Sunday, November 30, 2008

His Grace Mar Awa Bishop of California Consecrated November 30, 2008

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, peace be upon you all.

It is with great honor and joy that we announce the consecration of a new bishop, His Grace Mar Awa, Bishop of California. His Grace Mar Awa was the former Arch-Deacon David Royel. The consecration took place today, Sunday November 30, 2008 at Mar Zaia Church in Modesto, California by the Catholicos Patriarch, His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, with assistance of His Grace Mar Sargis Yousip, Bishop of Iraq, His Grace Mar Aprim Khamis, Bishop of the Western United States, and His Grace Mar Odisho Oraham, Bishop of Europe. This special, emotional and holy event left all who witnessed it and were fortunate to attend speechless.

His Grace Mar Awa was born on July 4, 1975 to his parents Koresh and Flourence Royel in Chicago, IL. His Grace is our first bishop ever ordained that was born in the United Stated of America. His parents should take great pride in raising such a wonderful and special son that will serve as our holy father.

His Grace Mar Awa was ordained sub-deacon in October 1991 and ordained deacon by His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos-Patriarch on January 1992 in Mar Gewargis Cathedral, in Chicago, Illinois.

Then he was ordained cor-bishop on July 2006 by His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, in Chicago, Illinois. He was recently ordained archdeacon by His Holiness on November 23, 2008 in Mar Yosip Khnanisho Church in San Jose, California.

Today, on November 30, 2008, he was consecrated bishop for the Diocese of California by His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV in Mar Zaia Cathedral in Modesto, California. We were also fortunate to have His Grace Mar Odisho, His Grace Mar Sargis, His Grace Mar Aprim and many of our priests and deacons joining us on this special day.

More than 2500 faithful members from California and Illinois were fortunate to witness this special ceremony. It was also broadcasted LIVE so people all around the world could also witness it.

His Grace Mar Awa is also highly educated. He holds a B.A from Loyola University in Chicago (1997), Bachelor of Sacred Theology from University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein (1999), License of Sacred Theology from Pontifical Oriental University in Rome (2001), and Doctorate of Sacred Theology from Pontifical Oriental University in Rome (2007).

The name 'Awa' means father. We are so fortunate to have His Grace Mar Awa to advise us with his fatherly guidance. God bless His Grace Mar Awa and may our Lord guide him on this journey. Our prayers are with him and with our Church.

More pictures of this historical event can be found in:

Video coming up soon. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More Sad News From Mosul

IRAQ: Christians had started returning to Iraq’s third largest city, but a militant attack on Thursday may continue to keep them away | Mindy Belz

(WORLD Magazine) Armed militants killed Iraqi Christians Lamiaa Sabih Saloha and her sister Walaa Thursday morning in Mosul. The shootings took place just as many believed that violence directed at Christians in Iraq’s third largest city was subsiding and up to 200 Christian families who fled in October had started to return.

According to an Italian press report, the armed men shot and killed one of the women while she waited to catch the bus to go to work in the northern Mosul neighborhood of al-Qahira. The attackers then stormed her house and opened fire on the family, killing her sister and injuring their mother. Assyrian sources in Mosul told WORLD the mother is seriously injured after the attackers stabbed her. They then set explosives near the house, which went off just as police arrived, injuring three policemen and destroying the family’s home.


At least 14 Christians have been killed in Mosul since September, and many believe this latest attack will deter Christians who left the city in recent weeks from returning to their homes. Since the beginning of the war, kidnappings and murders have hit especially hard the church community in Mosul, the second-largest community of Christians in Iraq after Baghdad and located 250 miles north of the capital. The city under Saddam was dominated by Sunni Arabs and with Tikrit formed the heartland for the Baath Party. But Sunnis boycotted 2005 elections and Kurds now dominate both the governing council and the police force. That may change when provincial elections are held in January, but already many blame Sunni militants for trying to undermine security and Kurdish gains with the recent violence.

Source: WORLD Magazine
Published November 12, 2008