Medford, NJ – This past Saturday – April 13, 2019 – His Grace Anba David, Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of NY & NE and Patriarchal Exarch of the Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America, made a pastoral visit to St. Anthony Coptic Orthodox Church where he was greeted by the assembled Coptic, Eritrean, and Ethiopian faithful of the region. His Grace led the people in the Divine Liturgy, preached a moving homily on Christ’s words to the man born blind, and ordained chanters, readers, and subdeacons for the community.
His Grace was joined at the altar by Fr. Rafael Guirguis and Fr. John Bishara of the hosting parish, Fr. Jacob (monastic) of Kidist Selassie Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Philadelphia, two deacons, and a host of newly consecrated altar servers. A Lenten Agape Meal was enjoyed by all after the Liturgy. Not long ago, at a meeting of the Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches, His Grace Bishop David declared that, “our unity as Oriental Orthodox Christians should manifest itself in our daily lives and not exclusively at annual concelebrations of the Divine Liturgy and other related events… the hierarchs and their priests should begin inviting one another to participate in parish feast days, weddings, the ordination of clergy, and other special celebrations, as well as simply to offer homilies in one another’s churches”. His Grace’s visit to St. Anthony was a beautiful icon of that vision brought to life.
Professional photography was provided at no charge via the generosity of Mr. Mourad Ibrahim. May God grant him the heavenly reward.