Every second Saturday of the month, 4 pm - Divine Liturgy in English of Sunday - Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family, Duke Street, London W1K 5BQ. Followed by refreshments.
Next Liturgy: Saturday 14th July - 3pm Great Vespers, 4pm Divine Liturgy for Sunday

To purchase The Divine Liturgy: an Anthology for Worship (in English), order from the Sheptytsky Institute here, or the St Basil's Bookstore here.

To purchase the Divine Praises, the Divine Office of the Byzantine-Slav rite (in English), order from the Eparchy of Parma here.

The new catechism in English, Christ our Pascha, is available from the Eparchy of the Holy Family and the Society. Please email johnchrysostom@btinternet.com for details.

Monday, 10 August 2009

His Sacred Beatitude Stephanos II Ghattas, Patriarch of Alexandria of the Catholic Copts

Fr John Salter writes:

Patriarch Stephanos II died earlier this year in the Italian hospital in Cairo. He was born in Sheik Zein el-Dine, in the Eparchy of Sohag on 16th January 1920. At the age of ten he entered the minor seminary in Cairo, followed by classical studies at the Jesuit College of the Holy Family. Just before World War II, in 1938, he entered the Propaganda College in Rome, where he obtained doctorates in philosophy and theology, and was ordained in Rome to the priesthood on 25th March 1944.

He began his ministry as the Professor of Dogmatic Theology and Philosophy at the major seminary of the Catholic Copts at Tantah, Egypt; and on 2nd October 1952 he entered the novitiate of the Congregation of the Mission in Paris and after six years ministering in the Lebanon, he was appointed to the office of treasurer and Superior of the community in Alexandria.

On 8th May 1967 the Holy Synod of the Catholic Coptic Patriarchate elected him Bishop of Luxor, Thebes. He was consecrated on 9th June 1967.

On 24th February 1984 he was appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Catholic Patriarchate of Alexandria to replace the Patriarch Stephanos I Sidarous, who was in failing health. On the retirement of the Patriarch the Holy Synod elected Mgr. Ghattas Patriarch on 9th June 1986. His Holiness Pope John-Paul II awarded His Beatitude the “Ecclesiastica Communio” on 23rd June 1986, as a sign of his communion with the Apostolic See. The Patriarch then changed his baptismal name, Andraos, to Stephanos in honour of his predecessor.

In the Roman Curia he was a member of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches and the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.

In February 2000 he welcomed the Holy Father John-Paul II during his pilgrimage to Sinai, “The God-Trodden Mountain”. The Pope named him a Cardinal of Holy Church and gave him, along with 37 other Cardinals, the Red Hat on 21 February 2001. At the funeral of Pope John-Paul II, as senior Patriarch, he censed the body of the Pope in the final prayers.

The Holy Synod of the Catholic Coptic Patriarchate, meeting in session from 27th-30th March, accepted His Beatitude’s resignation on the grounds of age and ill health, after consulting the Supreme Pontiff. Since his resignation the late Patriarch lived in the residence of the Priests of St. Stephan in Cairo. At his death he was 89 years of age and had been 56 years in the Congregation of the Mission.
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