Cardinal Nichols has sent a letter to His Beatitude Ignatius Joseph III Yonan, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East of the Syriacs, offering his prayers and best wishes for the Episcopal Ordination of Mgr Nizar Semaan as Coadjutor Archbishop for the Diocese of Mosul, 7 June 2019.
It is with great pleasure that I address this message to you and to all who are taking part in this historic Episcopal Ordination of Mgr Nizar Semaan as your Coadjutor Archbishop for the Diocese of Mosul. I greet all who are present in the Church of the Immaculate, Qaraqosh, which bears so movingly the marks of the suffering and destruction of recent decades.
I write to assure you all of my prayers and those of the Diocese of Westminster and of all Catholics in England and Wales. From our visits to your lands, and through the careful following of all that has taken place, the Christians of your region, and especially our brothers and sisters of the Syriac Catholic Church, have a very special place in our hearts. Today we pray for you, for your peace and for your future which will ask of you all a greatness of heart.
Today we pray most earnestly for your new Archbishop Nizar Semaan. He is known and loved by so many here in England. We will miss his presence, for he has ministered amongst us for fourteen years, winning our respect and affection.
Dear Archbishop, it is most moving to think that today you are ordained a bishop in the very church in which you were ordained a priest all those years ago! Your heart, and those of your family, friends, fellow priests and people, must be full of emotion. The Lord has called you back to your home because he has plans for you, not plans that we invent or dream, but his will, written from all eternity and sure in its design and outcomes, if only we hand over ourselves to him. I am sure you will strive, each day, to do just that!
Today, I join you in earnest prayer to our heavenly Father that he will protect you all, guide you to rebuild his Church, in your hearts, in your homes and in your churches, with generosity towards all. Dear Archbishop, may God bless you always!
Cardinal Vincent Nichols
Archbishop of Westminster