To all the sons and daughters of the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East and fellow brothers and sisters in faith,
The Holy Synod of the Assyrian Church of the East would like to inform all the faithful of the Church of the results on the Electoral Council held from the 6th to the 8th of September 2021, at St. John the Baptist Cathedral, Erbil, to choose the 122nd Catholicos Patriarch.
The Prelates of the Church gathered from all dioceses across of the world, except for His Beatitude Mar Aprem Metropolitan India and the UAE, whose health condition prevented him from attending the Holy Synod meeting. We pray to the Almighty God to grant him good health, and we hope to see him with us in the coming councils. With supplication to the Almighty God, and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and in the spirit of love and brotherhood, the Synodical meetings took place to elect a new Patriarch for the Church, to succeed His Holiness Mar Gewargis III Sliwa, who submitted his resignation last year for health reasons. We pray to the Almighty Lord to grant His Holiness Mar Gewargis III health and full recovery, and we extend our thanks and respect to him for his holy and glorious service, on the See of Seleucia Ctesiphon, for the past six years.
With the grace and guidance of the Holy Spirit, we are pleased on this day, the 8th September 2021, to announce that His Grace Mar Awa Royel, Bishop of California has been elected as the 122nd Catholicos Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, succeeding His Holiness Mar Gewargis III Sliwa.
The consecration of the new Patriarch will take place on the Feast of the Holy Cross, Monday 13th September 2021 at St. John the Baptist Cathedral, Erbil, in the presence of all the prelates of the Church, the representatives of sister churches, and official parliamentary guests.
On this holy occasion, we offer glory and honor to God the Father, the Almighty, to the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the Holy Spirit who guided us in electing the one who leads the helm of our blessed Church in the sea of this world, towards the blessed port of eternity.
The Holy Synod of the Assyrian Church of the East express its pastoral gratitude to all the faithful of the Church and other sister churches, for their support in prayer and fasting, while we gathered to elect the 122nd Catholicos Patriarch for our Holy Church.
We extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Iraqi government, for all the measures and facilities provided to the members of the Holy Synod.
On this blessed spiritual occasion, we raise our prayers to our Redeemer and Savior, Jesus Christ, to make this holy day a celebration for love and peace to prevail in Iraq, Syria and the rest of the countries of the Middle East, that God may protect everyone and guard them always, and love and mercy may be poured upon His children, to end the suffering, and allow our people to live a life worthy of respect and acknowledgment, being the indigenous owners of the land, the oldest civilization known to mankind.
On my own behalf, and in the name of all the prelates of the Holy Synod, and on behalf of all the sons and daughters of our holy Church, we extend our heartfelt congratulations to His Grace Mar Awa Royel for this blessed election guided by the Holy Spirit, and together we look forward to advancing on the path laid by all the great Patriarchs of the Church.
We ask the Lord to bless you all in the name of the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, One Living God, amen.
Mar Meelis Zaia
Patriarchal Vicar of the Assyrian Church of the East
Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon