The Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, Mar Awa III, visited Major Archbishop Cardinal George Alencherry at the Major Archiepiscopal Curia, Mount St. Thomas, in Kochi Kerala.
Cardinal George Alencherry along with the Synod of Bishops and the members of the Curia extended a grand welcome to the Patriarch.
Mar Awgin Kuriakose, the newly ordained Metropolitan Archbishop, and other Archbishops and trustees of the Assyrian Church of the East accompanied the Patriarch.
Mar Awa III gave a benedictory message to the synod of bishops of the Syro-Malabar Church.
The Major Archbishop thanked him for his visit to the Major Archiepiscopal curia and presented the Icon of St. Thomas as a token of appreciation.
Mar Awa is the first Western-born Catholicos-Patriarch and the first American-born Bishop of the Assyrian Church of the East.
On 8 September 2021, the Holy Synod elected Mar Awa Royel, then Bishop of California and Secretary of the Holy Synod, to succeed Mar Gewargis III as the 122nd Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East.
He was consecrated and enthroned as Catholicos-Patriarch on 13 September 2021, on the Feast of the Holy Cross, in the Cathedral Church of St. John the Baptist in Erbil, Iraq, and assumed the ecclesiastical name Mar Awa III.
A first-generation Assyrian-American, David Royel was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1975. He was ordained priest in 1999 and made Bishop on 30 November 2008, taking the name Mar Awa Royel - in Assyrian, Awa means father.
As Bishop, Mar Awa has made many attempts to raise awareness for the plight of the persecuted Christians of the Middle East.
The Assyrian Catholic Church of the East is officially headquartered in the city of Erbil, in northern Iraq, with an estimated 385,000 adherents in Iraq and a total number of one million members in 3 Archdioceses and 12 dioceses worldwide.
The church also has an archdiocese located in India, known as the Chaldean Syrian Church of India.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.