On Thursday, January 26, 2017, His Holiness Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church, started a visit to our parish accompanied by His Eminence Mor Dionysius John Kawak, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of the Eastern United States. He presided over the Ramsho prayers at Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Southfield, Michigan at 6:00 p.m., followed by the dedication of the Sayfo memorial to remember the Syriac martyrs of the genocide of 1915. Afterwards, the parishioners greeted His Holiness at the Church Hall. In the evening, the Parish Council hosted a welcome dinner in honor of His Holiness and His Eminence.
On Friday, January 27, His Holiness celebrated the Holy Mass to ordain Deacon Imad Al-Banna into the rank of priesthood. Also participating in the celebration was His Eminence Mor Dionysius John Kawak, Archbishop of the Eastern United States, in addition to a large number of clergy and deacons from different parishes. After the special ordination ceremony, Fr. Imad Al-Banna delivered an inspirational address expressing his appreciation to His Holiness and pledging to fulfill the spiritual needs of the parishioners.
After the Holy Mass, the parish of Sts. Peter and Paul hosted a banquet at the San Marino in Troy to honor His Holiness, His Eminence, Fr. Imad Al-Banna, and all the distinguished guests. The program started with The Lord’s Prayer (Aboon-D-Bashmayo) and included short congratulatory speeches, followed by the keynote address by His Holiness, and ended by words of thanks from Fr. Imad Al-Banna.
Fr. Imad Al-Banna was born in Tikrit, Iraq, on October 11, 1988. He became an ordained deacon before receiving his Bachelor degree in telecommunications engineering from the University of Mosul, Iraq. In 2013 he earned his Diploma in theological studies and the Syriac language from Mor Aphrem Monastery in Maarat Saydnaya, Syria. After graduating from the seminary, he became involved in many activities at the Syriac Orthodox Archdiocese of Mosul and Kurdistan. In 2015 His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II transferred him to the Archdiocese of the Eastern United States where he completed his English language studies while helping in many activities in New Jersey and Michigan, including Bible studies and summer camps. On December 16, 2016 he was ordained as “Ewngeloyo” Full Deacon by His Eminence Archbishop Mor Dionysius John Kawak. Fr. Imad Al-Banna comes from a religious family. His father, V. Rev. Dr. Yousif Al-Banna, is a well-known Archpriest in Mosul, Iraq, who is currently serving in London, England. Also, his three uncles are priests with distinguished records of service.
The parish of Sts. Peter and Paul congratulate Fr. Imad Al-Banna on his ordination and pray that he is blessed with success to accomplish his mission to serve our community.
On the auspicious occasion, we wish to sincerely thank all the parishioners who worked hard to organize these memorable celebrations. We also wish to express our appreciation to the donors, including members of the Parish Council, who contributed generously to the success of this memorable event. God bless.