08 Mar His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos visits Sydney Diocese (2023)
His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos arrived in Australia for a second pastoral visit to the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Sydney and Affiliated Regions as Papal Legate of the diocese. The week-long visit commenced on Friday, 24th February, 2023 and concluded on Sunday 5th March, 2023.
Friday 24th February, 2023
His Eminence was met at Sydney Airport by His Grace Bishop Daniel and diocese clergy, before travelling to St Pope Kyrillos VI & St Habib Girgis Church, Monterey for The Thanksgiving Prayer and to greet the congregation as they fundraise for their new church site.
Saturday 25th February, 2023
The weekend commenced with a Divine Liturgy and priesthood ordination of Fr Anthony Sharkawi at St Mark Church, Arncliffe, also attended by His Grace Bishop Daniel, Bishop of Sydney and His Grace Bishop Daniel, Abbot of St Shenouda Monastery, Putty.
His Eminence extended the congratulations and blessings from His Holiness Pope Tawadros II on the joyful occasion.
“Let your priests be clothed with righteousness” (Psalm 132:9)
SYC x YIC Combined Youth Conference
Friday 24th February, 2023 – Sunday 26th February, 2023
With the blessings of His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, the Dioceses of Sydney and Melbourne held their annual combined youth conference, organised through their youth committees, Sydney Youth Committee (SYC) and Youth in Christ (YIC), respectively.
Held at The Collaroy Centre on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, over 380 youth from across Australia, North America and Europe participated in the conference.
The 2023 theme was “The Overcomer”, with the motto: “In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul” (Psalm 94:19).
Archbishop Angaelos was joined by His Eminence Metropolitan Thomas of the Diocese of Al-Qusiiyah and Miir, Egypt, and Anaphora Retreat Centre as the two international guest speakers, who delivered a series of six lectures, providing wisdom on how the youth may overcome obstacles they may face in life.
His Grace Bishop Daniel, Mother Antonia from Archangel Michael Monastery in Melbourne, and Sisters Erini & Mary from the Theotokos & St Demiana House for Consecrated Sisters also joined, delivering symposia on a variety of topics throughout the weekend. It was a wonderful conference, filled with spiritual and social fellowship.
Sunday 26th February, 2023
By God’s grace, following the spiritually enriching combined youth conference, His Eminence visited the parish and congregation of St Mary & St Luke Church, Gosford.
The hospitality and joyful spirit of the parishioners reminded Archbishop Angaelos of the early days of his ministry in the United Kingdom.
Monday 27th February, 2023
Archbishop Angaelos, alongside His Eminence Metropolitan Thomas and His Grace Bishop Daniel, celebrated the Divine Liturgy at St Demiana & St Athanasius Church, Punchbowl with the clergy of the diocese.
This was followed by a fellowship brunch and spiritual reflection on the priestly perspective of the world; moving from condemnation to compassion, based on understanding and forgiveness.
In the evening, His Eminence attended a meeting with the wives of the clergy of the diocese at St Mary & St Mina’s Cathedral, Bexley – the first of its kind in Sydney – where he expressed his thanks for their incredible ministry ranging from 50 years to two days.
An impromptu drop-in to meet some youth and high schoolers playing basketball soon followed, before a meeting with the cathedral’s parish congregation focussing on the “Rich Young Man” (Mark 10:17 – 22).
Tuesday 28th February, 2023
Visits to the Coptic Colleges of the Diocese of Sydney commenced today, starting at St Mark’s College in Wattle Grove, where the joyful singing of the 800 students delighted the guests.
His Eminence inaugurated a new building dedicated for its primary school classes, following major renovations. His Grace Bishop Daniel, members of the Diocese Board of Trustees and Coptic Board of Education also joined.
The visiting party then travelled to both the Primary (Bexley) and Secondary (Rockdale) campuses of St Mary & St Mina’s College – the latter of which had undergone extensive renovations over the past two years, and was officially reopened during the visit. The new Rockdale campus was also officially dedicated.
In the evening, following his arrival at Gold Coast Airport, His Eminence spoke at a combined Queensland youth meeting held at St Mina & St Anthony’s Church, Gold Coast.
Wednesday 1st March, 2023
The following morning, His Eminence celebrated the Divine Liturgy with Queensland clergy and parishioners at the Virgin Mary Church, Calamvale (Brisbane), baptised a young boy into Coptic Orthodoxy, and enjoyed brunch with the congregation before private meetings and an afternoon departure back to Sydney.
Once back in Sydney, the youth of the Diocese of Sydney were blessed to have His Eminence with them at The Holy Apostles & St Abanoub Church, Blacktown for a combined youth meeting discussing the topic: “What is my Identity?”
His Eminence came straight from the airport after arriving from Brisbane, for a youth meeting that was attended by over 195 youth, many of them from the weekend’s “The Overcomer” conference.
The youth thanked His Eminence for blessing them once again with his time and wisdom, and looked forward to seeing everybody at St Mark Church, Arncliffe on Friday for the second combined meeting with Anba Angaelos.
Thursday 2nd March, 2023
His Eminence’s schedule consisted of private meetings.
Friday 3rd March, 2023
His Eminence visited the parish of St Mary & Sts Cosman and Demian Church, Kellyville where he celebrated the Divine Liturgy with Bishop Daniel, the fathers and congregation.
This was followed by an afternoon visit of St Bishoy College, Mt Druitt, and another combined youth meeting at St Mark’s Church, Arncliffe in the evening – the last combined youth meeting of the visit. The focus of the talk was: “Waiting on the Lord”.
Saturday 4th March, 2023
His Eminence celebrated the inaugural Divine Liturgy at St John’s Church, South Hurstville – the newest parish of the Diocese of Sydney & Affiliated Regions. Altar utensils were consecrated for this young parish, and many congratulations offered to the congregation, and prayers that God may bless and grant prosperity to the service for many years to come.
In the afternoon, His Eminence hosted a thank you luncheon at St Mary & St Mina’s Cathedral, Bexley, recognising the efforts of the members of the various Diocese Committees during his time so far as Papal Legate.
In attendance were members of the Board of Trustees, as well as members of the Finance, Property, Legal, Education, Clergy Nominations, Nominations and Media Committees.
His Eminence travelled to St Anthony & St Paul’s Church, Guildford in the evening, for the Young Couples/Families (YCF) Meeting, Vespers and Diocese General Servants Meeting attended by many dedicated servants from all across Sydney.
The topic of the YCF meeting was: “Is it okay for me to have my own space? – Boundaries between couples”. The topic for the General Servants Meeting was: “The Unity of Service”.
Those in attendance thanked His Eminence for his wisdom and time speaking with the wonderful young couples, families and servants of our diocese. May God continue to bless and reward them for the Glory of His name.
Sunday 5th March, 2023
His Eminence completed his Sydney visit by celebrating the Divine Liturgy with the fathers and congregation of St Mary & St Mina’s Cathedral, Bexley, and meeting with the parish Multicultural Ministry.
We thank His Eminence for blessing us abundantly during his visit to the Diocese of Sydney & Affiliated Regions, and wish him a safe journey back to London.
May God continue to bless your ministry and your service for many years to come.