Every second Saturday of the month, 4 pm - Divine Liturgy in English of Sunday - Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family, Duke Street, London W1K 5BQ. Followed by refreshments.
Next Liturgy: Saturday 9th September, 4pm

To purchase The Divine Liturgy: an Anthology for Worship (in English), order from the Sheptytsky Institute here, or the St Basil's Bookstore here.

To purchase the Divine Praises, the Divine Office of the Byzantine-Slav rite (in English), order from the Eparchy of Parma here.

The new catechism in English, Christ our Pascha, is available from the Eparchy of the Holy Family and the Society. Please email johnchrysostom@btinternet.com for details.




Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Benedict XVI Sends Condolences for Pope Shenouda III

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 20, 2012 thanks to Zenit.org

On learning of the death of the Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church His Holiness Shenouda III, Patriarch of Alexandria, the Holy Father Benedict XVI sent a message of condolence:

“Learning with sadness of the passing to God, our common Father, of His Holiness Shenouda III, Patriarch of Alexandria and of the Preaching of St. Mark, I wish to express to the members of the Holy Synod, to the priests and the faithful of the whole patriarchate, my deepest sentiments of fraternal compassion,” the message said. 

“I can likewise say that the whole Catholic Church shares in the sadness that afflicts the Orthodox Copts and that she fervently prays to him who is the resurrection and the life, asking that he welcome his faithful servant. May the all-merciful God receive him into his joy, his peace and his light,” the Pope said.

Cardinal Peter Erdo, president of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE), also expressed his condolences for the death of Pope Shenouda III.

In a telegram of sympathy, addressed to the leaders of the Coptic Orthodox Churches, the archbishop of Budapest said: “We are shaken by the sad news of the death of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III. In his person the Christian world loses one of its excellent and exemplary leaders.”

The head of the European bishops shared “the grief of his faithful and of all people of good will” of the North African country.

Cardinal Erdo then recalled the “fraternal and ecumenical relations” that blossomed between the Hungarian Catholic Church and the Coptic-Orthodox Church, thanks to the contribution of Patriarch Shenouda.

“Remaining faithful to his spiritual legacy, we intend to maintain this precious and friendly relationship of Christian brotherhood and solidarity,” he concluded.

“We lose a friend with whom we were united for long years,” commented Gregory III, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, of Alexandria and of Jerusalem, in a statement issued on Monday.

Gregory III went to Cairo to attend Shenouda III’s funeral on Monday. “Shenouda III was the patriarch of the largest Orthodox Church of the Middle East, embodying in his person the whole history of his Church,” said Gregory III.

Patriarch Gregory III evoked the celebrations of the Lord’s Nativity in Cairo according to the Coptic tradition, which the Melkite patriarch has attended since his election to the See of Antioch of the Greek-Melkites in 2011, and which enabled him to be beside Shenouda III, before joining his “prayer to that of the whole Coptic Orthodox Church for the repose of the soul of its mourned pastor and for the Holy Spirit to illumine hearts so that the designated successor will enable the Coptic Church to continue its altogether particular mission.”

Following the funeral in Cario, Pope Shenouda's body was taken northwest of Cairo and buried in a remote desert monastery.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Patriarch Gregorios' Tribute to Pope Shenouda of the Coptic Orthodox Church


Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East

Of Alexandria and of Jerusalem

 

CP/nhc/2012/07

 

Gregorios III: Shenouda III or the spiritual strength and pastoral outreach of Coptic monasticism
 

“We have lost a friend with whom we have been linked for very many years. As early as the 1960s, before his election to head his Church in 1971, the future Shenouda III was collaborating with our ecumenical review Al Wahdat fil Iman (Unity in Faith), bringing to it his ever lucid and deep vision.”


Just back from a fortnight’s round-trip of episcopal conferences and European seats of government, Gregorios III, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, of Alexandria and of Jerusalem left Beirut on Monday 19 March 2012 for Cairo to take part in the national funeral of Shenouda III thus expressing the attachment for and closeness of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church to the Coptic Orthodox Church.

 

“Shenouda III was the Patriarch of the biggest Orthodox Church of the Middle East, incarnating in his person all the history of his Church,” Gregorios III declared before hailing “the presence of the Coptic Church in the Arab world, its spiritual strength, its monasticism and its pastoral outreach that Shenouda III so perfectly incarnated. This Church, as Mgr Elias Zoghby, for a long time patriarchal vicar in Cairo, once said, is the only non-Catholic Church that has understood how to renew itself without ever losing sight of consistency with itself. We are very keen especially to welcome the various moves towards closer understanding especially in formulating the tricky but vital areas of doctrine to do with the Council of Chalcedon or indeed the Incarnation. A tangible sign of this increasing closeness between the Holy See and the Coptic Orthodox Church was the signing in Rome on 10 May 1973 of the Common Declaration of Faith in the Incarnation of the Son of God and the participation of Pope Paul VI in the building of St. Mark’s Cathedral in Cairo.

 

“Shenouda III was a Patriarch who was a very deep spiritual thinker but who knew how to make his thoughts accessible to everyone, through his memorable sermons and homilies, aided by a wit and sense of humour that were quite Pharaonic and Egyptian.”

 

Patriarch Gregorios III then recalled the celebrations of the Nativity of our Lord in Cairo according to the Coptic tradition, which he had never missed since his election to the Melkite Greek Catholic See of Antioch in 2000 and which had enabled him to be alongside Shenouda III, before joining his “prayer to that of the whole Coptic Orthodox Church for the repose of the soul of its late lamented shepherd and for the Holy Spirit to illumine hearts so that the designated successor might allow the Coptic Church to pursue its very special mission.”

 

Rabweh, 19 March 2012

Note: His Beatitude was accompanied on his visit to Cairo for Pope Shenouda’s funeral, by Archbishops Elias Chacour and George Bakar, and by the Patriarchal Chancellor, Archimandrite Tony Dib. On his first day in Cairo, Patriarch Gregorios III gave an interview of an hour’s duration to CTV on the subject of his friend and fellow-pastor, the late, great Pope Shenouda III.

translated by V. Chamberlain

 

 

Monday, 19 March 2012

Patriarch Gregorios' Visit to London on his Pilgrimage for Peace & Reconciliation


Gregorios III: Peace, living together and Christian presence in the Middle East

 

Continuing his European round-trip of episcopal conferences and European political institutions, H. B. Gregorios III, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, of Alexandria and of Jerusalem began his talks in Great Britain by a meeting with H. G. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, H. G. Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and with a representative of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Afterwards, he gave a talk at Heythrop College, University of London. Among those present (c. 60 persons) Ukrainian and Coptic Orthodox bishops, university teachers, monks and nuns and lay-persons. Mr Anthony O’Mahony of Heythrop College introduced His Beatitude. After the talk, the Principal of the College, Michael Holman SJ invited the Patriarch to lunch. For all these meetings, the Patriarch was accompanied by Rev. Dr Shafiq Abouzayd, priest of the Melkite parish in London and Ms Valerie Chamberlain, liaison officer for the trip to the U.K.

 

On Sunday, 11 March, (the third Sunday in Lent) His Beatitude celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the parish church of St Barnabas, Pimlico meeting parishioners. In the afternoon, His Beatitude met the Lebanese ambassador to Britain, H. E. Inaam Osseiran at a meal offered by Father Shafiq and members of the parish council.

 

As in Berlin on 5 and 6 March and in Paris on 7 and 8 March 2012, Gregorios III emphasised the relationship between peace, living together and Christian presence in the Middle East, which is a reservoir of Christians and a cultural reservoir of the region. This region, and Syria especially, needs to regain its tranquillity, thanks to a dialogue among all the parties concerned. He asked European leaders and Church leaders to call for a cease-fire and dialogue and reconciliation.

 

V. C.

Patriarch Gregorios' Pilgrimage for Peace to France



Melkite Greek Catholic

Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East

Of Alexandria and of Jerusalem

 

              

CP/2012/nhc/05

 

Gregorios III: Pilgrim for Peace and Reconciliation

 

On 7 and 8 March 2012, in the context of a European round-trip to the main episcopal conferences and seats of government, H. B. Gregorios III, Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, of Alexandria and of Jerusalem held significant conversations with Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, Archbishop of Paris and Ordinary of France’s Eastern Catholics, with Mr Henri de Raincourt, Minister of  Foreign and European Affairs responsible for Cooperation, and with the Vice-Presidents of the National Assembly and Senate. The Patriarch was accompanied by Mgr Georges Bacouni, Archbishop of Tyre.

 

A pilgrim for peace and reconciliation, Gregorios III had come to talk about his continuing concern to see peace and reconciliation reign in the Arab world and Syria in particular.

 

Furthermore, His Beatitude was received by Rev Charbel Maalouf B.C., priest of Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre, Paris’s Melkite Greek Catholic parish, and representative of His Beatitude in Paris, flanked by members of his Parish Council and community, for an overview of parish life and to see how far advanced were the preparations for the European Melkite Convention on 1, 2 and 3 November 2012 at Aubazine.

 

 

 

Rabweh, 8 March 2012

His Holiness Shenouda III - Telegraph

His Holiness Shenouda III - Telegraph

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Eternal Memory: Pope Shenouda of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria

The Coptic Orthodox Church Centre UK

Media and Public Relations Office
 

His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of The Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK announced the departure of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III.
 

On 17th March 2012 His Grace Bishop Angaelos announced the departure of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, the 117th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa on the holy Apostolic See of Saint Mark the Evangelist of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria.


In a statement released today Bishop Angaelos said the following:
 

“His Holiness Pope Shenouda III will be remembered by his Church as a dedicated servant of God and of the people, a man who faithfully endured through conflict, opposition, and persecution. His Holiness built upon the foundation laid by our Lord Jesus Christ, enhancing the Church in a variety of ways, encouraging a spirit of unity for all of humanity. May his prayers be with us all, and may he find joy and rest in the Kingdom of our gracious Lord.”

 
The announcement came during a sports ministry event at The Coptic Orthodox Church Centre involving hundreds of youth from across the United Kingdom; His Grace commented that “this was especially pertinent as youth ministry has always been one of the passions of His Holiness and it would have given him joy to see this gathering.”
 

His Holiness Pope Shenouda was consecrated Pope of Alexandria on November 14, 1971, and under his leadership the Church experienced rapid growth within Egypt and in the lands of immigration, including the United Kingdom, Europe and Australia, with over 200 churches in North America being established, there being only 4 at the time of his succession.

 
His Holiness gave weekly meetings to over seven thousand people in the Cathedral of St. Mark in Cairo, authored over 100 spiritual books, later translated into many languages for consumption worldwide; he also ordained over 80 Metropolitans and Bishops and over 600 priests.  
 

His Holiness was also dedicated to ecumenism and helped to pave the way towards greater unity between the Oriental, Catholic, and Protestant among other Churches worldwide being the first pope in over 1500 years to visit the Vatican in 1973, agreeing to establish joint commissions for dialogue on unity.
 

There will be a book of condolence available at The Coptic Orthodox Church Centre from Monday 19th March 2012 for those who would like to show their respects. Please contact Admin@CopticCentre.com or phone 01438-745232.
 
His Memorial Service in Great Britain will take place on 24th March at the Coptic Cathedral of St George in Stevenage
 

For more information please contact:


Angela Mikhail

Media and Public Relations Officer
The Coptic Orthodox Church UK
Tel: +44 (0)207 1937076

Media and Public Relations Office
The Coptic Orthodox Church Centre
Shephalbury Manor
Broadhall Way, Stevenage
Hertfordshire SG2 8NP
England, United Kingdom

Tel.: +44 (0)207 1937076
Fax: +44 (0)1438 313879
Office Email: Media@CopticCentre.com
Website: www.CopticCentre.com


 

 

Pope Shenouda III - Memory Eternal

To his Grace Bishop Angaelos and his priests and people in the Coptic Orthodox Church in Great Britain, and to His Grace Abba Seraphim and the priests and people of the British Orthodox Church we extend our heartfelt sympathies and the promise of our prayers on hearing the news of the passing of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III.

The many tributes have recalled his devotion to the service of all the people of the favoured land of Egypt, blessed with the Lord's own presence, and the welfare and solidarity of all its citizens in peace and love, especially in the recent times of strife and change. We can also recall how in his long reign he was not only a principled and uncompromising peacemaker and reconciler; even when roundly criticised he refused in respect of Israeli-Egyptian relations to "cry peace where there is no peace", insisting that peace must be for all and cannot be for some. He also called on his flock to be people of love, peace and courageous forbearance, not violent like those who provoked them.  But turning the other cheek at the Lord's command was not a sign of weakness or giving in: he was bold in the face of the oppression of the Christian people and all dispossessed Egyptians before the civil authorities. He thus became a Confessor of the faith, banished and exiled for his faithfulness to the demands of the Gospel and the truth of Jesus Christ. On this rests the respect in which he was held on all sides.

We remember with special gratefulness to God his concern for the union of all Christ's people, and particularly for the unity of the Churches, signified in the way he reached out warmly to the Catholic Church and successive Holy Fathers in Rome. Many pages have been turned, thanks to his teaching and witness to the apostolic faith, in the long history of philosphical and doctrinal misunderstandings that have best relations between the Catholic, Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox families of churches. Pope Shenouda is now for ever to be remembered for his achievements in our mutual rapprochement and the increasing solidarity of our common witness to Christ not only in our respective historic heartlands, but also in the diaspora where our faithful and our mission of service and proclamation mingle and stand alongside one another. Not least in Britain over the last few decades, the Coptic Orthodox Church has grown from being a community of expatriate Egyptians to a major and much valued contributor, alonside the British Orthodox Church, to the entire ecumenical movement and represents a welcome refreshment to our long standing efforts towards Christian unity and the full communion of our Church. The Christian Churches Together in Britain today would be unthinkable without the Coptic Orthodox Church and this is due in no small measure to the zeal and evangelical energy of Pope Shenouda, making sure that "their sound is gone out into all lands". May he rest with the saints. May his memory be eternal!

Here is the obituary from Ahram Online, praising his patriotic service in the peace and reconciliation of all Egyptian society.

Here is the report from the BBC, recalling a "passionate advocate of unity".

Friday, 2 March 2012

Congregation for Eastern Churches Calls Bishops to Support Holy Land

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 1, 2012 thanks to Zenit.org



Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, has sent a letter to the bishops of the world concerning the traditional Good Friday collection for the Holy Land. The letter also bears the signature of Archbishop Cyril Vasil, secretary of the congregation.

"The Son of God made man, after having crossed this land announcing the Kingdom and confirming the word with mighty works, wonders and signs, went up to the Holy City to immolate Himself", reads the English-language version of the letter. "From that time, every Christian finds himself at home in that City and in that Land. This is possible thanks to the pastors in this place, who, by the will of the Lord Jesus, continue in our day also to gather our brothers and sisters in the faith to celebrate the love of Him Who 'makes all things new'.

"The Congregation for the Oriental Churches hereby reminds the bishops of the entire world of the unceasing request of Pope Benedict XVI that the mission of the Church in the Holy Places be generously supported. Although specifically pastoral, this mission at the same time offers a praiseworthy social service to all without exception. In this way, fraternity, which can overcome division and discrimination, increases and gives renewed impetus to ecumenical dialogue and interreligious collaboration. This constitutes an admirable work of peace and reconciliation, which is all the more necessary today, as we share the Holy Father’s preoccupation 'for the people of those countries where hostilities and acts of violence continue, particularly Syria and the Holy Land'".

"This year, Good Friday seems more fitting than ever as a sign of the needs of both pastors and faithful, which are bound up with the sufferings of the entire Middle East. For the disciples of Christ, hostility is often the daily bread which nourishes the faith and sometimes makes the echo of martyrdom. Christian emigration is exacerbated by the lack of peace, which tends to impoverish hope, changing it into the fear of facing alone a future that seems to exist only in the abandonment of one’s own country.

"Nonetheless, as was the case for the Gospel’s grain of wheat, so the trials of Christians in the Holy Land prepare without doubt a brighter tomorrow. The dawning of this new day, however, requires support now for schools, medical assistance, critical housing, meeting places, and everything else that the generosity of the Church has devised".

"We have the duty to restore the spiritual patrimony which we have received from these Christians’ two millennia of fidelity to the truth of the faith. We can and must do this by our prayer, by concrete assistance, and by pilgrimages. The Year of Faith, which marks the fiftieth anniversary of Vatican Council II, will provide particular motivation for us to direct our steps towards that Land. ... Next Good Friday, around the Cross of Christ, let us be conscious of being together with these brothers and sisters of ours. May the loneliness that is at times strongly felt in their situation be overcome by our fraternity".

Also made public today was a report prepared by the Custody of the Holy Land (a province of the Order of Friars Minor with responsibility for the Holy Places), listing the works carried out with the proceeds of the Good Friday collection of 2011. Restoration and maintenance has been carried out on numerous shrines, churches and convents in the Holy Land including such places as Bethlehem, Jerusalem (Gethsemane and the Shrine of the Flagellation, among others), Jaffa, Magdala and Mount Tabor. Other initiatives sought to improve welcome services for pilgrims.

A significant part of the proceeds was used to fund student scholarships, to help small business, and to build houses, schools and areas for children. Other recipients of aid included families, parish communities, the poor and cultural institutions.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky - Talk by Bishop John of Parma


Our friends in the Youngstown-Warren Chapter of the Society in the USA send us this report following a recent talk by Bishop John of Parma

Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky was born Count Roman Alexander Maria Sheptytsky in 1865 in the Ukrainian village of Prylbychi. The son of a polonized (and therefore latinized) Ukrainian Aristocrat, Jan Sheptytsky and Sophia Fredro (daughter of the Polish literary figure), he was conscious of the fact that his ancestors included some notable bishops and Metropolitans of the Greco-Catholic Church of Kyiv. After many obstacles created by his father, the young Count Sheptytsky was able to enter the Ukrainian monastery of the Order of Saint Basil the Great (OSBM) in 1891 and accepted the monastic name Andrey. In 1900 he was made Bishop of Stanyslaviv and shortly afterwards, at the age of 36, became the Metropolitan, i.e. the ranking hierarch of the Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Church. He remained at this post until his death on 1 November, 1944.

His life was an example of heroic virtue. An extremely active pastor, who used his personal wealth to fund thousands of philanthropic projects, he was also a man of deep prayer. A gifted preacher and prolific writer, he reached out to his people constantly, teaching uneducated peasants the basics of hygiene and agricultural techniques, and dialoguing with the intelligentsia among his own people and the cultured classes of all Europe. He traveled widely, visiting his flock in Western Europe, North and South America, and seeing to it that they would have bishops of their own to take care of them. Never of good health, his last fifteen years were a constant agony of pain and paralysis. Even so, he valiantly led his Church through extremely difficult and oppressive times.

His two great passions in life were the restoration of authentic Eastern Christian Monasticism in his Church, (which he achieved through the creation of monasteries following the Studite Typicon) and the union of Churches. He specifically laboured at Orthodox-Catholic reconciliation, decades before this became fashionable. For this he was often looked upon as dangerous and insufficiently loyal to Rome. He was, however, a firm believer in a strong papacy, which caused many Orthodox to mistrust this saintly man as well, even though he loved them dearly and stood up for them when they were persecuted. He valued education (having the equivalent of three doctorates himself) and founded the L’viv Theological Academy in 1929, naming Fr. Josyf Slipyj as its rector. This same man would later be Metropolitan Andrey’s coadjutor and successor, and a direct heir to many of Metropolitan Andrey’s great dreams and aspirations.

Metropolitan Andrey led his flock of some five million faithful through two world wars. He was arrested by the Czarist forces in World War I. Polish and Nazi German authorities would keep him under house arrest in later years. He courageously saved many Jews from the Nazis during World War II. Metropolitan Andrey died as the Red Army occupied his city of L’viv once again in 1944. Before his death, he predicted the annihilation of the Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Church, and its eventual resurrection. Both his predictions came true. In 1946 the Soviet Secret Police, with the assistance of the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church staged a pseudo-council of the Ukrainian Church, during which a small group of frightened clergy voted to liquidate their Church and join the Moscow Patriarchate. No Ukrainian Greco-Catholic bishop ever agreed to this. For almost half a century, the Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Church was the world’s largest outlawed religious body. As the Soviet Union crumbled, this Church came out of the Catacombs with over five million faithful, thousands of priests and over three thousand parishes. Many believe this survival of the Church in Ukraine to be a miracle worked by Metropolitan Andrey. The cause for his beatification and canonization is underway. Metropolitan Andrey believed in the necessity of the Union of Churches, to be achieved through mutual understanding and sacrificial love, as well as a return to the sources of the faith. He enjoined all people to pray for God’s Wisdom. His life and his legacy are an inspiration to the staff and students of the Institute that bears his name.


Prayer for the Beatification of the Servant of God Metropolitan Andrey Our Lord Jesus Christ – You always reward Your faithful servants, not only with special gifts of Your love, but also with the eternal reward of the saints in heaven, and in many cases You grant them the recognition of sanctity by Your Church here on earth. We humbly pray: grant that Your faithful servant Metropolitan Andrey be numbered among the saints. Throughout his just life, "full of suffering and trials," he was a good shepherd for his flock and a great labourer for Christian unity. And through his beatification and intercession, grant our entire people the great gift of unity and love. Amen.



Orientale Lumen XVI - Theology of the Laity

ORIENTALE LUMEN XVI, WASHINGTON June 18-21, 2012

Further details from http://www.olconference.com

Plenary Speakers:
  • Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia (Orthodox), Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople Oxford, England
  • Bishop William Lori (Roman Catholic), Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut
  • Archimandrite Robert Taft, SJ (Greek Catholic), Pontifical Oriental Institute (Retired), Boston, Massachusetts
  • Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin (Orthodox)

Light of the East, March-April 2012 - from Youngstown SSJC Chapter

The Newsletter from Youngstown for March-April 2012, Light of the East, is now available here.