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Stained Glass of St.

Mark the Apostle and Martyr


Isaac Fanous 1978
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Index

Foreward............................................................................................................................ 5
Introduction...................................................................................................................... 5
His Beginnings – His Education – His Service – His Work........................................... 7
His Beginnings and His Childhood.................................................................................. 7
His Education................................................................................................................... 9
His Deaconate and Sunday School Service ................................................................... 10
His work......................................................................................................................... 11
His Ministry as a priest in Egypt and Abroad. ............................................................ 12
His Recommendation to the priesthood. ........................................................................ 12
His Ordination as a priest for St. George’s church in El Daher, Cairo.......................... 14
His Service in the U.K and Europe. ............................................................................... 14
His Other Ministerial Activities in London. .................................................................. 16
His Departure .................................................................................................................. 18
Carrying the Cross of Illness from His youth ................................................................ 18
The last hours before his departure................................................................................ 19
The funeral of Father Bishoy Bushra at St. Mark’s in London ..................................... 20
The funeral service at the Grand Cathedral in Egypt..................................................... 21
Tribute and acknowledgments....................................................................................... 22
From bishops and fellow priests .................................................................................... 22
From deacons and members of the congregation .......................................................... 28
Tributes to Abouna Bishoy from the Youth of St. Mark’s Church - London:.............. 32
Photographs..................................................................................................................... 38
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Foreward
Introduction

How painful it is to the Lord when one of his people dies. ( Psalm 116:15 ).

God honours his own people particularly those who serve Him with honesty and dignity.
As much as they are missed in this earthly world when they depart, they will be received
with honour and glory in heaven. They join the twenty four priests who sit on their
thrones infront of Him.

Our beloved Father Bishoy Boushra was a truly blessed man who will be greatly missed.
Inspite of a painful physical ailment, he was never deterred to fulfil his duties with
honesty . With God’s grace and power he was happy to be proud of his weakness in order
to feel the protection of Christ power over him. At the end he surrendered his life to His
Saviour to be released from the suffering to the place where there is no more sorrow or
tears.

His Holiness Pope Shenouda as mentioned in El Keraza expressed his deep feeling for the
death of this loving and greatly loved priest. He spoke about the sense of deep loss
expressed by the congregation in UK. and the moving funeral service at St.Mark’s church
in Kensington. He mentioned the last journey of his body to Cairo. He presided over the
funeral service at St.Mark’s Cathedral in Cairo attended by many bishops and large
number of fellow priests.

The layout of this book refers to Father Bishoy’s life from birth to priesthood, his service
in Cairo and UK till his departure.
We would like to thank all those who participated in this work. We mention the deacons
Dr. Ghali Hanna, Mr. George Barbary for the translation of some articles and Mr. Gamal
Wasfy for his tireless effort to produce the book. We also thank Mr. Maged Sahfiq and all
at Dar Anton for printing and publishing in Cairo.

May Father Bishoy soul rest in peace and The Holy Spirit compassionate condolences to
the family and congregations in UK and Egypt.

7th June 2007.( 40th day Commemoration ).


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“A righteous man shall be remembered forever”


Psalm 112:6

Father Bishoy Boushra


Celebrant 1987 – 2007

The congregation of Saint Mark’s Church, London, will cherish the dearest memory of a
spiritual Father who, throughout his ministry, gave them outstanding and devoted service.

He was dedicated to all in giving pastoral guidance and advice, and to any person in need,
he gave help and comfort. He went further, and after took the initiative to enquire about
the needs of others, in spite of his own health difficulties.

The memory of our beloved Father Bishop shall remain in our hearts and minds through
his sermons and preaching which he delivered at the pulpit, or wrote in pamphlets,
booklets and brochures to commemorate special church occasions and festivities.

“Well done, good and faithful servant, you have been faithful over a few things. I will
make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your LORD.”
Matthew 25:21

Dr F. Megal
Secretary of the Church Council
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Chapter 1

His Beginnings – His Education – His Service – His Work


His Beginnings and His Childhood

The child Monir Bushra (his name before ordination to the priesthood) was born on 20th
May 1941 in a place called ‘Saket Makeey’ in the district of Giza. His father was called
Bushra Makar and his mother was called Mariam Gendy Mikhael. They had moved from
the city of Samalot in the region of El Minya to live in Giza due to his father’s work
commitments at a public company involved in the import and export trade and which was
based in Cairo.

Monir was the firstborn of his parents, and he was greatly loved by them, and they
brought him up with great care. They paid particular attention to his spiritual life from a
young age. His parents were righteous and walked in the path of virtues and love for the
poor. They embraced the example of St. Abraam, bishop of Fayoum, in the virtue of
giving, and his parents would never refuse a request from a poor person. Monir was
brought up to love others in particular the poor and needy.

During his early childhood the family was exposed to a lot of danger due to the Second
World War. The shelling and bombs would often land on houses in their area, and the
noise of the shells was deafening. Many homes were demolished as a result, and many of
the occupants were left homeless. The family at that time lived in great worry, especially
his mother Mariam, who greatly feared for the life of her then only son. As the air raid
sirens sounded she would grab Monir, who was still only one year old, and hold him tight,
and as the bombs began to fall around the house, and the explosions shock their
surroundings, she would hold him tighter and tighter, in the hope that her body would
become a protective cover for her son, and nothing would harm him. In all these
difficulties the parents would lift their prayers to God to protect them and find them a
safer place to live, away from these dangers.

God soon answered their prayers and they moved to a safer place. Their new home was in
Embaba Street in a neighbourhood of Cairo called El Daher, in front of the church of the
great Saint George. In this new home his brothers were also born, Nabil, Nageeb, and
Makram. The family suffered a great and sudden tribulation with the departure of Makram
from this life at a very tender age, but they quickly recovered through their prayers to God
and recognising His comfort in their lives and His protection for them. Their prayers
turned quickly to thanksgiving and to the words ‘thy will be done’, and they would say
with Job, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the
Lord.”

Having overcome the falling shells and bombs in Giza and always remembering God’s
remarkable rescue for them and their son Monir, another great tribulation fell upon the
family once more. One day Monir fell seriously ill with gastroenteritis (which results in
severe vomiting and diarrhoea) and pneumonia which threatened to end his life. He was
only four at the time and his mother Mariam turned to God with much prayer and tears,
asking for the intercessions of St. Mary and St. George. During her prayers she would
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weep so much that her tears would fall on her son with his angelic face, whom she held in
her arms and on her lap.

It happened one late night and after a long time of praying that she was finally defeated by
sleep due to her tiredness. She slept were she had been on the floor with her son in her
arms, and she saw in a dream St. Mary, the Mother of God, handing her a bouquet of
flowers and she took it in her hand. She immediately awoke to find her hand holding onto
the hand of her son and moments later Monir awoke and got up and started running and
playing in the room around her. The mother at first could not believe that Monir was
healed and she called his father, who came running quickly. He took him immediately to
the doctor and the doctor stated that the boy was fine and healthy and there was nothing to
worry about. This confirmed to them the miracle which the Lord had done for them
through the intercessions of St. Mary and they glorified God for His wonderful works.

From that time his mother Mariam took him to the church and presented him to the priest
of the church and the choirmaster to take care of educating him in the hymns of the
church and serving the altar. For when Monir was sick and she was asking for the
intercessions of St. Mary, his mother prayed just as Hannah the mother of Samuel had
prayed and said, “I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life”. The Holy Spirit
had inspired her in her prayers and unawares she had prophesied about the priesthood
which her son would one day hold although he was still a very young boy at the time.

The young boy Monir continued to grow and attended the Holy Liturgies regularly,
partaking of the Holy Sacraments, and attending Sunday school. He loved the hymns of
the church. He would spend much time trying to learn them and he was blessed with a
wonderful voice. His Grace Bishop Theophilus, head of St. Mary’s monastery of Surian
was one day praying the Holy Liturgy in the church of St. George El Daher and he
ordained the young Monir to the rank of ‘Psaltos’ or ‘Cantor’ in the deaconate ranks. He
was aged six at the time and he ordained his brothers Nabil and Nageeb at the same time.

When his father saw how dedicated he was to learning the hymns and listening to his
wonderful voice, he brought him as a present a small set of cymbals and a triangle. Those
cymbals and triangle went on to be the cause of many frictions with the neighbours as the
young cantor spent long hours honing his skill and practising the hymns and reciting the
Holy Liturgy in the house. He would often stay up late at night singing hymns to the
extent that the neighbours complained saying, “Have you turned your home into a church
or what… we can’t get to sleep because of the singing, the cymbals, and the triangle!!!”

This was the life of the child Monir, growing in virtue and grace. The more he grew the
more his knowledge and love for the church, her dogma and her rites increased. His
knowledge of hymns also increased. There was also a neighbour to the family called Mr
Boulis Kheer. This neighbour had moved from Upper Egypt in the south, to Cairo. His
relatives would often come and visit him, and amongst those relatives was a young boy
named Tobia who would attend every year during the summer to spend the summer
holidays with his relative.

During this time Tobia would spend all his time with his friend Monir. They were
inseparable except at bedtime. Their friendship was so close that they would do
everything together. They were known for their quietness and spirituality and they would
attend all the church meetings and all the Holy Liturgies during the length of the summer.
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Until the time would come to return to school and Tobia would return to Upper Egypt but
they would remain in continual touch with each other until the following summer arrived.
As for the quiet young spiritual Tobia, he went on to become His Grace Bishop Fam, the
Bishop of Tema.

His Education

The young Monir began his education at the local primary school. He studied there for six
years and graduated from there passing all his exams before moving onto a secondary
school to continue his education. During this time he continued to attend Sunday School
and Spiritual Meetings as well as the Holy Liturgies during the week and the feast days of
the saints and the Feasts. During this time his great spiritual and educational level grew to
become greater than his peers.

Having passed his Secondary exams, he then went on to study at a Higher Secondary
Education school. His church and deacon service did not stop him from excelling in his
education. A story which is told during his Higher Secondary Education studies was that
he would leave the classroom with his friends during the time of the Islamic lesson, to
preserve his Christian belief and dogma, and so as not to offend either his friends or those
in the class by his presence. Once the Arabic teacher, who also gave the Islamic class
objected to him leaving, despite there being no obligation on him to stay. Monir politely
refused to stay and this angered the teacher who started attacking the Christian religion
and questioning Monir about his faith. Although he was a young student at the time,
Monir being filled with the Holy Spirit answered all his accusations calmly and in a
persuasive manner with the knowledge he had at the time.

He was in fact so persuasive that the heart of the teacher was moved, and the Spirit of
God convicted him to seek out more. He asked Monir to bring some books about the
Christian belief, and Monir got the books from his father’s library. His father was also
deeply knowledgeable in this area. The matter ended with the teacher spending much time
studying the Christian belief and finally he was convinced by the reliability and truth of
the Christian faith, all this because of the Holy Spirit which was in the young deacon
Monir Bushra.

The young Monir was exceptionally bright. His favourite and best subject by far was
mathematics. His desire was to become an accountant, and his wish came true when he
finally finished his higher secondary education and he joined Cairo University to study
business. Here and we stop to mention an important story which shows how God was
planning his life. Once a youth came to him complaining of a problem which he had
prayed a lot about but God did not answer him so what should he do? So Monir started to
talk to him about the marvellous work of God in our lives and that he should leave all the
matters in the hand of God and let his guide be “Thy will be done” for God knows best
when and how to answer our requests. Many times our requests are not according to the
will of God, and many times God delays in responding to our requests for reasons which
become clear later. He delays because if He were to respond immediately the harm that
would befall us would far out way the benefits, and God does not wish to harm us in any
way.
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This very advice came back to play an important role in his life. Monir went through a
great tribulation during the last year of his higher secondary education when he was
forced to repeat the year due to his exam results. This came as an incredible shock to him,
for he was very diligent in his studies, and had revised hard for the exams. His family felt
for his distress but they encouraged him with supportive words and he soon was working
hard. He put his distress to one side from this unexpected tribulation. He would say to
himself I am sure God had a reason for this, and sure enough there was a reason…

Monir repeated the year and he passed his final higher secondary education exams with
excellent results, and his exam score allowed him to study business at the University of
Cairo as was his original wish. The years went by with his peers being one year ahead of
him. They graduated one year ahead of him and were all conscripted into the army as was
required at the time. In that year they were sent out to fight the war in Yemen and sadly
none of them were to return alive from that war. It was at this moment that Monir and his
family realised how God’s divine plan and intervention in his life had preserved him from
harm, for God had another mission for Monir to complete as His servant.

During the time he was in the Business school he was greatly loved by all his friends. He
was known for his joyous spirit and wonderful smile. He would touch everyone who came
in contact with him. He would rarely come home on his own, but would often bring back
two or three of his friends to have lunch or dinner. He was so popular with the students
that they made him head of the student union for the University. His activities also
extended to performing as part of the university drama group. He also organised and
supervised the many trips for the university students.

His Deaconate and Sunday School Service

Due to his clear spiritual growth during the secondary school stage, the head of Sunday
school for St. George’s Church, El Daher, appointed him a servant. In fact he was heavily
reliant on Monir to serve those of primary school age. This was the beginnings of Monir’s
blessed Sunday school service from an early age. Furthermore he did not stop in attending
his own age group Sunday school with his friends to learn despite being appointed a
servant.

As a result of his humility and meekness, he never felt himself better than his friends or
other servants because he was younger than them in the service. Rather he felt the weight
of responsibility on his shoulders and he would often pray to God to allow him to carry
that responsibility faithfully.

His tribulation of having to repeat his final year would have caused many to give up hope
and stop serving. However this had the opposite effect on Monir. He started to serve even
more, least what befell him may have been due to a lack of service on his part, or so he
would often think. He did not allow this tribulation to trouble him, but he threw it over his
shoulder and instead proceeded to throw his entire strength at studying and serving God
even more. His spirituality increased day by day under the guidance of his spiritual father,
and next to his Sunday school service he was dedicated to his serve as a deacon. He also
had other services such as supervising the church’s drama group and organising trips for
the youth to the monasteries, the holy sites, and the leisure destinations around Egypt.
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Many a person who was far from God returned to the church during this time because of
this youthful God loving servant.

His work

Monir graduated from business school and almost immediately started work as an
accountant for a accountancy firm of Mr Louis Mikhael in 1965. He was honest and
dedicated in his work. This was to the extent that when he moved to work as a manager in
Shamla Company in Cairo, Mr Mikhael refused to let him go and he agreed to work for
Mr Mikhael on certain evenings as well as working for Shamla Company. In 1969 he
moved to become head of accounts at Elewayat of Egypt Company, he worked for three
years there until he was chosen to be ordained a priest for the church of St. George in El
Daher.

An incident which also occurred to him during his youth was that one day he suddenly
suffered severe pain in his abdomen area, and his father and family took him to see
Doctor Morris Ameen Awad, who diagnosed the pain as appendicitis requiring immediate
and urgent surgery to remove the appendix. His mother became greatly distressed due to
the dangers of the operation and she asked his brother Nageeb to go to the old patriarchate
in Klot Bay and ask for the prayers of His Holiness Pope Kyrillos the VI for Monir.

It was the habit of Pope Kyrillos VI to sit on a chair in the middle of the hall in the old
patriarchate for anyone to take the blessings from him. Naturally many would attend to
take his holiness’ blessings and on the day Nageeb attended the place was crowded with
people wishing to take the blessings of his holiness that Nageeb could not think of a way
to reach his holiness. He then decided to leave to rejoin the family back at the clinic.

As he was thinking of leaving his holiness Pope Kyrillos VI called to him, “Come here,
you tall person from El Minya who is standing there”. Nageeb approached his holiness
and said to him, “But I am not from El Minya your holiness”. At this his holiness gave
him a sharp look with his eyes and hit him with the cross on his head saying, “Alright,
you who comes from Samalot then, or is Samalot no longer in El Minya” (This his
holiness said referring to his parents and ancestry who come from Samalot in El Minya).

His holiness then said to him, “Take this cotton soaked in oil and go and wipe it on the
side which hurts your brother, and tell him not to fear he will recover”. Nageeb went and
followed the instructions of his holiness and told Monir what his holiness had said. The
operation took place and Monir made a speedier than usual recovery. What was nice
about this incident was that His Holiness Pope Kyrillos VI did not know Nageeb and yet
the Spirit of God had revealed to his holiness who he was and why he had come.
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Chapter 2

His Ministry as a priest in Egypt and Abroad.

His Recommendation to the priesthood.


All the signs and indications pointed towards, that the Sunday school teacher and deacon
Monir Boshra Makar, was chosen from heaven to be ordained as a priest to serve the altar
of the Lord.
God had granted him, a musical voice, a distinctive spiritual performance, a strong love
for the church rites, zeal towards Orthodox dogma and above all people’s love for him
and his love for them.
Prior to his ordination, he served continuously for 25 years at St.George’s church (El
Daher, Cairo). That service started as a young deacon at the age of six years old. He
served both primary and secondary school ages as well as to his service to the youth
groups and arranging trips and outings. Not only did he serve as a deacon, close to the
altar; he also accompanied the church’s priests during pastoral visits to the sick to give
them communion or pray for them the unction of the sick rites during Lent. He used to
attend early, the evening raising of the incense and mass. All these activities in the
church, in addition to his spiritual growth had encouraged the church’s priests, council,
congregation to put his name forward to be ordained as a priest.
When he was informed of the recommendation, it was natural that he requested a period
of prayer and reflection asking God’s guidance, help and declaration to make the right
decision. He needed to consult his father of confession, to be guided by his advice and
recommendations on this subject that would affect his future. Moreover, he didn’t neglect
the views of his family, especially his parents and brothers and sisters.
Some of his family objected to his recommendation to the priesthood. Their goal was
towards earthly glory, wondering how he could leave a high position as a head of an
accounts department in one of the largest companies.
They were all very proud of him and his position. However, his personal point of view
was directed towards heavenly glory. For him the priesthood was a blessing, he felt
unworthy of. Instead of working in the worldly field of men, he preferred to work in
God’s field who is the King and Kings and Lord of Lords.
Through that vision, he desired to leave the service of the world and accept his
recommendation for the priesthood.
In spite of all of this, he asked God to give him a sign to confirm support in the decision
that he took.
One of these signs was gaining the family’s consent and agreement with God’s will as the
priesthood was a blessing for him and them. He continued to pray intensely asking for
God’s guidance.
His brother said that the family began to relent, especially when they felt that this was his
wish. As much as they respected and valued him, they tried to please him and not object
to a decision he took on deep conviction.
On his part, he had advised them not to object against anything before raising their hearts
to God, asking for His guidance.
He used to say to them, that their objections meant they were against God’s will, or else
how can we pray saying, ‘thy will be done’.
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One day he stood in front of St. George’s icon in the church raising his heart with tears for
this subject. While he was praying, he heard a voice coming from the icon saying,
‘Monir, you will be a priest of this church’.
He hurried home and told his mother what he had heard. She advised him to keep that
experience a secret so as not to loose on the recurrence of these apparitions.
The word of the great martyr St. George was the decisive factor on his ordination. He
became sure, without any doubt that this call was from God.
He and his family had to accept. Joy filled all of their hearts, including those who had
objected previously.
It seemed only natural, that when the priesthood was offered to him that he spent time
reflecting on the past incidents. How God had protected him and saved his life more than
once, when he was a small child and when he grew up. He graduated from university a
year later than all his peers and colleagues, who had been recruited to fight in Yemen and
many of them did not return, he could have been one of them. He also remembered a
sentence said to him by his holiness pope Kyrellos whilst he was still a young man. This
sentence turned out to be a prophecy about him becoming a priest.
What did His holiness Pope Kyrellos say to him? His sister Rebecca said, ‘my brother,
Monir, had a strong relationship with Pope Kyrelos. In one of Monir’s visits to St.
Mena’s monastery whilst he was a university student with a group of deacons from the
church, there they met with his holiness who admired my brother’s voice and his
spirituality in prayers. His holiness patted his shoulder with fatherly love and gentleness,
saying to him, ‘where are you going to run away from it, you with a nice voice’. Of
course his holiness meant the priesthood.
The family kept a photograph of the late Fr. Bishoy when he was a deacon standing
behind his holiness, holding the gospel and the cross praying the litany of the gospel
during a holy mass. His brother said that the day this photo was taken holds pleasant and
funny memory. His Holiness Pope Kyrellos used to visit any of the churches in Cairo in
the early hours of the morning without prior arrangement. On that day his holiness came
to St. George’s church El Daher. Neither the priest nor the cantors (cantor Sadek
Attallah) were present at that hour of the morning. The deacon Monir and his brother
were already in the church, when his holiness entered, followed by his disciple. He called
the deacon Monir and asked him, where is abouna and the cantor? Monir answered,
‘your holiness, they should be on their way’. The pope said, ‘my son, get the psalmody
and let’s pray the tasbeha (praise). Then prepare the censor to pray the morning raising of
incense until abouna and the cantor arrive’. After a short while, the priest and cantor
Sadek arrived and panicked when they saw the Pope. His Holiness didn’t blame of
rebuke them. At the end of the mass, Pope Kyrellos, asked cantor Sadek, ‘can we pray
mass without Tasbeha?’ Cantor Sadek replied, ‘no your holiness, but I prayed it on my
way to church’. His Holiness smiled as well as those that were gathered around at the
time.
After his ordination, the late Fr. Bishoy, used to remind Cantor Sadek with this funny
incident, asking him while smiling, ‘Oh Cantor, did you pray the tasbeha (praise).’
Cantor Sadek used to laugh and say, ‘what an embarrassing situation that was for me, how
could I have arrived that late after his holiness.’ On that day, the photographer took lots
of photos during mass and one of them was the before mentioned photo. It was a valuable
photo indeed.
As well as the photo, Fr.Bishoy, kept a scarf belonging to his holiness Pope Kyrellos.
Many miracles happened with the blessing of this scarf.
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His Ordination as a priest for St. George’s church in El Daher, Cairo.


After the departure of Pope Kyrellos VI, His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, may God
prolong his life, ascended to the throne of St. Mark. The deacon Monir Boshra was
amongst the first people to be ordained by His Holiness after his enthronement on the sea
of St. Mark on the 14th November 1971. The deacon Monir was ordained on the feast of
the Pentecost on the 28thMay 1972.
He was called Fr. Bishoy Boshra a priest on St. George’s church at El Daher, Cairo. His
ordination day was a day of joy, gladness and happiness for his family and the
congregation of the church and all his beloved. He had a great capacity to love and to be
loved by all. Even his Muslim colleagues in the company where he worked arranged a
farewell party and presented him with a silver cross to use during his service as a priest.
Shortly after his ordination, His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, seconded him to serve at St.
Mary’s church (madinat Nasr – Cairo) as the priest of that church had been seconded to
serve abroad. He served there for two years during which time the congregation grew to
love him. Meanwhile, his congregation from St. George’s church submitted several
requests to His Holiness Pope Shenouda for his return to them. He didn’t show any
preference and left the decision down to his holiness, who promised to return him to them.
After two years, he returned to serve at St. George’s church, where the congregation
greeted him with much joy at his return to them and to the Altar for which he was
ordained.

His Service in the U.K and Europe.


The late Fr. Bishoy Boshra wrote a book on the occasion of the silver Jubilee of the
consecration of St. Mark’s church London. In that book, he mentioned that the first mass
was prayed in London on the 10th August 1954 by the late Fr. Saleeb Sourial, the priest of
St. Mark’s church in Giza, who was accompanied by Fr. Makary El Souryany (the late
Bishop Samuel). With them there were Mr. Waheeb Attallah (the late Bishop
Gregorious) and engineer Yohanna el Raheb. They were delegates representing the
Coptic Church at the general assembly of the world council of churches. Another mass
was celebrated for the Copts in London in February 1969, by his grace Bishop Shenouda,
Bishop of Education (the present Pope) during his visit to London and Oxford, on his way
from Austria where he was representing the Coptic Church in a theology conference in
Vienna. At that time, he encouraged the Copts on the necessity of having a regular
service through a dedicated church for them where they would be able to hold meetings
and have regular mass.
It followed that St. Andrew’s church in Holborn was rented. However, it was only
available to pray Sunday Mass and the major feasts. Although there were very few people
at that time, the congregation used to gather from many British cities to attend mass and
share in the Holy Communion. In June 1970 Fr. Antonious El Souryany, (his eminence
Metropolitan Pakhomious of el bouhaira) came to London accompanying his sick brother.
He celebrated mass in a few places in London. In August 1971, Metropolitan Antonious
of Sohag (acting up as head of the synod) came with his grace bishop Samuel, both came
visiting London for a week where they celebrated mass in St. Andrew’s church Holborn.
In the period between August and November 1971 Fr. Matthias El souryany (his grace
Bishop Rewies) served the Coptic congregation in London. He returned to Egypt to
attend the enthronement of H.H. Pope Shenouda III. On the 29th November 1971, the
Pope sent Fr. Aghathon El souryany (the late Bishop Aghathon), who was followed by Fr.
Kyrellos Kyrellos, between Easter 1972 and the holy week of 1973. He was relieved by
Fr. Wisa el souryany (assistant Bishop Isak), who served between Lent 1973 and May
1974. In May 1974, Fr. Antonious Farag came to serve in London. The ministry had
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expanded. He used to travel every Saturday to one of the British cities and towns to serve
the congregation there. At that time the idea of buying a church for the Copts in the U.K
was crystallised. The contract to buy the present St. Mark’s church in Kensington
London, was signed and sealed. Fr. Antonious Farag, returned to Egypt in January 1977
and he was followed by Fr. Shenouda Doss who continued with the service at the utmost
perfection. The number of the congregation was increasing and the ministry needed more
than one priest. It was H.H Pope Shenouda’s decision to send Fr. Bishoy Boshra on the
23rd October 1978 to serve as well as to receive treatment.
Fr. Shenouda Doss returned to Egypt and was replaced by Fr. Antonious Farag who came
back to the U.K in October 1979 and stayed to his departure on the 18th Feb 1997.
Since the arrival of Fr. Bishoy Boshra to London, his service was not limited to St.
Mark’s church only. He tried hard to have a house for the Lord in every city in U.K He
continued with what was started by Fr. Antonious Farag and Fr Shenouda Doss in visiting
the other cities in the U.K. In these visits, he would celebrate mass, receive confessions
and hold meetings, for example, in Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Brighton as
well as travelling to Wales, Scotland and Ireland.
Fr. Antonious Thabet shared this ministry with him since his arrival in August 1980. It
was arranged that either one of them travelled to one of the cities on Friday night of every
week celebrating mass on Saturday morning there and returning on Saturday night to pray
mass in St. Marks on Sunday. Both of them continued in this ministry until the churches
were established in these places with the congregation having their own priest there to
serve them.
The late Fr. Bishoy Boshra used to consider establishing churches as a great job that
pleases God’s heart. He worked hard to establish St. Mary’s and St. Shenouda’s church –
Coulsdon, south of London. His Holiness our pope, consecrated it in 1989 and the service
there was well established and now under the care of Fr. Isaac Ibrahim. H.H.Pope
Shenouda III wrote in the church visitor’s book, on the occasion of its consecration: ‘On
Wednesday 23rd August 1989, I was pleased to consecrate the Altar of your church south
of London on the name of the virgin and St.Shenouda. I had with me nine bishops, their
graces, bishop Bishoy, bishop Sarapamon, bishop Tadros, bishop Markos of France,
bishop Rewies, bishop Missail, bishop Paula, bishop Moussa, and Bishop Serapion. With
them were assistant Bishop Athanasious and some of our priest from France, Holland and
Switzerland. On the same day, the baptismal font was consecrated and I baptised four
children. I promoted Fr. Girgis Louka to a Hegomen and ordained some deacons. Accept
my sincere congratulations to the congregation of this beloved church and especially our
dear son Fr. Bishoy Boshra. It was very pleasing that the church had a large hall and
surrounding land. May the lord be with you all, strengthen you working with you and
through you for the glory of His Name.’ signed Shenouda III Patriarch of Alexandria.
The late Fr.Bishoy Boshra played a major role in establishing the Coptic centre in
Stevenage and the church of the archangel and St. Antonious there. Now the service is
well established in that place under the care of his grace bishop Angealos and Fr.
Shenouda Asham. There is now a new large Cathedral named after St. George. Fr.
Bishoy with the other priests had an important role in establishing the church of The
Virgin and Archangel Michael in Golders Green, North London. This church is now
being served by Fr. Mikhail Ibrahim Salama and Fr. Louka. Fr. Mikhail was originally
ordained to serve at St. Mark’s London, but was transferred there later. Shortly after that
time, Fr. Thomas Fayez arrived to serve the youth and the families at St. Mark’s.
One of the first Cities, where the Coptic ministry was established was Birmingham.
There, the Coptic congregation bought a church instead of travelling all the way to St.
Mark’s church in London to attend mass and major feasts. The late Fr. Bishoy Boshra
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played a large role in serving the Copts in Birmingham and encouraging them to purchase
a church of their own. He held a great deal of affection in the hearts of those he served.
The ministry there expanded, and Birmingham, became a Diocese under the care and
leadership of His Grace Bishop Missail.
The establishment of the service in many other cities in Britain, was the work of Fr.
Bishoy Boshra and Fr. Antonious Thabet. The seeds they planted grew and multiplied
and produced many churches all over the U.K. Many of these churches are under the care
of his grace bishop Anthony, the bishop of Scotland, Ireland and North East England.
The ministry of the late Fr. Bishoy Boshra, was not limited to London and the U.K only.
It extended far and wide to reach many European cities. He travelled to Switzerland,
Marseille, Brussels, Denmark and other places, alternating with Fr. Antonious Thabet.
That ministry continued until permanent Coptic churches were established in these
countries, with the presence of dedicated priests. In some of these European countries,
even, Dioceses were established, with bishops serving in Germany, Italy, Austria and
France.

His Other Ministerial Activities in London.


He used to put in front of him, the verse, ’For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was
thirsty and you gave Me drink, I was a stranger and you took Me in, I was naked and you
clothed Me, I was Sick and you visited Me, I was in prison and you came to Me.’ (Matt
25:35-36). Depending on the words of our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, the late Fr. Bishoy,
as well as the other priests in the church, Fr Antonious Thabet and Fr. Thomas Fayez,
concentrated on other services alongside the rites of the church. This service included:
1. The Service of the sick.
A large amount of sick people came from Egypt and abroad to receive treatment in the
U.K. His service to them included meeting and greeting them, housing them and
transporting them to and from hospitals. He arranged doctors’ appointments
accompanying them there and fulfilling their needs. Many times there was the need to
compliment the treatment costs and hospital fees. This service included everybody, not
only bishops or priests but also many people. His house was open for all. Therefore he
will be greatly missed by those who were touched with his spirit of love and the real
sincere fatherhood.

2. Accommodating strangers.
This included both single youth and families who sought refuge in the church. He had to
arrange accommodation that suited them, in addition to the pastoral care they needed.
The late Fr. Bishoy used to share a meal in the eve of the major feasts with the youth who
have no family in the U.K. His wife, with the help of others, used to prepare these meals.
It is worth mentioning that in the last Easter eve 08th April 2007, just three weeks before
his departure, he insisted that his wife should prepare the meal for the youth as the habit
of every feast. His health at that time had deteriorated to the extent that he could not
celebrate the Easter Mass, and indeed his wife respected his wish.

3. Accommodating Priests and Bishops.


Fr. Bishoy considered the visit of the priests and bishops to his house and staying with
him, as a great blessing for the house and its inhabitants. He received many of the
bishops coming to London for treatment or in transit. He welcomed many priests and
their families coming for treatment. That service was also shared with Fr. Antonious
Thabet and Fr. Thomas Fayez. His eminence, Metropolitan Bishoy, general secretary of
the Holy Synod, wrote, “we thank the merciful Lord that He granted us to see the beloved
Fr Bishoy Boushra A Genuine Paternity and a Living Gospel Page 17 of 55

Fr. Bishoy Boshra in his own house after our last visit to him in hospital. The Lord’s
protection had appeared in saving his life, may the Lord make it a blessing for many.
This house is a house of Christian generosity. May the Lord fill it with every abundance,
blessing and peace, through the prayers of H.H. Pope Shenouda III.” London 03rd April
1997. Signed, Metropolitan Bishoy, Metropolitan of Demit, Kafr El-sheikh and the
convent of St. Demiana.’

4. Prisoners Service.
With the other priests, he visited the church’s sons who were arrested and imprisoned.
He encouraged them, received their confessions, helping to provide for their needs until
they were released.

This is a small example of the many and variable services that the late Fr. Bishoy Boshra
did. Because of these services, he attracted many souls to Christ, to the extent, that many
whom he ministered, would say repeatedly, we saw Christ in him.
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Chapter 3

His Departure

Carrying the Cross of Illness from His youth

Hegoumen Father Bishoy Bushra carried in his body the cross of illness, from his early
youth, and this is what necessitated him to come to the United Kingdom for treatment and
resulted in his service there. From his arrival in October 1978 he would visit the medical
clinics and hospitals on a regular basis. He used to suffer severe health episodes from time
to time, and these continued to increase until it became clear that his liver had become so
battered by his illnesses that it was no longer functioning properly and he would require a
liver transplant as a matter of urgency within a short time. This was the diagnosis of the
Doctors in 1989, and the matter was left in the hand of God.

In August 1989, His Holiness Pope Shenouda III came to consecrate the Church of Saint
Mary and Saint Shenouda in Colesdon, Croydon in London. Father Bishoy Bushra was
then seriously ill in hospital and he asked the doctors for permission to leave the hospital
for a short while to allow him to attend the consecration of the altar and the church and to
take the blessings of His Holiness Pope Shenouda. This was a special occasion for Father
Bishoy because he had greatly laboured in building this church which started with a small
amount of donations from the families in the area and increased until they were able to
buy the church. When he came to take the blessings of the Pope, his holiness was greatly
moved by the sight of him in his serious ill health, and said to him, “Father why have you
tired yourself and left your bed, I was going to come and visit you”.

The doctors gave him a very short life expectancy should they not be able to do the liver
transplant and the days began to go by and his health continued to deteriorate even
further. It reached the stage when a number began to loss hope and serious glances to the
funeral arrangements started to be made. Sadness clouded the face of all beginning with
his family and extending to the congregation of the church in London. Everyone was
lifting fervent prayers with many tears in the hope that God might do a miracle or a liver
would become available for the transplant operation.

Despite the shortness of time and exhaustion of patience due to the lack of donors, God
finally intervened with His strong hand at the appropriate time in response to all the
prayers that were raised on his behalf. In God’s love for him and with His Divine
authority for the sake of the mission he had not yet completed, God arrived in the fourth
watch. Forty eight hours before the end of his life expectancy the telephone rang in the
office of the doctor treating him at King’s College to inform him that a suitable liver
donor had been found.

He was rushed by ambulance to Cambridge University Hospital and what was then a
pioneering operation at the time was performed to save his life. The operation took over
twelve hours and he was only the fourth person in the country ever to have received this
kind of operation. The operation was successful and despite some close moments during
his recovery in hospital he did recover.
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According to the Doctors, Father Bishoy was expected to live another 8 to 10 years as a
result of the new liver. However the timings of God are different to the timings of men,
and he went on to live a further 17 years. He felt in himself that his mission on earth was
not complete, and that God had lengthened his life so that he can dedicate every moment
to the service and this is what he exactly did. After his recovery from the liver transplant;
he dedicated himself to serving even more. In particular he would serve the sick, those in
pain, and those who are sad. His smile and his spiritual guidance was a source of comfort
to all those who were sad, and gave rest to all those in pain or who were sick.

He was required to take a large amount of medication to prevent his body from rejecting
the new liver. Furthermore, every so often, he was required to attend the hospital for them
to take a liver sample and do checks to ensure that it was still working properly. Every
time he would suffer great pain as a result of the taking of a liver sample. After a few
years of active service another illness began to take its hold in his body, and even more
medication had to be taken by him. Despite all this he did not grumble but accepted
everything with thanksgiving, neither did he fall short in serving anyone. He would often
return home at two or three in the morning. He would always answer a request for help
from anyone who had fallen into a problem whatever the time might be.

Father Bishoy Bushra continued to serve with all the strength that was given to him
despite the difficulties and problems he faced with his health until finally his health
noticeably deteriorated during the second half of the Lent in 2007. The last two Holy
Liturgies he prayed here on this earth were those of the Last Friday in Lent, and the Feast
of Palm Sunday. He could not thereafter attend the prayers of the Holy Pascha week,
despite his great love for the readings, hymns and prayers of that week. He would always
advice his children to take heed in attending this Holy week because of its great blessings
in their lives and its uniqueness of coming round once a year. He was also unable to
attend the Saturday Vigil Service of Apocalypses Night, or the Feast of the Resurrection.

His doctors had advised that he needed another liver transplant urgently but his general
health meant that such an operation was unlikely to succeed. Father Bishoy also did not
personally want the operation because of the great tribulations that he went through the
first time round. He hoped and prayed that God would intervene with a miracle, but he
would often say, “Let it be your will O God”. His family and the church once more began
to pray for this matter.

The last hours before his departure

In his severe ill health he attempted to attend the church on the first day of Holy Pascha
2007, but having just arrived in the church he suffered a prolapsed disc in his back which
caused him great and unbearable pain. He was unable to sit or lie down which resulted in
the ambulance being called. He spent the whole of Holy Week in Charing Cross Hospital
and he was finally allowed home on Great Friday. It was hoped that he might be able to
attend the Saturday Night Vigil or the Feast of the Resurrection but this was not to be.

Instead his pain increased and he was moved to Hammersmith Hospital where he had
previously spent two weeks at the end of the Lent fast. He was then moved to King’s
College hospital and after two days he was admitted to the intensive care unit. He
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remained in the intensive care unit in the Kidney department for ten days in an attempt to
save his life.

Despite a request that people should not attend the hospital due to his ill health, the
visiting room was crowded each day with those who wished to ask about his health,
whether it be bishops, priests or congregation. The visiting room was turned into a prayer
room, even a church. For prayers were often lifted up to God for him and his family in
this room. What also was very noticeable at the time was the large number of youth from
the church who attended to ask about him, for he had a place in each one of their hearts.

The family and the people lived in great hope that he would recover so that another liver
transplant could be done. Sometimes the medical equipment would show him getting
better and at other times they were not encouraging. Until finally on Saturday the 28th of
April his health began to take a dramatic turn for the worse. Present at the time was His
Grace Bishop Angaelos, His Grace Bishop Boulos, Father Thomas Fayiz and Father
Shenouda Asham, and a huge number of people from the church.

At around eleven in the evening of Saturday, the 28th April 2007, his family accompanied
by the fathers, entered the intensive care unit to his bedside for the final time, and his
spirit departed shortly thereafter in calmness and peace. This was one of the most moving
moments of his life on earth, for at this time the hospital corridors were flooded with
many people in particular youth who had come to him in this hour.

His Grace Bishop Angaelos had hardly announced the news of Father Bishoy’s departure
when all those present, old and young, began to weep openly, and a cloud of sorrow
covered their faces. The news spread like wildfire across the United Kingdom and beyond
and all those at the hospital had the privilege of taking a blessing from his body.

The funeral of Father Bishoy Bushra at St. Mark’s in London

On the 6th of May 2007, the blessed body arrived at St. Mark’s church, and the deacons
carried him on their shoulders in procession whilst singing, “Christ has risen” (Ekristos
Anaesti). Despite this being a joyous tune, the voices singing the tune reflected the
solemnity of the occasion.

The procession of the deacons with the coffin to the altar was accompanied by audible
crying and tears of the men, women and children. For it was difficult for them to witness
the scene of the deacons carrying on their shoulder the coffin of Father Bishoy were once
he had walked countless times with the censor amongst the congregation. It was a greatly
moving scene and the deacons laid the coffin before the altar in the deacon’s chorus and
the fathers opened the coffin. The prayers then commenced with evening praises,
followed by evening vespers (which included a commemoration for the Feast of St.
Mark), and the midnight praises. During the midnight praises the people approached the
open coffin in order to take their blessings from Father Bishoy’s holy body and to say
their final and personal farewell to him. He was arrayed in the most beautiful priestly
vestments and carrying in one hand the cross and the Holy Bible in the other and a
beautiful picture of the last supper adorned the inside of his coffin.

The following day the Holy Liturgy was prayed followed by the funeral prayers. The
prayers were lead by His Grace Bishop Antoni, and His Grace Bishop Angaelos, as well
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as a large number of Coptic Orthodox Priests from across the United Kingdom. Amongst
those present from other churches were His Eminence Metropolitan Athanasius on behalf
of His Holiness Pope Mar Ignatius Zaka, Patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox, as well as
delegations from the Ethiopian, Eritrean, and Armenian Orthodox churches. The Egyptian
Ambassador to the United Kingdom was also in attendance and gave a talk expressing his
love for Father Bishoy as well as a number of diplomats including the United Arab
Emirates ambassador to the United Kingdom. A delegation from the Islamic Mosque, in
London was also in attendance during the prayers. The words and eulogies lasted some
three hours. What was moving most of all though was the sheer volume of people who
attended both days.

Finally there came the dramatic moment when the coffin was lifted on the shoulders of
the deacons and for the last time Father Bishoy was carried in procession around the altar
and the church, to say his final farewell to the place which he had stood in and to the
people whom he had served for almost twenty nine years in the body. It was the final time
that the people would see him and no one could contain his tears in that moment.

Even the skies wept and what remained a sunny day throughout was interrupted by light
rain as the very moment his holy body was carried around and out of the church. It was as
if the very nature of London was itself saying her farewell to this beloved servant of God..

The funeral service at the Grand Cathedral in Egypt

In Cairo, the holy body was laid once more before the altar of St. George’s Church in El
Daher, where he had once served. The following day a Holy Liturgy was prayed and it
was the feast day of St. Mark. After the Holy Liturgy his body was carried to the Grand
Cathedral in Egypt and the funeral prayers were lead by His Holiness Pope Shenouda III
with a large number of bishops and a vast number of priests.

Due to the great love he had for Father Bishoy, His Holiness Pope Shenouda was unable
to speak, and as he began the eulogy he wept, causing all who were present to weep with
him. For they all were touched by the warmth of emotions and depth of feelings he had
for Father Bishoy. His Grace Bishop Moussa then gave a comforting word for all those
present

Having ended all the prayers the pure body was carried to its final resting place in the
family mausoleum and he was buried there and as the door of the mausoleum was finally
shut announcing the end of the life of our beloved Father Bishoy Bushra in the body on
this earth, so it also announced the beginnings of his life in the heavens with the twenty
four priests. May he be an intercessor for us, and may God assist us in the completion of
our struggles on this earth just as He assisted him, so that we may once again meet with
him in the Glory of Heaven and Glory be to our God forever. Amen

'Well done, good and faithful servant…


Come and share your master's happiness!'
Mt 25:21…
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Chapter 4

Tribute and acknowledgments


From bishops and fellow priests

Fr. Bishoy reflected God's love


By: HG Bishop Angealos
General Bishop - Stevenage - UK

Peace and grace to you from our Lord Jesus Christ.


It is with great sadness and great joy that we celebrate the life of Father Bishoy. Sadness because
we have lost the exemplary servant, the loving father and the caring priest; Joy because he is now
where he deserves to be, where he has striven to be.
Father Bishoy was well known to me for many years, not only as a priest but as a friend and as a
model of priestly service, which I will dearly miss.
Father Bishoy had an impact on all those he met and reflected God's love through the way he
served, in particular his home was always open to those whom he served and all were welcomed
by his family.
We also all know his love for establishing churches and he played an essential role in the purchase
of the Coptic Church Centre in Stevenage. He took a brave step despite resistance and was guided
by the will of God, not by the will of people. Throughout his life Father Bishoy was dedicated to
his service and the love of his children and he achieved God's mission, he was faithful with the
service which had been entrusted to Him and it is for this reason that we know he is with His
heavenly father.
We thank God for the life of Fr. Bishoy, for giving me the oopportunity
to serve with Him and for showing me that God's love can be
manifested through the service of His children. We pray that God consoles all those he leaves
behind through the intercessions of the Virgin Mary the prayers of Saint Mark and Saint George,
and the prayers of our holy father His Holiness Pope Shenouda III.

Condolences of the British Orthodox Churches


By: Metropolitan Seraphim

I have heard the sad news of Father Bishoy’s death, He has been in the prayers of all the British
Orthodox churches since his illness became serious, but we are very sad to learn of his passing,
although we rejoice that he is now with the Lord he served so faithfully for so many years.
Father Bishoy’s gentle and kindly spirit won him much love and respect from all those with whom
he dealt and he was a zealous and conscientious priest who served the Coptic Church faithfully.
Despite his frail health, Father Bishoy was a strong soldier of Christ and his energy and dedication
were an example to us all.
I send my sincere condolences for the family of Father Bishoy on their loss as well as assurances
of my prayers and the prayers of my clergy for his repose and for the comfort of his family and
congregation.
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Condolences of the Armenian Church


By: Bishop Nathan

On behalf of the Armenian Church in Great Britain, as well as on my behalf personally, I would
like to offer the Coptic Church our condolences on the passing away of our spiritual friend and
colleague.
In human terms. It is sad to think that the late Fr. Bishoy, a man of gentle but firm faith, is no
longer here with us today. The loss will be both palpable and marking. Yet, as we feel this loss,
we reaffirm our Christian faith and reassure ourselves of our firm belief that Abouna Bishoy has
toward the heaven Jerusalem.
Sadly, I regret I cannot be with all in Church tomorrow as I am not in the UK at the moment. As
such, I would appreciate it if you could convey our deepest condolences and prayers to Fr.
Bishoy’s family, his brothers and sisters in Christ.
In His love we remain, and in His abiding hope we are always.

Father Bishoy a fruitful branch in the True Vine


By Fr. Shenouda Asham - Stevenage

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear
fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more
fruit.,….., Abide in Me, and I in you” John 15:1-4
For a branch to bear good fruits, it has to abide in the vine, well watered and nourished through
the vine and pruned to bear more fruits. Abouna Bishoy was one of those fruitful branches. He
abided in Christ, the true vine, nourished through His body and His blood, watered with the Holy
Spirit and pruned with long illness and as the result he bore and gave good fruits. These fruits
which St. Paul mentioned in his epistle to the Galatians “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” Gal 5:22-23.
 Love: he carried in his heart the love of our Lord Jesus Christ and he took Him as his
example. He applied the commandment of our Lord “love the LORD your God with all your
heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as
yourself” Luke 10:25-28. He loved everyone and is loved by everyone.
 Joy: we used to see him joyful even at the time of difficulties, as a disciple of Christ he was
always seeing Christ before him, so he used to look at Him and reflect His joy “the disciples
were glad when they saw the Lord” John 20:20.
 Peace: He used to open his heart to Christ to enter and say “Peace to you” John 20:21; this
certainly gave him peace which he extended to others at the time of trouble. He used to see
Christ in the middle of the troubled sea saying "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid."
Matt 14:27.
 Longsuffering: he was very patient in his illness and he bore it with thanksgiving, I have
never seen him grumbling even at the most difficult time. Also with others he followed the
words of his Saviour “I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your
right cheek, turn the other to him also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him
two” Matt 5:39-42I
 Kindness: he was kind with everyone we have not seen him rebuking anyone in public but he
used to advice and direct in a humble way. He was like our Lord healing and supporting those
who are brokenhearted “He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted” Luke 4:18.
 Goodness: he had the good heart out of which brings good “A good man out of the good
treasure of his heart brings forth good” Luke 6:45
 Faithfulness: his faith was reflected in every aspect of his life. He was faithful toward God
Who entrusted him of a great service to serve as a priest in His church. He used to pray with
St. Paul saying “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me
faithful, putting me into the ministry” 1 Tim 1:12. He was faithful in establishing many
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churches in UK and Europe as he served in them. One of those is the church of Archangel
Michael and Saint Anthony in Stevenage, as he was the driving force behind buying it. Also
he used to come and serve the congregation every Saturday before the coming of Fr. Angaelos
El Anba Bishoy (His Grace Bishop Angaelos). We will never forget his service, his
encouragement and his support to our church.
 Gentleness: he leaned that from his Master who said “learn from Me, for I am gentle and
lowly in heart” Matt 11:29.
 Self-control: He lived with the principle that St. Paul taught to the Ephesians “Let no corrupt
word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may
impart grace to the hearers” Eph 4:29.
My dear father Abouna Bishoy may the Lord repose your pure soul in the paradise of joy as
He knows your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance (Rev 2:19). Pray for
us before the Lord that He may help us to complete our struggle and join you in the paradise;
and to grant His peace and comfort to your family, your spiritual children and the church.

A spiritual and successful Father


By Rev. Fr. Antonious T. Shenouda
St. Marks’ Coptic Orthodox Church London

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith, finally there is
laid up for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge will give to
me on that Day.”
There are many things to say about my brother and friend Father Bishoy Boshra the priest of St.
Mark’s Coptic Orthodox church, London who heard the calling of the Lord “enter to the joys of
the lord”. We have been colleges at St. Mark’s church for about 27 years sharing together many
services and facing many situations. I felt that I was with an experienced priest and I learned a lot
from him. It is my privilege to shed some light on aspects of his life.
1. Father Bishoy Boshra believed the prayer of the holy mass had an effect on solving
problems. Many times I heard him say “I need more liturgies to pray” and on the last clergy
meeting he said to us “let me pray the liturgy and you can take the sermons”. This was an
expression of his faith in the power of prayer. I will never forget him praying the holy mass with
all his feelings that God may intervene to solve these problems. There was even an agreement
between us that whoever prayed the mass would remember the names of the other’s family as well
as their own.
2. Father Bishoy Boshra: the friend of the saints. Every time he visited Egypt he tried to take
some relics of saints with him, if it was possible. Then he consulted me about where, in the
church, to put them. I will never forget once when he called me to tell me of some good news. He
brought back with him some relics of our beloved St. Mark from Egypt and accordingly we
decided together where to put them in the church. This showed his joyous feelings for having even
a very small part of the relics of St. Mark. It also shows that he wanted to share his joy whith his
colleagues and brothers in the ministry
3. Fr Bishoy the diligent visitor of the sick
St. Mark’s church is a famous place for comforting the sick. When I arrived in London August
1980, he had previous experience in visiting the sick and I accompanied him during my early days
of service to various hospitals in London. I felt that he did that to comply with Jesus’
commandments “when I was sick you visited me” I was surprised how much attention he paid to
the treatment of everyone who was sick and I also said to myself, while Fr Bishoy is still in pain
from his ailments he still wants to alleviate the pain of others by praying and visiting them. Many
times, we informed each other about news of new arrivals and went together for the first visit.
This is a crown of glory that he took with him in the eternal life. This was not only limited to
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London but included other visits outside of London where he insisted on driving in his car for
long distances.
4. Fr Bishoy’s efforts in the expansion of the ministry. St Mark’s church in London was serving
most of the cities and towns around the U.K. In addition, after my arrival to the U.K, we began to
serve in European countries. The late Fr. Antonious Farag, was serving before I came to the U.K.
However, after he suffered a stroke, he was unable to travel so Fr. Bishoy and myself, started to
plan the workload between us. We began the ministry in some cities in France, Switzerland and
Denmark, in addition to the cities in the U.K. We thank God that many churches were established
in these cities.
5. Father Bishoy the courteous especially with his colleagues the priests.
It was a well known fact that he participated with his congregation during their different occasions
even though he was not in good health, he didn’t think of himself. I will not forget his support
during the wedding of my son, Tony in Alexandria. He travelled with his family to Alexandria
especially to attend the wedding. His presence left a good feeling with my family and friends.
There are many things to say about his welcoming of visitors to London including many
priests and bishops who came for medical treatment or social visits. Also many of the new-comers
to England were met by him and he tried to find solutions to their problems.
My brother and lifetime friend. Our Lord Jesus Christ, who chose you to the priesthood,
saw your toils and your hard work. He told you “I fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I
have kept the faith, finally there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the
righteous judge will give to me on that Day.”

Peace be with your spirit my beloved Father,


the Reverend Bishoy Bushra
By Fr. Thomas Fayez, St Mark’s Church London

Peace be to your spirit, my Father for the day you embraced us as we approached our youth years
in St George’s Church, Zaher, Cairo – more than 35 years ago. Many nights you stayed to the
early hours to sit with every youth who needed your guidance and help. You did not care to rest
your body, but cared much more for the comfort of others.
Peace be to your spirit that loved the Holy Mass and prayers. Many times I begged you to rest at
home because of your illness and I offered to pray the Mass, every time you replied I need the
altar. Many times I saw you kneeling before the altar as you could not stand. Many times you
could only pray interrupted words as you were struggling to breathe, but you never left the altar.
Your smile after every Mass brought me happiness, despite your tired body as if you felt “I have
struggled and became victorious”
Peace be to your spirit, my Father for you had a loving and kind heart to all. How many people
have you helped secretly without anyone knowing? God allowed me to know some of them in
various circumstances.
Peace be to your spirit, my Father, I met with your passionate fatherhood the minute my feet
touched London and till you departed. I saw you joyful for every successful service to the youth.
Many times you supported me with your prayers and guidance. You stood by me and defended
me when that was necessary. You worked hard to make my family comfortable, each member of
my family in every way you could. I will never forget the last time I met you in the hospital, you
lay in bed in pain, you were calling on the Lord Jesus that He gives you the strength to cope with
the pain. I came to say goodbye as I was traveling to Egypt for my brother’s wedding the next day
in Cairo, many times you asked me, while in great pain, to leave you so that I would complete the
preparation for travel the next day. Such was your care for others rather than yourself.
Peace be to your spirit, my Father, your spirit went to heaven while we were preparing to
celebrate the martyrdom of the Roman hero, St George, whose church you served as a deacon and
then as a priest. I knew how strong your relationship was with him. God willed that you celebrate
in heaven with St George on his feast day this year. On the arrival of your body to Cairo, St
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George actually hosted your body in his church in Zaher to spend your last night in his bosom and
in the same place where you started your service.
It is this deep friendship that connected you both that our hero St George has revealed to us.
Peace be to your spirit, my Father, we will never forget you, our tears are not an expression of
sadness without hope but rather feelings of love and passion in exchange for your love and
passion. Pray for the service, for your family and your beloved children everywhere. We will not
forget you because we have fellowship with your spirit in every Liturgy and in every place we
prayed together.
Peace be to your spirit, my Father, now you are in Paradise praying for us to complete our struggle
until we meet again. Forgive us and absolve us and remember us before the throne of His grace
before which you are now standing with the twenty four priests.

Farewell To My Father
By: John Bishoy Makkar

did not expect to be saying farewell to my father so soon, although I have known I for quite some
time now as my father has been telling me gently since just before Christmas, and I know that this
was God's will and that my father has been preparing himself all his life for the hour when he will
meet with our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ whom he loved and served all his life as a
deacon and as a priest. His main aim in life was that hour.

My father was so ill for the majority of his life and that was one of the reasons why we came to
London in the first place, but I’ve never heard my father complain about his illness. As a matter of
fact he used to thank god for his illness, and he was always joyful and happy even in his time of
suffering. All he ever wanted in life was to serve god and serve his children so that he can reach
the goal which he did at the time of his death in the flesh, and that was exactly what he did when
he was with us in flesh, with all honesty and happiness. He used to always say that only in
sickness do you see and understand the cross. When he was in so much pain during holy week, I
was so worried about him and frustrated that I could not do anything about the pain, but he was so
happy. I asked him when we were alone, why he was so happy and the answer I got shocked me
and made me emotionally upset. He said to me, “Although I am in so much pain, I am glad that I
have suffered with Christ and felt just a tiny bit of what He has felt on the cross in holy, for he
gives only what one can bear and no more, and if he loves you, he will allow you to suffer with
him.” I held myself for a while and then slowly left the room to stand outside weeping. But now
he is with us in spirit, for he has reached his goal and is still serving god but this time while seeing
him also. Now we have an intercessor in heaven who loved us and whom we loved very much. He
can guide us still. All we have to do is ask him to help us and he will. If we want to see him, all
we have to do is go to the church and attend the mass and he will be there waiting and praying
with us and for us.
I was contemplating on how many people my father served while they were still alive in flesh, and
whom he himself prayed upon at the times of their departure, both young and old, who have now
received him with joy up in heaven.
I remember when I was in time of trouble and I would like to pick up the phone to him to speak
with him but I was scared that he would be solving a bigger problem or he was sleeping (although
he hardly ever slept) or he was in hospital, I would find that he is calling me, and he would say in
a joking kind of way, “Izayak ya gohn, ya ritna ma iftakarna haga 3idla, maalak? (Hi john, I wish
I remembered something worth it, what’s wrong???”. It was like he could feel that I was in agony
or there was a problem and that he was always there to solve it for me. When I tried to resolve it
by myself he would leave me till all the doors were closed, then he would say to me, “why do you
always rely on yourself?” Then he would take me to the alter of the church and say to me, “this is
where all the power comes from, bring your problems here and they will be solved. Try it once
and if I am wrong don’t come back.” This is how much faith he had in god and his alter, and
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believe me when I say that every problem I had and dad put on the alter, it was solved in a way I
would never have imagined possible.
I have many things to say about my father but I have limited words that I am allowed to put in this
book, but one thing I must say is that we have had calls from all over the world from people we
knew and others we didn’t saying to us that they have known Christ through dad and have seen
Christ in him.
My family and I all have been touched by each and every one of you, for the love you have for my
father. This has shown us that he has touched your hearts the same way he has touched our
family’s hearts. He loved each and every one of you with all his heart. He always put you (the
bishops, priests and congregation) and us (the family) before himself and his health. I remember
many calls late at night when dad was still with us in flesh, as he was just about to go to sleep or
had already gone to sleep. After one of those calls I went to check up on him and I would find him
getting up and getting dressed. I asked him what he was doing and he answered and said there is a
couple that are having a little argument and they need me to be there so that if god wills the
problem will be solved. I then argued with him and said that they can wait until tomorrow. Right
now you need to get some rest as you are very ill and they are not. He would then gently say to
me, “how can I sleep knowing that my children have a problem? And they will not be comfortable
or be able to sleep themselves until the problem is resolved. Also suppose I leave them and sleep,
where do I hide my face from god? I would then understand how loyal he was in his service and to
Christ. He lived the verse in the bible which says: “well done, good and faithful servant, you were
faithful over the few things, I will make you ruler of many things. Enter into the joy of your
Lord.” Matt 25:21.
I remember when I was younger; I used to be so jealous of my friends. They went on holidays
with their father and they had their father to themselves, while I wanted that so much, but I never
had it. Only now I understand what my father has left behind for me. For what he has left behind
is a beautiful huge family for me and that is each and every one of you. Each time I want to see
dad, all I have to do is look at each and every one of you for you have all got a piece of dad in
you. The one thing that our family now know how to do properly is serving and loving everyone
we come by, because this is what dad taught us to do. He planted that seed in us right from the
beginning and watched it grow. He always used to say that if anyone turns up at our doorstep,
never turn them away but serve them with what you can, lest when the time comes and you turn
up at the doorstep of the holy one, and he turn you away. This is what I remember of my father
and until we meet again I will live by this rule he set out.
Finally we would like to thank each and every one of you, who at the head is His Holiness Pope
Shenouda III for the support and love which you all have shown us. We ask you to pray for us for
the journey ahead, so that we may strive in our struggle on earth, until the day we will all meet
again with dad in the paradise with our lord Jesus Christ. May the Lord bless each of your lives.
I will leave you with the passage which my father lived by and pray that we all live by it so we
can be in the same place as he is and meet him again when the time comes.
3And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but
have not love, it profits me nothing.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, and thinks no evil; does not
rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things,
Endures all things. Love never fails. I Corinthians 13: 3-8.
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From deacons and members of the congregation

Dedication to Father Bishoy

Its been so hard to put into words my thoughts on such a great man who has inspired
myself and many. Anything I say would not be enough of course and would obviously fall
short to all who knew him; nevertheless I would like to honour this father with my words.
Of the many things he has taught me and I will continually try to learn and apply, I would
like to focus on some aspects of his character.
Fr. Bishoy was a man of vision, it was clear that his vision stemmed from his time before
the Throne of Grace. He knew what young people needed and not just what they wanted
or thought they needed. In the early part of 1995 Fr. Bishoy got a few young servants
together and revealed to them his vision for a successful annual youth conference. It
would need prayer and hard work he told us but the key was to get others working with us
as well, to grow others in the service. With tremendous zeal every week thereafter we
would meet in preparation and without fail every week Fr. Bishoy would produce
additional helpers for the conference and suggest their specific team roles. His tenderness
and contagious fire would bind that young helper to this call with little more than a smile
and a loving tap on the shoulders, for his affectionate nature caused one to want to please
him. So it was that although we started with less than 4 servants we ended up with several
teams of more than 5 people each, teams that would pray for the conference, lead worship,
set the program, organize the logistics of the conference, prepare the food, serve the food,
and record and distribute the talks. He had formed an army with his radiant smile and we
wanted to succeed for him and the Lord he served.
He was not afraid to delegate in order to build up others, and his delegation was carefully
followed up by him to ensure all were active and growing. Needless to say that that year’s
conference was a great success with over 160 or more youth attending and with a spirit of
unity across all that I can remember to this day.
It didn’t end there a few days after the conference a few servants were called to meet Fr.
Bishoy to discuss, for he was humble and gentle in proposing his ideas, a regular Friday
youth meeting that would have its focus on effective worship before the Lord and on good
teaching. The meeting started, yet from the start father Bishoy and father Antonious
would attend at the back of the church and encourage it to be youth led. Our worship
times though would often need some lifting, fr. Bishoys spirit of worship would then take
over, Arabic and surprisingly English hymns would be introduced by him, people would
be encouraged to pray out and a school of worship was effected on Friday nights. He was
a man of prayer and it was contagious. We longed to meet our heavenly Father as he
obviously was in those rich times of prayer. The meeting soared in popularity and father
Bishoy’s relationship with each and every member caused it to grow in depth and
spirituality. Youth would come from Brighton and Birmingham weekly to join in our
worship of the King of Kings.
A few years later as these meetings continued Fr. Bishoy longed for youth to grow in
discipleship and depth, he introduced us to a teacher called Ibrahim El Sayeh for him to
start regular weekly Bible studies. Fr. Bishoy would continually approach Uncle Ibrahim
with new people that needed the Bible studies and Uncle Ibrahim would consent to add
more and more to first one class then many to the point that Bible Studies were going on
almost every day in the week. The Bible studies trained the army of servants that were
arising, the Friday Youth meeting would place us before the Lord in worship and the
Sunday liturgy empowered us with His Grace.
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Father Bishoy began then to encourage youth to enter into service, asking them to share
what they had received with others and a generation of Sunday school servants and other
servants grew under his tender and watchful gaze.
While being servants we were required to attend a meeting that Fr. Bishoy intended would
unite us all in one heart and mind, the servants meeting. This was a weekly meeting that
had an agenda set by Fr. Bishoy and the heads of service families. The meeting was
usually blessed with good teaching by the servants themselves and often by Fr. Bishoy at
times arranging external speakers for topics he felt necessary. He had built us up from
youth, watched over our teachers as they taught us, built us up in service and
responsibility and now was forming us into a united family of servants because with him
we definitely felt like a family. I fell short in my service, preparation and follow up of
those in my service and in telling him he would be sorrowful with me as to the state of
those in my care. He would encourage me, sometimes sternly, as I needed it and would
then show me his tender love, I remember him at times crying when I asked him for help
in difficult matters for members of the class that I served, that was a strong lesson for me
in having a heart for others and realizing the seriousness of our service.
As a father to us all he played a key part in many of his children discovering their
suitability of each other for marriage and led us gently towards marriage. He presided
over our weddings with a cheecky joy and the same spirit of joyfull praise mentioned
earlier truly blessing our marriages with his unique stamp of happiness.
In the large and the small he was a faithful servant. An example of the small is one that I
noticed especially after having my own children. Their birthday celebrations would be
held in church after Sunday school where I noticed that the candles would not be blown
out except with Fr. Bishoy being present to sing ‘happy birthday’ and to hug the child.
This left my children with a deep sense of worth and love for Fr. Bishoy. Looking back of
course it was something he did for all the young angels who celebrated their birthdays, he
would try to be present and present them with a gift and his warmth. So much so that my
now 5 Year old son Stephen, having been praying for Fr. Bishoy’s health every night for a
period of months found me telling him that father was now in heaven. Stephen was silent
and then said but daddy I will miss his hugs. I answered we all will….
Remember your children in your prayers father Bishoy, those whom you taught, discipled,
trained, placed in service, married, baptized their children, and cared for their children
too.
By: Ehab Roufail

To my beloved Father Abouna Bishoy,


Forty days have passed since you departed from this temporary world to the world of eternal
living, which you worked for with all sincerity and passion, quoting to us always the words of St
Paul,
‘But I chastise my body and bring it into subjection, lest perhaps after preaching to other, I
myself should be rejected.’ 1 Cor 9:27
You were always mindful of the salvation of your congregation and yourself, always fiery in
spirit. You were a great example of love and humility and were filled with the spirit of
righteousness and the love of God.
I remember the late Metropolitan Daniel, Bishop of Khartoum, saying about you during his visit
to St. Mark’s Church London, ‘This is a man of God, and His faithful servant.’ You were unto
God a sweet savour of Christ, in your generosity and housing of the stranger. You were a father to
the poor, the needy and the weak, and to those who had nobody; your house was an oasis of
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comfort to many. You turned no-one away, even if it compromised your health and welfare, and
continued this for the last 30 years, even during your illness.
I will not forget, during your illness in hospital, only a week before you passed away, of your
request regarding one of your congregation, who had no relatives, saying to me, ‘Look after him,
for he has no one.’
What is this love, this generosity, this heart and this fatherhood? We applaud you, oh father, for
you will hear the words of the Holy Spirit as in the words of St. Matthew, saying,
‘Well done, good and faithful servant; because you have been faithful over a few things, I
will set you over many; enter into the joy of your Master.’ Matt 25:21.
We commend you, oh father, when you hear the voice of our Lord saying,
‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the
foundation of the world.’ Matt 25:31
Pray for us, our father, so that our hearts may not drown in the sea of despair and the pain of your
departure. Pray for us also, that we may be good servants as you taught us in patience and love. As
you stand in the midst of the Throne of Grace, remember the congregation of St. Mark’s Church,
so that God may console us with his Holy Spirit and wipe away every tear from our eyes.

By: Michael George

A Blessed Fr. Abouna Bishoy


Blessed are you Abouna Bishoy , blessed was your life on this earth and blessed is your departure
to the Land of The Living.
You lived your life for others, caring more about their faith, happiness and comfort than your own
health and comfort.
God chose that you depart from this life to Heaven on the Eve of Sunday, the day of the
Resurrection and during the Fifty Days of Joy.
The prayers which were arranged in the church on the third day of your departure were held on the
Eve of St George’s Feast , the saint who you loved and served his church in Cairo for many years.
The day of your burial will be on St Mark’s Feast, of whom you served his church in London for
29 years. We are confident that you are with our Risen God enjoying the company of his saints.
Pray for us.
By Nabeel Boutros

“Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness; and let thy saints shout
for joy.” (Psalm 132:9)
Who am I the unworthy but devoted son of the great man, Fr. Bishoy, to speak of the honour
attained by him on this earth? To him was put on righteousness when he was ordained a priest of
God and surely on that day did the saints shout for joy. We the true believers of Christ likewise,
although some what unwillingly in this our time of selfish mournful sorrow, in turn shout for the
joy that our Father has now gained what he spent his whole life working hard to accomplish. Fr.
Bishoy now says with our teacher St. Paul “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the
race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness,
which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me” (2 Timothy 4:7-8). Without a doubt we
say to you Father, your crown is well deserved and it was that promised to you by the Lord our
God for indeed it is written: “The labourer is worthy of his reward” (1 Timothy 5:18).
Father Bishoy was a true shepherd who sincerely cared whole heartedly for his flock. He did his
up most to keep his flock within one fold and if one of his flock strayed he followed the teaching
of God which says “I will seek that which was lost and bring back that which has strayed”
(Ezekiel 34:15). Some may ask why he would bother searching after that which was lost
particularly when it would have been much easier to care for that which he already had. However,
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this kind of question was most certainly not the type to enter into the mind of our late Father, for
he found comfort in the knowledge that every individual member of his church was accounted for
and that he could stand before the Just Judge and honestly say he had done his best to keep them.
Communication with God was a major part of Fr. Bishoy’s existence and one could easily see that
his weapon in life was prayer alone. Many times I would hear members of the congregation say
that he ‘was a man of prayer’ or ‘he really loves to pray’ and I did not fully understand what they
meant until I was privileged enough to see this for myself. The man who we saw standing before
the altar of God was no ordinary man, but a devout servant of the Lord, who offered up to God not
only the bread and wine beseeching that they become for us the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus
Christ but also the petitions of his people pleading that God would answer each one according to
His mercy. This was always evident during the altar processions in the liturgy where we would
see billows of incense rising upwards. In this Fr. Bishoy was loyal to the scripture ritual which
states that the priests “shall put the incense on the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of
incense may cover the mercy seat” (Leviticus 16:13) and again true to the words of the Coptic
Psalmody where it says: “Wherein God takes away the sins of the people, through the burnt
offerings and the aroma of incense”.
Truly Fr. Bishoy spent his years in earnest gratitude thanking God for accepting him as a humble
servant and we always had this feeling renewed within us whenever we listened to him praying
the liturgy of St. Gregory and chanting with such heart felt passion “I offer unto You, O’ my
Master the symbols of my freedom … You are He who has given to me this service which is
full of mystery”. Now after his departure from this earth we say chant O’ David, in our midst
with the psaltery and harp, with happiness and joy for our Father Bishoy saying: “The Lord has
sworn and will not relent, you are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek”
(Psalm 110:4). The Lord God chose Fr. Bishoy in the same manner that he chose the sons of
Aaron and spoke commanding that they “may minister to Me as priests; for their anointing
shall surely be an everlasting priesthood” (Exodus 40:15). Through this we learn that Fr.
Bishoy will be eternally praising and serving God and that his priesthood was no mere earthly
occupation. For in the like manner St. John reveals to us from his vision into heaven that he saw
“twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones … twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white
robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads” (Revelation 4:4).
My beloved brethren who share with me in contemplating our great loss, to you I say let us ask the
Lord to turn our morning into joy in the knowledge that our beloved Father Bishoy is not ‘dead’
for our Christian belief does not allow us to think so, but to affirm with faith that he has departed
this world to an eternal life, to a place free from strife and sorrow and full of joy in the
resurrection. It is at this time that we utter the words chanted to Fr. Bishoy long ago at the time of
his ordination and say fervently: ‘Pray to Lord on our behalf, O’ priest of God the Most High,
Father Bishoy the Hegumen, that He may forgive us our sins’. And finally “Grace to you and
peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come … and from Jesus Christ, the
faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead” who has made for us “priests to His God and
Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen” (Revelation 6:4, 5, 6).

By: Subdeacon Andrew Halim

I Saw Jesus in him


I was privileged to have been baptised as an adult by Abouna and the first time I met him I saw
Jesus in him so clearly. He asked me if I believed if the Holy Communion was the real Body and
Blood of Jesus and after speaking with him I was in no doubt. Ho told me he loved to pray the
part in the Mass “Amen, Amen, Amen I believe, I believe, I believe and confess until my last
breathe that this is the life-giving body …” When I spoke with him I felt he was truly my father –
his love and warm smile made me feel accepted. Whatever problem I shared with him, his answer
was simple “Jesus with You” and “We will pray”. He pointed always to Jesus. So even though
Abouna has now gone and I will miss him so much, what he has shown me is always to look to
Jesus and whatever problem I have to pray.
Mrs Sue Raphael
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Tributes to Abouna Bishoy from the Youth of St. Mark’s Church - London:

As we look back over time .. we find ourselves wondering..... Did we remember to thank you
enough for all you have done for us? For all the times you were by our sides . to help and support
us..... To celebrate our successes .. to understand our problems and accept our shortcomings .. or
for teaching us by your example, the value of hard work, good judgment, Courage and integrity?
We wonder if we ever thanked you .. for the sacrifices you made. To let us have the very best?
And for the simple things in life like laughing, smiling and the great times we shared which we
will never forget. If we have forgotten to show our gratitude enough for all the things you did, we
are praying to God, to let you know how much we thank and appreciate you.Please pray for us
that we are able to strive and to defeat the enemy so that we can meet you again in heaven , and
kiss your hands.
Maha Adel

I love Abouna Bishoy with all my heart. He was the most caring and loving person who continues
to inspire me to live for Christ. He will always be in my heart and I thank God everyday for
having such an amazing person in my life. You are my angel and I will miss you so much.
Tryvana Ekladious

When I heard the news that my guardian angel. Abouna Bishoy, had departed from this world, I
was devastated. I asked myself… “Who is going to bless my new flat? Who will be the one who
performs my wedding? Who will baptise my children?”
Suddenly, knowing it wouldn’t be him tears my world apart. I hadn’t imagined anyone else doing
it. I had pictured my dad giving me away and my dad performing my wedding service! Two
fathers’ …one was Abouna Bishoy!
Since then, and whilst every emotion was still raw, I have spent every possible moment with
Abouna’s family, and it was then that I had an epiphany… He is still with me, right by my side, in
my every move. His smile is what I remember most. His granddaughters’ have inherited this
priceless gift. Throughout my childhood his smile would light up my face and I couldn’t help but
smile right back at him every time. Even now, I smile when I think of it and that contagious laugh
he had.
Abouna was the kind of man you wanted to hug. He has been in my life my whole life and it will
be tough to go to church knowing I will not see him anymore. He was part of my family and his
sense of humour will live on in many of my childhood memories. The time I spent with him and
his family throughout the years cannot be measured in one article. The blessing I had, growing up
with John, Sherry and Mark was that I got to have a second dad… Abouna!
When there was something bothering me, he would often just take me in his arms and hug me. He
wouldn’t ask me why or even want me to talk about it… he just wanted to make it better. Even if I
thought I was covering up my emotions, he just knew. He would take me in his arms, just like he
always did when I was little, (even now as an adult) and I could feel his love for me in every hug.
Somehow it made everything alright again.
His love for me, made me feel as though I was one of his children and his warmth still lives on in
his family. He always made the effort to check on me and was never angry with me if I was not
regular at church. Instead, he was always so welcoming and pleased to see me; I would make the
effort just for him!
I am sad that I will not see him again, in this tough life we lead but I am comforted by knowing
that a man of such great warmth, love, generosity, wisdom, compassion and integrity but to name
a few things that spring to mind when I think of him, is knowing he is where he has always
wanted to be…with God.
I will miss him terribly but every time I feel sad I will think of all the jokes he would crack and
how his laugh had the power to make a whole room fill with happiness and lau
Heidi Garas Mikhail

Who is going to hit me on my back now? Who is going to tell me all those Arabic jokes that I
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never understood? Who is always going to tell me that everything will be ok even when things
were really bad?And who is going to love unconditionally like he loved?
Abouna Bishoy was not just a Priest, Father, Grandfather, Brother, and Uncle, but also like an
Angel from the heavens brought to us on earth. His love, warmth, and kindness were so powerful
that no one could deny that he has touched the hearts of each and every one of us as some point in
our lives.
When I heard that Abouna was sick I was abroad at the time, and was not aware of the extent of
his illness, in fact I was not so concerned because I knew that God always healed Abouna and felt
this time would be no different! Little did I know what God’s plan would be for him this time
round!
It seems like only yesterday when I was sitting with him laughing and joking, being greeted with a
slap on the back and a joke about my height. He was so full of life, and that’s why I couldn’t
quite believe that he really was so sick, especially since I had only just seen him before I went
away.
On my return I spent a lot of time at the hospital with family and friends, where we were all
praying and hoping that Abouna would get better. I felt an indescribable amount of love by so
many people for Abouna, and so found myself frustrated at times and felt like going into the room
and saying ‘Abouna enough now, wake up, we need you here with us’. I just wanted to see him
smile, to make those Arabic jokes that I never understood so that I could laugh with him again.
I feel really sad that Abouna has left us, and I will really miss him, but I am equally comforted
that he is no longer suffering and is now sat in the heavens with our Lord Jesus Christ looking
down on us. There is no one on this earth that can ever replace this unique Angel sent to us
from God.
Joanna Ekladious

I have always considered Abouna Bishoy and his beloved family my second family. I love them
all very much. Every week he’d greet me with the warmest smile and make a joke. After having a
terrible week I would see him and feel that God was in our presence. He was a great father, friend
and spiritual guidance to me. I have always felt the power of his prayers, especially during the
mass and confession. He gave me perfect advice during several difficult times in my life. I loved
the values with which he dealt with people. That is, he would accept everyone and show them
unconditional love. Some of my muslim friends met Abouna and were so moved by him that they
spoke about him to others; and were heart broken when they heard the news. Abouna truly did the
best a human being could do to mirror image Christ; by offering open arms to all. I was fortunate
enough to receive a call from him during his last days. He told me ‘mena, ana awz est-starayah
(because he knew he was ready to meet Christ). I love and miss Abouna so much! I feel very lost
after his death. For me St Marks Church will never be the same. Abouna was an example to me
and inspired me to want to be Christ-like. He taught me how to pray, fast, love, have hope and
have faith. The image of Abouna Bishoy will forever be carved in my heart. I eternally thank you
Abouna for all that you have done for me and my family. I hope I can learn from this beautiful
gentle man, and try to carry on his work to make him proud of me. I will honor him always. Pray
for me my brothers and sisters. I send my love to all the family- My mum, dad, sister and I are
here for you always! Abouna Bishoy, pray for us always so that we can see you again.
Dr. Mena Michel Garas

It is really hard to describe what Abouna meant to me as a member of the youth congregation. He
was a father figure to so many people but made each individual feel that he had a special
relationship with them. He must have had to remember thousands upon thousands of names and
faces and yet his love was so genuine and sincere that every single one felt like his only son or
daughter. Despite all the trials and tribulations that he had to bear in his own life, I wonder how he
slept at night carrying the struggles of an entire community. It is no secret that everyone that had a
problem be it social, marital, financial or even legal would come to Abouna expecting a solution.
How did he cope with these burdens? I certainly could not. Yet despite this, he maintained an
extraordinary sense of humour and it is this that I will never forget. For all his purity and
spirituality, you could sense by the mischievous look in his eyes that you were about to get a slap
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on the back or a word of comedy regarding your no-show as a deacon on Sunday. Even until the
very end, when he was in severe pain, he asked the specialist Pain consultant in Kings College
hospital to alleviate his pain just enough so that he could hit me on the back one last time!
Everyone loved him. The intensive care nurse who has seen thousands of patients told me that she
had never felt love for a patient as she did for Abouna. How appropriate that one of the nurses
looking after him near the end was called Blessing?
One thing is for sure. It is us that have been blessed to have had such a holy, pure and loving
person in our lives and it is a comfort to me that he is now looking down on us protecting us and
guiding our every move. He loved us on earth and he will love us in heaven and for that we should
thank God and await the day when we will be reunited again.

Dr. Peter George

Abouna Bishoy was a rock on which St Mark’s church was built, a rock on which many of our
lives have been founded, and a rock of support to the troubled. With the burden of so many on his
shoulders, Abouna still had time for his congregation and would put everyone before himself
often to the detriment of his health. With a contagious smile that radiated so strongly, Abouna
taught us the meaning of Christianity. How one man can have had such a huge impact on so many
lives speaks volumes. We will miss Abouna greatly but can be consoled by the fact that we have
been touched by a great man.
Paul George.

A Man of Ministry
By : David Boutros

Abona Bishoy loved the Lord, loved the church and loved his children and he served the Lord in
St Mark’s and in our lives, his children, with all his heart.
What I always found so powerful was how this love was channelled as an immense love for the
sacraments.
To those who came to him burdened with troubles he would often say “put this before the
sacrifice on the altar”. He lived this and was often on his knees before the Body of our Lord in
tears interceding for His church and His children.
He worked for his children tirelessly establishing the conferences and working for the youth
meetings.
In one of the Friday meetings (04.07.2003) he answered a series of interview questions which give
a good insight to these spiritual drivers.
Q. What characteristic of God would you consider that you have fallen in love with?
A. Redemption & satisfaction through Jesus Christ.
Q. How has St. Mark's church changed in the last 25 years?
A. It started with just a few families about 40, now we have documented a total of over a 1000
families. Since 1994 onwards there has been an increase in youth activities especially conferences
and meetings.
Q. What is your favourite verse from the bible and why?
A. I depend on the verses where Our Lord Jesus Christ shows his love, shows his promises and
shows what he has done for us. This teaches us to realise that he is far stronger than us especially
John 3:16 where the Father offered His Son to us.
Q. How did you become a priest?
A. I loved church as a kid and even used to pretend to give the Holy Communion to my family. I
was influenced by my teachers, the pope and the clergy; this caused my love to increase. I was
invited 5 times to be a priest but rejected as I felt it wasn’t from God. Therefore I set certain
criteria which must be fulfilled prior to acceptance of the role as a priest which were; my
happiness, the happiness of my wife, the happiness of my father of confession, my father’s
happiness and finally my bosses’ acceptance of my departure.
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Q. What is your favourite church hymn?.


A.. Je nai nan (Have mercy) and the hymns of Holy Week
Q. Who is your favourite character from the Old Testament?
Abraham. As he received a promise about a son, yet he didn’t lose faith despite waiting till he was
100yrs old and physically incapable of bearing children before the promise became true. We
should learn to have this same powerful faith.
Q.Who is your favourite character from the New Testament?
A. Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Q. Who is your favourite saint?
A. St Mary.
Q. What is your vision for the church in the next 10 years?
A. A special concern for the youth, hence the appointment of Abouna Thomas, and the handing
down of responsibility from the current leaders to the current youth-to ensure a steady supply of
support for the upcoming youth.
Abona Bishoy was totally dedicated to his service and his service was perfectly defined by H.H.
Pope Shenouda’s definition of church ministry:
“The Church transfers the great salvation that Christ presented on the cross, by the work of the
Holy Spirit in her, to the people. This takes place through three ways: the ministry of the
sacraments, the ministry of the Word, and the ministry of reconciliation and pastoring.”
May his prayers for the church and its children always continue before his beloved Lord.

Our dear Father, Abouna Bishoy Boushra


When I was asked to write something for the memorial book, I instantly said yes without
question. However, when putting pen to paper, I found it very difficult as there is so
much to write about you of how much of a fatherly figure, friend and support you have
been to us.
Abouna, there have been many hurdles that we have faced in our lives, the most tragic
being mum’s moving to her new home with our Lord. You amongst many others knew
what an intense and difficult period in our lives that was and at times still is. However,
the day after she went to heaven, and arrangements were being made for the funeral, you
called me from America, whilst undergoing tests and treatment, and said, “….Manal, my
daughter, you MUST postpone the funeral and I MUST be there……I am your FATHER
and have to be there with my daughters on this day….”. You were due to stay there for
another couple of weeks. However because of your unique love and tenderness you came
early and indeed led the funeral. Both Neveen and I felt extremely comforted that our
friend and father were there by our side on the day where we needed him most. The Lord
truly knew our hurt was great and yet He sent his son to be with us.
During this difficult period, there were times when I would give you headache and
question you, “Abouna, why….why did it happen to her, someone who kept the faith and
fought strong and yet lost?” You looked at me and smiled which was one of your many
trademarks, and simply said “Why not?” I of course was not impressed with the answer,
as you could tell from my confused look!! You not only smiled but you laughed at me,
(again as you always did, which highly embarrassed me many times!!) “Ya binty, you are
right, mama did go through suffering and pain and had strong faith and because of that,
she is now victorious in heaven.” It took a while for it to sink in and I then smiled and
you hugged me. This last statement, I hear myself echo too many others, including your 3
beautiful legacies, John, Sherry and Mark.
Indeed the legacies you have left each depict you in their own way. They have even more
power in heaven as they now have you, their personal saint to continually pray for them
without having the many distractions that this world provides.
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John, Sherry and Mark, our dear brothers and sister, remember you haven’t lost him; in
fact you have gained a greater family in heaven and your own personal saint. Just
continually look up to the heavens at time of need and you will feel him next to you
saying his famous sentence, “Jesus is with you.”
Yes those last few days that Abouna suffered on earth were extremely difficult for you,
and indeed all of us who were there with you, however know that he is free and at peace
and is now shining, praying and of course smiling more than ever, and waiting for you to
join him with our Father in Paradise.
Abouna, it has been an absolute honour to have been part of your beautiful family and
thank you for always being there for us and making us smile.
P.S. Say a massive hello to mum from us
By : Manal and Neveen Fouad

A Message to Abouna Bishoy


My sweet Abouna Bishoy. My words could never fully describe how I see him in my
mind. Despite his illness, the great distances he had to travel and the many commitments
he had, as well as looking after his own family who loved his company greatly, Abouna
Bishoy did not have the word “no” in his vocabulary. Whatever you asked of him, if it
would be to the glory of God, he was willing to help. When he walked into a room he had
an incredible ability to make everyone there feel as if they were the only person who
mattered. His cheerful countenance could easily evoke a smile from every person his
shadow passed. Above all, I will forever remember his love that had no limits. In him we
see Jesus’ words of the sermon of the mount fulfilled… “And whoever compels you to go
one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to
borrow from you, do not turn him away.”
From : Joanna Botros

We would like to send our sincere condolences to all our Coptic Orthodox Churches all
over the world, to His wonderful wife Nabila and His sons and daughters, to Fr.
Antonious Thabet and all the congregations of St. Mark's Church and to everyone have
get to know our Saint Fr. Bishoy. Heaven gained a Saint but our Church lost Fr. Bishoy.
Our Saint suffered a great deal of pain however He never complained, He was always
happy and the smile always on His face. We ask Him to intercede on our behalf and pray
for and remember us before the Throne of Grace.
From Maurice, Marcelle, Steven & Andrew Elnazir (Canada)

Although it's been many years since I have last interacted with Fr. Bishoy, his voice still
rings in my ears. After almost 13 years since moving from his guidance to live in Florida,
I still consider St. Mark's my home church in many ways. Maybe part of it comes from
my being baptized by Fr. Bishoy and playing as a group of friends that included Mark.
Those memories I will have forever. On behalf of my father Samir, my mother Soad
(Susu), and my brother Hany, we'd like to express our sincere condolences to the beloved
Aunt Nabila, and our brothers and sister John, Sheri, and Mark. May the Lord be with you
and strengthen you through the days to come; but also remember to rejoice as we all
remind ourselves that our Father Bishoy is now in a place where suffering and pain
doesn't exist and he looks down smiling on us and interceding for us. I wish to extend my
condolences to my church family - those who know me, and those who don't; and of
course Fr. Antonious Thabet - a long time partner in service with Fr. Bishoy.
From Jimmy Edward - FL, USA.
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Memories from the Boulos Family about Abouna Bishoy


By: Dr. Girgis Boushra Boulos

Writing on behalf of a combined force of 8 children, all of whom are half English, their
parents and grandparents, Abouna Bishoy was at the receiving end of a tirade of
disgruntlement from this gang whenever he tried to please the older congregation and
outweigh the English component of the service by the Arabic one. He never lost his smile
nor his patience.
He was similarly bombarded with our complaints when his sermons and services went on
a bit too long for our liking. Yet one of his unforgettable smiles and we were all back for
more the following week. Little did we understand the extreme pain and agony he was
going through in every service: here was a patient with liver ailure, kidney complications,
crumbling spine and impending heart attack serving the Lord and our spiritual well being
to the utmost, never complaining, never refusing a request for help, never preferring his
comfort to the need of one of his children. Simply a matter of few weeks before his death
he was the first to visit the family on the loss of our father and grandfather, Bushra
Boulos. We said we were angry with God and as he was God's representative, we were
going to take it out on him. His comforting words were a soothing nectar to our grieving
hearts.
He had that unique gift of peace which he imparted on others at the
time of most need. The children who grew up with him as their priest describe his oh, so
incredible kindness and pleasantness which were so saint like that he became a role model
for dealing with diversities for all of them.
They all thought it very funny when he confessed to being a sinner: he used to do 90 miles
per hour on the motorway to catch up with all his commitments!
He asked the Lord for forgiveness for breaking the law and was spared
the speed cameras.
Pope Shenouda and all the Bishops and priests will probably be able to write books on
Abouna Bishoy's saintliness. We are only grateful to have been touched by him and his
saintly life and take comfort in knowing that he continues his pastorship for us from
within the Kingdom now. We treasure a picture of Pope Kirolos VI he gave us as a
present on his last visit to Reading and take to heart his quote " Be totally, totally assured
and do not worry about anything much, but leave the matter to the One in whose Hand the
matter is". Aksios Abouna Bishoy.
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Photographs
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