“Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel” 1 Corinthians 14:12
A Year 12 student of Mar Narsai Assyrian College was one of seven men elevated to various rankings in the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East in Sydney, Australia.
The ordination ceremony, on 8 May, took place at St Hurmizd Cathedral and was conducted by His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM Metropolitan of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon.
Christopher Khouchaba, 17, became the first student of the Assyrian Schools to be elevated to the ranking of Lector and the youngest Lector to serve at Ss Peter and Paul Parish.
“I’m humbled that God has given me this opportunity to serve Him at such a young age. As the first student from Mar Narsai Assyrian College to be ordained, I just hope it’s encouraging to others,” Christopher told news.assyrianchurch.com
“I never thought this would ever happen but I believe God put this in my heart.
“I’m thankful to God, all the clergy and deacons that have always been there for me, and the parishioners for being welcoming and friendly when I first started attending services.”
Clergy present at the ordination ceremony included Chor-Bishop Ashoor Lazar, parish priest of St Hurmizd Cathedral; Rev. Moshe Barkho; and Rev. John Kushaba, parish priest of Ss Peter and Paul Parish.
Thousands gathered to witness the ordination of the seven men offering themselves as servants of the Holy Church of God, on a special day which also commemorated the Church’s patron, Saint Hurmizd.
His Beatitude described his own joy at elevating such a number of men into church service, and explained that the number “seven” is a holy sign of completion.
The faithful came from all parishes throughout Sydney, including a large congregation from Ss Peter and Paul Parish, the Metropolitan See’s English-language parish where four of the ordained men are set to serve.
The ordained were:
Sub-deacon Faris Youkhanis – elevated to Deacon
Sub-deacon Sargon Mesho – elevated to Deacon
Sub-deacon Neil Makko – elevated to Deacon
Lector Domenico Miceli – elevated to Sub-deacon
Albert Badal – elevated to Sub-deacon
Alan George – elevated to Lector
Christopher Khouchaba – elevated to Lector
During the sermon, His Beatitude explained the importance of the roles of each ranking in the Church and the great service and journey ahead for the glory of Christ and the Church.
His Beatitude then offered the Holy Eucharist with the involvement of all ordained deacons, sub-deacons and lectors.[nggallery id=201]