Patriarchate News

On August 12th 2018, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo in St. James of Nisibis in Corpus Christi – Texas.

His Eminence Archbishop Mor Dionysius John Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar for the Eastern USA, assisted His Holiness during the Holy Qurobo.

In his sermon, His Holiness spoke about the Assumption of Virgin Mary Mother of God, how the Apostles gathered at her funeral, and how St. Thomas was late and saw her ascending to heaven and asked for a sign, and how she gave him her girdle.

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His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II presided over the meeting of the Missions Committee which was held in New Jersey.
Their Eminences: Mor Dionysius Jean Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar for the Archdiocese of Eastern United States of America and Member of the Committee, and Mor Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, Archbishop of Mosul, Kurdistan and Environs, were present in the presence of the members of the committee: Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, Shamosho Dr. George Kiraz and Dr. Sinu Punasseril.
His Holiness opened the meeting with a prayer and then he discussed with their Eminences and the members of the Committee the different matters on the agenda.

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On August 5th 2018, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo at the conclusion of the SYGG 2018 which was held in New Jersey, USA.
Their Eminences Archbishops Mor Dionysius John Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar for the Eastern USA, Mor Teethose Yeldho, Archbishop of Malankara Archdiocese of North America, and Mor Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, Metropolitan of Mosul, Kirkuk and Kurdistan, assisted His Holiness during the Holy Qurobo.
In his sermon, His Holiness spoke about the theme of SYGG: “All things are lawful to me, but not all things are helpful” (I Corinthians 10: 23). He pointed out that the Suryoyo Youth gained good experiences from this SYGG 2018. He thanked the Lord for gathering the youth around their spiritual leaders and having spent time praying and meditating on the subjects related to the theme of the SYGG. His Holiness hoped that the youth will apply what they learned into their lives and take the correct decisions that build them and change their lives to the better. His Holiness invited the youth to choose what is good, helpful and edifying on the personal level, as well as in their families, societies, and what is advancing for the humanity in general. He expressed his joy to see the enthusiasm and eagerness of the youth to change their lives and their societies to the better. His Holiness pointed out that all need to believe in the potential of the youth and their use of their talents for the service of the church.
On the Transfiguration, His Holiness spoke about the fear of the disciples when they heard the Lord Jesus Christ speaking of his death. He needed to reassure them. He took His disciples to Mount Tabor and revealed part of His glory to them. His Holiness stressed that loosing hope results in fear and that every believer should constantly work for their salvation and their spiritual growth.
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On August 2nd 2018, during SYGG 2018, a Questions and Answers session was organized with His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II.

The aim of the session is to give the youth the opportunity to personally ask their spiritual father whatever question they have.

The Session was led by Mr. Joseph Shammas who asked His Holiness several questions concerning the youth and the church. The opportunity was given then to all the youth to ask His Holiness their questions and express to him their concerns and the problems they are facing.

The questions were mainly about the role of the youth in building the Church, as well as the role of woman in the life of the Church, and the mission of a Suryoyo and Suryoyto in their societies, besides questions about His Holiness’s vocation and the challenges he faced and is still facing in his mission serving the Lord and His Holy Church.

At the end, His Holiness distributed certificates of participation to the youth who participated in the Transformational Leadership Program during SYGG 2018.

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On August 2nd 2018, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received a delegation from the sister Coptic Orthodox Church at Mor Aphrem Center in New Jersey – USA.

The delegation was led by His Eminence Anba Moussa, Coptic Orthodox Bishop of Youth.

During their meeting His Holiness and his guest recalled the long history of full communion between both sister Churches: Syriac and Coptic. They also spoke about the mission of the Church concerning ministering to the youth, especially that the Fourth Suryoyo Youth Global Gathering is being held during these days.

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On August 1st 2018, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II officially inaugurated the fourth Suryoyo Youth Global Gathering (SYGG 2018) held this year in New Jersey in America.

Very Rev. Raban Jack Yakoub, Director of the Patriarchal Youth Department, thanked His Holiness for taking care of the Suryoyo youth as their spiritual father and beloved friend. He greeted all the youth groups coming from more than 15 different countries wishing them a successful SYGG 2018.

Then, a play was presented illustrating the theme of this year’s gathering: “All things are lawful for me but not all things are helpful” (1 Cor 10:23).

His Eminence Mor Dionysius Jean Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar for the Archdiocese of Eastern United States, recalled the past SYGGs underlining the aims of these gatherings. He then presented His Holiness and welcomed him in New Jersey – “His Holiness’s home”.

In his opening speech, His Holiness asked the youth to remain fixed to their identity, especially in a great place like America where one might be challenged in preserving one’s identity and caring for his or her spiritual life and also cultural life. He underlined the negative effect of secularism on people, recalling the question of our Lord Jesus in the Gospel: “when the Son of man comes, will He find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8); “that question” His Holiness added “is very profound because we see the number and percentage of believing people on the decrease.” His Holiness showed his concern about that “because our people are not immune against that; our young people can easily drift away from their family life, community life, and from their religion”. He added: “We are concerned not because we want numbers, but because we want the salvation of souls”. He said that all of us are responsible for each other: “we are a family and we are here because of that”. He noted the importance of this gathering which is an opportunity for all youth to benefit.

He then spoke about the theme of this gathering, emphasizing its importance in our world where lust and greed have no end; “yes we can do everything” he said “but, should we do everything?” he stressed that we should make the right decisions and trust the Lord, and not giving up our faith. His Holiness added “we go through many situations on a daily basis, and we kneel down and we pray, but how many of us believe in the power of that prayer?”

At the end, His Holiness hoped that the coming four days will be an opportunity for all to learn something new concerning our relationship with God and with each other as brothers and sisters.

Their Eminences: Mor Dionysius Jean Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar for the Archdiocese of Eastern United States, Mor Justinos Boulos Safar, Patriarchal Vicar in Zahla and Bekaa, and Mor Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, Archbishop of Mosul, Kirkuk and Kurdistan, attended the opening ceremony.

SYGG 2018 will be attended by more than 220 youth coming from 15 different countries all over the world. The gathering is taking place at Crystal Springs Resort in New Jersey – USA.

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His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II presided over the meeting of the General Secretariat of the Holy Synod. The meeting was held in New Jersey.
Their Eminences, members of the General Secretariat: Mor Justinus Boulos Safar , Patriarchal Vicar in Zahleh and Beqaa, Mor Dionysius Jean Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar for the Archdiocese of Eastern United States, and Mor Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, Archbishop of Mosul, Kurdistan and Environs, were present while their Eminences Mor Philoxenus Mattias Nayis, Patriarchal Vicar in Germany, and Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, participated by phone in the meeting.
His Holiness opened the meeting with a prayer and then he discussed with their Eminences the different matters on the agenda.
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On July 29th 2018, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo at the conclusion of the 54th Annual Convention held in Tampa, USA.
Their Eminences Archbishops Mor Dionysius John Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar for the Eastern USA, Mor Clemis Eugene Kaplan, Patriarchal Vicar for the Western USA, Mor Dioscorus Benjamin Atas, Patriarchal Vicar in Sweden, Mor Justinos Boulos Safar, Patriarchal Vicar in Zahleh and Bekaa, and Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Al-Jazeerah, assisted His Holiness during the Holy Qurobo. The clergy from both Archdioceses who participated in the convention were also present in the Holy Qurobo.
In his sermon, His Holiness spoke about the theme of the convention: “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead” (Philippians 3: 13). His Holiness stressed that faith guides the believers from sin to repentance and from spiritual death to everlasting life. He said that the goal of every Christian should be one: to know God, to participate in His passion and to believe in His life-giving resurrection. Christ should be a priority in our lives and all our deeds should spring from our faith. He also spoke about humility which is the core of Christianity.
At the end of the Holy Qurobo, His Holiness blessed the faithful and wished them success in their lives.
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On July 28th 2018, Rev. Fr. Charbel Bcheiry delivered a lecture on Mor Severus on the occasion of the 1500th Jubilee of his exile to Egypt.
After the lecture, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II presided over Evening (ramsho) prayer at Mor Athanasius Church in Tampa – USA.
Their Eminences: Mor Dionysius John Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar for the Eastern USA, and Mor Clemis Eugene Kaplan, Patriarchal Vicar for the Western USA, Mor Dioscorus Benjamin Atas, Patriarchal Vicar in Sweden, Mor Justinos Boulos Safar, Patriarchal Vicar in Zahleh and Bekaa, Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Al-Jazeerah and Euphrates, as well as the clergy of both Archdioceses, and faithful, attended the prayer.
At the end of the prayer, His Holiness blessed all the faithful who were present.
 

On July 28th 2018, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II laid the foundation stone of the new Community Hall that will be built near the St. Athanasius Church in Tampa.
The groundbreaking ceremony took place at the location of the new hall in the presence of their Eminences Archbishops: Mor Dionysius John Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar for the Eastern USA, Mor Clemis Eugene Kaplan, Patriarchal Vicar for the Western USA, Mor Dioscorus Benjamin Atas, Patriarchal Vicar in Sweden, Mor Justinos Boulos Safar, Patriarchal Vicar in Zahleh and Bekaa, and Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Al-Jazeerah, and the clergy and faithful from St. Athanasius Church in Tampa.
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