Patriarchate News

On November 15, 2020, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received His Excellency Ambassador of Austria in Syria Mr. Habs-Peter Glanzer, at Mor Aphrem Monastery in Maarat Saydnaya.
His Eminence Archbishop Mor Yacoub Babawi, Patriarchal Vicar for Monks Affairs and the Administration of Mor Aphrem Theological Seminary in Maarat Saydnaya, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, were present in the meeting.
During the meeting, His Holiness offered his condolences to His Excellency for the people who lost their lives during the terrorist attacks in Vienna last week. His Holiness and His Excellency spoke about the current situation in Syria and the effects of the crisis on the Syrian people who are suffering from the sanctions imposed on them.
His Excellency then visited the monastery where His Eminence Mor Yacoub Babawi gave him an overview of the seminary and the services it provides. His Excellency visited the Grotto of the Holy Belt as well as the altar of the Sayfo Martyrs and the memorial of the Centennial of Sayfo Syriac Genocide.
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On November 5, 2020, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received His Excellency Mr. Melhem Khalaf, President of the Bar of Lawyers in Beirut, at the Patriarchal Residence in Atchaneh.
His Holiness welcomed His Excellency and spoke about the current situation in Lebanon and thank Mr Khalaf for his role in the civil society and support for the Lebanese people. In turn, Mr Khalaf spoke about the new initiative proposed by the Bar of Lawyers in Beirut to help in overcoming the political and economic crisis in Lebanon. At the end of the meeting, His Holiness blessed the efforts that His Excellency is doing, hoping that he will receive the support of the political and religious leaders.
The meeting was attended by Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.
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On October 29, 2020, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II honored Mr. Shady Sarweh, upon his resignation from his office as Executive Director of EPDC, at the Patriarchate Headquarters in Damascus.
The reception was also by their Eminences Archbishops: Mor Boutros Kassis, Patriarchal Assistant and General Manager of EPDC, Mor Dionysius John Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar in the Archdiocese of Eastern USA, and Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus. Members of Mr. Shady’s family and friends as well as the directors of the various departments in EPDC and its employees and partners were also present in the reception.
At the beginning of the reception, His Eminence Mor Boutros Kassis spoke about the work of EPDC as well as the role of Mr. Shady Sarweh in the different stages of the development of EPDC, and the projects that it is executing in different areas. Then a video of the achievements of the EPDC in the social field was diffused.
Then His Eminence Mor Dionysius John Kawak spoke about his personal acquaintance with Mr. Shady since he was the conductor of St. Aphrem Patriarchal Choir. He also remembered the events that they organized together throughout the years. His Eminence appreciated the effective role of Mr. Sarweh in leading EPDC during the phase when it became an institution for development instead of just relief.
In his speech, His Holiness spoke about the ministry of the church and the services it offers to every human being in order to help him preserve his dignity and to live the human values in his society. His Holiness spoke about the different stages that man goes through to reach salvation that the Lord called him to. He mentioned the numerous talents of Mr. Shady Sarweh and his contributions to the works of the Patriarchate since he was a conductor of the Patriarchal Choir to the day he resigned from his office as Executive Director of EPDC. His Holiness emphasized that ministry is evangelization and it reflects the faith of the person. He pointed out that EPDC offers its services in response to the needs and it will continue to offer its services as long as there is a need, in fulfilment of its vision and the faith of the institution, its leadership and the volunteers who work in it. At the end of his speech, His Holiness offered a certificate of appreciation and an icon of the Virgin Mary to Mr. Shady Sarweh in recognition of his efforts and work in EPDC.
At the end of the reception, Mr. Shady Sarweh expressed his gratitude for all who assisted him during his work in EPDC and thanked all those who supported him and made his mission successful. He also expressed his joy to have good relations with the employees and partners of the EPDC who were all part of the mission of serving the needy.
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On October 24, 2020, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received Mr. Nikolay Sukhov, Head of the Russian Cultural Center in Damascus and Counselor of the Russian Embassy in Damascus, accompanied by a delegation from the Cultural Center, at Mor Aphrem Monastery in Maarat Saydnaya.
Their Eminences Archbishops: Mor Dionysius John Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar for the Archdiocese of Eastern USA, and Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, were present in the meeting.
During the meeting, His Holiness and his guests spoke about encouraging tourists to visit Syria to get to know its rich history, civilization and culture. His Holiness spoke of the impact of the crisis on the Syrian people who are suffering due to the sanctions imposed on Syria. In turn, Mr. Sukhov emphasized the support of Russia to the people of Syria in many areas and fields, especially in education and culture.
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On October 14, 2020, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received His Excellency Mgr. George Abi Khazen, Latin Apostolic Vicar in Syria, accompanied by Rev. Fr. Raymond Gergess, at the Patriarchate Headquarters in Bab Touma – Damascus.
The meeting was attended by His Eminence Archbishop Mor Boutros Kassis, Patriarchal Assistant, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.
During the meeting, His Excellency thanked His Holiness for his efforts in the case of the property of ‘Terre Sainte’ in Aleppo.
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On October 13, 2020, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received His Eminence Armash Nalbandian, Armenian Orthodox Archbishop of Damascus, at the Patriarchate Headquarters in Bab Touma – Damascus.
The meeting was attended by His Eminence Archbishop Mor Boutros Kassis, Patriarchal Assistant, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.
During the meeting, His Holiness welcomed His Eminence and the accompanying clergy and spoke about the challenges that the churches are facing during the times of Corona. His Eminence reported on the current situation in Nagorno Karabagh.
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On October 13, 2020, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received His Excellency the Charge d’Affaires of the Austrian Embassy in Syria Mr. Hans-Peter Glanzer, at the Patriarchate Headquarters in Bab Touma, Damascus.
His Eminence Archbishop Mor Boutros Kassis, Patriarchal Assistant, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, were also present in the meeting.
During the meeting, His Holiness discussed with His Excellency the current situation in Syria and the region. They also spoke about the fires that devastated large areas of agricultural fields and forests in the Syrian coast region.
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On October 11, 2020, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received His Excellency Ambassador of Pakistan in Syria General Said Mohammad Khan, at Mor Aphrem Monastery in Maarat Saydnaya.
His Eminence Archbishop Mor Yacoub Babawi, Patriarchal Vicar for Monks Affairs and the Administration of Mor Aphrem Theological Seminary in Maarat Saydnaya, Very Rev. Fr. Markose Abraham, Patriarchal Secretary for Indian Affairs, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, were present in the meeting.
His Excellency the Ambassador was accompanied by a delegation from the administrative and teaching bodies of the Pakistan International School in Damascus.
During the meeting, His Holiness and His Excellency spoke about the history of Pakistan and Syria, especially the cooperation that exists between both countries in the field of education and culture. His Holiness spoke about the effects of the crisis on the Syrian people who are suffering from the sanctions imposed on them. In turn, His Excellency assured that Pakistan is supporting the people of Syria and offers all possible help in different fields. His Holiness also listened to the delegation about the high level of education that the Pakistan International School is offering to its students in Syria since the1980s.
His Excellency then visited the monastery where His Eminence Mor Yacoub Babawi gave him an overview of the seminary and the services it provides. His Excellency and the accompanying delegation visited the Grotto of the Holy Belt as well as the altar of the Sayfo Martyrs and the memorial of the Centennial of Sayfo Syriac Genocide. Afterwards, His Excellency visited Antioch Syrian University where he was received by the President of the University Dr. Rakan Razzouk. They inspected the different sections and labs of the university where they listened to a detailed overview of the the programs and classes offered at the university. His Excellency wished that cooperation would be established between Antioch Syrian University and the Pakistan International School in the near future.
 

On October 11, 2020, His Holiness celebrated the Holy Qurobo of the 4th Sunday after the Feast of the Holy Cross at Mor Aphrem Church in Mor Aphrem Monastery in Maarat Saydnaya.
His Eminence Mor Yacoub Babawi, Patriarchal Vicar for Monks Affairs and the Administration of Mor Aphrem Theological Seminary in Maarat Saydnaya, assisted His Holiness in the Holy Qurobo which was also attended by the monks and seminarians.
In his sermon, His Holiness spoke about the Sundays that follow the Feast of the cross and how the church uses them to remember the Virgin Mary as well as the saints. This period is also used in preparation before the start of the liturgical year with the Sunday of the Consecration of the Church. His Holiness emphasized that this period is an opportunity to return to one’s self and prepare in modesty and humbleness to be sanctified and renewed in the spirit. He pointed out that education and knowledge of man should aim at getting closer to the knowledge of God. If it fails in doing so, then it is a reason for pride which distances man from God.
 

On October 2nd, 2020, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II visited the construction site of the Lattakia Community Center.
He inspected the different areas of the construction site and the work that is being done as well as the plans and different stages of the project. This stage of the construction work is funded by the Hungarian people and government.
His Holiness was accompanied by their Eminences Archbishops: Mor Boutros Kassis, Patriarchal Assistant and Patriarchal Delegate of the Archdiocese of Aleppo and Environs, and Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Jazeera and Euphrates.
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