Saturday, August 19, 2006

Community Youth Leaders Come Together For The Sake Of Our Youth

An important meeting was held on July 29th, 2006 in Sydney, Australia to discuss the growing concept of youth leadership within our community, nurtured by our churches and supported by our community organizations.

In attendance were representatives from the Ancient Church of the East, Light of Faith Youth Group of the Ancient Church Of The East, St. Peter and Paul Parish of the Assyrian Church of the East, Youth Association of the Assyrian Church Of The East, Assyrian Australian Association, The Assyrian Australian Academic Society, STARTTS and Mt. Druitt Ethnic Community Agency, as well as other youth leaders in our community. Although unable to attend on this occasion, representatives of the St. Toma Chaldean Church expressed their interest.

Each group had an opportunity to provide a brief presentation on the experiences and difficulties they have encountered with their connection to youth. A number of pertinent issues were also raised in regards to new arrivals and their transition into Australian society.

Major highlights of the meeting were:
  • The youth vulnerability to crime,
  • The need for development of various activities to engage young people,
  • Supporting families and working with community organizations to assist with effective implementation of strategies.
  • As a community, we have an obligation to help our youth rise above their problems, through the support of our churches and other social groups, utilizing the resources available within the community.
  • The need for unity in thought and a commitment to act towards finding a resolution for the problems youth encounter.
  • All groups agreed that they would commit to working on strategic planning, to be brought forward to the next Youth Leaders Meeting scheduled for 9 September 2006.

One of the main strengths of young leaders is their first-hand experience with youth issues. Their work in our churches and community organisations has provided resources and ministries that cater for the young people, which have witnessed lives changed from difficult and adverse circumstances. Mentioned in the meeting were examples of work already done by the youth groups, including street outreach to young people, educational support and mentoring, assisting young people involved in criminal proceedings and importantly, provision of spiritual guidance and social activities in safe and supervised settings. However, there was an acknowledgement that planning at a community level would be beneficial as strategies are diversified and groups draw on each other’s experience and community-wide resources.

This meeting was a positive step for our community to unite and work together for the sake of our youth.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Announcement - First Assyrian Women’s Conference to be Held in Sydney

The Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East, St. Hurmizd Parish Greenfield Park held their very first Annual Women’s Conference on August 5th, 2006. This conference had workshops in faith, marriage, children and women’s health issues.

Purpose of the Conference was to bring together the women in the Assyrian community given their roles as homemakers, career women and spiritual guides within their families.

For more information refer to the official website:

Two Eastern Orthodox Christian Leaders Met

His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV the Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East met the Patriarch of the Malankara Orthodox Church, His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Didimos I in the Dominican University of Chicago on July 16th 2006.

H.H. Baselios Marthoma Didimos I has recently been ordained Patriarch, and for the first time was visiting his parish in the U.S.. His Holiness is the 89th successor to the apostolic throne of St. Thomas, who founded Malankara Orthodox Church in Kerala-India around 52 AD. Being the Supreme Head of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, His Holiness will henceforth lead one million Malayalee Christians of Malankara.

Many metropolitans and bishops from different denominations attended the event. Attendees were also official members of the state and General Council of India. The event began by a praying in English. The first speech was delivered by H.H. Mar Dinkha IV in Assyrian. It was translated to English by Chorbishop David Royel afterwards.

H.H. Mar Dinkha IV was asked to light the first candle as it is a custom among the Indian churches. The event has been broadcasted on AssyriaSat, the Assyrian Global Satellite Television Network. The hospitality of the parishioners and their love and passion left good memories for the days to come.

Assyrian Church of the East Youth Conference 2006

Almost 190 attendees were able to be make it to this event, who were gathered from among the following dioceses and parishes:

1) From the Diocese of Eastern USA, administered by His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, there were participants from Mar Gewargis Parish (Chicago), Mar Andreos Parish (Des Plaines), Mar Mari Parish (Yonkers), Mar Addai Parish (Turlock) and Mar Zaia Parish (Modesto);

2) From the Diocese of Western California, headed by His Grace Mar Odisho Oraham, the participants came from Mar Yosip Parish (San Jose), Mar Gewargis Parish (Ceres) and Mar Narsai Parish (San Francisco);

3) From the Diocese of Western USA, headed by His Grace Mar Aprim Khamis, the participants were from St. Mary’s Parish (Los Angeles), Mar Patros Parish (Phoenix), Mar Paulus Parish (Orange County) and Rabban Hurmizd Parish (San Diego).

4) Also in attendance from the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand, headed by His Grace Mar Meelis Zaia, were the following representatives from the St. Peter and St. Paul English-speaking parish in Sydney: Rev. Genard Lazar (pastor of the parish), Rev. Deacon Robin Hermizd and Robert Khnanisho.

It was decided that the next Youth Conference (2007) will take place in Chicago, Illinois and will coincided with the happy occasion of the Golden Jubilee of the Priestly ordination of His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos-Patriarch. Various spiritual and festive activities will be arranged in order to properly celebrate this joyous occasion. Furthermore, in light of the up-coming rogation of St. Mary the Blessed Virgin (August 1 to 15), it was decided that the first three days of the rogation (from August 1 to 3) the Youth will fast in order to supplicate God for unity in the Assyrian Church at large. This fast was inspired by the thoughts and prayers of many of the Youth that the Assyrian Church might unite and become one Church again as before the various schisms.

At the end of the Youth Conference, a vote of thanks was offered by all of us gathered, to the parish of St. Mary’s in Los Angeles for organizing and hosting this year’s Youth Conference. Special thanks were offered to Rev. George Bet-Rasho for his endeavors in putting the conference together.

We praise the mighty name of our Lord Jesus Christ, our hope and salvation, for this new surge of an inward stirring for holiness and the Spirit of the Lord to dwell in us as his children. The Holy Spirit is indeed working in the Assyrian Church of the East, and in her Youth—the tomorrow of the future of both our Assyrian Church and Nation.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Commemoration of Mar Mari the Apostle - August 4th

August 4th marks the Commemoration of Mar Mari the Apostle. Here's a brief background information on Mar Mari:

The Assyrian Church of the East traces its origin to the Apostle Thomas along with Mar Addai and Mar Mari, who were among Christ's seventy disciples (Luke 10:1) and who preached in Mesopotamia between AD 37- AD 65. After the martyrdom of Mar Addai two of his disciples, Mar Agai and Mar Mari continued his work.Mar Mari was the disciple of Mar Addai, who was dispatched by Mar Addai from Edessa to the East. The Acts traces Mar Mari’s itinerary and preaching in Mesopotamia until his arrival in Babylonia, where he subsequently went on to find a church in Seleucia-Ctesiphon, on the Tigris River near Baghdad. By the early fifth century, the birthplace of Christianity in Babylonia became the patriarchal seat of the Church of the East (currently, Assyrian Church of the East), whose ecclesiastical jurisdiction and cultural influence extended during the early medieval period as far as China. Mar Mari's missionary activity reaches its peak in the end of the 80’s of the first Christian century. According to the Acts, Mar Mari founded over 300 churches or communities. He was later buried at Deir Qunni, which was known as one of the foremost pilgrimage sites and ‘basilicas’ of the patriarchal see.

Rev. David Royel Ordination (Syamida) - Cor-Bishop Ordination July 15th 2006

Rev. David Royel Ordination (Syamida) - Chicago, IL. by His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholic Patriarch of the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East

Pictures taken from

Rev. David Royel Ordination (Syamida) - Priest Hood Ordination May 23rd 1999

Pictures taken from