On Sunday 16th July 2017 by the grace of Almighty God, the Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon under the leadership of His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM was blessed with the consecration of His Grace Mar Benyamin Elya as the first Bishop of the newly-created Diocese of Victoria and New Zealand.
Visiting from the Patriarchate of the Assyrian Church of the East in Iraq, His Holiness Mar Gewargis III Sliwa, Catholicos-Patriarch was assisted in the consecration which commenced at 8am on Sunday 16th July at St Abdisho’s Cathedral, with the following prelates present alongside His Holiness;
His Beatitude Mar Aprem (India)
His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia (Australia)
His Grace Mar Emmanuel Yosip (Canada)
His Grace Mar Awa Royel (California, USA)
His Grace Mar Narsai Benyamin (Iran)
His Grace Mar Paulus Benyamin (Chicago, USA)
His Grace Mar Abris Youkhanan (Iraq)
Afte the Consecration the new Bishop of Victoria and New Zealand celebrated the Holy Qurbana. The church services were attended by representatives of sister churches including the Chaldean Catholic Church, Ancient Church of the East, the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, the Anglican Church in Australia and the Uniting Church in Australia.
At the conclusion of church services a private breakfast was hosted for the prelates and clergy along with the newly consecrated bishop’s family.
Later in the evening, a Testimonial Dinner was held at Lakeside Banquet and Convention Centre where more than 700 faithful celebrated the historic occasion. It is noteworthy that the dinner was well attended by repsentatices of Federal, State and Local Government along as well as many guests from social, cultural and political organizations. Of particular note was the presence of The Honourable Chris BowenMP (Shadow Treasurer), The Honourable Marlene Kairouz MP (Victorian Government Minister), Mr Nazih Elasmar MP (State Member) and Cr Drew Jessop (Mayor of Hume City Council). Prelates and clergy of the Chaldean Catholic Church and Ancient Church of the East were also in attendance.
Photos: Andrew Mamo Photography.