At the newly renovated and consecrated St Mark’s Cathedral in Abbassiya, Cairo, Pope Tawadros II yesterday 25 November consecrated five monks as bishops, seated two bishops on the dioceses of Tema and Dumyat (Damietta), and promoting six bishops to metropolitans.
During Vespers service on Saturday 24 November at St Mark’s, the Pope announced the names and resumes of the monks and bishops whose consecration was to be concluded during Mass the following day.
Following the announcement of the names, the vestments of the bishops-to-be were anointed with Holy Myron Oil, and the new candidates recited the Bishop pledge. Pope Tawadros reminded that since the last consecration of new bishops in November 2017, six Coptic bishops and archbishops departed from our world. He cited their names: Anba Fam, Anba Antonius, Anba Boqtor, Anba Arsanius, Anba Bishoi and Anba Epiphanius. “We ask that they pray for us and intercede on our behalf,” the Pope said.
Sunday morning, the Pope entered the Cathedral in a procession accompanied by members of the Holy Synod and the new bishops.
During Holy Mass, Bishop-General Anba Ishaq was consecrated as Bishop of Tema; he had been strongly commended by Tema’s council of priests, the Pope remarked. Bishop-General Anba Marqos was consecrated as Bishop of Dumyat, Kafr al-Sheikh, and Barari, again upon recommendation of the diocese’s priest council.
The monk Fr Marqos al-Abnoubi from Mar-Mina Monastery in Abnoub was consecrated Bishop of the New Valley and the Oases, and was given the name Anba Arsanius. Fr Sawiris Ava Mina, from Mar-Mina Monastery in Maryut was consecrated Bishop-General to serve and oversee new monasteries which need supervision; he kept his name, becoming Anba Sawiris. Fr Boulos al-Muharaqqi from the Holy Virgin’s al-Muharraq Monastery in Assiut was consecrated Anba Mikhail, to become Bishop-General on one of Cairo’s neighbourhoods. Fr Bishoy Ava Moussa, who was born and served in the US, was consecrated Bishop-General Anba Basil, to aid Bishop Youssef of the Southern United States Diocese, along with Fr Maximos Ava Moussa, consecrated as Bishop-General Anba Gregory.
During the service six bishops were promoted to metropolitans. They are: Anba Abra’am of Fayoum and its vicinities; Anba Marqos of Shubral-Kheima and its vicinities; Anba Ashaia’ of Tahta, Juhayna and vicinities; Anba Andarwus of Abu Tig and its vicinities; Anba Bessada of Akhmim and its vicinities; and Aba Pola of Tanta. The Pope explained that each of the new metropolitans had behind him a long history of serving the Church and their dioceses as bishops. He pointed out that the rank of metropolitan, more than implying promotion, carries with it yet deeper commitment and more arduous service.
In his sermon, Pope Tawadros reminded that the service of bishops and metropolitans is inspired by Christ Himself. He said prelates ought to emulate four characteristics of Christ: the loving pastor, fulfilling teacher, wise planner, and faithful vigilant. The Pope then gave a resume of each of the new bishops and metropolitans. He said that as per Church tradition, the new bishops will observe one year of fast, reminding that all the Church is joining them in the current Advent fast. The Pope thanked the Lord for blessing His Church and her service, reminding of the work of the Lord in His Church during the past two weeks, starting with the celebration of the golden jubilee of the Mar-Girgis church in Sporting, Alexandria, then the consecration of St Mark’s after its renovation, followed by the Holy Synod Seminar, and finally the consecration of two general bishops as diocesan, consecration of five new bishops, and promotion of six bishops to metropolitans.
26 November 2018