators, congressmen and the State Department in Washington. The Iraqi delegation was headed by Archbishop Avak Asadourian, the Primate of the Armenian Orthodox Church in Iraq and the General Secretary of the Council; His Beatitude Mar Gewargis Sliwa, Metropolitan of Iraq & Russia for the Assyrian Church of the East; Rev. Joseph Al Sakka of the Presbyterian Church in Iraq. Accompanying the Iraqi delegation were other prelates from the U.S., namely: H.G. Mar Awa Royel, Bishop of California and Secretary of the Holy Synod (appointed by His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV to attend the meetings); Metropolitan Mor Cyril Aphram Karim, Syrian Orthodox Bishop of the Diocese of USA; Bishop Yousif Habash of the Syrian Catholic Church, Diocese of USA & Canada; and Mons. Emmanuel Shalita of the Chaldean Catholic Church (Detroit). Other Assyrian social and political activists from Chicago, Illinois and London (UK) were also present. Some of the …

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11 Young Men Ordained

“You shall serve the Lord, your God…” On Sunday, 9th May 2010 at 10:00am (VI Sunday of the Resurrection), the gracious gift of the Holy Spirit, the laying on of hands (Syameeda), was bestowed upon eleven young men of the Church, through the hand of His Grace Mar Awa Royel, Bishop of California & Secretary of the Holy Synod. The service was conducted at Mar Addai Church, followed by the offering of the Holy Eucharist (Qurbana Qadisha) by His Grace. Those first ordained were the Readers: Mr Michael Nissan, Mr David Baghdasarian, Mr Sargiz Eshaq, Rameil Youkhanna, Eilen Shahbaz and Mr. Delmon Khoshaba. Then, two Sub-Deacons were ordained: Mr. Ramsin Youkhanna and Mr. Raymond Rasho. Finally, those ordained to the Diaconate were: Mr. Edson Joudeh, Mr. Antovan Ousipsargezzadeh and Mr. Ramil Biviyodavid. It is apposite to note that the above ordained were educated and trained by Rev. Fr. Jameel Wardah, Parish Priest of Mar Addai Church, Turlock. We beseech the Lord’s merciful grace to be bestowed upon the newly ordained, granting them the desire and strength to serve His holy church. [nggallery id=44]

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His Grace Mar Awa Royel Attends the Second Symposium Syriacum in Vienna, Austria

His Grace Mar Awa Royel, Bishop of the Assyrian Church of the East for the Diocese of California (USA), attended the ‘Second Symposium Syriacum’ in Vienna, held under the patronage of the Pro Oriente Foundation, from November 4 to 6, 2009. Accompanying His Grace, was Cor-bishop Auchana Kanoun, priest of Mar Gewargis Parish, Ceres, California. With its studies in the Syriac tradition, the PRO-ORIENTE FOUNDATION of Vienna, Austria, intended to facilitate mutual understanding and exchange as well as to promote the common heritage of the various churches belonging to the historical Syriac Tradition. In continuation of its former “Syriac Dialogue” (1994-2005), the PRO-ORIENTE, fourth Forum Syriacum was held in Vienna from November 2-7, 2009. Under the auspices of the Forum Syriacum, the “Second Symposium Syriacum” was held at the Palottihaus, Vienna. The theme this year dealt with the contributions of Syriac Christianity in the Middle East and India, and the challenges it faces in the same areas. The following were the invited experts and Church representatives: A.  Expert Scholars from the Churches of Syriac Tradition:- 1. Mar Boulos Matar, Archbishop, Beirut, Lebanon (Maronite Catholic Church) 2. Mar Joseph Powathil, Metropolitan, Changanassery, India (Syro-Malabar Catholic Church) 3. Mor Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim, …

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Mar Awa Ordains Lectors at Mar Zaia Cathedral

On Sunday, May 24, 2009, Feast of the Pentecost, His Grace Mar Awa Royel conducted the ordinations to minor orders of four readers and one sub-deacon at Mar Zaia Cathedral, Modesto, California. Those ordained were: Robert Malkopour to the order of sub-deacon; Michael Barsom, Brainer Gewargis; Onel Barcham and Zaia Merza to the order of reader. Assisting the bishop were Rev. Shamlee Tamras, parish priest of Mar Zaia Cathedral, and numerous other deacons. [nggallery id=46]

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A New Priest for Mar Zaia Cathedral in Modesto

On Friday, August 15, 2008—the commemoration of the Virgin Mary—a new parish priest was ordained for Mar Zaia Parish in Modesto, California. On that joyous day, attended by some 750 faithful from all parts of California, His Grace Mar Aprim Khamis, Bishop of Western USA, ordained the Rev’d. Deacon Sawa Shawel Tamras to the priesthood. Also in attendance for the momentous occasion were: His Grace Mar Sargis, Bishop of Baghdad; Archdeacon Nenos Michael of San Francisco; Cor-bishop David Royel of San Jose; Cor-bishop Fredrick Hermiz of Phoenix; Rev. Auchana Kanoun of Ceres; Rev. Jameel Wardah of Turlock. The new priest was given the ecclesiastical name of ‘Father Shamli.’ Fr. Shamli Tamras was born in 1951, and studied for some years at the Assyrian Church of the East seminary in Dora, Baghdad; he was ordained a deacon by His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos-Patriarch, in October of 2007. Fr. Shamli holds a Master’s Degree in Chemistry and presently teaches Chemistry at Fresno State University. Fr. Shamli succeeds Rev. Kando Kando as the parish priest for Mar Zaia, who was relieved of the parish and transferred to the parish of Chandler in Arizona. Fr. Shamli’s brother, Rev. Eshmael Tamras, was also recently …

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