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December 15, 2006


Rich Leonardi

They date upwards from the fifth century and today, as a result of the revival in Coptic monasticism in recent years, a new generation of educated monks are anxious to safeguard this heritage.

The grounds of Rochester's gorgeous Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, of recent sainted memory, will house a Coptic monastery.

Lawrence Cunningham

Readers maybe interested to know that the Coptic Church has an authentic spiritual master who is known as "Matthew the Poor." Some of his writings are available in English through Saint Vladimir's Seminary Press.

Fr. John

Readers may be interested in Mark Gruber O.S.B.'s Journey to Eden: My LIfe and Times among the Desert Fathers, Orbis Books, 2002. Fr. Gruber, a monk of St. Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe, PA, wrote an anthropology dissertation about the Coptic Orthodox Church. This book is a more personal account of his time living in several desert monasteries.

Old Zhou

Having read "Journey to Eden" a couple of years ago, two things stick in my memory as rather "outstanding":

- the fact that Fr. Gruber never "concelebrated," and maybe never even "intercommunicated" with the Copts. Sure, he attended their liturgies, and they, at least once, attended his Catholic Mass in his cell (and said, paraphrasing here, "That's it? So short! We were just getting warmed up!")

- the old Coptic monk who was getting on in years and finally had to give up living in a cave. He concluded (in a nice way) that most of the young monks were less enlightened than the rocks he used to share his life with for so many years.

An interesting book. There were just a few traces of his bumping into young Egyptian men who were very anti-Christian at that time (I believe it was in the 1980's). I doubt that he could have made such a journey today.

T. Chan

Yes, it is a fascinating book. I found the remark by Pope Shenouda that there would be bigger steps taken towards dialogue with the Catholi Church if it were not for the hostile political environment in Egypt.

Deacon John M. Bresnahan

It should also be noted, if my memory serves me correctly, that the Copts are not of that family of churches we collectively call "Eastern Orthodox," but are of that Eastern grouping which broke with Rome and Constantinople after the Council of Chalcedon and which today includes the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Ethiopian Church as well as the Coptic Church.

Ed the Roman

They continue to be obscure in the West, first-hand information being rare about them.

After all, you can never find a Copt when you need one.

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