Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch

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St. Ephraim’s of Central Falls, RI, Celebrates the 100th Anniversary

His Eminence Mor Cyril Ephrem Karim officiated at a special Liturgy on Sunday, December 1st , at St. Ephraim’s Syriac Orthodox Church of Central Falls, Rhode Island, celebrating the 100th Anniversary of that parish. The Archbishop was accompanied and assisted by Rev. Fr. Mattias Alan Shaltan, Pastor of St. Ephraim’s, Very Rev. Fr. Maroutha Hanna, Pastor of St. Mary’s of Worcester, Mass., Very Rev. Fr. Saliba Kassis, Pastor of St. Mathew’s of Boston, Mass, Rev. Fr. Anton Sabha, pastor of St. John’s of Atlanta, GA and St. James of Nisibin’s of Corpus Christi, Texas, and the Very Rev. Fr. Gabi Sarkis, Pastor of…

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Very Rev. Fr. Shamoun Asmar Passes Away

Dear brothers and sisters:
It is with deep sorrow that we report the passing away of Very Rev. Father Shamoun Asmar, Pastor of Saint Barsawmo Church in Wyckoff, NJ who passed away on Monday, December 16, 2013.

The family will accept condolences, tonight, Tuesday, December 17, 2013 from 7:00PM – 9:00PM at the Social Hall of Mor Barsawmo Church, Wyckoff, NJ.
December 18 & 19, 2013 from 7:00PM – 9:00PM, the family will accept condolences at the Social Hall of St. Mark’s Cathedral, Teaneck, NJ.

Wake and visitation will be held on Friday, December 20, 2013 from 7:00PM – 9:00PM at St….

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His Eminence Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim delivers a letter to President Barak Obama

At the invitation of President Barak Obama, His Eminence Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim attended a Christmas Reception at the White House on Tuesday, December 17, 2013, where the President and the First Lady took the opportunity to thank everyone in attendance for the service they render to the United States and to their neighbor. After several words of welcome the President extended his appreciation to all those who in any manner, shape or form have supported him and his administration during his term in office.

As the President greeted and shook the hands of his guests, Archbishop Karim spontaneously brought to the attention of…

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Funeral Services for VERY REV. FR. SHAMOUN ASMAR

Celebrating Christmas at St. Mark’s Cathedral

A Special Christmas Service for Children with Special Needs

On December 22, 2013 His Eminence Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim celebrated a special Christmas service for children with special needs. During the special Christmas service His Eminence Cyril Aphrem Karim read a few pages from his newest book Animals from the Bible to the children and their families.



CENTRAL FALLS — On Sunday, the bright new bell in front of St. Ephraim Syriac Orthodox Church will ring out for the first time. It will signal more than time for worship. It will ring out in testament to a faith that has traveled a great distance and survived many tribulations. And it will ring out in hope of an even stronger future. The St. Ephraim parish is celebrating its centennial — 100 years of being part of Central Falls and 100 years of offering sanctuary to many Christians who have had to flee their homelands in the Middle East.

The Syriac Orthodox Church, the oldest Christian church in the world, began putting down roots in the United States around the turn of the century as its members were fleeing persecution in parts of Turkey, Syria and Lebanon, according to parish members. Ephraim Doumato, a lifelong member the church, describes the parish as a close-knit family that shares religion, cultural traditions and love for this country.

The parish will celebrate the centennial most of this weekend with an anniversary gala Saturday night at the Kirkbrae Country Club in Lincoln and a special service performed by Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim on Sunday. “I am so very happy to be part of this church and its pastor at this time,” says the Very Reverend Mattias Alan Shaltan, who has led St. Ephraim since 2008. He says he is grateful not only to be part of the celebration but to share it with such devoted parishioners such as Doumato, who is the son of St. Ephraim’s retired, long-time pastor, the Very Reverend Abdulahad Doumato.

One visible sign that this is a special year is the gleaming new bronze bell on the front lawn of the modest yellow brick church on Washington Street. There are about 35 Syriac Orthodox Churches in the United States, according to the websites of the two dioceses that cover the country. Ephraim Doumato and fellow parishioner Pierre Ghazal, both of whom serve on the centennial committee, say that small number of Syriac Orthodox churches in this country adds to the feeling of family and connectivity with church leaders.

The Syriac Orthodox Church dates to 36 A.D. and is considered to be part of what is called the Oriental Orthodox family of churches. Its spiritual leader, now based in Damascus, Syria, is called the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, and is currently His Holiness Ignatius Zakka I Iwas. Doumato and Ghazal say that the St. Ephraim parish is growing, mostly due to an immigrant population as persecution of Christians escalates in the Middle East. They said that the local community takes heart, however, in their religion’s history of resilience, and the legacy of devotion left by the five men who founded St. Ephraim’s in 1913 for just a few families transplanted to an American mill village. St. Ephraim’s first two structures were destroyed by fire in 1939 and 1961. The current church was completed in 1963 and its amber windows fill its simple interior with golden light. The church, which traces its roots to St. Peter the apostle, has held tightly to its history with its services here performed in three languages: Arabic, the ancient liturgical language of Aramaic, and English.

Father Shaltan says that English is being used more and more now, particularly in special ceremonies such as weddings and baptisms, as the church looks for ways to keep its younger members who are growing up as Americans. “They will decide our future,” he said, noting that some of the parish youths will be making a presentation as part of the Saturday night celebration and it is not by accident that the centennial event is titled “The First 100 years.” It is a challenge for all churches to keep a focus on faith these days with all the distractions of the 21st century America, Father Shaltan says. But, he and parishioners note that a strong love for this country and thankfulness for the refuge it offered earlier generations of Syriac Orthodox Church members are woven into the parish culture. “Central Falls and Rhode Island have been a great home to our community over the last 100 years,” Father Shaltan said. “God willing, we will be here another 100 years.”

Source: The Providence Journal

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Ordination of Deacons at St. Aphraim’s Church, Washington D.C.

On Sunday, December 8, 2013, His Eminence, Archbishop Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim celebrated the Holy Qurbono (Divine Liturgy) with the parishioners of St. Aphraim’s Church in Washington D.C., the capital of the Land. His Eminence was assisted by the Very Rev. Raban Fadi Abdal Ahad, the pastor of the church and Shamosho Esia Bahdi. The Divine Liturgy was served by both the deacons and the choir of the Parish. During the celebration, His Eminence ordained to the rank of Qorouyo ( Reader ) the following altar servants: Hanna Mark Malki and John Jay Ghazal, and elevated to the rank of Aphodiakno (Sub-Deacon)…

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His Eminence participates in the enthronement of His Grace Bishop David

On Saturday December 7, 2013, His Eminence, Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim participated in the installation of His Grace, Bishop David as the first Bishop for the newly- formed Coptic Diocese of New York and New England. He was accompanied by the Very Rev. Father Gabriel Adde and Shamosho Esia Bahdi. During the ceremony, His Eminence congratulated His Grace on behalf of The Syriac Orthodox Archdiocese, as well as on behalf of the Standing Conference of the Oriental Orthodox Bishops in the United States. It was an uplifting spiritual gathering for Clergy and Parishioners to enjoy in this holy occasion, the love, concord…

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