His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of St. Mark See, celebrated the Holy Mass of the glorious feast of Ascension at the monastery of St. Bishoy in Wadil Natroun. The celebration was attended by a number of bishops, monks of the monastery, while no congregation were allowed to attend following the precautionary measures due to Coronavirus.
Father Poulos Halim, spokesman for the Coptic Orthodox Church, said that the church has not taken yet any decisions concerning reopening churches that were closed due to the spread of Corona virus. He added in a press release that the church is wanting for the right time in order to ensure the safety of the congregation and the Egyptian people.
The Egyptian Orthodox Church in France revealed the precautionary measures to be taken in order to reopen the churches for the Divine Liturgy prayers. The measures include: safe distances between worshippers, social distancing, wearing masks and bringing personal items like bottle of water and personal napkins. The church added in an official statement that they will reopen only for the divine liturgy, while other services will still be suspended.
His Holiness Cardinal Christoph Schonbrunn, Archbishop of Austria, said that the procedures of closing churches were necessary in order to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. It is worth mentioning that churches in Austria have reopened this month, while maintaining the wearing of masks and social distancing measures.
Bshop Baselius, head of the monastery of St. Samuel the confessor and monks of the monastery celebrated today the third anniversary of the martyrs whom were killed on their way to visit the monastery by the terrorists. 28 Copts were shot dead by the terrorists who attacked the Copts on their way to visit the monastery of St. Samuel.
St. Shenouda Monastery in Australia celebrates the International Youth Day online this year with the precautionary measures taken due to Coronavirus. The celebration will be held on Zoom application and will be headed by Bishop Angelos of London and Dr. Malcolm Shawat, Professor of Ancient History and Coptic Studies at Macquarie University in Sydney. The online conference will discuss the importance of the Bible and its teachings in the life of the great Saint Anthony.
Tanta Coptic diocese announced that Bishop Paula of Tanta will host an online family TV show that will be broadcast online. The show will be called ‘Together we build the house’ and will be presented twice a week.
H.E Bishop Anba Tadros (caretaker of the Diocese) sent a message to the diocese that reads: "And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). Beloved sons and daughters, the congregation of the Diocese of Sydney. Grace and peace from Christ our Lord and Saviour. Wishing you a blessed Feast of the Ascension of Christ into heaven 40 days after His Glorious Resurrection. We wish to share with you some matters concerning the Diocese of Sydney. 1. We thank our Lord Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing granting a unique grace to the Diocese of Sydney that during the peak wave of the coronavirus all the Liturgies were still prayed by way of closed services. I wish to thank all the fathers, deacons, servants, youth and the entire congregation who adapted to the changed with love and humility. 2. His Holiness Pope Tawadros II has directed the total restructuring and reforming of the administrative and financial departments of the Diocese. 3. His Holiness Pope Tawadros II has directed that the constitution of the Diocese of Sydney be amended. 4. His Holiness Pope Tawadros II has requested that the Coptic Orthodox Church (NSW) Property Trust Act be amended from sole trustee to a Board of Trustees. This is being conducted through the office of the Attorney General of NSW. 5. The interim Finance Committee has appointed Mr Amgad Lotfi to replace Mr Simon Michael. We thank Mr Michael for his dedication and commitment over the last 14 years. 6. We are in the process of releasing all caveats on church properties across the Diocese. 7. His Holiness has requested the restructuring of a new Coptic education board for all three Coptic schools and the creation of sub committee to assist the Board in engaging with the school community. 8. The Commonwealth Bank has placed a three months freeze on all church loans. 9. The Diocese will establish a new Public Relations Committee and a new Media Committee. 10. The financial affairs of the Diocese will be communicated to the congregation when all figures are received and analysed. The financial contributions from the churches to the Diocese, which Is approximately $23,000 per month, has been stopped to assist the cashflow of the parishes. Further reductions to church monthly contributions are being assessed 11. The local clerical council will continue to function under the guidance of HG Bishop Domadious of the Diocese of Six October. 12. We are proud the Very Rev Fr Shenouda Mansour, parish priest of St Anthony and St Paul, who has been re nominated to serve a third term as General Secretary of the NSW Ecumenical Council. 13. We wish to see a greater emphasis and focus on the spiritual and pastoral services of the Dioceses above all else that we may present every man perfect in Christ (Colossians 1:28). 14. We pray that the Holy Spirit work abundantly to foster greater love, unity and harmony among all, "Above all put on love which is the bond of perfection." (Colossians 3:15). If any person wishes to submit any recommendations or discuss any issues you are all very welcome. My heart is open to you all. Be blessed in The Lord +Anba Tadros Metropolitan of Port Said Papal delegate to the Diocese of Sydney.
Bishop Youssef of the South of the United States of America, sent a message of congratulations to the Copts on the occasion of the Holy resurrection and the feast of the entry of Jesus into the land of Egypt, which will come on June 1st, which will also witness the celebration of the Coptic International Day. In his message, Bishop Youssef announced a new competition open for participants from all over the world. The contestants make a video that does not exceed two minutes about their ideal personality of the Coptic history. The videos should be received no later than 12th of July 2020.
Last week, Egypt has received 30-ton shipment of medical supplies from China as a gift of support during the battle of Coronavirus. I was happy to read such news of friendship between Egypt and other countries around the world. Such cooperation is essential to face the pandemic, especially as no country could face the virus alone. Egypt in the beginning was keen to send gifts of medical supplies to several countr