Pope Shenouda falls ill in Ohio

And the bad news keeps coming…

The leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church has been hospitalized and
his scheduled appearance at a Columbus church this morning has been

Pope Shenouda III was admitted to the Cleveland Clinic last night,
said Mary Sedarous, daughter of the pastor of St. Mary Coptic
Orthodox Church on the Far West Side.

There’s been no word on why the 84-year-old was admitted, she said,
but it was an emergency. Her father, the Rev. Sedarous A. Sedarous,
rushed to Cleveland around midnight to be with the pope, who taught
him in Cairo in the 1960s.

Shenouda, the highest figure in the Coptic church, had traveled from
Egypt to visit some of his American congregations, including St.
Mary. He was to consecrate the church’s 3-year-old altar this
morning, and Coptic priests had traveled to Columbus from all over
the Midwest and Canada for the occasion.

The consecration has been indefinitely postponed, Mary Sedarous said.

The doctrine of the Coptic Church, which is the native Christian
church of Egypt, is similar to Greek Orthodox and Russian Orthodox

Memory Eternal!

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece’s Orthodox Church leader, Archbishop
Christodoulos, who eased centuries of tension with the Vatican but
angered liberal critics who viewed him as an attention-seeking
reactionary, died Monday at his home of cancer, church officials
said. He was 69.

Christodoulos, who headed the church for a decade, was first
hospitalized in Athens in June before being diagnosed with cancer of
the liver and large intestine.

He spent 10 weeks in a hospital in Miami but an October liver
transplant operation was canceled when doctors discovered the cancer
had spread. He refused hospital treatment in the final weeks of his

Greek Orthodox Bishop’s religious items stolen

Feeling very embarrassed to live in Texas right about now…

ARLINGTON –- A Greek Orthodox bishop in town visiting area parishes is pleading with the public and offering a reward for help in reclaiming his most sacred religious items.

A crown, veil and New Testament Bible were among items stolen from Metropolitan Isaiah, the Bishop of the Northwest Region of the Greek Orthodox Arch Diocese of America during a car burglary in Arlington.

He will lead his first worship service in more than two decades without his beloved crown on Sunday at St. Demetrius Church in Fort Worth.

“That was the first gift I received as a bishop 22 years ago,” he said. “I feel lost without it.”

The bishop added that he is hoping the thief will have a conscience and return the items.

The items were stolen last night when thieves broke out a back window of the car the bishop had been riding in and stole his bag as he and others dined at Piccolo Mondo in Arlington. In a similar crime, an Arlington City Council Member’s car was broken into one week before and thieves made off with thousands of dollars worth of valuables stolen with his wife’s luggage and his briefcase.

The bishop said that anyone who can return the crown to him, unharmed will receive a reward.

Anyone with information can call St. Demetrius Church in Fort worth at 817-626-5578 or go to 2020 NW 21st St.

Prayer of a Soldier

I came across this the other day and, as a Soldier and an Orthodox Christian, was deeply touched by it. This is the translation of a prayer found on the body a young Russian soldier, whose name was Alexandr Zasipa, after he died in battle. Much thanks to Christina for passing it my way.

“Hear me, Oh God. Never in my whole lifetime have I spoken to You but just now I feel like sending You my greetings. You know from my childhood on they always told me that you are not. I, like a fool, believed them. I’ve never contemplated Your creation and yet tonight gazing up out of my shell hole, I marvel at the shimmering stars above me and suddenly knew the cruelty of the lie. Will You my God reach Your Hand out to me? I wonder. But I will tell You and You will understand. Is it not strange that the Light should come upon me and I see You amid this night of Hell and there is nothing else that I have to say. This though, I am glad that I have learned to know you. At midnight we are scheduled to attack. But You are looking on and I am not afraid. The signal… well, I guess I must be going. I have been happy with You. This more I would like to say. As you well know the fighting will be cruel and even tonight I may come knocking at your door. Although I have not been a friend to You before, still will you let me enter even now and I do come? Why am I crying, oh my God, my Lord? You see what happens to me. Tonight my eyes were opened. Farewell, my God. I’m going and I am not likely to come back. Strange is it not, but death I fear no longer.”

Wisdom from St. Moses the Ethiopian

“Do not rail against anyone, but rather say, ‘God knows each one.’ Do not agree with him who slanders, do not rejoice at his slander and do not hate him who slanders his neighbor. This is what it means not to judge. Do not have hostile feelings towards anyone and do not let dislike dominate your heart; do not hate him who hates his neighbor. This is what peace is: Encourage yourself with this thought, ‘Affliction lasts but a short time, while peace is for ever, by the grace of God the Word.” – St. Moses the Ethiopian.

Origen on Prayer

He “prays without ceasing” [1 Thessalonians 5:17] who joins prayer to works that are of obligation, and good works to his prayer. For virtuous works, or the carrying out of what is enjoined, form part of prayer. It is only in the way that we understand the injunction, “pray without ceasing,” as something that we can carry out; that is to say, if we regard the whole life of the saint as one great continuous prayer. What is usually termed “prayer” is but a part of this prayer… Origen, On Prayer