The Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East
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This page informs our guests of the leadership in our church.


His Holiness, Mar Dinkha Khanania IV, Catholicos Patriarch of the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East is the head of our Holy Church world-wide.  He has completed 56 years of service to the Holy Church since his ordination as a priest.  H.H. Mar Dinkha is deeply loved and respected by the entire church for his years of service, commitment, leadership and compassion.  A few of his accomplishments include more ecumenical dialogue with our fellow churches and a preservation of our ancient church and its traditions and language.  May God's blessings be on our beloved Patriarch as he continues the mission of the Holy Church.

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His Grace Mar Paulus

His Grace Mar Paulus Benjamin, Bishop of the Eastern Diocese of the United States

Our Bishop is now His Grace Mar Paulus Benjamin who presides over the diocese from Chicago, Illinois.  He was ordained in Chicago on Sunday May 27, 2012 at the St. George ACOE Cathedral by His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, our Catholicos Patriarch.  After many years without a Bishop, Mar Paulus will be providing leadership and guidance to our diocese.  As a parish, we pray for his success as a spiritual leader for our diocese and the work he will be doing for the Holy Church.  May God bless him and grant him wisdom and courage as he fulfills his role as our Bishop.


Biography of His Grace Mar Paulus Benjamin

This article is courtesy of the Voice of the East magazine published by the Archdiocese of India and the UAE.  It is from the March-April 2012 issue and was written about H.G. Mar Paulus prior to his consecration to the Episcopal See while he was still a Chor-Bishop.  We are grateful to the Voice of the East and our fellow ACOE Church in India for its use.  It is as follows:

Cor-bishop Paulus Benjamin was born Korosh Benyamin, to his mother Roza Jacob (daughter of the late Qasha Keshto Yakob) and to his father Yoarash Benyamin on June 24, 1968 in the village of Qala, Urmia (Iran). He was tutored in the services of our Church by the late Archdeacon Qasha Aprim Mar Yonani, and was ordained a deacon by His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV on June 24, 1984 at St. George Cathedral, Tehran.  Qasha Paulus received his B.A. in Social Communications from the University of Tehran in 1993. He served the military from 1993 to 1995. In 1996, he was sent for higher theological studies to Rome by His Holiness. After studying at the Pontifical Gregorian University, he received the S.T.B. in Philosophy in 1998 and the S.T.B. (Bachelor of Sacred Theology) in Theology in 2001.

He was ordained a priest on September 13, 2001 at Mar Gewargis Cathedral, Chicago, by His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV. He is presently a candidate for the S.T.L. (Licentiate of Sacred Theology) in Canon Law and has already finished his doctorate courses as required by the Pontifical Oriental Institute, Rome. In the summer of 1999, he spent 3 months with Archdeacon Yonan Youel in London, England studying Aramaic, and did a course in French language at Bisancon, France in the summer of 2002.

Qasha Paulus came to the US in July of 2007 and in 2008 was appointed assistant vicar of Mar Gewargis Cathedral, Chicago. In 2009, he was appointed the vicar of said parish. On March 20, 2011, he was raised to the rank of Cor-bishop by H.G. Mar Awa Royel, Bishop of California, at the directive of His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV.

It is hoped that he will be consecrated as a Bishop on Pentecost Sunday, May 27, 2012 at Mar Gewargis Cathedral in Chicago by His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV.

The position of a bishop was vacant in the Chicago area for the Eastern US Diocese following the transfer of Mar Aprim Khamis to Arizona some years ago.

Source: Voice of the East magazine March 2012-April 2012 edition published by the Archiodese of India and UAE

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Rev. Fr. Joseph Peera

Rev. Father (Qasha) Joseph Peera

The Parish Priest for Mar Shimun Bar-Sabbai is Rev. Father (Qasha) Joseph Peera.  He has been the priest of our beloved parish for twenty years.  Qasha Peera began his priesthood in Iraq but immigrated to America with his wife, Jenny, and family.  He is the longest serving priest in the history of this parish.  He celebrated the 25th anniversary of his Ordination to the priesthood on April 18, 2012.  Qasha Peera's goal for our parish has been to move our parish forward and unite the Assyrian-American community through its common heritage.  More cooperation is evident among the community in joint activities and sharing of common events.  Qasha has brought new members to the parish and has maintained the identity of the church.  His parish is embarking on a major relocation project to further grow the parish.  Qasha Peera is widely respected and loved by his parish and the community for his skills as a pastor and humble "shepherd of his flock".  We ask God's blessings on Qasha Peera and his family.  Qasha Peera is ably assisted in his work by his deacons: senior Deacon Zia Zaroo, Deacon Rowil David, and Deacon David Lazar (who is also Parish Board President and head of the Assyrian Cemetery Association).  Deacon Shmouel Talia of St. Mary Parish in Detroit has been a great help over the years to the parish assisting when needed.  Our thanks to God for the dedicated work of all the parish deacons.

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Ladies' Circle President greeting HG Mar Paulus

The Ladies' Circle

Pictured above is our Ladies' Circle President Elizabeth Baly greeting His Grace Mar Paulus Benyamin, Bishop, during His Grace's visit to our parish in August 2012.  The Ladies' Circle has been instrumental in fund raising and bringing together women from not only the parish but our Assyrian-American community.  Not pictured are officers Norma Lazar, Vice-President, and Jan Thomas, Treasurer.   

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Patriarchal Visit to Our Parish in 2007

On August 25-27, 2007, His Holiness, Mar Dinkha IV, visited the Mar Shimun Bar-Sabbai Church in Flint.  During His Holiness’ visit to Flint he participated in several events with the church and community. 

After arriving on Saturday August 25th, the Patriarch was honored at an evening dinner at the Gateway Holiday Inn Conference Center by church members and members of the Assyrian-American Club of Flint.  About 80 persons were present for the Dinner which was arranged by then-Parish Board President, Earl Smith, and the Parish Board.   The event was ably hosted by Deacon Rowil David with lovely decorations of the Patriarch’s table done by the Ladies’ Circle.  After welcoming the Patriarch and singing by the choir, a speech was given by church member, George Solomon, acknowledging the sacrifices and contributions of the first Assyrians to arrive in Flint after the genocide of World War I and the establishment of the first Church of the East in the United States.  Priests were present at the Patriarch’s head table representing local Orthodox, Maronite and Roman Catholic parishes and presented the Patriarch with a beautiful Cross as a gift to recognize his visit and standing in the world’s faith community.  The Patriarch then gave a speech inspiring the entire gathering. 

On the morning of Sunday August 26th, in front of a full congregation, the Patriarch ordained Deacon John Howell to the church.  Following the Ordination Service, the Patriarch then conducted the Holy Liturgy.  All were blessed after receiving Qurbana from the hand of the Patriarch.  After the service he gave a blessing to the infant grand-daughter of Mar Shimun Bar-Sabbai’s Rev. Joseph and Jenny Peera prior to her Baptism and then His Holiness proceeded to partake of Breakfast with the congregation of the whole church.  The entire morning was a very blessed event for the whole Mar Shimun Bar-Sabbai church family as well as guests from Detroit’s St. Mary’s church and Windsor, Ontario’s St. Thomas church.

That evening a private dinner in honor of the Patriarch was hosted by the family of new Deacon, John Howell.  It was held in nearby Frankenmuth, Michigan and included the Parish Board, Qashas and Deacons from Flint and Detroit, as well as family and friends.  There were about 70 persons present with remarks given by friends, Deacons and Qasha Peera.  The evening was concluded with a moving speech by His Holiness about the Church of the East.

On Monday August 27th, the Parish Board and Deacons of the church hosted a Breakfast for the Patriarch that was to review and discuss the progress of the Mar Shimun Bar-Sabbai church.  It was very productive and edifying to those present.  Upon conclusion of the Breakfast the Patriarch departed Flint.

His Holiness’ visit to Flint was featured in an article in the Flint Journal newspaper on August 25, 2007. 


Above:  H.H. Mar Dinkha IV, Patriarch, being greeted by then-Parish Board President, Earl Smith, during His Holiness' visit to Mar Shimun Bar-Sabbai Parish during August 2007.


Above:  H.H. Mar Dinkha IV, Patriarch, pictured with our parish deacons during his visit to Mar Shimun Bar-Sabbai Parish during August 2007.  Our deacons (Shamashas) are from L-R:  Shamasha Rowil David, Shamasha Shmouel Talia, (His Holiness), Shamasha John Howell, and Shamasha David Lazar. 


Feel free to come by and visit our church!