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Tue Jan 26, 2016, 07:16 AM


Syriac bishop for Canada says he will prioritize refugees, vocations

by Doreen Abi Raad , Catholic News Service | Jan. 25, 2016
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Beirut -- The newly ordained bishop for the Syriac Catholic Church in Canada pledged to make his first priority the suffering and spiritual needs of beleaguered Syriacs seeking refuge in Canada.

Bishop Antoine Nassif was ordained Jan. 23 by Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan at Our Lady of Deliverance Cathedral in Beirut. He will lead the first apostolic exarchate for Syriac Catholics living in Canada, with the jurisdiction based in Montreal and Laval, Quebec.

The Canadian exarchate, similar to a diocese, covers territory there that was once part of the Newark, New Jersey-based Eparchy of Our Lady of Deliverance, established in 1995.

After his ordination, Nassif noted the new exarchate was erected in the year of mercy and at a time when God "is offering so much" to the Syriac church, most notably the beatification in August of Syriac Catholic Bishop Flavien Michel Melki, a century after he was beheaded for refusing to convert to Islam.


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