The St. Mary’s parish of London were blessed by the patriarchal visit from the Assyrian Church of the East Catholicos Patriarch, Mar Dinkha IV, from 22nd to 26th September 2010.
Arriving on Wednesday 22nd September 2010 H.H. Mar Dinkha was accompanied by fellow prelates H.G. Mar Odisho Oraham, bishop of the Diocese of Europe and H.G. Mar Awa Royel, bishop of the Diocese of California on their return trip from Iran where the patriarchal party had participated in the recently ordained bishop to that Diocese.
On Sunday 26th September 2010, H.H. Mar Dinkha IV offered the Holy Eucharist (Qurbana Qadeesha) at St. Mary’s church in Ealing, London. Hundreds of parishioners had gathered to partake in the Body and Blood of Christ and receive blessings from the church father. In the customary fashion, H.H. would meet with old friends and acquaintances in the church courtyard at the conclusion of Holy Mass. Visiting the London parish proves extra special to His Holiness as, not too far from the St. Mary’s church is St. Barnibus church where H.H. was ordained patriarch of the Assyrian church 34 years ago.
Following Holy Mass, a morning tea was held in honour of the Patriarch at the Assyrian House. St. Mary’s parish priest, Rev. Tony Malham officially welcomed the supreme head of the Assyrian church, the accompanying prelates and all others present, among them Dr. Erica Hunter and Dr. Mark Dickens, from the University London College.
After a short address by H.G. Mar Odisho Oraham, H.H. Mar Dinkha IV delivered his speech which was eagerly awaited by his flock. The sons and daughters of the church listened intently as H.H. reflected on their recent visit to Iran where the new Bishop Mar Narsai Benyamin was recently ordained and also mentioned the various cities visited as part of His historic trip.
The Patriarch went on to speak of Assyrian unity. He encouraged anyone working for the Assyrian nation to make the nation their priority and to keep differences aside. He mentioned examples of other nations that were able to obtain rights in Iraq by uniting with one another.
Finally, His Holiness provided words of advice to the Assyrian youth, and parents. H.H. encouraged the younger generation not to forget the mother tongue, largely maintained by the parents’ continual use of the language at home when communicating to their children. He advised parents to bring their kids along to the various church programs, namely bible studies, Assyrian language classes and Sunday school. All of which currently take place at the parish.
Morning tea concluded with all attendees lining up to farewell the Patriarch. People also had an opportunity to converse with H.G. Mar Odisho Oraham and H.G. Mar Awa Royel. The Patriarchal party departed London for their respective diocese on 27th September 2010.[nggallery id=49]