On Sunday, September 30th, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II concluded his Apostolic Visit to the United States with a joyful gathering of his faithful at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey. This gathering, hosted by the Coptic Archdiocese of North America & The Coptic Orthodox Diocese of New York & New England, was not only well attended by Coptic Orthodox faithful, but also by distinguished religious and civic leaders.
His Holiness Pope Tawadros II addressed more than 7,000 faithful at the Rutgers Athletics Center on “The Church of Egypt and Her Role in the World.” The site of the gathering was of particular importance, as the CopticOrthodox Church represents the largest Middle Eastern community throughout New Jersey totaling twenty-seven parish communities statewide. His Holiness’ Apostolic Visit which began on September 13th, was one of “immense joy and gratitude” as described by His Grace Bishop David. On this visit, His Holiness had consecrated 13 churches, elevated 9 priests to the designation of ‘Hegumen’, and ordained 2 new priests. The Pope has personally met with and greeted more than 10,000 people throughout this journey.
Our Metropolitan, His Grace Zachariah Mar Nicholovos, represented our NE Diocese, and also the greater Church in his role as the President of the Department of Ecumenical Relations for the Malankara Church. His Grace conveyed the fraternal greetings of His Holiness Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Paulos II, Catholicos of the East & Malankara Metropolitan to Pope Tawadros II, which was received with gratitude and love. Our Diocesan Metropolitan shared the clergy and faithful of the Northeast American Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church have always stood in solidarity with their sister Church – the Coptic Orthodox Church.
The Coptic Church belongs to the ancient family of Oriental Orthodox Churches, of which the #Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church also belongs. The Coptic Orthodox Church in the United States was canonically established in the 1960s and has grown to more than three Dioceses with over two hundred parish communities.