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Obituaries

His Eminence Archbishiop Shahé Adjemian, Dean of the Theological Faculty at Yerevan State University, died on 13 July 2005 aged 79 years.

Archbishop Shahé was born in Aleppo, Syria on 24 July 1926. He received his elementary education in the Haigazian School of Aleppo and from 1937 to 1939, he attended the academy of the Mkhitarist fathers. In 1939 he enrolled in the Aleppo Friars (Franciscan) School and graduated with honours in 1943. He was accepted the same year in the seminary of Antelias and ordained a deacon. Graduating from the seminary in 1947, he was ordained a celibate priest by the late Bishop Terenig Poladian.

From 1947 to 1950, he studied at the University of Brussels and graduated with a degree in literature and philosophy. He immediately began teaching classes at the seminary in Antelias, as well as at the Hovagimian-Manoogian School in Beirut. From 1952 to 1956, he served in the Chancellery of the See of the Great House of Cilicia.

From 1960 to 1994 he was a member of the Brotherhood of Saint James of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem. In 1965, His Holiness Vasken I, Catholicos of All Armenians, consecrated him a bishop. During his years of service in Jerusalem, he held the positions of Chancellor and Properties Manager for the Patriarchate.

Archbishop Shahé contributed numerous works to “Sion” the official monthly of the Patriarchate, focusing on research dedicated to religion, history, science and philosophy. In 1982, he established the Armenian Bible Centre on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, with its emphasis on research on the Armenian translation of the Bible and Armenian Church canons.

He was a member of the Supreme Spiritual Council of the Armenian Church from 1975 to 1985. He also participation in the activities of the Armenian Church and the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin through his involvement in ecclesiastical-organizational matters, the expansion and strengthening of international ties, preaching and ministry, as well as his lectures at the Gevorkian and Vaskenian Theological Seminaries of the Mother See.

In 1994, he moved to Armenia and in 1995 he established the Theological Faculty at Yerevan State University. His Eminence was renowned for his scientific-pedagogical activities and was the author of numerous articles and papers.

Father Samaan Anba-Boula died on 22 August 2005.

He was priest of St. George & St. Athanasios Church in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Son of the late Dr. Maurice Iskander & Dr. Leila Fahmy Suriel, he had begun his service as a deacon and Sunday School teacher in St. Mary’s Church, Ayad Bek in Shoubra (Cairo) and then in the youth meetings at St. George’s Church in Ismailia. He was professed a monk at St. Paul’s monastery on 19 September 1997 and was ordained priest by Pope Shenouda on 13 August 2002. He moved to work with His Grace Bishop Antony in England on 16 September 2002. His funeral service at Newcastle was followed by his burial at St. Paul’s Monastery on 26 August.

He was also greatly loved by members of the British Orthodox Church. Following his death Abba Seraphim wrote to His Grace Bishop Anttony,

“It was with profound sorrow that I learnt this morning of the death of Father Samaan Anba Boula and I hasten to offer Your Grace, with the clergy & faithful of your diocese, my sincere condolences on the death of such a fine monk and priest.

It was my pleasure to know Father Samaan before he came to take up a ministry in the United Kingdom and I was impressed by the warmth of his spirit, the breadth of his intellect and his commitment to God. It was, therefore, with real pleasure that I learned that he was working in Your Grace’s diocese and that I heard that he had quickly established good working relations with my clergy in the north of England. Sadly, my visit to St. Athanasius Monastery, planned in February, had to be postponed because of the severe weather and the first intimations of Father Samaan’s illness which delayed his return to England. Since we learned of his sickness he has been fervently upheld in my prayers and in all the churches of the British Orthodox Church.

It is now our melancholy duty to pray for his eternal repose but this task is lightened by our assurance in the mercy and goodness of a loving Creator and the knowledge that Father Samaan ran the good race and lived a life worthy of his calling and ministry. He remains for us all – whether clergy or faithful – a good example and will abide a precious memory of a faithful monk and priest. Memory Eternal !”

The Reverend Professor Otto Friedrich August Meinardus died at Ellerau, Germany, on 18 September 2005 aged 79 years.

Born in Hamburg on 29 September 1925 Otto Meinardus attended the County High School in Hamburg before studying philosophy at the Metropolitan University. He was ordained a Methodist minister in 1950, during the time when he was studying for his doctorate at King’s College, London and Harvard. In 1954 he underwent ordination as a pastor in the Lutheran Church. During his tenure as Associate Professor and later as Professor of Philosophy at the American University in Cairo (1856-1968) he came into close contact with the Coptic Orthodox Church. He was an active member of the Society for Coptic Archaeology and his Christian Egypt Ancient and Modern (1965) was a model of the detailed and authoritative scholarship which was to be a feature of everything he wrote. This was shortly followed by Monks and Monasteries of the Egyptian Desert (1961), In the Steps of the Holy Family from Bethlehem to Upper Egypt (1963) Copts in Jerusalem (1960)and Christian Egypt Faith and Life (1970), The Holy Family in Egypt (1986), The Historic Coptic Churches of Cairo (1994) and his Two Thousand Years of Coptic Christianity (1999) in addition to numerous carefully researched articles on Coptic saints, tradition in various learned journals. A comparison of his books shows the considerable advances made during the last years of the papacy of Pope Kyrillos VI and the momentous years of Pope Shenouda’s papacy. He became a friend of Pope Shenouda in 1959 and visited him in his cave in 1960. He was highly respected and much loved by Copts everywhere for his “loving spirit.” His last visit to Egypt was only a few months before his death when he attended one of the Pope’s Wednesday evening meetings and was warmly greeted by him.

He also served as Honorary Professor at University of Hamburg 1996-2004. In 1951 he married Elschen Doescher, who died in 1984, by whom he had a son and a daughter). In 1996 he married Eva Zimmermann

His Eminence Mor Yulius Yeshu Çiçek, Syriac-Orthodox Archbishop of Mid-Europe and the Netherlands, died in Germany on 30 October 2005 aged 64 years.

M or Julius Yeshu Çiçek was born on 1 January 1941 in Upper Kafro, in Tur Abdin ( Turkey), to Qashisho Barsawmo and Bath-Qyomo Sayde. At the age of nine he went to seminary at Deyr-ul-Za’faran, where he studied Syriac, Turkish, Arabic and Theology. He was ordained a deacon in 1958, and became a secretary to the late Metropolitan Mor Philoxenos Hanna Dolabani. Later he joined the monastery of Mor Cyriacus in the region Bsheriye (Bitlis) to administer pastoral service and engaged in a mission to seek Syriac and Armenian Christians, who survived the genocide of 1915 at the hands of the Turks.

In 1960 he was made a novice monk in the monastery of Mor Gabrieland embraced an ascetic life. He taught in the theological seminary at Mor Gabriel and copied many books with an excellent hand. When Fr. Shabo Guenes, the abbot of the monastery retired in 1962, Fr. Yeshue Çiçek was chosen as abbot of the monastery. In 1969, Mor Iwannis Ephrem Bilgic, the Bishop of Tur Abdin, ordained him a priest. Between 1973 and 1974, Yeshu Çiçek lived in Damascus, in the Seminary of Mor Ephrem at Atshane in Lebanon and in the Holy land. Then he came to Germany, where learned the German language and ministered to the Syrians of the diaspora. At the request of the Metropolitan of America, Mor Athanasius Yeshue Samuel, Dayroyo Yeshu` Çiçek was in the United States from 1975-77, learning English and ministering to the Syriac Orthodox faithful there. In 1977, he returned to Europe and settled in Holland at Hengelo.

In the same year the Holy Synod chose him as the Patriarchal Vicar for the new diocese of Central Europe. He constructed a hall for a new Syriac Orthodox church of St. John the Evangelist, which was consecrated by the late Patriarch Mor Ignatius Ya`qub III. In 1978, Dayroyo Yeshu began publishing Kolo Suryoyo, the news magazine of Syriac Orthodox diocese of Central Europe.

In 1979, the Patriarch Ya`qub III consecrated Dayroyo Yeshu` Çiçek in Hengelo as Archbishop of the Syrian orthodox diocese of Central Europe, with the name Mor Yulius. In 1984, Mor Yulius acquired Dayro d-Mor Ephrem at Losser, Netherlands, which became the seat of the archbishop. Under the able guidance of His Eminence, the Central Europe diocese has flourished.

The last rites for the late Archbishop were held on 5 November, 2005, at noon, at the Mor Ephrem monastery in Losser. The mortal remains were laid to rest in the episcopal tomb in the Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Mary, below the sanctuary, where also rests the late Archbishop Mor Athanasius Samuel of North America.

His Eminence Archbishop Yesehaq , of the independent Ethiopian Archdiocese of the Western Hemisphere, died in Newark, New Jersey, on 29 December 2005 aged 72 years.

Born Laike Mandefro, in Adwa, Ethiopia, on 21 June 1933 to devout Ethiopian Orthodox Christian parents, Grazmach Mandefro and Woizero Wolete Meskel. He began his education in Ethiopia in Church schools and monasteries when he was very young. He was ordained monk and priest when he completed his traditional church education. Later he obtained a diploma from Holy Trinity Theological College in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He taught religious and moral education in Ethiopia for many years. In 1979 he was appointed by Abune Tekle Haimanot, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and by the late Emperor Haile Selassie as Archbishop of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in the Western Hemisphere, covering the Caribbean Islands, USA and Canada.

He first settled in Buffalo but later moved to New York City to continue his divinity studies, obtaining a Master of Religious Education (MRE) from New York Theological Seminary, and a Master of Systematic Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary.

Archbishop Yesehaq was interested in reaching out to the African Diaspora and devoted much of his efforts to this cause. During his decades of service to Ethiopian exiles and western-born Africans, he established some 77 churches representing a membership of over 300,000 in various countries, including Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, the Virgin Islands, Guyana, Bermuda and South Africa. Among the 55,000 people he baptized included the Reggae star, Bob Marley. He ordained over 200 priests and taught the church language of Ge’ez to its many followers.

The overthrow and assassination of Emperor Haile Selassie in the 1970s and the years of political turmoil that followed led to ecclesiastical divisions. In the early 1990s Archbishop Yesehaq declared the Western Hemisphere branch independent of Addis Ababa rather than accept the pre-eminence of a new patriarch, Abuna Paoulos. In the dispute over the authority of the two prelates, adherents of Archbishop Abuna Yesehaq clung to their own interpretation of canon law and continued to follow him instead of the patriarch in Addis Ababa.

Abune Yesehaq was the author of several booklets, papers, articles and books. Two books are worthy of a special mention: The Liturgy of Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (in Geez, Amharic and English), and The Ethiopian Tewahedo Church: An Integrally African Church, published in 1989 and republished in paperback in March 2005.

He was initially buried at St. Michael Ethiopian Orthodox Cathedral, in Garland, Texas, but on 19 January his remains were transferred to the Holy Trinity Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Cathedral, in Kingston, Jamaica, which is still under construction in Kingston, Jamaica. This was attended by scores of mourners, including politicians and members of the Rastafarian community, turned out to pay their respects.

Among those who paid glowing tributes to the late archbishop’s life and work during the service of thanksgiving at the National Arena, Kingston, were Dr Peter Phillips, the national security minister, Bruce Golding, the opposition leader, Portia Simpson Miller, the local government minister, and Rev Ashley Smith from the United Theological College of the West Indies.The Attorney General, AJ Nicholson, represented the prime minister.

Phillips, a former Rastafarian whom Abuna Yesehaq baptized, told the gathering that he had passed on a request to Kingston Mayor Desmond McKenzie for a road in the Maxfield Park area to be renamed in the late archbishop’s honour.

“It is a tribute to his love for us…his love for the people of Jamaica and the people of the western hemisphere, but it is a special tribute that he does for us when he wished that out of all the countries in the western hemisphere which he served, he wished for his remains to be here in Jamaica,” Phillips explained.

“Jamaica was not his birthplace, but he made it his workplace. He was a righteous man, emissary of His Imperial Majesty who sent him to us 36 years ago to establish and provide leadership. He faced many difficulties, he had to contend with religious prejudice and bigotry from other faiths which believed that they had exclusive claim to authenticity and prophetic authority. He confronted these difficulties with humility but with forceful dignity and steadfast faith,” added the opposition leader, Bruce Golding.

His Holiness Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Mathews II , former Catholicos of the East, Malankara Metropolitan, and 89th successor to the Holy Apostolic Throne of St. Thomas died at Devalokam Aramana on 26 January 2006 aged 91 years.

He was born on 30 Jan1915 at Kollam Perinad as the eldest son of Puthusserazhikathu Puthenveetil Idikkula and Annamma. He was ordained deacon in 1938 and priest in 1941, he was noted for his prayerful life and spiritual leadership. He had his religious training at the Kottayam Old Seminary and later at Basil Dayara, Pathanamthitta. He stiudied for his Bachelor of Divinity (BD) at the famous Bishop’s College in Calcutta before taking advanced theological studies at the General Theological Seminary, New York.

At the young age of thirty eight, on 15 May, 1953, he was ordained as Metropolitan of the Diocese of Kollam. On 1 May, 1980, the Malankara Syrian Christian Association which met at the M D Seminary, selected him as the successor to the throne of Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan. Later on 29 April, 1991 he was anointed as the Catholocos of the Church at Paumala Seminary.

He founded a number of monasteries and schools, including He also founded Bethlahem Ashram (Chengamanad), Kalvary Ashram (Pattazhy), Carmel Dayara (Kallada), St. George (Chayalodu), Mar Gregorios Dayara (Kottarakara), Mar Gregorios Dayara (Kuttikonam), St. Thomas (shooranadu), Mount Horeb Dayara (Sashthamkotta) – where he was buried. He also founded Convents for nuns: St. Mary’s (Adoor), Gathsimon (Adichanallur), Mar Basil (Kottarakkara), Baslel (Shooranadu), as well as St. Thomas boys home (Shastamkotta), Shantibhavan (Thalavur) and St. Macrina Shanthi Bhavan (Kottarakkara)

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