The Life of a Young Bishop
Bishop Mar Shimun Daniel was consecrated just this year on September 26th, 2021, at the age of 30 years old. He is a Bishop for the Diocese of Baghdad, and his birth name is Daniel De-qash Timatious.
His excellency belongs to the Assyrian Church of the East, also called the Ancient Church of the East. Being a Christian Bishop from Iraq has its challenges, being that most of the country is Muslim.
The Assyrian Church of the East differs from the Catholic Church in many ways. The Ancient Church of the East still celebrates masses in a dialect of Aramaic, Jesus’ native language.
Some Christian denominations here in the States celebrate all or parts of their mass in Latin, and celebrating the mass in Jesus’ native language is very special and largely unheard of here in the states.
Fairly recently, in 1968, the Assyrian Church of the East split into two denominations. His Grace Mar Shimun Daniel says he just wants peace between the two sects and wants everyone to get along. Preferably, he says, the separation would end and the church would come back together again.
Obviously, being a Godly man is important to Bishop Mar Shimun Daniel. Being a Bishop at 30 surely has its challenges, but he continues to do his job in hopes that the separation in his church will cease and he can bring people together through God.
Why Mar Shimun (Peter)?
“Mar Shumun” means “Peter rock of the church”.
Bishop Daniel chose this name because Jesus told Peter that he was the rock on which Jesus would build His church.
Bishop Daniel says that he would like to be like Peter, someone whom people can go to for help and guidance in their faiths.
Peter’s mission was to lead the disciples of Jesus and those wanting to follow Jesus after He ascended into heaven. He was meant to bring the apostles together and show them how to be great leaders.
Simon Peter’s mission was to lead people and guide them in their faith, and Bishop Daniel has said that he wants to help people in the church, specifically children and teens, grow in their faith and love for God, just as Peter did.
Peter was also regarded as the first Pope, so one can tell that Mar Shimun has lofty goals for his future and that he aspires to touch people’s hearts and be as influential as Simon Peter once was.
Jesus trusted Peter enough to say that He was going to build his church on Peter, and Bishop Daniel is clearly inspired by this sentiment.
Visiting Bethlehem Handicrafts
Bishop Mar Shimun Daniel (left) visited our store in Aurora recently. Here, you can see the 30-year-old bishop with owner George Bannoura (right) standing in our store in front of one of the largest crosses we have.
His Grace was in Colorado for a few days on a personal trip, and we invited him to stop by and say hello. We had coffee, and he was exceptionally kind, answering any questions we had about his amazing devotion to God.
It was clear to us that Mar Shimun Daniel was clearly a humble man who valued his position as Bishop and sought to make his country a better place for everyone living in it.