On February 16, 2021, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II presided over the Holy Qurobo celebrated by His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Archbishop of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Environs, at St. Georges Patriarchal Cathedral in Bab Touma – Damascus, on the occasion of the end of his ministry as Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus.
The Holy Qurobo was attended by His Beatitude Patriarch John X, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, and their Eminences Archbishops: Mor Boutros Kassis, Patriarchal Assistant and Patriarchal Delegate in Aleppo, Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Jazeerah and Euphrates, Mor Anthimos Jack Yacoub, Patriarchal Vicar for Youth Affairs and Christian Education, Mor Yacoub Babawi, Patriarchal Vicar for Monks Affairs and Administration of St. Aphrem Theological Seminary in Maarat Saydnaya, Armenian Orthodox Archbishop of Damascus Armash Nalbandian, Greek Orthodox Patriarchal Vicar Bishop Aphrem Maalouli, Greek Orthodox Patriarchal Assistant Archbishop Mousa Al-Khoury, Mgr. Philipo representing the Apostolic Nuncio in Damascus His Eminence Cardinal Mario Zenari, Greek Catholic General Patriarchal Vicar of Damascus Mgr Nicolas Antipa, Syriac Catholic Archbishop of Damascus Mor Youhanna Jihad Battah, and Maronite Archbishop of Damascus His Excellency Mgr. Samir Nassar.
In his sermon, His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury remembered the different stages of his ministry in Damascus, which started over 20 years ago when he took his monastic vows, then became a Patriarchal Secretary, then was consecrated Archbishop. He described how the Lord supported him with His grace in all these stages and helped him fulfill his duties. He pointed out to the words of our Lord Jesus Christ that when we do what is expected from us, we are unworthy servants. He then spoke about his motto in his episcopal ministry, namely to be all for everyone. He spoke how he applied this motto which was inspired from the words of St. Paul during his ministry to the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus and its institutions, and how the love and cooperation of others were a strong support for him at all times. His Eminence thanked all those who were present in this special occasion and asked them to pray for him asking the Lord to bless his ministry in the Archdiocese of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Environs. He especially thanked His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II for his fatherly love and his trust as well as his constant support and encouragement. His Eminence assured that he learned a lot from His Holiness and gained a huge spiritual and administrative experience which will help him in his new ministry. He thanked once more the Divine Grace and prayed that the Lord bless his talents for the good of the Archdiocese he will be serving.
His Beatitude Patriarch John X offered His Eminence an icon as a tribute for his dedicated service in Damascus.
After the Holy Qurobo, His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury received the faithful who congratulated him and wished him the best in his new ministry.