(14 December, 2011) - The Assembly of the Catholic Hierarchy in Syria met in regular session from 12 to 14 December, 2011 at the Syriac Catholic Archbishopric of Damascus, and was chaired by H.B. Gregorios III, Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch, in the presence of H.B. Mar Ignatius Youssef III Younan, Syriac Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and Archbishop Mario Zenari, Apostolic Nuncio to Syria and the Catholic bishops of Syria.

The very reverend Fathers examined the documents on the agenda for the day and focused particularly on those presented by the ad hoc commission on Holy Scripture, the welfare committee (Caritas-Syria), the family and youth, and adopted the relevant decisions, recommendations and guidance.

Similarly, the very reverend Fathers examined the recommendations concerning the Eastern Catholic Churches, published by the Synod for the Middle East, held in Rome last October, and focused on those relating to inter-Church co-operation, Christian unity, Christian witness and Muslim-Christian dialogue.

The Assembly also studied the theme of “The New Evangelization,” which will be the subject of the Synod to be held in Rome in 2012.

V. C.


Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple

Today is the prelude of the goodwill of God * and the heralding of the salvation of mankind; * the Virgin appears clearly in the temple of God * and foretells Christ to all. * Let us also with a mighty voice cry out to her: * “Rejoice, O Fulfillment of the Creator’s divine plan.” (Troparion - Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

The most pure Temple of the Savior, * the most precious Bridal-Chamber and Virgin, the sacred Treasury of the glory of God, * is brought today into the house of the Lord, * bringing with her the grace that is in the Divine Spirit. * The angels of God praise her in song: * “She is the heavenly tabernacle.” (Kontakion - Tone 4)

(November 21st)