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NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell Visits Assyrian Primary School in Sydney

On Thursday the 13th February 2014, St Hurmizd Assyrian Primary School (SHAPS) along with St Narsai Assyrian Christian College (SNACC) warmly welcomed The Honourable Barry O’Farrell MP, Premier of the State of New South Wales to a special reception held at the Assyrian Church of the East’s Edessa Hall in Greenfield Park, New South Wales, Australia. Premier O’Farrell was received by His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon accompanied by reverend priests, SHAPS Principal Mr Sargis Makko, SNACC Principal Mr John Haskal, church trustees, members of the Assyrian Schools Board and a large congregation of students, staff and parents. The program commenced with the performance of the Australian National Anthem, Assyrian Church Anthem and the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer in the Aramaic language by the school choir, followed with a welcoming speech given by Mr Makko. In his remarks Mr Makko noted that the growing size of both schools and growing population of the Assyrian community in Australia was cause for both joy and happiness. Mr Makko went on to thank the Australian government for the significant contribution it has made in making the existence of the Assyrian Schools possible …

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Assyrian Church of the East Hosts Major Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Event in Beirut

“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20 The Assyrian Church of the East in Lebanon has hosted an ecumenical celebration marking the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The event, on 26 January 2014, was held at St George Cathedral of the Assyrian Church of the East in the Beirut suburb of Sed el-Bouchriyeh. The ecumenical gathering, the largest of its kind ever held in Lebanon, saw representatives of 10 churches come together to celebrate the important event. These churches were: – Antiochian Orthodox Church – Armenian Orthodox Church – Assyrian Church of the East – Chaldean Catholic Church – Coptic Orthodox Church – Maronite Catholic Church – Melkite Catholic Church – National Evangelical Church of Lebanon – Syriac Catholic Church – Syrian Orthodox Church Senior prelates and clergy from the noted churches were represented at the event. The ecumenical prayer event commenced with the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer in Arabic, followed by an address from The Rev’d Fr Michel Jalakh, Secretary-General of the Middle East Council of Churches. The Secretary-General welcomed all prelates and distinguished guests present stressing that the spirit of ecumenism should be the …

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Metropolitan of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon Calls on Chaldean Catholic Archbishop in Sydney

His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon has called upon His Excellency Mar Jibrail Kassab, Archbishop of the Eparchy of St Thomas the Apostle for Chaldeans and Assyrians of the Chaldean Catholic Church for Australia and New Zealand. The Metropolitan called upon the Archbishop on 30 December 2013 offering the fraternal greetings of the Assyrian Church of the East on the occasion of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ and the New Year. The Assyrian Church of the East delegation was received by a number of clergy of the Chaldean Catholic Eparchy and church administrative committee members. During the meeting His Beatitude offered his congratulations to the sister Chaldean Catholic Church and His Beatitude Mar Louis I Raphael Sako, Patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church on the occasion of the holy season. A colloquium was held on the circumstances facing the Christian communities in both Iraq and Syria, with both prelates praying that the faithful of all churches living in these countries may be protected from various dangers facing them at the present time. The delegation of the Assyrian Church of the East included the Rev’d Cor-bishop Ashoor Lazar, the …

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‘The Martyred Church’: Archdiocesan Youth Conference Held in Melbourne, Australia

The 2nd Youth Conference of the Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon convened in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia between 12 – 15 December 2013. The four-day conference brought together 120 young faithful of the Assyrian Church of the East from Melbourne, Sydney, Toronto (Canada), Auckland (New Zealand) and Beirut (Lebanon) under the theme ‘The Martyred Church’. The conference theme, based upon the text of the same name by Dr David Wilmshurt (of the Chinese University of Hong Kong) inspired the proceedings of the Conference. His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Metropolitan of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon was guest of honour for the entire duration of the Conference and was accompanied by 6 parish priests from Victoria and New South Wales; being Rev’d Fr Narsai Youkhanis, Rev’d Fr John Kushaba and Rev’d Fr Ninos Elya of New South Wales and Rev’d Fr Korkis Toma, Rev’d Fr Hurmizd Jarjeis and Rev’d Fr Antawan Mikhail of Victoria. Also in attendance were Professor Rifaat Ebied of the University of Sydney and Mr Konstantinos (Dean) Kalymnios as guest academic lecturers at the Conference. The youth attendees arrived in Melbourne on Thursday 12 December from their respective cities. On the evening of the same day …

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Four Sub-Deacons Ordained in Urmia, Iran

His Grace Mar Narsai Benjamin, Bishop of Iran, has ordained 4 young faithful of the Assyrian Church of the East to the rank of Sub-Deacon. The ordination, on 29 November 2013, was conducted in the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the city of Urmia, West Azerbaijan Province, Iran. In his sermon on the occasion the Bishop of Iran expressed his joy at the ordination and committed to nurturing and guiding the young Sub-Deacons in their religious education and the strengthening of their spirituality. His Grace was assisted in the service by the Rev’d Fr Daryawish Azizyan, parish priest, and a large number of deacons. Also in attendance was Mr Yonathan Bet-Kolia, representative of the Assyrian community in the Majlis (the national legislative body) of the Islamic Republic of Iran along with a large number of faithful from both Urmia and Tehran. Another ordination of Sub-Deacons is to be held in the Iranian capital Tehran on 15 December 2013. Following this ordination the total number of ordained Sub-Deacons of the Assyrian Church of the East in Iran will be brought to 10 in the hope that many will be elevated to the rank of full Deacon in the future. …

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Assyrian Church of the East Delegation Participates in Pro Oriente’s 4th Colloquium Syriacum

The ‘Fourth Colloquium Syriacum’ of the Pro Oriente Foundation was held in Vienna, Austria, from September 19-22, 2013, at the guest-house of the Pallotine Fathers (‘Pallottihaus’). The various Syriac-speaking Churches of the Middle East and India were represented at the Colloquium, along with many expert scholars and invited guests who also attended. The Assyrian Church of the East was represented by His Grace Dr Mar Awa Royel, the Bishop of California, Secretary of the Holy Synod and President of CIRED (Commission on Inter-Church Relations and Educational Development) and the Very Reverend Father Dr William Toma, Parish Priest of Mar Sargis Parish (Chicago) and Archdeacon of the Holy Synod. In addition to the Assyrian Church of the East, other Churches represented were the: Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch, Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church, Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (Indian Orthodox Church), Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, Maronite Catholic Church of Antioch, Chaldean Catholic Church, Syrian Catholic Church of Antioch and the Ancient Church of the East. The experts included scholars from Jerusalem, Oxford, Washington D.C., Salzburg and representatives from the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (Vatican City). This year’s biennial gathering was centered on the theme: ‘Towards a Culture of Co-Existence …

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