Celebrating Our Church’s 50th Anniversary

Celebrating Our Church’s 50th Anniversary

50 Years ago, this spring, our Paramus sanctuary ­– The Assyrian Church of the Virgin Mary – was born. In a filled Consecration Ceremony on April 7, 1968 our founding church leaders and parishioners celebrated Holy Liturgy for the first time in the church that we call home today.

Beginning with prayers and hymns, readings from Exodus, the Second Book of Samuel, Isaiah, the First Epistle of St. John, Hebrews and the Gospel of St. Matthew, the Consecration Ceremony was led by Mar Athanasius Y.  Samuel and attending clergy, including Father John Khoury. It was followed by The Divine Liturgy, with both services conducted in Aramaic, much like we do today.

It was a long time coming. With its roots planted in 1915 in West Hoboken, NJ, the first Assyrian Orthodox church took its name from the church in Diyarbakir, Turkey. Parishioners were predominantly from that region at the time.

With the congregation growing, St. Mary’s had to look for larger quarters and, in April 1927, the parishioners finished building a new church at the corner of 62nd St. and Monroe Place in West New York.

40 years later, the cornerstone for today’s church was laid, and services were conducted under our church’s iconic roof only a year later.

As part of our 50th Anniversary, the Board of Trustees invite everyone in the diaspora – especially our Virgin Mary parishioners – to take time to remember our roots, meditate with appreciation for the blessings that God has granted us with this church over the years, and gratitude for the labors of those before us who made this church what it is today.

Join us in reliving history as you enjoy this photo gallery from our Church’s archives. Help us make our new website a living historical recording for our church. If you have photos or stories you want to share about what this church means to you, please contact us, or visit any board member at the office after Sunday services.


Board of Trustees

Official Program of the Consecration Ceremony on April 7, 1967

Groundbreaking ceremonies on Sunday, March 12, 1967

Scenes from the construction of the church and church hall

Laying of the church cornerstone on Sunday, Sept. 17, 1967, with (from left) board of trustees president Thomas Esehak; Rev. John Khoury, pastor; and His Eminence, Mar Athanasius Samuel, the Assyrian Orthodox Archbishop of the U.S. and Canada (right)

Scenes from the consecration ceremonies on April 7, 1968

The St. Mary’s board of trustees and board of elders when the church opened in 1968

The St. Mary’s building committee, responsible for the construction of the Paramus church and hall


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