Patriarchate News

On November 14, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo at the stadium of a public school in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala.
In his sermon, His Holiness expressed his joy for being able to visit this community who are beloved members of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch. He told them that they should not think worldly and be afraid because they are a small community; on the contrary, they should be encouraged with God’s words to the little flock not to be afraid. They should always rejoice in the Lord Who is strengthening them and protecting them. His Holiness pointed out that the eleven apostles were alone and felt afraid; but when they received the Holy Spirit, they were able to courageously go forth and proclaim the kingdom of the Lord and make disciples to the faith. His Holiness affirmed that we are the children of God because we received the Holy Spirit and His gifts in baptism. He gave us victory of Satan and his powers, therefore we should not be afraid. He emphasized that every Christian should focus on his relationship with God and grow in the spirit by reading the Holy Bible, following the commandments of the Lord and praying constantly.
 
At the end of his sermon, His Holiness expressed to the people that he is proud of their loyalty to the apostolic faith and faithfulness to the Holy Church. He asked the Lord to give them courage to remain steadfast in the faith and work for the development and improvement of their societies and country.
 

On November 13, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo at the rural area of Chel – El Quiche, Guatemala.
 
In his sermon, His Holiness pointed out that our Lord Jesus Christ does not just give us commandments and instructions of things He does not know about, for the Lord so loved the world that He shed His blood for our sake. He added that the Lord experienced hunger, thirst, persecution and death in order to save us from death. When the Lord called us to be His people, He promised us that we will suffer from persecutions and tribulations; but He assured us not to fear those who hurt the body but cannot hurt the soul. His Holiness emphasized that when we trust the Lord’s promises, we walk in the footsteps of our forefathers who were ready to become martyrs for the sake of their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
His Holiness then spoke about the Sayfo Genocide which took place around one century ago where half a million Syriac-speaking faithful were martyred by people who could not accept them because they were Christians. Those martyrs refused to deny Christ, just like the martyrs of Chajul who gave their lives under the persecution during the war in the 1980s, refusing to give up their faith. He concluded praying the Lord to give all courage to be witnesses for Christ and able to bear testimony to His salvation of man to all the nations.
 
At the end of the sermon, His Holiness blessed a commemorative stone dedicated to the Martyrs of Sayfo and of Central America.
 
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 Dionysius John Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar of the Archdiocese for the Eastern USA. 

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On November 12, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo at an open park in Barillas with the participation of thousands of faithful from the region of Santa Cruz Barillas in Guatemala.

In his sermon, His Holiness gave grace to the Lord Who gives us days to consecrate a new church, a new house of God where we can glorify Him and praise His presence among His people. He added that it is obvious that the church which was consecrated today was constructed through the love, sacrifice and the solidarity of the people. It will be a home for each one of the faithful. His Holiness reminded the faithful that the consecration of the church is not just anointing its walls with the Holy Myron, but making it a special place where prayers and sacrifices are offered to the Lord. He explained how the Holy Myron, which is made of oil mixed with perfumes that were placed on the body of Christ upon burying it, was consecrated by the apostles to replace the laying of hands. His Holiness instructed the faithful to remember that their participation in the consecration is their declaration that this building belongs to God and to the people of God. His Holiness told the faithful that, when entering the open park, he felt as one of the disciples and the multitudes who were sitting at the feet of the Lord and listening to His great commission to go forth and spread the gospel. He added that wherever we go, we are faced with persecutions but we should remember not to fear those who harm the body but cannot harm our souls. He emphasized that we should not be discouraged by persecutions, but be ready to make sacrifices for the sake of our faith. His Holiness prayed for the faithful in Qamishly following the recent attacks in the city and for the rest in peace for the priest who got killed the previous day in Deirelzor.

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 Dionysius John Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar of the Archdiocese for the Eastern USA.

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On November 11, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II met crowds of faithful who gathered a the Municipal Gymasium in Barillas – Guatemala.

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 Dionysius John Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar of the Archdiocese for the Eastern USA.

His Eminence Mor Yacoub Eduardo welcomed His Holiness and the accompanying delegation and addressed the crowds telling them how great is this historical day because the Patriarch of Antioch is among them and visiting them despite their location which is hard to reach. He told them to receive the peace and love that His Holiness brought with him from Antioch, the city where Christianity was born, and where St. Peter, the Head of the Apostles, established his see. Mor Yacoub Eduardo thanked His Holiness and asked him to bless the people who gathered to receive him.

His Holiness addressed the crowds by expressing first his thanks to the Lord for the opportunity to be able to visit this flock of Christ despite being remote and in an area that is very hard to reach. His Holiness spoke about suffering as a mark of the church and that persecution is a necessary part of the history of the growth of the church. He emphasized that the Lord’s promise that He conquered the world is an encouragement and hope for all those who suffer for the sake of the true faith. He told them that their presence in the Syriac Orthodox Church is a sign of the work of God in their lives and in the life of the Holy Church. He concluded telling them how proud he is of them and that their warm welcome touched his heart and filled him with joy and tears; His Holiness prayed that God bless them and their families and protect them, strengthening them to remain steadfast in their faith despite tribulations and persecutions.

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On November 11, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II consecrated St. Aphrem Church in Amparo Agua Tinta – Mexico. After the consecration, His Holiness celebrated the Holy Qurobo.
 
In his sermon, His Holiness spoke about the building of a house for the Lord and how it is initiated by an internal calling to each member of the praying community. He reminded the faithful of the temple which was built by Solomon upon God’s request and how they become the living temple of God. He also spoke to them about the divine work which was done by the consecration of the Church and making it a house of God, a place of worship, and a place where the members of the community can gather and praise the Lord. At the end of his sermon, His Holiness prayed the Lord to accept the offerings of the faithful, especially all those who contributed to the construction of the new church.
 
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 Dionysius John Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar of the Archdiocese for the Eastern USA.

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On November 10, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo at the municipal stadium in Huehuetenango. The number of faithful who participated in the Holy Qurobo is estimated to be 6,000.
 
In his sermon, His Holiness spoke about the promises of the Lord Jesus Christ to His disciples. His Holiness affirmed that the Lord sent the Holt Spirit Who continues to work in the Holy Church. He guides us today to be members of the apostolic church and to be witnesses to its 2000 years old faith and traditions. He spoke about the common declarations signed by our church with other churches to declare our common faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition to the Christological declarations, our churches are offering help and common witness to the Lord.
 
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 Dionysius John Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar of the Archdiocese for the Eastern USA.

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On November 9, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II attended a special cultural night held in the honor of his first apostolic visit to the Archdiocese of Central America, at the Municipal Theater in Huehuetenango – Guatemala.
 
The band and dancing youth preformed pieces that show their national and traditional character dating back to the times of the civilization of the Mayans.
 
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 Dionysius John Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar of the Archdiocese for the Eastern USA.

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On November 9, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II met with the Clergy of Guatemala at the Headquarters of the Archdiocese of Central America in San Raymundo – Guatemala.

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 Dionysius John Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar of the Archdiocese for the Eastern USA, and Mor Titos Boulos Touza, Apostolic Nuncio for the Syriac Missions in Brazil, were also present in the meeting.

During the meeting, His Holiness blessed the clergy and encouraged them to be patient and wise in their ministries in order to better serve the flock of the Lord.

His Holiness also prayed on the foundation stone of St. Mary and St. George Church as well as the commemorative stone of St. Jacob Baradeus Cemetery.

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On November 9, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo at the Headquarters of the Archdiocese of Central America in San Raymundo – Guatemala. In the Holy Qurobo, His Holiness ordained 11 deacons into priesthood: 6 from Guatemala, 3 from Colombia and 2 from Mexico.

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 Dionysius John Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar of the Archdiocese for the Eastern USA, and Mor Titos Boulos Touza, Apostolic Nuncio for the Syriac Missions in Brazil, assisted His Holiness in the Holy Qurobo.

In his sermon, His Holiness gave praise to the Lord for His abundant grace that enabled him and the Archbishops to witness this important and historical event of the ordination of 11 priests. He told the faithful that every moment spent with them is very much appreciated because he feels the faithfulness of the people and the attachment to the Church of Antioch. He spoke about the work of the divine grace in the newly ordained priests who will go forth and administer the sacraments. He explained the gospel that was read and reminded the faithful that the priests are like the Lord’s disciples who came to know His mysteries after He revealed to them the spiritual meanings of His teachings. He added that the priests are representatives of the Lord in their respective communities and they are an image of the first church.

At the end of his sermon, His Holiness presented a cross to His Eminence Mor Yacoub Eduardo as a token of appreciation for his ministry and devotion to the Holy Church.

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On November 8, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo for the faithful of the Parish of San Pedro Carcha at the municipal stadium that accommodated the crowds of faithful.
 
In his sermon, His Holiness conveyed the love and solidarity of the faithful of the Syriac Orthodox Church in the Middle East to their brethren in Guatemala and Central America; he assured them that the church of Antioch is proud of them and their firm and steadfast attachment to the orthodox faith is an example for the entire church worldwide. Commenting of the gospel that was read, His Holiness explained that it is the duty of every Christian to share the good news and spread the word of God in the society where they live. It is the Lord’s commandment to go and make disciples; this mission can be accomplished when we are armed with the Holy Spirit and the talents He gives us. When we are faced with suffering, we are encouraged by the apostles who went out and spread the Gospel despite being persecuted. His Holiness reflected on the fruits of the word in Guatemala and thanked the Lord for all His blessings. At the end of His sermon, His Holiness asked the faithful who attended the Holy Qurobo to pray for him and to remain joyful in the Lord for nothing can separate us from the love of God.
 
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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