Pope urges Syriac Catholic bishops to coordinate efforts to meet humanitarian needs

December 4th, 2015

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met with the Patriarch, bishops and faithful of the Syriac Catholic Church on Friday, urging them to coordinate their efforts with the other Churches in the Middle East and seek to meet the humanitarian needs of the people affected by the violence and unrest in the region.

The Patriarch, His Beatitude Ignace Youssif III Younan, was accompanied to the meeting by the bishops of the Syriac Catholic Church, who held their annual Synod in Rome this week, as well as members of the faithful.

In his remarks, the Pope extended his greetings to the Eastern Catholic “communities scattered throughout the world” and expressed his “encouragement, in particular to those of Iraq and Syria, who are living times of great suffering and fear in the face of violence.” He also assured them of his prayers.

The Pope said he consented that the Syriac Catholic bishops hold their Synod in Rome, outside of their patriarchal territory, to facilitate their meeting. The Synod, which concluded on Wednesday, was “intended to recognize the pressing needs of your Church and to answer the spiritual expectations of the faithful,” the Pope acknowledged. He underlined, in particular, the reform the bishops are carrying out of the Divine Liturgy.

“The difficult situation in the Middle East provoked and continues to provoke in your Church the displacement of faithful to eparchies in the diaspora, and places you before new pastoral demands,” the Pope said.

“It is a challenge: on the one hand, being faithful to one’s origins; on the other, inserting yourselves into different cultural contexts at the service of the salus animarum and of the common good,” he continued.

“This movement towards countries considered to be safer impoverishes the Christian presence in the Middle East, land of the prophets, of the first preachers of the Gospel, of the martyrs and of many saints, cradle of the hermits and of monasticism,” he said.

“Many have fled to seek shelter from an inhumanity that throws entire populations out into the streets, leaving them without any means of survival,” he said. “With the other Churches, seek to coordinate your efforts to respond to the humanitarian needs, whether of those who remain in their homelands or of those who have sought refuge in other countries.”

The Pope noted how these changes in the Middle Eastern Christian community has obligated its bishops “to reflect on the situation in your eparchies, which need zealous pastors, as well as courageous faithful, capable of witnessing to the Gospel when in discussions—sometimes not easy—with people of different religions and ethnicities.”

He then exhorted the bishops to be renewed by the communion they shared near the tomb of Peter and to persevere in their pastoral ministry in the “venerable” Syriac Catholic Church.

He invited the bishops to express his closeness to the Syriac Catholic faithful, before entrusting them to the protection of the Mother of God, St Ignatius of Antioch and St Ephrem.

Syriac Catholic in Egypt Wednesday 2 Nov 2015

December 3rd, 2015

Honouring our Lady the patron of our Syriac Church around the world. Persecution and threats our Church in Egypt is suffering every day in Egypt, our people are more determine to live their faith more then any other time before. May God bless them and our Lady, the holy Mother of God pray for them to stay courageous and strong in their hearts and faith.

Syriac Catholic family drowned in their way from Turkey to Greece, buried in Ankawa yesterday

December 3rd, 2015

This young Syriac Catholic family drowned passing the sea from turkey to Greece. last Islamic took over their town and forced to seek asylum in tents and camps in Erbil; with all Qaraqosh population they lived in the streets and in tents and caravans for over a year and no one cared for their suffering and violated rights. Their dream was to find a safe place for their children so they head to Europe; they were aware of the risk they are taking but this was their last chance. They thought they will get somewhere where they will not worry about the safety of their little babies, now they realise that the rest they dreamed of was only a tiny bit of what they rest they got now, they thought it will be a place where the law protect them from the guile of the unjust but they arrive to the land where only saints and righteous can enter; those are the martyrs of displacement and migration. Rest in peace our brothers and sisters, yesterday we prayed for you and said the last goodbye in the hope to join you in heaven.

Syriac patriarch says Western nations have betrayed Mideast Christians

December 3rd, 2015

Article from ‘Catholic News Services’

BEIRUT (CNS) — The head of the Syriac Catholic Church has accused Western governments of betraying Christians in the Middle East and said it was “a big lie” to suggest Islamic State could be defeated with airstrikes.

In a Nov. 18 interview with Le Messager, an online Catholic magazine in Egypt, Syriac Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan said, “all Eastern patriarchs, myself included, have spoken out clearly to the West from the very beginning: Be careful, the situation in Syria is not like that of Egypt, Tunisia or Libya — it’s much more complex, and conflict here will create only chaos and civil war.

“They listened and responded: No, the Assad regime will fall in a few months. As I predicted, that hasn’t happened, and five years later, innocent people, especially Christians, have no support. The West has betrayed us.”

French and U.S. warplanes stepped up attacks on Islamic State positions in Syria and Iraq after terrorists killed 129 in Paris and dozens in Beirut. But the patriarch said airstrikes were ineffective at targeting Islamic State leaders because its religiously indoctrinated operatives were well financed and armed and had infiltrated local populations.

Patriarch Younan, a native of the Syrian province of Hassake, served for 14 years as bishop of the New Jersey-based Diocese of Our Lady of Deliverance for Syriac Catholics in the United States and Canada. He was elected patriarch of the Syriac Catholic Church in January 2009 and is based in Beirut.

He said Catholics had lived for centuries in eastern Syria and had “understood the horror of the situation” following the 2003 Western invasion of Iraq. He said Western nations said they wanted to bring democracy to the Mideast, but “since there’s no real separation of religion from the state, our nations do not easily accept democracy.”

“Western democracies have conspired against Syria and produced the destruction of the nation’s infrastructure, the demolition of houses, towns, villages, monuments and archaeological sites,” Patriarch Younan said.

He said Western politicians, especially in the U.S., Britain and France, appeared to favor “an endless conflict in Iraq and Syria,” while Western media had proved “silent, cowardly and complicit” by failing to “defend truth and justice.”

“It’s a shame the West has abandoned Christians to this situation,” said the patriarch, whose interview was also carried Nov. 18 by the Rome-based AsiaNews agency.

The Syriac Catholic leader praised the pope for being “a defender of justice” and appealing for solidarity with Middle East Christians, but said threatened Catholic communities now needed “not words but deeds.”

In a separate statement, the patriarch expressed sorrow that seven Syriac Catholics drowned Nov. 17, en route by sea from Turkey to Greece. They were members of two families from Qaraqosh; only a 10-year-old boy was rescued.

Qaraqosh fell to the Islamic State in August 2014, uprooting some 50,000 Christians overnight.

“It is so sad to notice that all this is happening under the eyes of the so-called developed and powerful Western countries,” the patriarch told Catholic News Service Nov. 18.

Second Anniversary of the late Nabiha Kulen

November 15th, 2014

Mr Zeki Kulen and the Syriac parish in concord celebrates this Sunday the second anniversary of the late Nabiha Kulen, may she rest in peace in the eternal kingdom. A memorial mass will be celebrated at Concord  10.30am.

Syriac Catholic new liturgical year begins

November 15th, 2014

“Your Goodly conception was without seed, and without wedlock was your pure generation, and without brethren was your single birth. Our Lord had brethren(the believers) and yet not brethren since he was and Only-Begotten.” St Ephrem the Syriac, Hymn of the Faith (II,1).

The Church celebrated the start of a new liturgical year three Sundays ago. today the liturgical time is of the Annunciations, the Angel of the Lord appears to Zechria the Old priest announcing the birth of his Son, John the baptist to be the last prophet, the baptist, the predecessor who prepares the coming of the Lord and the Nazirite.

Soon after the Church will celebrate the Christmas time time and the miraculous incarnation of the Son of God from the Most Holy Virgin Mary Mother of God.

You are invited to share with us this extraordinary time of hope, peace and joy. May God be Our refuge and be a shelter for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Iraq, Syria and the rest of the world through the prayers of his Holy Mother Mary our patron and Mother.

Installation of Mor Anthony Fisher

November 14th, 2014

Old Syrian Catholic Mass

November 14th, 2014