Church members across Iraq have warmly welcomed a series of visits by His Beatitude Mar Gewargis Sliwa, Metropolitan of Iraq, Iran and Russia, accompanied by His Grace Mar Youkhana Yosip, Bishop of India and the UAE.
His Beatitude’s return home follows the historic event of the consecration of Mar Narsai Benjamin, Bishop of Iran, by the blessed hands of His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV Catholicos Patriarch.
After being greeted by various priests and faithful at the Archbishopric, Mar Youkhana’s tour of Iraq commenced with a visit to St Mary’s Parish in Baghdad to conduct evening prayers where the tomb of the late saint His Beatitude Mar Yosip Khnanisho rests.
On Sunday 26th of September 2010, His Grace offered the Holy Eucharist at St Odisho’s Parish in Baghdad where a large number of spirited faithful partook in the offering.
His Grace also visited St Qardagh Church and St Shmooni Church in Baghdad before their departure to Kirkuk.
A visit to St George’s Parish in Kirkuk took place along with a formal reception for His Grace in the church hall.
After visiting Baghdad and Kirkuk, His Grace arrived in Erbil, Ankawa where they were gladly accepted by a number of priests, deacons and faithfuls. After their arrival, they attended evening prayers at the church of St George in Erbil and fellowshipped with the children of the parish.
His Grace then arrived in Duhok, where His Grace Mar Iskhaq Yosip, Bishop of Northern Iraq and Russia received them.
On the 3rd of October, His Grace Mar Youkhana offered the Holy Eucharist in the Church of Mar Narsai where a large number of faithful gathered to partake in the offering.
Following the Eucharist, the prelates visited various villages and parishes in the region of Northern Iraq including: Barwar, Bala, Sarsing and Peabody where the evening prayers in each parish were undertaken.
Concluding their visit of Northern Iraq, the prelates attended the village of Telkaif and conducted evening prayers at St Shmooni’s Parish, where His Grace expressed his love and joy towards the faithful that lovingly welcomed him.
On the 5th of October, His Grace returned to the Archbishopric in Baghdad in preparation of his departure to India, where a stop in the UAE will be made in order to visit the members of the church presiding in that region.[nggallery id=62]