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Editor-in-chief: His Holiness Pope Shenouda III
Thirty Fifth Year
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Friday 26th January 2007 18th Touba 1723
Epiphany Feast in Alexandria
HH the Pope prayed the Divine Liturgy of the Glorious Epiphany Feast in St. Mark's Grand Church in Alexandria as usual like previous years. Participated in the prayers with HH, their grace Bishop Youanes and Bishop Ermia and Hegomen Sharobeem El Pachumy the Patriarchate Steward and the revered priests of St. Mark's church. Participated also in the prayer the Deacon's Choice under the leadership of Hymns Teacher Ibrahim Ayad. Also attended the Divine Liturgy the deputy and members of the Alexandrian Lay Council and the church was crowded until there was no room for more people. The photo shows HH the Pope giving the sermon from St. Mark's Sea in Alexandria. Taking communion took a long time. The liturgy prayer ended after midnight. And HH the Pope prayed blessing everyone then the congregation left to meet with the Pope on the morning of next day. On the morning HH the Pope received felicitators on the occasion of the feast and on top of them was HG Bishop Kirollos Ava Mina, Abbott of St. Mina's Monastery and some of the reverend fathers and hundreds of the congregation. Then HH left Alexandria at 11:00AM on the noon to the monastery where he spent more than two hours then went back to Cairo to prepare for his visit to America on 22-11.
Archangel Michael and St. George Church, Paris, France
This photo is for the church with its minaret. On 31-12-2006, the final stage of its buildings and preparations for prayers was finished. The congregation were very happy with this because the church because so beautiful from every aspect. This and Hegomen Mousa El Anba Pishoi came from Paris to Cairo on 17-1-2007 where he gave to HH the Pope a complete album containing photos of the church during different stages of finishing. May God bless his work. 1
Church Illustrated News
With the Governor of Alexandria
On the morning of Sunday 141, at the Papal Residence in Alexandria, HH the Pope received General Adel Labib, Governor of Alexandria who came especially to felicitate HH on the occasion of feasts. The meeting was attended by Their Grace Bishop Youanes and Bishop Ermia, Hegomen Sharobeem El Pachumy and members of the Alexandrian Lay Council.
Ordaining Three New Priests in Alexandria
On the morning of Monday 151, HH the Pope ordained three new priests for Alexandria and they are: Fr. Rafael for the Virgin's and the Angel's Church in Seif St., Beshr Kibly Area. Fr. Abd El Messeih for the Angel's and St. Takla's Church, Gate 8, Agamy. Fr. Lukas for the Virgin's Church, Maamoura. And this took place and the Grand St. Mark's Church in Alexandria. Participated in the ordination prayers Their Grace Bishop Youanes and Bishop Ermia.
St. Paula's Cathedral at the Mountain
This is a photo of the new cathedral that was built by HG Bishop Danial of St. Paula's Monastery when was responsible for the monastery before his ordination as a bishop. It was admired by all the reverend bishops who visited the monastery and it is located on the top of a mountain overlooking the whole area. And on the side of the mountain there are prepared driveways for the cars as seen in the photo. Our congratulations to the monastery and to HG Bishop Danial.
With the General Lay Council
HH the Pope headed the General Lay Council session on the evening of Thursday 11-1 in the Papal residence in Cairo.
The Departure of Hegomen Ermia Zaki Hegomen Ermia Zaki, the Aswan Patriarchal Steward, left our perishing world in Los Angeles on Wednesday 10-1. The Funeral was held on Monday 15-1 in the Aswan Patriarchate in the presence of Their Grace Bishop Hedra, Bishop Bakhoum and Bishop Beamen and a big number of the reverend fathers. We ask the Lord to repose his pure soul in Heaven and we offer our condolences to his family, his congregations and those who loved him.
The Pope's Trip to America
HH the Pope traveled to America on the morning of Monday 22-1 on board of Egypt Air along with Their Grace Bishop Youanes and Bishop Ermia. And the original aim of the visit is to consecrate our new church in Mexico.
With the Alexandrian Lay Council
On the evening of Friday 12-1, HH the Pope received the Alexandrian Lay Council in the Papal residence in Alexandria.
Agios Menias Monastery, Cyprus
Meetings of HH the Pope
On the evening of Friday 12-1, at the Papal residence in Alexandria, HH the Pope received Hegomen Kirollos El Makary and Hegomen Youhanna El Makary. Also HH received on the evening of Tuesday 16-1, Prof. Dr. Sherif El Tobgy, Cardiologist in El Kasr El Ainy Hospital and his wife.
HH the Pope received Fr. Zakareya El Anba Paula of Nicosia, Cyprus who presented to HH the Pope a project for building a monastery in Cyprus that contains a church, seven monks' rooms, a big hall and a dining table with a kitchen. The monastery is about 80 Km away from Nicosia, 5 Km away from inhabited areas and has gardens and a farm.
The Departure of Prof. Ezak Fanous
With Abba Abraam's Church, Long Island
On the evening of Tuesday 161, HH the Pope received Hegomen Girguis Sobhy and some of the congregation of Abba Abraam's Church in Long Island and they were in visit for the mother church.
With the Priests of Alexandria
On the morning of Saturday 13-1, HH the Pope received the reverend fathers of Alexandria.
We received the issue of January of this research magazine which is issued by St. Mina the Wondrous Community in Alexandria covering the topic of (Lights on the Coptic Studies). It contains a number of researches about Coptic Language, Coptic Monasticism, Evolution of Coptic Architecture, Assiout Area in the Coptic Era, Indexes of Coptic and Arabic Languages of Morcos Semeika Pascha and an English article about the Coptic Museum. Our congratulations to the magazine and all its writers
A Training Meeting for the Disabled in Zaqaziq Diocese
HG Bishop Yakobos of Zaqaziq and Menia El Qamh opened Aheba'a El Mala'eka Center (Angels Loving ones) for the mentally
disordered in the diocese on 2212-2006 in the presence of Deaconess Ra'outh Elia who held a training meeting for the servants of the center on that day. May the Lord develops this work for the glory of His Holy Name. 3
On the evening of Sunday 141, Prof. Ezak Fanous, Head of Arts Department in the Coptic Studies Center, left our perishing world. He had many artistic works in the area of Icons, wall paintings, Mosaic, Afrisc and stained glass... And he established a special school in Modern Coptic Art and many Coptic art artists became his students. He contributed in painting hundreds of Coptic Icons in tens of churches in Egypt and Lands of Immigration. The Funeral prayers took place at Bortroseya Church on the afternoon of 15-1-2007, and Their Grace Bishop Pasanti, Bishop Botros and Bishop Danial of Maadi represented HH the Pope due to his presence in Alexandria at the time. Also attended HE the Ambassador of England in Cairo, a large number of the reverend fathers, teaching board members of the Coptic Studies Center and his students and those who loved him. We ask the Lord to repose his soul in Heaven and give comfort to his honorable family...
HG Bishop Bolus
HG travels from the end of January and the beginning of February to AID Associations in Germany and Washington to meet with them as they showed interest in supporting Africa's service. Also to present a report in America about a project to cure AIDS. HG will also visit Montreal, Canada to attend a service convention from 26-1 to 28-1 and another convention in London from 2nd to 4th February in St. Mark's Church. Also one of the Texas Universities prepared for giving us some medical equipment for our hospital in Kenya.
Miscellaneous News... Miscellaneous News... HG Bishop Antonious
On the evening of Friday 19-1, HH the Pope received HG Bishop Antonious of Manfaloutt who came to felicitate HH the Pope for the feast.
Ordaining New Monks at St. Paula's Monastery
HH with HE Metropolitan Zaghby the Oldest Roman Catholic Metropolitan
On the morning of Sunday 21-1-2007, HG Bishop Danial the Abbot of the monastery ordained new monks who spent years as monasticism requesters. Participated in the ordination prayers with HG Their Grace Bishop Isotheres, Abbot of Baramous Monastery and Bishop Youanes, HH the Pope's Secretary. It was a joyful day for the whole monastery. Our congratulations to the monastery and the new monks wishing them holy monasticism.
Artist Deaconess Sawsan
She left to Mexico before HH the Pope leaves with more than a week to place the icons that she drew in Cairo for our church there according to the specified sizes sent to her. Deaconess Sawsan drew icons for many churches in the Lands of Immigration of which are Abba Abraam's Church in Long Island, St. George's Church in Toronto, Canada, Golders Green Church in London and Birmingham Church in England. She also drew icons of our church in Stevenage London. And drew many icons for many churches in Egypt all in artistic and spiritual touch.
A Book about the Adventists Heresy
This book is currently being printed and was written by HH Pope Shenouda III and he taught in the Theological College. The book is an 84-big page book. It will soon be out. He is an old man who is 97 years old. And HE loves the Coptic Church very much and always talks about its activities in front of everyone and about its importance for the Middle East Churches. And he has courageous situations when he was a Vice-Patriarch years ago. This photo was taken the Roman Catholic Patriarchate while HH Pope Shenouda III was felicitating them.
Deaconess Ra'outh Elia
She left to London from more than two weeks for treatment where she was taken care there by Hegomen Antonious Thabet, the priest of St. Mark's Church in London. We ask the Lord to heal her to come back to her human mission in taking care of the disordered in Egypt
On the Occasion of the Start of a New Year
The New Year is not only a change in the calendar [from year 2006 to year 2007], but it is a change in life to better, meaning that we start on it a new life that is purer. The person who talked the most about this issue of "new" is prophet Ezekiel in (Ez 18:31), (Ez 11:19), (Ez 36:25-27). He said "Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit" (Ez 18:31). Also said that God is the One who grants us the new heart and the new spirit so in (Ez 11:19) the Lord says "19Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh" and repeated the same in (Ez 36:25-27) and added "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness... I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them". So God since the Old Testament wants us to have a new heart and a new spirit so that we can walk in His statutes and His judgment and His grace works in us. How beautiful is His saying "I will put My Spirit within you"... this phrase as in the New Testament! And prophet David says in the Fiftieth Psalm "Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me." Meaning recreate in him a clean heart. And the newness issue comes in everything to the extent that he says in more than one psalm "Oh, sing to the LORD a new song!" (Ps 96:1). Meaning praise with a new spirit. Non-routine praise, as the one who prays the psalm quickly without knowing what he is saying, but a new praise that is full of spirit, heart, passion and faith. And full of his being in the presence of God and meekness before Him. But in the New Testament, suffice it to say that it carries the "new" its name. The Lord for example says to disciple in the Eucharist Sacrament (Communion): "For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins" (Mt 26:28)... Meaning that you,
in communion, you enter in a new testament and a new life with God, not come out of its as you are without changing as if you did not benefit from it in anything! So you must think of the New Year, to change to better and pray saying: Grant me, O Lord, the new heart and the new spirit, as you promised me both in prophet Ezekiel's Book. And you are honest in your promises. This renewal process is applied first in the Baptism Sacrament. As came in the epistle to Romans about baptism "...even so we also should walk in newness of life" (Ro 6:4). Meaning in the new life that we get through baptism. And in the epistle to Titus he says "...but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit" (Ti 3:5). So we in baptism are washed through the washing of the second birth. So we get a second birth and get the renewal of the Holy Spirit. Not only that but the apostle also says in his epistle to Galatians "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ." (Ga 3:27). And the meaning of put on Christ is that you have worn the righteousness and the power that are of Christ's. And the bible says also "if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." (2 Co 5:17). So can each of us say this statement in the new year: old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new?! Or are you still as you were!!... And here we should know: what is the new creation? And the first thing is that you should go back to your original form in God's image and according to His likeness. So that is how God created the human from the beginning (Gn 1:26, 27). But through sin we lost this divine image, but we gained it back through baptism and we regain it back everyday through repentance. So do we now go by what is up to God's image and likeness?
In addition to God's image, in baptism we also gained sonship to God. So is the behavior of each of us suitable for him being God's son? God's sons do not sin. Here is St John the apostle says that "whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him." (1 Jn 5:18). And what about him who sin? He says "He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning... In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest" (1 Jn 3:8, 10). And from the side of the devil's sons, the Lord said to the sinful Jews "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do" (Jn 8:44). In the new creation we become God's sons and God's image. And what else? In the new creation we become also a temple for the Holy Spirit. St. Paul the Apostle says "Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you" (1 Co 3:16). So do you my brother realize this fact and work with what complies with a human in whom God's Spirit dwells in?! As yourself. The Lord says "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him" (Jn 14:23). Meaning that the Father and the Son live in him and initially he had the Holy Spirit living in him, meaning that in him, with grace, there is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit!! This Holy Heart which became like this is this new creation!! Also as a new creation, you take the spirit of power. The weak person cannot be God's image and likeness. For we say in the Trisagion: Holy God, Holy Mighty. So, the spiritual person, that God wanted to dwell with His Spirit in, is supposed to be a strong person. Not strong over other humans, but strong over the world, to have triumph over the world and over the devil. And be powerful to have triumph over the sin and the sin never have triumph over him. H should be strong in his personality, in his power and his effect... The Lord Christ told his disciples before He ascends "you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me" (Ac 1:8). So could you be in a state of weakness or in devastation as if you are definitely lost and then say: I am God's image and likeness?! Or I am God's son and a new creation?! No, for the new creation takes the blessing that God promised the winners with (Rv 2, 3). And this is the creation to whom He said "Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you" (Lk 10:19). The Lord Christ said "be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" (Jn 16:33). Some may say: we know Lord that you have overcome the world because you are mighty. But what about us the dust and ashes? And the Lord answers: I have overcome the world in your human nature which I united with so that your human
nature becomes qualifies to overcome the world. And the world here is not people but as the apostle says "For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life... And the world is passing away, and the lust of it" (1 Jn 2:16-17). This is the new creation to whom God gave power to overcome the world. Also God gave the new creation the nature which overcomes death through rising from the dead. Therefore, it is said about rising "For this corruptible must put on incorruption" (1 Co 15:53). And we tell the Lord in our prayer over the dead: "Because there is no death for your servants but a departure" Why no death? Because God gave the new creation the ability to overcome death through rising from the dead. And so St. Paul the apostle says "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?" (1 Co 15:54, 55). All these things were said about the new creation. So are you on the beginning of the new year feel that you have become a new creation? And that you are different from before and that you have returned back to being God's image and became a true son on Him? This does not mean that you are hiding behind a religious imagery!! As if you say I am regularly going to church, regularly confessing and taking communion and regularly fasting and praying. While all these are images from outside or this is just a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment (Mt 9:16). This doe not work my brother, the whole garment should change. And your change should be from the inside. For the bible says "The royal daughter is all glorious within the palace" (Ps 45:13, 14) although Her clothing is woven with gold and She shall be brought to the King in robes of many colors. Gold accessories and robes are all matters from outside. But what really is important is in the heart from inside that changes and becomes a new heart and the person becomes with a new spirit. And the apostle says "be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Ro 12:2). So the change process includes renewing the mind. And renewing the mind happens in repentance life through renewing in bases, values, concepts and all your thoughts, aspirations and directions in life. It was said in the Revelation book "the former things have passed away." Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new."" (Rv 21:4, 5). Yes everything, even the commandments that you have heard in the past has taken a new concept in Christianity. Love, for example has taken a new form which is "For God so loved the world that He gave..." (Jn 3:16). So love means giving oneself. And love others mean give yourself. And love even your enemies and those trespass against you. O Lord, we hope you give us this renewal in our minds. And make this year new in everything that complies with Your good and righteous will. And give us the new heart that loves you and applies your commandments and goes by what satisfies your will... Amen. 6
Felicitating Churches on the Occasion of Christmas
In the Coptic Catholic Patriarchate: And we see HH the Pope between Their Beatitude Bishop Antonious Naguib the current Patriarch of the Coptic Catholics and Cardinal Istafanous II who resigned to be followed by Bishop Antonious
In the Patriarchate of the Roman Catholics: And we see HH the Pope between His Beatitude Gregorious Lahham and his Steward and surrounded by the Coptic Bishops
With HH the Patriarch of Roman Orthodox: in the Papl Residence in Cairo surrounded by Clergymen from both churches
The Church in Black Africa
HH the Pope received HG Bishop Bolus who submitted to HH the following report about his service in Africa during the past few weeks which included: 1. The servants Convention in Zambia: During 3 days from 29th 30th December in the Virgin's Church in Kenyama and was attended by 45 servants. Its topic was "The Servant's Holy Life". 2. Baptizing Zambia: Children in
On 6th January around 100 children and youths were baptized in St. Mark's Church in Lusaka. And it was a joyful day. 3. Servants Congo: Convention in
It was attended by 500 servants (men and women) from 11-1 to 13-1 and was attended by the four reverend fathers of Congo: Fr. Shenouda, Fr. Angaelos, Fr. Thawfelous and Fr. Bolus and Fr. Mousa Makram from Kenya. The topic of this convention was "Divine Manifestation Feasts in the Life of the Servant". 4. The Service in the Churches of Nigeria: Monk Fr. Isotheres El Anba Pishoi served in our churches in Nigeria where he prayed the liturgy of Christmas Baramoun (last day of fast) in the Virgin's Church in Lagos. Also he prayed the liturgy of Christmas in St. George's Church in Kalabar Church where around 150 attendees took communion.
The First Divine Liturgy in Prague, Capital of Czech Republic
Fr. Youssef Khalil, priest of the Coptic Church in Budapest prayed this liturgy on Saturday 9-122006. It was attended by HE the Ambassador of Egypt in Czech to congratulate on this occasion. And currently a count of the Coptic families in Czech. Our congratulations to our sons in Czech.