Mourning the loss of a great shepherd
- The first Archbishop of the Syriac Orthodox Church in Central
Europe, H.E. Mor Yulius Yeshu` Çiçek (63) passed away early in the
morning today, while on a visit to Germany. His Eminence was
consecrated Metropolitan of Central Europe in 1979 and was among the
senior-most bishops of the Church. In the 1970s when Christians
found it impossible to continue in their ancient homeland in South
East Turkey and emigrated to Europe enmass, it was Mor Yulius Çiçek
who shepherded the community in Europe and organized the
archdiocese. During the twenty-six years of his archbishopric, the
Church in Europe achieved remarkable growth.
Due to his efforts, the Church now has three large monasteries in
Europe--at Losser, near Enschede in the Netherlands, in Arth,
Switzerland, and in Warburg, Germany. Several parishes were formed
throughout Europe--nearly 50 in Germany and several others in the
Netherlands, in Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, England and
France, among others. In the monasteries he founded, Mor Yulius
established monastic schools which trained the clergy and faithful
in the new diaspora in the traditions of the Church.
Mor Yulius made very significant scholarly contributions to the
Church through the Bar Hebraeus Publishing House at Losser which
published about 100 books related to the Syriac Orthodox liturgy,
Bible, history, etc., in Syriac and in European languages, as well
as periodicals such as the "Kolo Suryoyo". His Eminence was also an
eminent calligrapher who continued the ancient Syriac Orthodox
tradition of liturgical manuscript production as a monastic vocation.
Mor Yulius was an effective ambassador of the church to the European
Churches. He participated in Ecumenical dialogues with the Catholic
Church at the Pro Oriente and accompanied HH Patriarch during his
historic visit to Rome in 1984, where the Joint Declaration with
Pope John Paul II was signed. He participated in the Pro-Oriente
dialogues with the Catholic Church. The strong relationships with
churches and governments in Europe came to be of much benefit for
the Syriac Orthodox Church. Syriac is today recognized as a language
included in the approved list of languages that can be taught in
schools in countries Sweden and in Austria.
Mor Çiçek is a Syriac father that Malankara can never forget. During
times of hardship for the faithful in Malankara Mor Çiçek visited
them many many times to offer succour and strength. His Eminence can
be considered the founding father of the Theological Seminary of the
Church that now flourishes in Udayagiri. He contributed about Rs. 40
lakhs--the largest contribution that made the founding of the
seminary possible in 1988. He continued to take much interest in the
growth of this institution till his end. The Church in Malankara
will be indebted to him forever.
Despite his strenuous schedule, Mor Yulius always found time to stay
abreast of the struggles of the faithful in Malankara. He was a
regular reader of the Syrian Orthodox Church-Malankara Forum (SOCM-
Forum). Many from Malankara, both clergy and laity, were warmly
received by His Eminence at his monastery in Holland. His Eminence
maintained warm relationships with many late and current bishops of
the Church in Malankara including late Catholicos Mor Baselius
Paulose II and the present Catholicos H.B. Mor Baselius Thomas I.
In the untimely passing away of this great luminary, the faithful of
the Syriac Orthodox diaspora in Europe, in Malankara and all over
the world have indeed lost a true shepherd.
"l-kohnayk aneeH baynoth keené bro daloho
b-hoy malkootho d-lo meshtaryo ‛am qadeeshé."
"O Son of God, grant rest to the priests among the just
in that indestructible kingdom, with the holy ones."
» Biography - http://sor.cua.edu/Personage/Suryoyo/MYuliusYCicek.html
» Mor Ephrem Dayro, Losser -
» A Journal of a Visit to Mor Ephrem Dayro -
» Mor Awgen Dayro, Arth, Switzerland -
» Mor Ya`qub of Sarugh Dayro, Warburg, Germany -