St. Thomas Pontifical University – Cardinal Newman Society

Cardinal Newman Society pic

Cardinal Newman Society

After being ordained a parish priest in Toronto, Canada, and consecrated a bishop for Western United States Ashur Soro attended the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, where he earned a master’s degree in theology in 1991. Ashur Soro also attended St. Thomas Pontifical University in Rome, Italy, earning a licentiate and doctoral degree in sacred theology in 2000.

St. Thomas Pontifical University includes a number of programs and organizations to help further Catholic education around the world, including the Cardinal Newman Society, an organization that is designed to promote faith-based education beginning at the kindergarten through 12th grade.

The Cardinal Newman Society features programs such as the Catholic School Curriculum standards and the Recruit Me program, designed for high school students who would like to receive information and be recruited by Catholic colleges to further the student’s education. The Recruit Me program is designed to encourage Catholic colleges to compete with each other, helping students obtain the best possible benefits for their college education.


Italian Cuisine – More than Pizza and Pasta

Ribollita pic


Appointed the Titular Bishop of Foraziana at the Chaldean Catholic Diocese of Saint Peter the Apostle, Ashur Soro continues to minister to his congregation in El Cajon, California. In his free time, Ashur Soro enjoys cooking and has a preference for Italian food.

Italian cuisine offers much more than pizza and pasta. Below are a few examples of the variety available in Italian food:

Ribollita. Dating back to the Middle Ages and originally considered a poor man’s food, ribollita is a Tuscan stew made of beans and vegetables and thickened with bread.

Osso buco. Consisting of veal shanks slowly braised in white wine, the dish is served with a variety of vegetables and topped with gremolata, a condiment consisting of garlic, lemon zest, and parsley.

Arancini. Deep-fried rice balls stuffed with mozzarella and peas, fillings may also include bechamel or ragu sauce.

Catholic University of America Receives Donation of Ethiopian Scrolls


Catholic University of America pic

Catholic University of America

In 2014, Pope Francis appointed Ashur Soro as Titular Bishop of Foraziana at the Chaldean Catholic Diocese of Saint Peter the Apostle. Ashur Soro holds a doctorate in theology from St. Thomas Pontifical University in Rome and a master’s degree in systematic theology from the Catholic University of America.

On December 19, 2016, the Catholic University of America announced it had received a donation of Ethiopian manuscripts from Gerald and Barbara Weiner, two collectors in Chicago. The manuscripts date back to the 17th and 18th Centuries and include more than 215 Islamic manuscripts and 125 Christian manuscripts. The collection also includes more than 350 magic scrolls – personalized prayer scrolls designed to be rolled into amulets and placed on a person’s neck to help with specific ailments, such as fatigue and headaches.

Gerald Werner chose the Catholic University of America as the recipient of the donation as a result of its commitment to Ethiopian studies. To learn more about the donation, visit

Pope Supports Preservation of Cultural Heritage


 Pope Francis pic

Pope Francis

A bishop of the Assyrian Church of the East, Bishop Ashur Soro later decided to join the Catholic church due to his overwhelming belief. In 2014, Pope Francis appointed Bishop Ashur Soro titular bishop of Foraziana. Bishop Ashur Soro resides in the Chaldean Catholic Diocese of Saint Peter the Apostle. Both the Assyrian Church and the Chaldean Catholic Church have experienced destruction of their cultural heritage in the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq.

In late November 2016, Pope Francis voiced his support for an international event held last December 2-3, 2016, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Conference was organized by the UAE and France under the patronage of UNESCO. The aim of the event is for the preservation and protection of mankind’s endangered cultural heritage from the devastation brought about by armed conflict.

In attendance at various sessions of the two-day conference were foreign heads of states, prime ministers, and UAE leaders. The worldwide gathering brought together more than 40 countries that have experienced heritage loss due to conflict as well as important figures involved in world heritage protection.

At its conclusion, the conference produced the Abu Dhabi Declaration, in which a statement included support for a $100 million international fund to help finance emergency and preventive measures to combat illegal trade of cultural artifacts. The fund will also be used to assist in restoring damaged cultural property.

Catholic University of America – Catholic News Service

Catholic News Service pic

Catholic News Service

After serving as a parish priest at the Assyrian Church of the East in Toronto, Ontario, Ashur Soro attended the Catholic University of America in 1991 where he received his MA in theology also Ashur Soro attended St. Thomas Pontifical University in Rome, Italy, where he received a doctorate in sacred theology in 2000.

Located in Washington D.C., the Catholic University of America is associated with several programs that promote the Catholic way of life, including the Catholic News Service (CNS). Reporting information that is relevant to Catholics around the world, CNS has been providing professional journalistic articles and reports since 1920.

Founded by bishops within the United States, CNS offers news reports in various formats including online, videos, magazines, newsletters, and newspapers. The CNS documentary service provides texts and data from the English speaking world as well as Vatican resources. Information is available in both a core package and a premier package format.

What Is a Titular See?

Ashur Soro

Ashur Soro

After serving as the Bishop of the Western U.S. of the Assyrian Church of the East and attempting to bring the Assyrian Church back into full communion with the Catholic Church, Bishop Ashur Soro joined the Catholic Church himself, along with 3 priests, more than 30 deacons and subdeacons, and about 3,000 laypeople. In January 2014, Pope Francis appointed Ashur Soro the bishop of the titular see of Foraziana, in the service of the Chaldean Catholic Diocese of Saint Peter the Apostle.

A titular see refers to a formerly flourishing diocese of the Catholic Church that died out or no longer remains active, often due to government restriction or foreign occupation. These dioceses lack clergy as well as a congregation.

The head of the Catholic Church, the Pope, reserves jurisdiction over titular sees for himself. Often, the Pope appoints a bishop to serve as the head of a titular see when the bishop has no diocese of his own. The titular bishop then serves his see by the delegated authority and jurisdiction of the Pope.

A bishop who receives a titular see need not live in that diocese. He will frequently reside elsewhere, performing some administrative or ecclesiastical service for the Vatican, while retaining the title of titular bishop as a sign of his leadership.

The Role of the Vicar General in the Catholic Church

Ashur Soro

Ashur Soro

Ashur Soro has served as the titular bishop of Foraziana and a vicar general for the Chaldean Catholic Diocese of Saint Peter the Apostle in El Cajon, California, since January 2014. As a vicar general, Ashur Soro is the principle representative of the Diocesan Bishop at parishes throughout his diocese.

Vicar generals rank directly below bishops in the overall hierarchy of the Catholic Church. These church leaders are mostly priests, but also bishops, who serve on behalf of the diocesan bishop to support both clergy and members of each parish. There are some restrictions on what vicar generals can do; the canon law of the Catholic Church assigns some specific tasks that are the sole responsibility of bishops.

Generally speaking, there is only one vicar general appointed for any Catholic diocese or archdiocese, and there are strict qualifications that individuals must meet in order to fill this role. The requirements include being 25 years old, being knowledgeable in canon law, and having no blood relationship with the bishop of their diocese.