Bishop Mouneer’s Reflection on Christmas Eve in the Largest Cathedral in the Middle East

Christmas Eve in the Largest Cathedral in the Middle East

Pope Tawedrous II and President Sisi shake hands, inaugurating the new Cathedral.
(Photo: EPA)

On 6 January, I participated in a truly historic day here in Egypt. President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi simultaneously inaugurated the largest cathedral in the Middle East and one of the largest mosques in the region in the new Administrative Capital, just east of Cairo. This was a remarkable event, an obvious statement of solidarity, and something which has never happened before. These two buildings, opened on the same day in the same city, will allow Egyptians, both Christian and Muslim, to worship peacefully in their houses of prayer.

The Beautiful new Cathedral of the Nativity (Photo:AFP)

It was Christmas Eve for the Orthodox Church, and I attended the midnight mass in the new Cathedral of the Nativity. Large and beautiful, this cathedral was a magnificent place to celebrate Christmas with my Orthodox brothers and sisters. There was a spirit of joy and celebration amongst those in attendance, and I was struck that, in this moment, I was participating in both the present and the future of Egypt at the very same time.

The cathedral (as well as the mosque) was not only opened by President Sisi, it was built with the support and funding of the government. This action, as well as the President’s opening address, are a clear message that he seeks to promote citizenship for all people here. In his opening address he said, “We are one and we will remain one.” He is keen, I can tell, to promote the religious values of peace and love, and for this I have great respect.

They say that actions speak louder than works, and these actions of support give me the feeling that we are restoring the beautiful Egypt in which we once lived. We are one step closer to restoring the tolerant culture that Egypt has known for centuries. Only through loving our neighbors, seeking to understand them, and working together for a better future, will we achieve this beautiful Egypt we once knew.

+ Mouneer Hanna Anis

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis
Bishop of the Episcopal / Anglican Diocese of Egypt
with North Africa and the Horn of Africa
 

Secretary-General of Middle East Council of Churches visits the Anglican Diocese of Egypt

Last week, The Secretary-General of Middle-East Council of Churches, Dr. Tharia Bashallany, visits Bishop Mouneer H. Anis, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Egypt and North Africa with the Horn of Africa, for the first time. The Secretary-General of Middle East Council of Churches is currently visiting the presidents of the member Churches discussing how to enhance the ecumenical role of the council and to encourage the cooperation between the member Churches to achieve this goal. The meeting was also attended by other members of the Council and the former Secretary-General of Middle-East Council of Churches, Mr. Girgis Saleh. Dr. Tharia presented the Armour of the Council to Bishop Mouneer emphasizing the importance of this meeting.

The Diocesan Clergy attend the Church Council of Egypt Clergy Conference: The Pastoral Ministry

On Tuesday November 20, the Anglican clergy of the Diocese of Egypt, along with the Coptic Orthodox, Catholic, Evangelical, and the Roman Orthodox clergy; took part in the Church Council of Egypt annual clergy conference. The main theme of the conference was ‘The Pastoral Ministry’ and the skills required. In the conference, the clergy were able to share their pastoral experiences and challenges. The clergy were also able to enjoy time of fellowship and prayers.

Bishop Mouneer Anis, Bishop of the Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa, shared about the importance of the pastor-hood ministry in the church today. He also spoke about the increasing need of the pastor-hood ministry to youths who constantly need someone to hear them and guide them. Bishop Mouneer ended his sharing by passing on an advice to the young pastors; which is to schedule time for council and mentoring otherwise it could be missed.

Let us take time to pray for our clergy as they try to pastor us. May God fill them with His grace and give them the wisdom to guide His people.

 

Report on Bishop Mouneer’s Recent Visit to Ethiopia and Algeria 8-16 September, 2018

Dusty… Faithful Feet

 

Introduction

On the 8th of September I traveled to Ethiopia to join with Archbishop Josiah Fearon, the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion; Bishop Andrew Proud, the Bishop of Redding, Oxford; and Rev. David White, the CEO of the Anglican Communion Office. Rev. Rajan Vincent, of Christ the King Anglican Church, Tripoli, Libya joined me as well. The purpose of the visit was for Archbishop Josiah to see the extent of the ministry in Ethiopia, especially the Gambela region, where the number of churches has grown from 7 in 2000 to 141 in 2017.

 

A New Hope

We spent the first day in Addis Ababa and spent Sunday the 9th at St. Matthew’s Church, where Bishop Andrew Proud preached and I celebrated the Holy Communion service. While in Addis, we noticed that the local people were in the streets, carrying Ethiopian flags and celebrating with great joy! The reason for all this was the celebration of the Ethiopian New Year. They follow a different calendar, so it is now 2011. The other reason for the obvious joy was that the new Prime Minister has invited all of the opposition leaders to come back to Ethiopia in order to participate in building the future of the country. We were able to see the hope in the eyes of the people who have suffered from oppression in the past.

On Sunday evening we travelled to Gambela. On Monday morning, we visited two new churches for the Anuak tribe. In the afternoon, we went to visit the churches in Itang. Each group of churches has a mission center where people gather once a month for training and fellowship.  I was touched when I learned that some of the women walked for three hours to come and welcome us in the mission center. Their dusty feet speak of their faithfulness to the Church of Christ.

The great and wonderful surprise for me was that, on the large piece of land I mentioned in my last report in May, they have built a new church with mud and tree branches! They asked me to give the church a name, which I did. The church is now called “The Good Shepherd Church.”

On Tuesday, we met with around 35 clergy and lay ministers. They shared about what the Lord is doing in their midst. They also gave us all an update about the number of churches in each mission center. Archbishop Josiah asked them about their hopes for the future. They are very much looking forward to a Bishop who can live in their midst, not far away. They also would like to see development work in the areas of education and health happening in Gambela. As I write this report, a group of engineers finished their visit to Addis Ababa and Gambela to develop plans for the extensions of St. Matthew’s, as well as the new land in Gambela.

Visit to Algiers

We also visited Algiers, in order to see the ministry in North Africa. It was a great encouragement to see a vibrant service on Friday morning and another Arabic service in the afternoon. The church is definitely growing in Algiers! It became obvious to all of us that the need for several clergy is becoming urgent. We are happy that a number of potential clergy are now being trained at St. Cyprian Theological Center in Tunisia. While in Algiers, we were able to visit Annaba (Hippo), which is in the East of the country.

It was wonderful to visit the ruins of the site of St. Augustine’s Cathedral and to see the seat where he used to sit, preach, and act as a judge when people brought problems to him. It was also wonderful to see the new St. Augustine’s Catholic Basilica and to meet some Anglicans who worship there.

Come and Walk in the Steps of the Holy Family

Dear friends,

I encourage you to visit Egypt. The opportunity to walk in the footsteps of the Holy Family is unforgettable, and such a trip will change the way you understand their story. Egypt is the cradle of human civilization with a rich and complex history made up of many significant events, civilizations, and cultures. The country was chosen by God as the land of refuge for the Holy Family. By visiting Egypt, you will be able to experience the country’s hospitality and friendship firsthand.

A trip to Egypt following in the footsteps of the Holy Family can be designed to suit your needs, whether it be a shorter trip to visit only the landmarks around Cairo, or a longer trip throughout Egypt.

Now is the perfect time to visit Egypt. This is the safest that the country has been since the revolution, and tourism is starting to increase.If you are interested in visiting Egypt, please let us know at the Diocese of Egypt, and we would be happy to connect you with a high-quality travel agency to help plan your trip.

We look forward to seeing you here in our beautiful country.

 

May the Lord bless you.

+Mouneer Egypt

Bishop Mouneer and Clergy Visit Al-Azhar in Eid El-Fetr

 

 

On Wednesday, June 13, Bishop Mouneer and some clergy visited Al-Azhar to wish the Grant Imam, Ahmed El-Taieb, a Happy Eid Fetr. Delegation from the Lambeth palace and other members also joined the visit. During the visit, the Grant Imam praised the influence of the Diocese of Egypt in the interfaith dialogue to enhance the relationships between people of different backgrounds in the society. Bishop Moueer also discussed some details concerning the coming visit of Al-Azhar to Archbishop Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury. The visit was encouraging to all attendees.

 

Bishop Mouneer Participates in St. Mary’s Cave Opening in Mataria

On Friday June 1st,Bishop Mouneer participated in St. Mary’s Cave Opening in Mataria, Cairo, along with Bishop Armia, Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church. The event collides with the international acknowledgment of Egypt as part of the route taken by the Holy Family. The event was attended by public figures including, Cairo governor, Minister of monuments, Fatma Naoot, Margret Azer, etc; as well as church figures. The celebration included by a holy mass within the cave led by the Catholic Patriarchate, Ibrahim Isaac.

The cave is of a historical importance because it hosted the holy family when they came to Egypt for shelter. In the fourth Century, the Jesuits built the church nearby the cave and it was consecrated by Bishop Gido Korbly in 1891. It was not considered as a historical venue until its opening  on Friday the 1st of June.

In his speech to the press, Bishop Mouneer emphasized the importance of the visit of the Holy family to Egypt. The visit fulfilled a prophecy in Hosea 11: 1, NIV “Out of Egypt I called my son”, and was a reason for blessings to the Egyptians that continues till today. He also approved the wise decision internationally acknowledging Egypt as part of the route taken by the Holy Family. He also encouraged the Egyptians to always be a safe refuge for foreigners and refugees, as Egypt was once to the Holy Family, so they may find joy, peace and blessings in Egypt.

To view the full speech of Bishop Mouneer, please clink below.

To read local press, please click here, Sada El-Balad and El-Fagr News.

Letter of Condolences from Bishop Bill

Dear friends;

I was saddened to hear the news of the recent death of Lady Ghislaine Morris. Hilary and I first met Ghislaine in Cairo, in the late 1970s, when Sir Willie Morris was British Ambassador to Egypt and we were living there. We have kept in touch over the years. Ghislaine maintained her interest in the church in Egypt, and in the Middle East generally, long after her experience of living there. She was for many years a trustee of both the Jerusalem and Middle East Trust, and the Anglican Church Trustees (Egypt). She was Secretary of the Egypt Diocesan Association 1983-1986, Chair of the EDA 1987-1990, and then Secretary again 1991-2003. I also remember her in more recent years as a supportive friend and colleague of Bishop Kenneth Cragg. Hilary and I loved her generous, genuine interest in others, her warm personality, her positive embrace of possibilities, her supportive organisational skills. We especially send condolences to, and pray for, Peter, David and Stephen and all the family in their loss of Ghislaine.

Rt Rev Dr Bill Musk

Pages: 1 2 3 10