A Word About Metropolitan Serapion!
A Word About Metropolitan Serapion!
The Honorary Doctorate Ceremony.
Having served with our beloved father His Eminence Metropolitan Serapion for the last thirty-six years, I find it very difficult to have to say just a few words about him and his vision, leadership, and love. I began serving with His Eminence in 1986, first in Egypt at the Bishopric of Services, and now in the Diocese of Los Angeles.
I wish to highlight today:
- First, the impact of his leadership in the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Christian world.
- And second, the impact of his leadership in the field of social work.
Metropolitan Serapion the Leader
Metropolitan Serapion embodies the skills of a true and faithful leader, spiritual father, and teacher. It is hard to find someone who reflects all these characteristics. He is a visionary. He manages the present effectively, but the vision of the future is always present in front of him. Metropolitan Serapion was a leader in the church throughout different events in the church’s history during which he helped to preserve the church’s canons. For example, after the departure of the Thrice-Blessed His Holiness Pope Shenouda the Third, he ensured the laws of the church were kept, which stated that the bishop of a diocese cannot be a patriarch. He defended that principle, even when he faced disagreement. To preserve this rule:
- He issued a booklet explaining the church’s laws that deny the bishop of the diocese being appointed as a patriarch.
- He explained those canons to the priests’ synod of the diocese at their monthly meeting and also clarified them to the people through the Coptic TV channels.
- He discussed those laws during the personal meetings with the members of the Holy Synod.
Metropolitan Serapion has always worked to ensure proper doctrine, integrity, and unity. At the ecumenical level, he continues to strive for unity among the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox Churches and advocated for peace among the churches most recently at the General Assembly of the World Council of Churches held in September in Germany.
The Effect of His Leadership on Social Work
Since His Eminence’s ordination as an auxiliary bishop for the Social and Ecumenical Bishopric, he worked on community and church development and took great interest in social work:
- He developed leaders and servants who would work with him.
- He chose young leaders and sent them to pursue additional education in their field.
- Because he had great interest in the health field, he established the group of Santa Verena for health education in villages and rural areas. He found it necessary to address the growing number of those needing healthcare. He collaborated with the Ministry of Population in Egypt, and he was granted an award by the Ministry for his role in that effort.
- He took great interest in helping the youth with small initiatives and training some at the vocational training programs.
- During his work in development, he established different services for women, education, and the needy not only by providing them financial help, but also by training them to develop small ventures. His Eminence never stops working to grow the service. He extended his vision outside Egypt, and he established Bless US, Bless UK, and Bless Australia.
When he was ordained as a Bishop for the Diocese of Los Angeles, he continued his care of the church in Egypt and in Africa. He established Santa Verena Charity with its different programs to help the needy inside and outside Egypt. He also established the Education Department in the Diocese along with the Diakonia Department, which has seven services focusing on:
- Senior citizens,
- Arabic-speaking youth,
- The sick,
- Those suffering from addiction,
- And those in foster care.
Today, I am only providing a glimpse of the extraordinary work Metropolitan Serapion has done over the years and continues to do through his tireless vision, leadership, and love. We are so joyous to celebrate His Eminence’s honorary doctorate, which he is truly deserving of. Thank you to all the administration and staff at The Catholic University for making this wonderful occasion possible.
Congratulations Sayedna – May God bless you and your service for many years and peaceful times.
H.G. Bishop Abraham