Sunday, November 30, 2008

His Grace Mar Awa Bishop of California Consecrated November 30, 2008

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, peace be upon you all.

It is with great honor and joy that we announce the consecration of a new bishop, His Grace Mar Awa, Bishop of California. His Grace Mar Awa was the former Arch-Deacon David Royel. The consecration took place today, Sunday November 30, 2008 at Mar Zaia Church in Modesto, California by the Catholicos Patriarch, His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, with assistance of His Grace Mar Sargis Yousip, Bishop of Iraq, His Grace Mar Aprim Khamis, Bishop of the Western United States, and His Grace Mar Odisho Oraham, Bishop of Europe. This special, emotional and holy event left all who witnessed it and were fortunate to attend speechless.

His Grace Mar Awa was born on July 4, 1975 to his parents Koresh and Flourence Royel in Chicago, IL. His Grace is our first bishop ever ordained that was born in the United Stated of America. His parents should take great pride in raising such a wonderful and special son that will serve as our holy father.

His Grace Mar Awa was ordained sub-deacon in October 1991 and ordained deacon by His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos-Patriarch on January 1992 in Mar Gewargis Cathedral, in Chicago, Illinois.

Then he was ordained cor-bishop on July 2006 by His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, in Chicago, Illinois. He was recently ordained archdeacon by His Holiness on November 23, 2008 in Mar Yosip Khnanisho Church in San Jose, California.

Today, on November 30, 2008, he was consecrated bishop for the Diocese of California by His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV in Mar Zaia Cathedral in Modesto, California. We were also fortunate to have His Grace Mar Odisho, His Grace Mar Sargis, His Grace Mar Aprim and many of our priests and deacons joining us on this special day.

More than 2500 faithful members from California and Illinois were fortunate to witness this special ceremony. It was also broadcasted LIVE so people all around the world could also witness it.

His Grace Mar Awa is also highly educated. He holds a B.A from Loyola University in Chicago (1997), Bachelor of Sacred Theology from University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein (1999), License of Sacred Theology from Pontifical Oriental University in Rome (2001), and Doctorate of Sacred Theology from Pontifical Oriental University in Rome (2007).

The name 'Awa' means father. We are so fortunate to have His Grace Mar Awa to advise us with his fatherly guidance. God bless His Grace Mar Awa and may our Lord guide him on this journey. Our prayers are with him and with our Church.

More pictures of this historical event can be found in:

Video coming up soon. Stay tuned.


Byzantine, TX said...

I reposted this on my blog and was asked this... can you explain or point me to an explanation? Thanks!

"Perhaps you could clarify a few things for me. What does the ordination of a "cor-bishop" entail? Also, upon ordination, what new power/privileges does one receive? If a "cor-bishop" is the rank below a bishop (according to the wiki article anyway), why was His Grace Mar Awa still being called an archdeacon prior to his consecration as a bishop? Lastly, since when did archdeacons have their own special ordination? Is this simply Assyrian terminology? "

Assyrian Post said...

God Bless His Grace Mar Awa! He sacrificed himself for his Church at such a young age. We're so proud of him and wish him much success in years to come.

Assyrian Post said...


Thank you for your questions.

These are the steps and ranks that someone has to go through an Assyrian Church of the East. Very few get selected to serve as our bishops and it is a major sacrifice on their end as well.

The ranks are as follows:
1) Sub-deacon
2) Deacon
3) Priest
4) Cor-Bishop
5) Archdeacon
6) Bishop
7) Metropolitan
8) Patriarch

This is not an "Assyrian" terminology! This is how the structure within the Assyrian Church of the East works.

As for the new power or responsibility of a new bishop, there are many. Specifically His Grace Mar Awa was consecrated Bishop of all of California so he will oversee all of California.

Another question that you raised was "why was His Grace Mar Awa still being called an Archdeacon prior to his consecration as a bishop. Well, on November 23, 2008 he was consecrated as an Archdeacon; this is a week before his consecration as a bishop. If you refer back to the 8 ranks above, you will see that they have to become an Archdeacon before they can be consecrated as a bishop.

Also, there are many books out there for those who are interested to learn further about our church. One of my recommendations is a book by Christoph Baumer (Author), H.H. Mar Dinkha (Preface). It is called, "The Church of the East: An Illustrated History of Assyrian Christianity".

I hope that I have answered your questions. Feel free to post more questions in needed.

Byzantine, TX said...

Wonderful! Thanks for the answers. I've added that book to my Christmas wish list.

Assyrian Post said...

I'm glad that I was able to answer your questions. Thank you for your interest. Feel free to ask for more if needed. You can email me also at

Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful even. I send my blessings from Sydney. May the Lord Bless Mar Awa and make our people and church prosperous!

Anonymous said...

I just found this website and I think it's wonderful. May the Lord Bless Mar Awa. I love the poll for the Assyrian School, I that would be a GREAT Idea for Modesto.