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Sunday, 10 January 2010

Patriarch Gregorios III’s visit to Egypt

His Beatitude arrived on the evening of 23 December at Cairo airport where he was welcomed by H.E. Mgr. Georges Bakar and Rev. Frs. Amer Tawil and Boulos Koureit.

On 24 December, His Beatitude met with a delegation of the Patriarchal School’s management team at the office of H.E. Mgr. Georges Bakar. His Beatitude also met Sr. Marcelle and Sr. Roula from the congregation of Salvatorian Basilian Sisters who look after the retirement home of the Holy Immaculate Virgin.


  • On the morning of 24 December, HIs Beatitude celebrated the Royal Hours of the Nativity at the Chapel of the Archangel Michael in the Cathedral, in the presence of H.E. Mgr. Paul Antaki and Rev. Frs. Boulos Koureit, Georges Fayek and Deacon Mario Abou Daher.

  • He then received a telephone call from H.E. Shaykh Akl of the Druzes of Lebanon. He also received a call from former President Mr. Emile Lahoud and another call from the current President of the Lebanese Republic Mr. Michel Sleiman.

  • On the evening of 24 December, His Beatitude celebrated Matins and the Divine Liturgy at midnight in the presence of H.E. Mgr. Georges Bakar and the Rev. Frs. Boulos Kourait and Deacons Nabil Ishaaya and Mario Abou Daher. The Divine Liturgy was to be broadcast on Sat-7 on 6 January.

  • On the morning of 25 December, His Beatitude received congratulations in the reception hall of the Patriarchate from 11 until 14 hours.

  • On the morning of 26 December, H.E. Mgr. Georges Bakar was obliged to go to hospital for an operation, so was unable to participate in visits or accompany His Beatitude. In the afternoon, His Beatitude met a number of priests individually.

  • On the evening of 26 December, His Beatitude celebrated the Divine Liturgy on the occasion of the Jubilee of the School of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, in the presence of the Superior General of the Paulist Congregation, Fr. Elia Aghia, Fr. Rafiq Greish and Deacon Mario Abou Daher.

  • On the morning of 27 December, His Beatitude celebrated the Divine Liturgy on the occasion of the Feast of St. Joseph at the Church of St. Joseph, Zeitoun, in the presence of the parish priest Rev. Fr. Cyril (Alexios) Moushantaf and Deacon Mario Abou Daher, and commemorated Mgrs. Joseph Kallas, Joseph Absi and Joseph Zerey on their patronal feast.

  • On the evening of 27 December, His Beatitude celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Church of the Holy Immaculate Virgin in the presence of the parish priest Fr. Maurice Khoury and Deacon Mario Abou Daher.

  • On 28 December, His Beatitude was invited to dinner with Mr. Roger Shakal, one of the dignitaries of the Syriac Catholic Church in honour of Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan, the Apostolic Nuncio in Egypt, H. E. Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, H.E. Mgr. Youssef Hannoush and Rev. Fr. Rafiq Greish were present. Then His Beatitude met individually Rev. Frs. Rafiq Greish, Farid Ata and Joseph Andraos.

  • On 28 December, at 17 hours, His Beatitude attended a show at the School of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

  • The 29 to 30 December, His Beatitude participated in the Meeting of the Council of Patriarchs and Bishops at the Coptic Catholic Church – Maadi.

  • On the morning of 29 December, Rev. Fr. Xavier Eid died in hospital. At midday on 31 December, His Beatitude celebrated the funeral of Fr. Xavier Eid at the Church of St. Mary of Peace, Garden City. Also present were Mgrs. Joseph-Jules Zerey, Patriarchal Vicar in Jerusalem, Francois Eid, Bishop of the Maronites, Joseph Hannoush, Bishop of the Syriac Catholics, together with all the priests of the Eparchy and of other confessions. His Beatitude accompanied the body to the cemetery.

  • His Beatitude then went to the Patriarchal School – New Egypt with Mgr. Joseph Zerey and Rev. Fr. Amer al Tawil, principal of the school. There he met with the teachers and employees at the Patriarchal School and proclaimed the school’s first centennial jubilee, then dined at the school.

  • In the evening, His Beatitude celebrated Vespers at the Church of the Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help on the occasion of the end of 2009. Mgr. Joseph Zerey and Fr. Amer al Tawil also took part, in the presence of the sisters.

  • On 1 January, His Beatitude participated in the Divine Liturgy for peace in the presence of Coptic Catholic bishops.

  • His Beatitude, with Mgr. Joseph Zerey, was invited to dinner on St. Basil’s Day at the School of the Holy Family with the Jesuit Fathers, the Maronite Fathers and the Syriac Catholic Fathers. In the evening, His Beatitude celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Church of St. Mary of Peace, Garden City and at the end of the Liturgy a panikhida for the late Fr. Xavier Eid.

  • On 2 January, His Beatitude laid the foundation stone for the School in New Cairo of the Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, in the presence of the Mother General of the Order, Christiane Mezaaber, all the sisters, some teachers, Fr. Amer al Tawil and Deacon Mario Abou Daher.

  • The same day, at noon, His Beatitude participated in the funeral of Mgr. Joseph Sarraf, Bishop of the Chaldean Catholics, celebrated by Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Emmanuel III (Delly), with the participation of several other bishops and priests.

  • On the evening of 2 January, His Beatitude attended a show prepared by the young people of the St. Cyril’s Church and proclaimed the centennial Jubilee of the Church of St. Cyril (1910-2010.)

  • On 3 January, His Beatitude celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Church of Our Lady of the Annunciation in the presence of Fr. Farid Ata and Deacons Nabil Ishaaya and Mario Abou Daher.

  • At midday on the same day, His Beatitude visited Mr. Hamdi Zakzouk, Minister of the Awqafs, accompanied by Frs. Maurice Khoury and Farid Ata.
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