January 1998


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Editorial Staff


The Patriarch Consecrates Mor Yacoub Burd`ono Church, Melbourne

January 4, 1998

At 8:10 am on Saturday January 3rd 1998, H.H. Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East and the Supreme Head of the Universal Syrian Church arrived in Melbourne airport, accompanied by H.E. Archbishop Mor Severius Isaac Saka, the Patriarch Vicar for Theological Studies, Very Rev. Raban Kuriakose, the First Patriarchal Secretary, and Very Rev. Raban Elia Bahi, the Second Patriarchal Secretary.

His Holiness and the accompanying delegation were received by H.E. Mor Dionysius Issa Korboz, The Patriarchal Vicar in Germany, and the reverend chor episcoposes and priests from Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

At the VIP Lounge of Melbourne airport, His Holiness was welcomed with the traditional hymn "To Bashlom ..." traditionally sung at the reception of the Holy Fathers.

At 5:00 pm, the faithful gathered at the newly constructed Mor Yacoub Burd`ono's Church, of 75 Whites Lane, Yuroke 3063, Melbourne, Australia, led by the reverend chor episcoposes and priests: Very Rev. Fr. Boutros Touma Issa, Very Rev. Fr. Abdallah Koljah, Very Rev. Raban Malki Yousef, Rev. Fr. Zaki Zeitoun, Rev. Fr. Iskandar Afram, Rev. Fr. Abdel Ahad Zeitoun, and Rev. Fr. Georges Alkan.

At 5:30 pm, H.H. accompanied by the two Archbishops, and the two Patriarchal Secretaries together with Rev. Fr. Afram Afrim (Priest of Mor Yacoub Burd`ono's Church), at which time H.H., the accompanied delegation, and all those gathered into the Church for Thanksgiving Prayers, and the Evening prayers. Following prayers at the Church, an afternoon tea reception was held in the adjacent hall in H.H.'s honour.

Next morning, Sunday, the 4th, His Holiness consecrated the altar and the Church of Mor Yacoub Burd'ono, assisted by H.E. Mor Severius Isaac Saka, Mor Dionysius Issa Korboz. This was followed by the Holy Mass celebrated by the Patriarch, assisted by the Archbishops. During the Holy Mass, H.H. delivered a speech in Arabic that was interpreted directly into the Syriac dialect of Tur Abdeen by H.E. Mor Dionysius Issa Korboz. His Holiness thanked Almighty God for the great gifts given to the parishioners of Mor Yacoub Burd'ono's Church and commended Rev. Fr. Afram Afrim, the Mor Yacoub Burd`ono's Church Council, the parishioners, and all those who participated, and helped in constructing this great house of The Lord.

Following these services H.H., the accompanying delegation, and all the faithful headed to the adjacent hall for lunch. H.H. also unveiled a plaque at the entrance of the Church that records this memorable occasion. The Patriarch was then interviewed by the television news channel, SBS. The interview was broadcasted on the 6:30 pm World News.

We pray to the Almighty God for the best of health and life for H.H. Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas. We also congratulate Rev. Fr. Afram Afrim, the parishioners and all those who participated in making this dream come through, thus building this great church, the first according to the Syrian Orthodox style in Australia.

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Source: Touma Issa

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