Patriarchate News

On November 7, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo for the faithful of the Parish of Christ the King in Chisec at the municipal stadium that accommodated the crowds of faithful who came to participate in the first Holy Qurobo of His Holiness in Guatemala.
 
In his sermon, His Holiness spoke about the early church and the see of Antioch which was established by St. Peter the Head of the Apostles. He expressed his love to all as his spiritual children whom he is happy and proud to serve. He added that their loyalty to the throne of Antioch is much appreciated and resembles the faithfulness of the forefathers who kept the orthodox faith and transmitted it from generation to generation. He encouraged them to remain steadfast in their faith despite the difficulties and the challenges that they are going through.
 
His Holiness was assisted by their Eminences Archbishops: Mor Yacoub Eduardo, Archbishop of Central America, Mor Clemis Eugene Kaplan, Patriarchal Vicar of the Archdiocese for the Western USA, Mor Selwanos Boutros Al-Nehmeh, Archbishop of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Environs, Mor Theethose Yeldho, Archbishop of the Malankara Archdiocese in Northern America, Mor Dionysius John Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar of the Archdiocese for the Eastern USA.
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On November 7, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II consecrated St. Sergius Church in Chisec.

His Holiness was assisted by their Eminences Archbishops: Mor Yacoub Eduardo, Archbishop of Central America, Mor Clemis Eugene Kaplan, Patriarchal Vicar of the Archdiocese for the Western USA, Mor Selwanos Boutros Al-Nehmeh, Archbishop of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Environs, Mor Theethose Yeldho, Archbishop of the Malankara Archdiocese in Northern America, Mor Dionysius John Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar of the Archdiocese for the Eastern USA.

At the end of the Rite of the Consecration, His Holiness congratulated the families that were present and blessed the children.

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On November 6, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II attended a Concert in his honor at the National Palace in Guatemala City.

The presidential band played on the national musical instrument of Guatemala called Marimba. They performed classical and national pieces of music that reflect the musical art of the Guatemalan people and their civilization.

His Holiness was accompanied by their Eminences Archbishops: Mor Yacoub Eduardo, Archbishop of Central America, Mor Clemis Eugene Kaplan, Patriarchal Vicar of the Archdiocese for the Western USA, Mor Selwanos Boutros Al-Nehmeh, Archbishop of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Environs, Mor Theethose Yeldho, Archbishop of the Malankara Archdiocese in Northern America, Mor Dionysius John Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar of the Archdiocese for the Eastern USA, Very Rev. Raban Augeen Al-Khoury Nimat, Director of the Patriarchal Office in North America, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.

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On November 6, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II met His Excellency Mr. Louis Pineda at the Municipality Headquarters in Guatemala City.

His Holiness was accompanied by their Eminences Archbishops: Mor Yacoub Eduardo, Archbishop of Central America, Mor Clemis Eugene Kaplan, Patriarchal Vicar of the Archdiocese for the Western USA, Mor Selwanos Boutros Al-Nehmeh, Archbishop of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Environs, Mor Theethose Yeldho, Archbishop of the Malankara Archdiocese in Northern America, Mor Dionysius John Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar of the Archdiocese for the Eastern USA, Very Rev. Raban Augeen Al-Khoury Nimat, Director of the Patriarchal Office in North America, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.

His Excellency welcomed His Holiness ‘in his home’ and declared him as the guest of honor of Guatemala City. He expressed his joy to be ‘honored by the visit of the pontiff of the most ancient church which still continues to use the language of Christ’. He also expressed the solidarity of the people of his city with the people of Syria who are going through difficult times.

His Eminence Mor Yacoub Eduardo greeted His Excellency and thanked him for his role in promoting progress and development in the city.

In his speech, His Holiness thanked the Vice Mayor for the love and honor shown by the people of Guatemala City. He said that, though we come from different countries with different cultures, yet we are united by similar features of our great civilizations, namely the Mayan and the Mesopotamian civilizations. He added that the suffering for noble causes and to uphold noble values has also been a unifying characteristic of both civilizations. He spoke about the common goal of fighting injustice and working together to promote peace. He expressed that he is proud of the faithful in Guatemala who are commended for their faith and firm attachment to the Church of Antioch. He concluded saying that we have the responsibility to share the culture of love and tolerance with all.

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On November 6, 2019, in a special ceremony in honor of the first apostolic visit of His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II to Guatemala, His Excellency Mr. Elder Jesus Suchite, Minister of Culture in Guatemala, announced His Holiness as “Messenger of Peace”. The ceremony took place at the ‘Peace Square’ where a rose was placed on the natimal peace monument for peace in the Middle East.
 
His Excellency Minister Suchite spoke about the culture of peace that Guatemala is promoting after many years of conflict. He explained that the “Rose of peace” is an honorary token given to exceptional personalities who work for peace and defend it. He added that His Holiness receives this exceptional honor in recognition of his active defense of the persecuted Christians in the Middle East and for being a true messenger of peace throughout the world.
 
In his speech, His Holiness thanked the Guatemalan government and people for this honor and expressed his gratitude in this historical moment. He assured that this recognition shows the solidarity of the people of Guatemala with their fellows who are suffering in the Middle East. It is also s support for all those who work for peace. He then spoke about the similarities of the persecutions that the peoples of Guatemala and the Middle East suffered from. He added that the indifference of some powers towards the persecutions is the worst enemy of peace. At the end of his speech, His Holiness invited all to promote peace which is at the heart of our human and Christian mission.
 
Their Eminences Archbishops: Mor Yacoub Eduardo, Archbishop of Central America, Mor Clemis Eugene Kaplan, Patriarchal Vicar of the Archdiocese for the Western USA, Mor Selwanos Boutros Al-Nehmeh, Archbishop of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Emvirons, Mor Theethose Yeldho, Archbishop of the Malankara Archdiocese in Northern America, Mor Dionysius John Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar of the Archdiocese for the Eastern USA, Very Rev. Raban Augeen Al-Khoury Nimat, Director of the Patriarchal Office in North America, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director Director, attended this solemn ceremony.
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On November 6, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II met His Excellency Mr. Elder Suchite, Minister of Culture in Guatemala at the National Palace in Guatemala City.
 
His Excellency welcomed His Holiness and the accompanying delegation and spoke about the different activities that his ministry is doing.
 
His Holiness thanked His Excellency and spoke about the importance of culture as a bridge between civilizations and a human way of communicating together and promoting human values.
 
His Holiness was accompanied by their Eminences Archbishops: Mor Yacoub Eduardo, Archbishop of Central America, Mor Clemis Eugene Kaplan, Patriarchal Vicar of the Archdiocese for the Western USA, Mor Selwanos Boutros Al-Nehmeh, Archbishop of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Environs, Mor Theethose Yeldho, Archbishop of the Malankara Archdiocese in Northern America, Mor Dionysius John Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar of the Archdiocese for the Eastern USA, Very Rev. Raban Augeen Al-Khoury Nimat, Director of the Patriarchal Office in North America, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.
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On November 6, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II met His Excellency Mr. Jimmy Morales, President of Guatemala at the National Palace in Guatemala City.

His Holiness thanked His Excellency for the warm welcome and spoke about the history of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch and its missions that stretched throughout the ancient world. He mentioned the current range of the missions of the church and the universal character of its ministries. His Holiness also referred to the apostolic faith that was passed on through the ages and despite the persecutions, and reached us through the sacrifices of our forefathers.

His Excellency President Morales commended the role of His Holiness in promoting peace throughout the world. He listened to the overview of the work of the church in serving the flock of Christ. He wished His Holiness a pleasant stay in Guatemala during his apostolic visit to Central America.

His Holiness was accompanied by their Eminences Archbishops: Mor Yacoub Eduardo, Archbishop of Central America, Mor Clemis Eugene Kaplan, Patriarchal Vicar of the Archdiocese for the Western USA, Mor Selwanos Boutros Al-Nehmeh, Archbishop of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Environs, Mor Theethose Yeldho, Archbishop of the Malankara Archdiocese in Northern America, Mor Dionysius John Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar of the Archdiocese for the Eastern USA, Very Rev. Raban Augeen Al-Khoury Nimat, Director of the Patriarchal Office in North America, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.

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On November 5, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II arrived to Guatemala City, starting his first apostolic visit to the Archdiocese of Central America.
 
His Holiness was received at the airport by His Eminence Mor Yacoub Eduardo Aguirre, Archbishop of Central America, and the head of the Protocol of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Guatemala. Crowds of people also came to the airport to welcome His Holiness and receive his blessings.
 
During his apostolic visit, His Holiness will be accompanied by their Eminences Archbishops: Mor Clemis Eugene Kaplan, Patriarchal Vicar for the Archdiocese of the Western USA, Mor Selwanos Boutros Al-Nehmeh, Metropolitan of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Environs, Mor Theethose Yeldo, Archbishop of the Malankara Archdiocese in Northern America, Mor Dionysius John Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar for the Archdiocese of the Eastern USA, Very Rev. Raban Augeen Al-Khoury Nimat, Director of the Patriarchal Office in North America, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.
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On November 3, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo at St. Mary Church in Houston.
 
During the Holy Qurobo, His Holiness was assisted by their Eminences Archbishops: Mor Theethose Yeldho, Archbishop of the Malankara Archdiocese of Northern America, Mor Severius Abraham, Assistant Metropolitan of the Angamali Diocese, and Mor Dionysius John Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar of the Archdiocese of Eastern USA.
 
In his sermon, His Holiness congratulated His Eminence Mor Theethose Yeldho, the parish priest and the members of St. Mary parish in Houston for completing the building of their new church and spoke about the consecration of the church as a dedication of the entire congregation. After consecration, the building becomes a home for God and for all those who seek Him. His Holiness explained that this Sunday coincides with the beginning of the liturgical year and it is called the Sunday of the Consecration of the Church, where the entire creation is the church of the Lord which He sanctifies and makes holy. He mentioned the pillars of the church which are the apostolic faith and the teachings of the Fathers.
 
At the end of the Holy Qurobo, His Holiness offered the service of the saints on the occasion of the feast of Mor Gregorius Parumala. On the request of His Eminence Mor Theethose Yeldho, His Holiness bestowed on Rev. Fr. Paul Thotakat the pectoral cross.
 
Following the Holy Qurobo, His Holiness met the children of the Sunday School program in the parish and blessed them after answering their questions.
 
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On November 2, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II participated in a Reception held in his honor and organized by St. Mary parish in Houston.

Their Eminences Archbishops: Mor Theethose Yeldho, Archbishop of the Malankara Archdiocese of Northern America, Mor Severius Abraham, Assistant Metropolitan of the Angamali Diocese, Mor Dionysius John Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar of the Archdiocese of Eastern USA, Very Rev. Raban Augeen Al-Khoury Nimat, Director of the Patriarchal Office in Northern America, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director were also present.

Upon the reception of His Holiness, the vicar of the church and the clergy welcomed him and the accompanying delegation and traditional Malayalee dances were performed. Then His Holiness lit the lamp of peace.

His Eminence Mor Theethose Yeldho welcomed His Holiness expressing the love of the faithful of St. Mary Church in Houston and their eagerness to receive the Patriarch of Antioch in their parish. He added that the members of the church renew their loyalty to the throne of Antioch and to the faith of their forefathers. His Eminence Mor Severius Abraham also spoke about the role of His Holiness in strengthening the flock in difficult times and in affirming the strong relationship between Antioch and the Syriac Orthodox Church in India.

His Holiness opened his speech by blessing the faithful who are strongly attached to the Holy See of Antioch and he considered them to be the “heart” of the Syrian Orthodox Church. He remembered the honorable sacrifices that their forefathers made in defense of the apostolic faith and the church tradition. He emphasized that peace is built on justice and respect for everybody and that the only way to be true Christians is to allow the Lord to work in our hearts and lives because people see God through us and we are means for others to believe.

The reception was enriched by many cultural events performed by the children and youth, members of the Sunday School and youth movements in the parish.

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