Dr. Guirguis Ibrahim

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Dr. Guirguis Abdel-Messih Ibrahim

Founder and First President of SMOF

His Life and Ministry

1925-2006

drguirguis

Dr. Guirguis A. Ibrahim, a loving father and husband, a truly dedicated servant of the Lord, and a university Professor and researcher, has departed to the uninterrupted presence with the Lord, whom he loved with all his might, on Saturday March 4th, 2006.

He is survived by his life-long wife, Assinat, his sons, Michael, consulting actuary with Aon, and servant at Saint Mary’s Church in East Brunswick, NJ, and Joseph, Professor in the Department of Biostatistics at U. of N. Carolina, and Sunday School servant in Raleigh, NC, his daughters, Sonia of Grafton, ND, and Marcelle of Minneapolis, MN, and his 10 grandchildren.

Dr. Guirguis received his Ph.D. degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Cairo, Egypt, in 1956, and became instructor in the School of Science at the same university, and later, Professor of Biology at the College of Education for Girls in Heliopolis, Egypt.  As a college student in Cairo, he started serving as a teacher in Sunday School of St. Antonious Church of Shubra, a suburb of Cairo in 1945.  There he was joined with a group of enthusiastic Coptic youth who started the “revival of the 50’s” in the Coptic church, together with their counterparts in Giza, Egypt.  Among his close friends was Mr. Nazir Gayed, who later became H.H. Pope Shenouda III , and their teacher was Mr. Labib Ragheb, who later became the late Rev. Fr. Antonios Ragheb, who served in Minneapolis, MN, and Jersey City, NJ.

Dr. Guirguis was among the first graduates of the evening classes of the Coptic Seminarian School, “Eklerikia”.  He became director of Sunday School services at the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul in Cairo, “El-Botrosia” in the mid-1950’s, and of St. Mary and St. Rowais Churches (Anba Rowais), a few years later.  He served at the Anba Rowais Church until his immigration to the USA in 1969.  At Anba Rowais, he was a teacher and a spiritual father for a group of Sunday School teachers who became monks, bishops, priests and dedicated servants, among whom is H.G. Bishop Moussa, Bishop of the Youth in the Coptic Church.  He was also a member of the Boards of St. Mary and St. Rowais Churches, and later, of St. Mark Cathedral. Abbassia, Egypt.  He was also a frequent speaker in youth and servants meetings at different churches in Cairo and its suburbs.

In Minneapolis, Dr. Guirguis gathered the few Copts there in the early 70’s and started arranging for a Coptic liturgy every few months.  He was joined there by Dr. Adel Mikhail and others whose activities encouraged the growth of the Coptic congregation, and the establishment of the first Coptic Orthodox Church in MN.  When they could not have a Coptic liturgy they attended St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church of Minneapolis and Rev. Fr. Anthony M. Coniaris always welcomed them.  At that time, Dr. Guirguis worked as an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota.

In 1992, Dr. Guirguis, together with some of his friends and disciples in USA, founded St. Mark’s Orthodox Fellowship (SMOF), and he was elected its first President.  The chief motives for this were his love for the Word of God, and his openness to other Orthodox Churches.  His earnest desire was for all people to know the Word of God, and for all Churches to be one in Christ.  He guided the activities of SMOF by his wisdom and love until his departure, and he wrote most of the “Short Notes on the Bible” anonymously.

In 1996, after his retirement, Dr. Guirguis moved to Clearwater, FL, where he, again, together with Dr. Lotfy Basta, Mr. Makary Bishara and others supported Rev. Fr. Ekladios Khalil in motivating the Coptic congregation to build their own Church.  This activity continued till they built two Churches, and H.G Bishop Youssef ordained for them Rev. Fr. Kyrillos Makar in 2001.  During his stay in Minneapolis and Clearwater and until his departure, he kept teaching the Bible in the churches there almost every week.  His last lectures at St. Mary and St. Mina’s Church in Clearwater were on “Isaiah”, whose prophecy was studied almost one chapter every week, ending with chapter 61, and then he departed to be with this messianic prophet himself.

On Saturday, the 11th of March 2006, H.G. Bishop Youssef, Bishop of Southern U.S. Diocese presided over the funeral prayers on Dr. Guirguis’ body at St. Mary and St. Mina’s Coptic Church, Clearwater, FL.  At his funeral, many of his family, friends and disciples talked in his memory.  H. G. Bishop Youssef was the first speaker and he mentioned two of the most obvious spiritual gifts that were clear in Dr. Guirguis’ life, the gift of teaching and the gift of fatherly love to all.  H.G. described him as “truly father of fathers, although he was not ordained to Priesthood, because among his disciples were bishops, priests, deacons, and servants, who were proud to call him their father, teacher, and master.” Rev. Fr. Kyrillos Makar talked about him as “personified love”, and read a messages from H.G. Bishop Moussa, in which he described Dr. Guirguis as “my beloved teacher, who had the most beautiful impression in my life and ministry … from whom I learned the principles of service at St. Rowais Church”, and a message from Rev. Fr. Youannis Fahim of Minneapolis.  This was followed by talks from Rev. Frs. Youhanna Tadros, of Queens, NY, Angelos Baghdady, of Tampa, FL, and Mark Hanna, of East Brunswick, NJ, and from his family, Mr. Michael Ibrahim, and Dr. Joseph Ibrahim, his sons, and Miss Gena Solomon, his granddaughter, and from his friends and disciples, Dr. Lotfy Basta, professor of cardiology, Dr. Ramzy Labib, representing SMOF, Mr. Mamdouh Asaad, deacon from St. Mary and St. Mina Church, and Dr. Adel Mikhail, his close friend from Minneapolis, MN.

“Blessed is the man You chose, And cause to approach You, That he may dwell in Your courts, We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house” (Ps. 65:4)

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Books written by Dr. Guiguis Ibrahim (in Arabic), and published by his family:

1- Lent Sunday Gospels. Foreword by H.G. Bishop Moussa

2- Explanation of the Gospel According to St. John.

3- The Christian Creed: Dogma and Life.

4- The Epistles of St. Peter : Spiritual Study.

5- The Book of Isaiah part1.

6- The Book of Isaiah part2.

7- The Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans.

Click on the links for details.

These books may be ordered from SMOF by regular mail to PO Box 6192, Columbia. MD or by contacting us.

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For Arabic Obituary click here


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