Hierarchal Visits


  • His Grace Anba Tadros Annual visits-1992
  • Relationship with St. Andrew’s College—1993

Since His Grace Bishop Tadros’ visit in 1982, we had not been blessed with any Bishop visitation, until January of 1989. It so happened that a group of the Church members were at the airport to meet a member’s mother, and to everybody’s surprise, His Grace Bishop Antonius Morcos of Central Africa arrived on the same flight. He did not know if there were any Coptic people in Winnipeg and nobody in the Church knew of his coming.

The Divine arrangement was that he had missed his flight connection to Winnipeg and had to wait for the next flight. He wondered asking God to reveal to him why he had to be delayed. It did not take long before a gentleman and his mother approached him as he was in the gate area, greeted him and asked him if by any chance his destination was Winnipeg. The gentleman then told him that his mother, Mrs. Wedad Abdel Malak, was on her way to Winnipeg to visit her son, Adel Takla, who would be meeting her at the airport. So His Grace was glad to know that there was a Coptic community in Winnipeg and understood the divine tactic behind missing his connection.

The main reason for His Grace’s visit was to deliver a set of lectures at the Mennonite Bible College. The Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) has an office in Cairo that works in harmony with the Coptic Church. They had approached His Holiness Pope Shenouda with their need for a presentation about the Coptic Church in Winnipeg (of all places!). His Holiness referred them to His Grace Bishop Antonius Morcos who was then spending some time in California.

His Grace spent three days in Winnipeg, in the mornings he attended to his hosting College and he spent the evenings with the Coptic Community. He celebrated Holy Liturgy and consecrated the first deacons to be ordained in Winnipeg.

In October 1992 His Grace Bishop Tadros blessed us with a visit, ten years after his first one. This marks the beginning of his annual visits to Winnipeg that, thanks be to God, are still ongoing at the time of this writing, and, God willing, will continue for years to come. The matter of the Church’s growth and a permanent priest for the congregation was an ongoing discussion with His Grace, asking his direction and blessings. The membership of the Church was now in the range of 20-25 families. Still a small number to acquire a priest.

Around that time, Abouna Bisenti Girguis left Ottawa and returned to Alexandria, then went to Africa. Abouna Athanasius Iskandar of Kitchener, ON, graciously agreed to step in for the services in Winnipeg.

At the same time, Abouna Danial Rizq was transferred from Edmonton to Calgary, where the congregation did not yet own a Church building and they were holding the Services on Saturdays, and as a result, Abouna Danial was able to celebrate Liturgies on Sundays in Winnipeg. The place that became available for Sunday Services was the Chapel at St. Andrew’s College on the University of Manitoba Campus. This belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Their permission was granted through the Metropolitan of the Ukrainian Church of Canada who resided in Winnipeg. Consequently, there were two Churches to accommodate the Holy Liturgy:

St. George Romanian Orthodox and St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Orthodox Churches,

both were made available to us without any conditions or fees. Donations were sent to both Churches in return for their hospitality. Despite the availability of these places, longing to have our own Church building was still foremost in the mind of the congregation. A number of opportunities to buy a building presented themselves over the years, but when we visited these sites and after much discussion, we decided that none of them fit our needs. The time was not right yet.

During His Grace Bishop Tadros’ visit in 1994 he reinforced the need to acquire a building and his opinion was that, despite the small membership, if His Holiness saw that a building was acquired, he would know how serious we were about asking for a permanent priest.

It is appropriate at this time to list the names of the Reverend Priests who officiated the Holy Days Services in Winnipeg and to thank them for their sacrifice of leaving their Churches and their homes and families in Egypt to give us the joy of celebrating the Holy Feasts.

Reposed Fr. Mikhail Dawood

St. Mary Church, Rode el Farag
Resurrection 1993

Abouna Abraam Aziz

St. George Church, Heliopolis
Resurrection 1994
Nativity 1995

Abouna Dawood Dawood

St. George Church, Heliopolis
Resurrection 1995

Abouna Rofaeil el Anba Bishoy

Anba Bishoy Monastery
Nativity 1996

Abouna Baula Nashed

St. Mary , New Ma’adi
Resurrection 1996

Abouna Sourial Fahmy

St. Mary, Abasseya el Sharkeya
Nativity 1997

Abouna Sourial Fahmy

St. Mary, Abasseya el Sharkeya
Resurrection 1997

Abouna Sourial Fahmy

St. Mary, Abasseya el Sharkeya
Nativity 1998

Abouna Sourial Fahmy

St. Mary, Abasseya el Sharkeya
Resurrection 1998

Following that and in due time we will come to the appointment of Abouna Sourial as the first Parish Priest in November 1998.