|(Assyrian Church) His Beatitude Mar Gewargis Sliwa, Metropolitan of Iraq elected Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East. The Metropolitan will take the ecclesiastical name 'Mar Gewargis III'. He is the 121st Catholicos-Patriarch.|
It is with profound joy that I send good news of the election of His Beatitude Mar Gewargis Sliwa, Metropolitan of Iraq and Russia as the 121st Catholicos-Patriarch of the Apostolic See of Seleucia-Ctesiphon for the Assyrian Church of the East. The announcement, made from Erbil, Iraq at 3pm Baghdad time on 18 September 2015, followed the convocation of the 14-member Council of Prelates from 16 September 2015 for deliberations.
His Beatitude was born on 23 November 1941 in Habbaniya, Iraq. He was consecrated Metropolitan of Iraq on 14 June 1981 in Chicago, Illinois by His Holiness the late Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos-Patriarch of blessed memory. Since his consecration, the Metropolitan has made his headquarters in the Iraqi capital Baghdad enduring with resolve unceasing tumultuous periods of war, political upheaval, displacement and persecution.
Following his forthcoming consecration in St John's Cathedral, Erbil, Iraq on Sunday, 27 September 2015, the new Catholicos-Patriarch will assume the title His Holiness Mar Gewargis III. At the same time, the Patriarchal See of the Assyrian Church of the East will return to Iraq after having been established in-exile in the United States from 1933 and until present.
While we express here our gladness and thanksgiving to Almighty God for this good news, we recall that this election comes during times of immense darkness for the Assyrian people in Iraq and throughout the Middle East. As a persecuted minority group in a sea of conflict, the indigenous Christian Assyrians need now more than ever the wise and dignified leadership of the newly-elected Catholicos-Patriarch that he may continue to stand in solidarity with them and minister to them in their suffering.
Please lift up Mar Gewargis Sliwa in your prayers and supplications before our loving and immortal Creator, that He may guide him in carrying this heavy burden upon his shoulders for the glory of God and the uplifting of His Crown Church. For this we pray unceasingly; Lord have mercy upon us --- Amen.
With all best wishes,