Pope Francis sends letter to Coptic Patriarch on Day of Friendship

From Coptic World:

10 May 2016


To His Holiness Tawadros II
Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark

Recalling with pleasure the third anniversary of our fraternal meeting in Rome on 10 May 2013, I offer heartfelt best wishes to Your Holiness for peace and health, and I express my joy at the ever deeper spiritual bonds uniting the See of Peter and the See of Mark.

It is with gratitude to the Lord our God that I recall the steps we have taken together along the path of reconciliation and friendship.  After centuries of silence, misunderstanding and even hostility, Catholics and Copts increasingly are encountering one another, entering into dialogue, and cooperating together in proclaiming the Gospel and serving humanity.  In this renewed spirit of friendship, the Lord helps us to see that the bond uniting us is born of the same call and mission we received from the Father on the day of our baptism.  Indeed, it is through baptism that we become members of the one Body of Christ that is the Church (cf. 1 Cor 12:13), God’s own people, who proclaim his praises (cf.1 Pet 2:9).  May the Holy Spirit, the mainspring and bearer of all gifts, unite us evermore in the bond of Christian love and guide us in our shared pilgrimage, in truth and charity, towards full communion.

I would like also to express to Your Holiness my deep appreciation for the generous hospitality offered during the thirteenth meeting of the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, held in Cairo at the invitation of the Patriarchate of the See of Saint Mark.  I am grateful to you for receiving the members of the Joint Commission at the Saint Bishoy Monastery in Wadi Natrum, and I am certain that we share the ardent hope that this important dialogue may continue to progress and bear abundant fruits.

Though we are still journeying towards the day when we will gather as one at the same eucharistic table, we are able even now to make visible the communion uniting us.  Copts and Catholics can witness together to important values such as the holiness and dignity of every human life, the sanctity of marriage and family life, and respect for the creation entrusted to us by God.   In the face of many contemporary challenges, Copts and Catholics are called to offer a common response founded upon the Gospel.  As we continue our earthly pilgrimage, if we learn to bear each other’s burdens and to exchange the rich patrimony of our respective traditions, then we will see more clearly that what unites us is greater than what divides us.

Your Holiness, every day my thoughts and prayers are with the Christian communities in Egypt and the Middle East, so many of whom are experiencing great hardship and tragic situations.  I am well aware of your grave concern for the situation in the Middle East, especially in Iraq and Syria, where our Christian brothers and sisters and other religious communities are facing daily trials.  May God our Father grant peace and consolation to all those who suffer, and inspire the international community to respond wisely and justly to such unprecedented violence.

On this occasion that has rightly become known as the day of friendship between Copts and Catholics, I willingly exchange with Your Holiness a fraternal embrace of peace in Christ the Risen Lord.


Source: Vatican Radio

Palm Sunday 2016

Introducing: AOCA

AOCA: The American Orthodox Church of Alexandria:

From the Southern US Diocese of the Coptic Orthodox Church Website:

American Orthodox Church of Alexandria (AOCA)

May 2, 2015   --   COLLEYVILLE, TX. May 2, 2015

Through the grace of God, we are pleased to share more information regarding the 8 new churches that will be establised within the Diocese: American Orthodox Church of Alexandria (AOCA).

Below is an excerpt from the abbreviated document:

The American Orthodox Church of Alexandria (AOCA) is the name given to a new set of parishes that are being established by His Grace Bishop Youssef in the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern USA to serve the needs of American-raised Copts and other Americans.

The goal of the AOCA is to provide an environment where both American-raised Copts and other Americans can worship, learn, and live the true Orthodox faith in a language and culture familiar to them. Essentially the AOCA seeks to be for Americans in the US, what the Coptic Church is to Egyptians in Egypt.

The AOCA is first and foremost an Orthodox Church. Not only that, but it is an Orthodox Church under the See of Alexandria, just like the Coptic Church. The AOCA does not change the church rites, liturgical length, fasting regulations, feast dates, church tunes, dress of the priest, role of the priesthood, the centrality of the Mysteries (Sacraments), the emphasis on spiritual struggle and prayer, etc.

The goal of the AOCA is not to remove "difficult" or "unfamiliar" elements from the Coptic Church and present it to Americans that want a wide-road approach to Christianity. Instead the AOCA carefully considers how best to take an authentic, undiluted Orthodox faith and make it accessible to Americans.

God willing, the extensive document will be available soon.

We ask for your prayers.


Palm Sunday Service & Holy Week

Greetings all,

Happy Palm Sunday to all.

For starters, I would like to thank Mr. Moheb Georgy for Volunteering to meet Neyafet Anba Metias at Tulsa International Airport. We really appreciate it 3am Moheb.

We just received our palms.
If you know how to make crosses and other decorations with the palms, please let me know so I cant get you some before Sunday (Tulsa congregants).

Next, Please remember that Palm Sunday Service is long. As such we are starting 30-minutes early: 8:00 am instead of 8:30 am. 

We will be reading from all four Gospels (Matthew 21:1-17| Mark 11:1-11| Luke 19:29-48| John 12:12-19) and will end the service with the "General Funeral" service. Then we will have our "Social Hour" or "30-minutes" for Lunch, which will be followed by Pascha.

You may always check the Service Schedule on our website: peterpaulcoc.org
Here is a schedule of our upcoming services:
1.  Sun Apr  5 HG Bishop Metias         7th Sunday: Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday)
                                                             Pascha Eve of Monday
    Mon    Apr  6    On our own            Pascha (Eve of Tuesday)   -  7:00 pm
    Tue    Apr  7    On our own             Pascha (Eve of Wednesday) -  7:00 pm
    Wed    Apr  8    On our own           Pascha (Eve of Thursday)  -  7:00 pm
2.  Thu    Apr  9    HG Bishop Metias  Covenant Thursday & Laqqan Service    -  10:00 am
                             HG Bishop Metias  Pascha (Eve of Friday)    -  7:00 pm
3.  Fri    Apr 10     HG Bishop Metias  Good Friday Service       - 10:00 am  -   4:45 pm
4.  Fri    Apr 10     HG Bishop Metias  Bright Saturday Service (starts Midnight Friday)
5.  Sat    Apr 11     HG Bishop Metias  Resurrection/Easter Sunday (Starts 8:00 pm Saturday)
6.  Sat    Apr 18    Qods Abouna Ghobrial  Tulsa: Sts Peter & Paul
     Sat    Apr 18    Qods Abouna Abraam    OK City: St. Demiana
7.  Sat    Apr 25    Qods Abouna Younan    Tulsa: Sts Peter & Paul

Prayer Dedication for the 21 Martyrs in Libya

Painting by Wael Mories

Painting by Wael Mories

COLLEYVILLE, TX. February 16, 2015 -- The Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States will dedicate the Divine Liturgy of this coming Sunday, February 22, 2015 in all the churches of the Diocese to the souls of the 21 martyrs who shed their blood as a sacrifice of love to their Lord and Master Jesus Christ our King.

May their prayers and intercessions be with us all Amen.


Epiphany Day

A visit on this beautiful Epiphany day gave us some nice photos of our Sts Peter & Paul church. We hope to see you this evening at the Epiphany Service. 

Departure of H.H. Pope Shenouda III

COLLEYVILLE, TX. March 17, 2012 --

It is with great sadness and sorrow that we inform you that our beloved Pope Shenouda III, the 117th Pope and Patriach of the See of St. Mark, has departed to the Paradise of Joy.

His Holiness reigned over the See of St. Mark from November 14, 1971 to March 17, 2012. During these days of sorrow, we ask our Lord to grant us comfort. We pray for the soul of our blessed and honored father Pope Shenouda III that the Lord God may repose it in the bosom of our holy fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the Paradise of Joy. We beseech our Lord to accept the blessings of His Holiness'prayers on our behalf.

During the funeral service for His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, the following exposition was read:

I am your father and teacher. All of you my children, listen to my commandments. 

I ask you my beloved children; preserve and look after the faith of the Holy Trinity.

I ask you my beloved children; love one another with a true love.

I ask you my beloved children, do good with all humanity.

I ask you my beloved children; do not let the world deceive you.

I ask you my beloved children; do not fall short or "be not eager" in the service of the Lord.

I pray for you my beloved children; pray without ceasing fervently.

I pray for you my beloved children; preserve your tongues from causing any division.

I pray for you my beloved children; preserve the Holy Baptism that was granted to you.

I pray for you my beloved children; preserve your body pure for the Lord.

I pray for you my beloved children; do not ever let your lamp weaken without light.

I pray for you my beloved children; preserve the commandments that God gave to you.

I pray for you my beloved children, that the fear of God be within you.

God is witness, my beloved children, that I did not keep any of God’s words away from you...that I never ever rested my children, and be blamed by any one of you.

If you preserve and keep what I have said to you, you will crush the head of the serpent. 

If you preserve and keep what I have said to you, you will eat of the goodness of the earth.

If you preserve and keep what I have said to you, the shinning Cherubim will guard you. 

If you preserve and keep what I have said to you, you will never lack of the Heavenly gifts.

I ask of you my beloved children, to ask of Christ for my soul, that it may have comfort before him, and do not count my short falls, unknowingly and unwillingly.

To the clergy, bishops and priests: 

I ask for your love and I plead to your reverence, to absolve me each and everyone of you. And now, I am far from you and left you, and I cannot see your faces. And now I ask of you all, that you exhaust yourselves in prayers for me, remembrance in the Holy Liturgies, that my Master may accept me to Him, and forgive me. 

And I ask Christ, the Great Shepherds of Shepherds, that he may elect for you a righteous shepherd according to His Will and heart, that he may shepherd you and your matters and watch for the salvation of your souls.




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