In the Holy Synod of the Assyrian Church of the East, convened under the presidency of His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos-Patriarch in Chicago from 25 May to 1 June 2012, the Very Reverend Archdeacon Paulus Benjamin, vicar of Mar Gewargis Cathedral in Chicago, was elected bishop for the Diocese of Eastern USA.
The new bishop was given the title ‘Mar Paulus’ and his episcopal consecration took place on Pentecost Sunday, 27 May 2012, at Mar Gewargis Cathedral in Chicago. The consecration liturgy was presided by His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos-Patriarch, and assisted by all of the members of the Holy Synod acting as co-consecrators. The cathedral was packed, having greatly exceeded its seating capacity, and numerous deacons, priests and guest-clergy were in attendance.
The consecration liturgy began at 8:15 with the procession. The procession was comprised of the choirs, the deacons, priests, archdeacons, bishops, metropolitans, the bishop-elect and His Holiness the Patriarch. After reading his Oath of Obedience and Profession of Faith, the reading of the Gospel lesson for the feast of Ss. Peter & Paul on the back of the inclined ordinand highlighted the ceremony. Then, the bishop-elect was made lie prostrate before the Patriarch, and the metropolitans and bishops assisted the consecration by extending their right hand over the ordinand who lay prostrate, His Holiness all the while reciting the consecration formula in an audible voice. After the prayer of consecration was recited over the bishop-elect, he was made to stand and the Patriarch vested him with the ma’apra (cope), crown, pectoral Cross and episcopal ring; then, he was given the episcopal crozier indicating his authority to shepherd the flock entrusted to his spiritual care. At the end of the consecration service, all of the prelates congratulated the newly-ordained with the kiss of peace, and His Holiness the Patriarch commenced to celebrate the Holy Qurbana.
His Grace Mar Paulus Benjamin was born Korosh Benyamin, to his mother Roza Jacob (daughter of the late Qasha Keshto Yakob) and to his father Yoarash Benyamin on June 24, 1968 in the village of Qala, Urmia (Iran). He was tutored in the services of our Church by the late Archdeacon Qasha Aprim Mar Yonani, and was ordained a deacon by His Holiness Mar Dinkha on June 24, 1984 at St. George cathedral, Tehran. He then received his B.A. in Social Communications from the University of Tehran in 1993. He served the military from 1993 to 1995. In 1996, he was sent for higher theological studies to Rome by His Holiness. After studying at the Pontifical Gregorian University, he received the S.T.B. (Bachelor of Sacred Theology) in Philosophy in 1998 and the S.T.B. (Bachelor of Sacred Theology) in Theology in 2001. He was ordained a priest on September 13, 2001 at Mar Gewargis cathedral, Chicago, by His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV. He is presently a candidate for the S.T.L. (Licentiate of Sacred Theology) in Canon Law and has already finished his doctorate courses as required by the Pontifical Oriental Institute, Rome. In the summer of 1999, he spent 3 months with Archdeacon Yonan Youel studying Aramaic, and did a course in French language at Bisancon, France in the summer of 2002. Mar Paulus came to the US in July of 2007 and in 2008 was appointed assistant vicar of Mar Gewargis cathedral, Chicago. In 2009, he was appointed the vicar of said parish. On March 20, 2011, the new bishop was raised to the rank of Cor-episcopa by H.G. Mar Awa Royel, Bishop of California, at the directive of His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, and was then ordained archdeacon by His Holiness on Ascension Day, May 17, 2012 at Mar Gewargis Cathedral, Chicago.
From the moment of his episcopal consecration onwards, the newly consecrated is fully a member of the Holy Synod, shepherd and overseer of the Diocese of Eastern USA of the Assyrian Church of the East.[nggallery id=387]