Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch

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Dr. Kathleen McVay of Princeton University And students Visit St. Mark’s Cathedral

Dr. Kathleen McVay, professor of Syriac Studies at Princeton University, along with ten of her students focusing on Syriac Studies attended the Holy Liturgy on Sunday March 17 at St. Mark’s Cathedral. His Eminence Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim was the celebrant assisted by Rev. Fr. Joseph Chamoun and Rev. Fr. Eli Shabo.

Dr. McVay, a faculty member at Princeton University and a renowned Syriac Scholar, on several occasions, afforded her students the opportunity to experience, first hand, our Syriac Orthodox Church in terms of liturgical service, hymns, theology and history. His Eminence Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim accredited Dr. McVay for her concerted efforts in providing a clearer understanding of our rich tradition and heritage to her university students. The Archbishop said often “our own people lose sight and many times are oblivious and unaware, often taking for granted the richness of their own church, faith and heritage.” He continued by encouraging the students to aspire to becoming scholars in this field of study. The Archbishop assured Dr. McVay of his delight in these visits and in what he sees as slowly becoming a very positive and welcomed annual tradition.

The guests and the rest of the congregation also heard the Patriarchal encyclical which is read in all our churches world-wide at the beginning of lent. The encyclical was delivered by Ewengeloyo Dr. George Kiraz. The Sunday service also included the special prayer of forgiveness (Shubkono) which is conducted just prior to the beginning of lent. This service exhorts everyone to begin the Lenten season with a clean heart and mind.

Immediately after the Holy Liturgy, Dr. McVay and her students joined the parish and His Eminence for lunch after which they had a private audience with the Archbishop in the Archdiocesan Complex.

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