Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch

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Laying the Foundation Stone for St. Mary’s Church in Worcester, MA

Sunday, May 19, 2013, was a memorable day for St. Mary’s Church in Worcester, MA. The laying of the new church’s Foundation Stone is indeed a milestone, in this one of the original parishes of the Archdiocese. His Eminence Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim celebrated the Holy Liturgy. He was assisted by the Clergy of the New England Churches along the deacons and the choir of the church. Parishioners from the three parishes in the area attended in big numbers. In his sermon, the Archbishop spoke about the importance of the Resurrection of our Lord and God Jesus Christ to the Christian faith, and how it brought with it salvation to mankind. After the Liturgy, speeches were given by Very Rev. Raban Maroutha Hanna, the pastor of the church, and some Parish Council members to initiate a drive for the building of the new St. Mary’s Church building. The concluding word was delivered by His Eminence, who praised the efforts and great work that the founding fathers of the parish, who came mostly from Kharput, Turkey, had accomplished in those early days. They first established the church on Hawley Street in Worcester, with $60,000 collected from the faithful who could not stay without a church. Archbishop Aphrem Barsoum (later His Holiness Mor Ignatius Aphrem Barsoum, the Patriarch) consecrated the Worcester church in 1927.

Archbishop Karim congratulated the parish of St. Mary for their zeal and desire to build a new church that will accommodate a larger number of parishioners. The new complex will have facilities for the Sunday school and all the other organizations of the parish. His Eminence encouraged everyone to participate in this noble project and invest their time, effort and resources in the future of this parish. The Archbishop concluded saying that the children and youth will inherit the accomplishments and results of what we do today. After blessing the foundation stone, His Eminence, the clergy, deacons, choir and the attendees exited in a procession outside the church, where His Eminence Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim broke the ground and laid the Foundation Stone of the New Church with prayers and hymns sung by all. Following this celebration, lunch was served and donations were made in support of the project.

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