Category Archives: Coptic Church

Coptic Orphans Visits U.S. East Coast Churches for Martyrs Feast, Coptic New Year

Abouna Guirguis Tadros of St. George Church, Cabin John, MD and Michel Awad, Coptic Orphans relations donor associate.
Abouna Guirguis Tadros of St. George Church, Cabin John, MD and Michel Awad, Coptic Orphans relations donor associate.

We have many great traditions in our Church, where we come together as one family and celebrate our shared pride in our Coptic heritage.

Many Coptic Churches recently celebrated the Martyrs Feast (El Nyrooz) and the new Coptic year. They had their annual festivals and the final summer Sunday school ceremonies.

Coptic Orphans staff members from our U.S. office were there celebrating these special events with our brothers and sisters. It was also a great blessing to spread the word and invite them to our 25th Anniversary Gala celebrating the children of Egypt. We visited and posted our Gala invitation at the following churches.

I’m excited that, as Coptic Orphans continues to grow, we’re visiting more churches and being visited at our U.S. office by more members of the clergy. These face-to-face connections with our community, by God’s grace, are one way that Copts in the diaspora can really get to know and feel what children in Egypt are experiencing today.

We’re very grateful to have had the chance to visit these churches, and to spend time with the abounas and members of the congregations.

I hope you’ll be part of the Gala celebrations as we launch our next 25 years of transforming lives in Egypt! To learn more about the Galas in the United States (Saturday, Oct. 11 in Reston, VA) and Australia (Sunday, Nov. 9 in Lilyfield, NSW) please visit our web page, where tickets can be purchased online. Tickets for the Gala in the U.S. may also be obtained by contacting Gala Director Elise Ravenscroft at eravenscroft@copticorphans.org or 202-531-0862.

Ambassador Meleika to Speak at Coptic Orphans’ 25th Anniversary Gala in Canada

Ambassador Meleika has always kept his door open to Coptic Orphans, and he has had a distinguished career in Egypt's diplomatic corps.
Ambassador Amin Meleika , who has had a distinguished career in Egypt’s diplomatic corps, will speak at our 25th Anniversary Gala on Sep. 28 in Brampton, ON.

Dear Friends,
Today, I’m honored to share the thoughts of Manal Bedwany, the director of our Coptic Orphans office in Canada.
— Nermien Riad

It’s incredible to be approaching Coptic Orphans’ 25th Anniversary in the company of so many good memories and dedicated people. Nearly 2,500 Canadians have shown amazing support for the children over the years, through devoted prayers, volunteering, and donations.

So as we approach the our 25th Anniversary Gala, marking the foundation of our head office, it’s with the knowledge that we would not have made it to this milestone without you, our beloved Coptic community.

With that in mind, it’s a great honor that our Gala on Sep. 28 in Brampton, ON will bring together two people who represent the most important aspects of our Coptic heritage: the Church, and Egypt herself.

We all know our first honored guest, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II.  His commitment to personally come to Brampton and accept the Leading by Example Award is a wonderful affirmation of the years of work that Canada’s Coptic community has devoted to educating and empowering Egypt’s children.

Today, I want to introduce another honored guest, who embodies the Egyptian side of our heritage that is so tightly interwoven with our Coptic identity. H.E.M. Amin Meleika, Consul General of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Montreal, will address the Gala, helping to keep us in touch with the motherland.

Ambassador Meleika has always kept his door open to Coptic Orphans, and he brings to his post a distinguished career in Egypt’s diplomatic corps.

Since December 2010, he has been Consul General of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Montreal to Quebec, Ontario, and the Atlantic Provinces. Prior to that post, in the period 2008-2010, he served as Deputy Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for North America. In the preceding years, 2004-2008, he was Deputy Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of Egypt to the UN-GENEVA.

His other posts include spending the period 2002-2004 as a member of the Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Minister, and various high-ranking diplomatic positions in Hong Kong, The Netherlands, and Ethiopia.

We are honored that H.E.M. Meleika will join us on the evening of Sept. 28 and address the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. He brings with him a lifetime of experience connecting Egyptians overseas to the motherland, so we are confident that his speech will give us good insights into this crucial period in Egypt’s history.

It’s a blessing to be able to mark Coptic Orphans’ first quarter-century of work with leaders of the calibre of His Holiness and Ambassador Meleika.  In those 25 years, by the grace of God and with your support and prayers, we have educated and empowered 30,000 children in Egypt. I hope you will be part of the Gala celebration on Sept. 28, when we Canadians launch our next 25 years of transforming lives in Egypt!

To learn more about the 25th Anniversary Galas in Canada, Australia, and the United States, please visit our web page, where tickets can be purchased online. Tickets for the Canada Gala may also be obtained by contacting me. (Manal Bedwany; mbedwany@copticorphans.org; 450-736-0975)

‘An Incredible Blessing’ — A Visit to St. Mary and St. John the Beloved Convent

Mother Marina, head nun of St. Mary and St. John the Beloved Convent, and Coptic Orphans staff member Michel Awad.
Mother Marina, head nun of St. Mary and St. John the Beloved Convent, and Coptic Orphans staff member Michel Awad.

I’m excited to share the reflections of Michel Awad, one of our donor relations associates based here at our headquarters in the greater Washington, D.C. area. — Nermien Riad

It was a great blessing for Coptic Orphans to visit St. Mary and St. John the Beloved Convent in Warren, Ohio over the July 12 weekend.

The convent is the first Coptic Orthodox facility of its kind for nuns in the United States and Canada. It is located about 70 minutes from Cleveland, a major medical hub where many Coptic doctors work, and where many Coptic bishops and priests visit every year. It is an area that was often blessed and visited by our beloved father, H.H. Pope Shenouda III. The monastery reports directly to H.H. Pope Tawadros II.

Being the first and only convent for Coptic nuns in North America, the facility is always fully booked by trips and retreats by several churches in United States and Canada. It is an ideal place for overnight trips for girls (khelwa). There, they can be blessed with the prayers of the Coptic nuns. They can also enjoy learning many handicraft and art skills directly from the nuns  an opportunity they would never have unless they visited this type of holy Coptic institution in Egypt.

I reached the convent on the evening of Saturday, July 12. I met with Mother Marina, the head nun, who kindly welcomed us and gave me permission to make a presentation just after the liturgy and meet with the whole congregation. Mother Marina also introduced me to Abouna Kyrolos, who also welcomed me and invited me to pray the liturgy with him and make a presentation on Sunday, July 13. I attended Saturday prayers in the church with all the nuns and Abouna Kyrolos. I also met several young women who were visiting the convent.

My presentation covered Coptic Orphans’ different programs and services, and featured a video of H.H. Pope Tawadros II sharing kind words about our work. The presentation explained the Serve to Learn program and mentioned that the current group met with Abouna Dawoud Lamie and visited H.H. Pope Tawadros II.

Sharing the news and pictures of these events seemed to have a strong impact on the young people who were present, because they expressed a lot of interest in joining Serve to Learn in 2015. In fact, after the presentation, three young women (one from Canada and two from the United States) asked questions about Serve to Learn and shared their contact information in order to learn more.

This visit to St. Mary and St. John the Beloved Convent was an incredible blessing, with many positive outcomes. We’re grateful to the nuns and Abouna Kyrollos for their hospitality and love for the children of Egypt.