Toronto Archbishop Zora to lead new Chaldean eparchy

Toronto Archbishop Zora to lead new Chaldean eparchy

By  Catholic News Service
  • June 10, 2011

>VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI has erected a new Chaldean Catholic eparchy in Toronto and named Archbishop Hanna Zora, who has worked with Catholics in Toronto for nearly 20 years, as its head.

The new eparchy, or diocese, will be known as the Eparchy of Mar Addai.

In making the announcement, the Vatican said there are 38,000 Chaldean Catholics in Canada. Archbishop Zora, 74, and four priests have been involved in the pastoral care of Toronto-area Catholics, the largest community.

On May 28, Chaldean Catholic officials consecrated Good Shepherd Chaldean Church in Toronto.

Led by Archbishop Zora, the growing Toronto Chaldean community rented out churches and parish halls to celebrate Mass before the construction of the church in 2001. Masses were held in the parish hall, however, until 2009, when the church was partially consecrated, meaning that Mass could be celebrated in the parish but that an official consecration was still required.

Archbishop Zora was born in Batnaia, Iraq, March 15, 1939. He was ordained in 1962 and worked in various Iraqi parishes before being transferred to Iran in 1969.

He worked in the Chaldean Archdiocese of Ahwaz, and in 1974 was elected archbishop of Ahwaz, while remaining an Iraqi citizen. He worked on developing buildings for local Catholics to use. During the Iran-Iraq war, he established a special aid station for the injured.

In February 1987, he left Iran for advanced studies in Rome. He studied canon law at the Pontifical Urbanian University. He also studied at the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies and the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music.

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