Approximately a month later news filtered to Winnipeg that a
deacon from St. George & Anba Reweis Church, Toronto, will be going
to Egypt to be ordained for St. Mark of Winnipeg during His Holiness’
annual enthronement celebration.
Communication with Abouna Reweis Awad revealed that the selection
was done between His Grace Bishop Tadros and himself and that the
nominated deacon was Biomedical Engineer George Shawky Farag, in
his early forties, who had moved to Canada two and half years earlier.
The explanation goes that Deacon George was the leading deacon at
the Liturgy that His Grace celebrated with Abouna Reweis after their visit
to Winnipeg. Another Divine planning! After the Service Abouna
Reweis asked His Grace what he thought of the leading Deacon. His
Grace said that he was fine and knew his role. Abouna Reweis asked
His Grace what he thought of the deacon as a priest for Winnipeg. His
Grace agreed that he would be good for that. The question was then
relayed to Deacon George. Deacon George asked for a week during
which he would fast and pray with his wife, Miranda, asking for Divine
guidance. After this period, Deacon George got back to Abouna Reweis
with the answer: let it be according to the Lord’s command.
With questions on everybody’s mind, Abouna Reweis sent us Abouna
Makary Selwanis to celebrate Holy Liturgy the following Saturday and to
answer any questions regarding Deacon George. His answers made
the members of the Congregation very comfortable with the decision and
the selection of a priest whom nobody from the congregation had
Abouna Reweis accompanied Deacon George to Egypt for the
ordination. At around 8:30 p.m. Abouna Reweis called while Abouna
Makary was in Winnipeg and told the Church Council that a nomination
document was required from the congregation of St. Mark in Winnipeg.
The nomination sheet was circulated among the members of the
Church, the necessary signatures were secured in a record short time
and the document was faxed to Abouna Reweis by midnight. Abouna
Reweis was scheduled to present it to His Holiness the following
morning, Cairo time.
His Holiness approved the nomination. Alleluia! The ordination did not
take place at the time of the celebrations due to complications with other
Churches’ nominations. Everything in due time.
On Friday, November 28, 2003, George Shawky Farag became Abouna
Marcos Farag called to serve the Altar of St. Mark Church in Winnipeg,
Manitoba, Canada. He was ordained at the Monastery of St. Bishoy and
spent his 40 days there prior to his departure for Winnipeg, as is the
custom of the Church.
Abouna Marcos Farag was visited by some Winnipeg Church members
at the monastery. Also, a visit was made to His Holiness to offer thanks
from the Winnipeg Church for the selection and the ordination of their
shepherd. The words of His Holiness were: “Take good care of him and
treat him well”. The delegation responded that this would be a personal
When Abouna Marcos arrived in Toronto on January 1, 2004, there were
also representatives from the Winnipeg Church at his reception.
Abouna Marcos’ Arrival to Winnipeg
The date was January 3, 2004, a cold and snowy night in
Winnipeg. It was so cold that the luggage compartment of the plane
would not open. Abouna Marcos and his family: Tasoni Miranda and
daughters, Madona and Maria, Abouna’s late mother, Madame Wadiaa,
and his brother-in-law, Eng. Sherif arrived accompanied by Abouna
Reweis Awad. Abouna and his family were greeted with wreaths of
flowers and banners and they were transported by limousine to the
Church. (to their surprise, they were asked to give back the flowers they
received before leaving the airport. (The flowers would have frozen had
they worn them outdoors).
At the Church, Abouna entered accompanied with the proper joyous
Alhan, he knelt before the Altar and started the Prayer of Thanksgiving
and the rite of receiving the Altar of the Church was fulfilled. After
congratulating him, everybody proceeded to a hall at a neighboring
a hotel where a reception dinner, speeches and a slide show of a brief
history of the Church was enjoyed by all.
The following morning, which was a Sunday, Abouna Marcos (khadeem)
celebrated Holy Liturgy with Abouna Reweis Awad taking only a
supportive role. After lunch, Abouna Reweis held a meeting and gave
some advice to the congregation.
Next came the Nativity Paramount and Nativity Eve and in both Services,
with the grace of God, Abouna Marcos took a full charge in a very
an admirable and efficient way for a newly ordained Priest.
Abouna Marcos did not waste any time before organizing and
developing the services in the Church and took the lead with no