Iraqi Refugee is Ordained as Priest in Anglican Church

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By Manuella Lamorena , Christian Post Contributor
In a historic event, an Iraqi refugee who became a Chaldean Catholic priest has been ordained into the Anglican Church.
(PHOTO: PIXABAY)A church hymnal inside an Anglican Church.

Fr. Ayoob Shawkat Adwar is the first priest from the Chaldean Catholic Church to ever be ordained into the Church of England.

He received his priestly orders from the Bishop of New Westminster Melissa Skelton at the Church of Epiphany in Surrey on March 26.

Adwar was born in Mosul, Iraq and spent time in the war-torn nation as a Chaldean priest after his ordination in 2008. When fighting erupted in the city, his family decided to leave and seek refuge elsewhere outside Iraq.

His family came to Canada in 2012 and he himself followed in 2014 when his refugee status was approved, said the Anglican Journal.

His first encounter with the Anglican Church started way before that. He came to know the Anglican faith while travelling and studying in Rome for his Masters in Social Pedagogy.

In Canada, some Chaldean Catholics soon attended the Sunday services in the Church of Epiphany. Eventually church members from the Anglican and Chaldean began to know and understand more about each other’s beliefs and traditions.

Bishop Skelton allowed a Chaldean Rite Mass to be held in the Church of Epiphany every week until February 2017.

Adwar eventually learned more about the Anglican faith and soon expressed his desire in serving as one of the church’s priests. He began a discernment process and was confirmed as an Anglican in 2016.

His ordination into the Anglican priesthood was attended by an estimated 250 people, wrote the Diocese of New Westminster on its website. Majority of those who were present were Chaldean Catholics who gave their support to Adwar.

After the ceremony, he addressed the crown in both English and Arabic, two languages he is fluent in, to express his appreciation.

He will serve as a new curate in the Diocese of New Westminster and will be under the tutelage of a seasoned Anglican priest.