Need some assistance please......

edited December 1969 in Coptic Orthodox Church
My spiritual journey has been through various fazes throughout my teenage, but primarily my young adult life.  I am an individual who thoroughly enjoys cultural and religious history and have always placed myself (though not always comfortable) in situations to experience the diverse religious culture of friends and acquaintances I have come across in my life.  To make a long story short I will say that I was baptized Catholic, however my family walked away from the church when I was 7 years of age.  Needless to say, at age 30, about a year ago I reentered a Catholic Church for the first time since I was 7 years old to attend Mass.  I only entered prior to that for a couple funeral services, one in particular my grandmother back in 2003. 

Anyway, I found myself drawn to Mass and began receiving Holy Communion again, as it is my right to do so.  I began attending daily Mass and would often find myself entering the Cathedral about 3-5 times a week including Sunday's.  Something always seemed to be missing, and when I actually scheduled a meeting with the priest, it seemed draining.  We spoke, however he did not seem very interested in the conversation.  This was in the middle of the afternoon in last summer.  I even noticed yawns out of him as he sat directly across from me.  I have worked in social work for a decade so I understand what sort of energy his job entails, however it was the breaking point for me.  I found myself attending mass consistently for about 6 months straight several times a week, but always felt as though spiritually something was missing.  Receiving communion was the highlight for me throughout the week and always felt amazing, I must say. 

I always battle with logic, reason, faith, and psychology when approaching religion in general, any religion that is.  I ask a lot of questions, dig deep for answers and attempt to give all the respect and tolerance they deserve.  My journey back to Catholicism lead me to dig deeper into Orthodox history and roots.  I also visited a couple Eastern Catholic Churches that were wonderful experiences, however, I never found myself returning after one visit.  It is very hard to feel welcomed in Church in general.  I then began this past fall to take "inquiry classes" at a local Eastern Orthodox Church (Once a week every Saturday along with attending evening Vespers) that I was greatly interested in, however the classes were rushed.  The priest seemed to blow through material and it was not inviting, and seemed as if he was attempting to give us a "fly by night education," one I am not looking for and did not get too much understanding out of. That was something that always turned me off about organized religion as a whole.  I have in my journey visited an Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church back on the East Coast where I am from and honestly feel it was the most accepted and welcomed I ever felt in a church.  I only visited once, and several men next to me in the church helped me out with my placement in the hymns and during the sermon, myself and two other men, non-Egyptian (we were the only three non-Egyptians in the church) were lead to the front of the church and assisted by a translator just before the sermon.  Again, even more reason why I never felt so accepted in any place of worship, ever, besides a mosque I attended once with a friend.  The overall experience was lovely.  I spoke to the priest, Father Yusef prior to entering that Sunday and he was more than happy to answer questions, speak to me, and went out of his way to return my call after I left a message for his daughter days prior.  I apologize right now for making this much longer than I thought it would be, but do want to add, I have always remembered that experience as being very welcoming and most of all the closest to GOD I have ever felt in a place of worship.  The reason I write is because I plan on attending an Coptic Orthodox Church here on the West Coast.  I plan on speaking to the priest before I attend, but wanted to know what the process of conversion is for an adult?  I should not use the term conversion, but acceptance into the true church of Christ?  I know there is information on this site, but it is mostly directed to Baptism and Confirmation of children.  I would not know what the proper steps are I need to moving towards communion with the church.  Any information would be helpful.  I plan on calling the priest later this afternoon.

Blessings my friends.



  • To add, I have numerous books on the Orthodox Church but am looking for more specific, books on Coptic Theology, History and Catechism.  I own several books by Fr. Bishop Ware and others such as The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, but again this solely focused on Russian/Greek Orthodoxy. 
  • Here is a page with some online books by HH Pope Shenouda III. I'm not sure if that's what you're looking for, but you can have a look, some of them must be of interest to you.

    God Bless you on your search for truth !

    PS: Don't feel rejected if you don't feel welcome at the church straight away, it is common for Egyptians to be drawn to their own race and reserved when it comes to others. Just be patient !
  • Hello & welcome to, Brandon.

    I believe Hizz-child forgot to include the link, but here're two links for books by HH Pope Shenouda as well as articles by other Bishops of the Coptic Orthodox Church:

    Books: ( Books main page.htm)
    Articles: ( Articles.htm)

    I'm very glad that you're starting on the right path in looking for the true faith and I'd like to mention that you shouldn't allow anything to get in your way for finding it, especially if you ever felt unwelcomed in any Church (although highly unlikely), because satan will find ways to draw you away from the right path and will use any means possible to do that.
    Don't hesitate to ask as many questions as you want. This forum has many knowledgeable individuals who can greatly assist you with any concerns that you might have.
  • Thank you all for the wonderful responses and personal messages with all the information you have provided.

    I wanted to reiterate that the Coptic Church is where I felt most welcomed upon all my visits to various Orthdox and Catholic Churches in the within the past several years. There was also something that I felt that is nearly unexplainable upon my entry into that particular church, and that experience alone always stayed with me.

    Peace and Blessings,

  • Welcome to the site Brandon, and hopefully soon to the Church, the Ark of Salvation! May God help you along the way, and if you ever need any questions asked, there are a lot of wise and helpful people I learn a lot from around here  :D God bless your journey

    pray for me

  • hi and welcome. by now you will have called the priest so i realise this post may be late!

    i joined the coptic church 1 1/2 years ago from a protestant background and i believe that you have been on a spiritual journey and that the Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth, as Jesus promised in his speech to his disciples in john chapters 14 to 16.
    reading the post, i realise you have seen that it takes more than 'going through the motions' and i can see you want more of God. i am always sad when churches (it can happen to all churches if they are not careful) put more emphasis on the appearance of religion than on people's spiritual growth. but i must be careful not to judge, maybe i am worse than them.
    be encouraged, our Father God wants to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask. (luke 11:13).

    it should not be difficult to join the church, it basically involves discussion with the priest to ensure you understand the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ as Son of God and Saviour and that you must live a Christian life and be willing to give your whole life for God to use (that is the very exciting part, He has a beautiful plan for your life and wants to teach you more of His love).
    then you will need to discuss about baptism and chrismation (like comfirmation), which is quite straightforward, and, once you have done this, you can take Holy Communion in the Coptic church (and a few other orthodox churches). but even before you take Holy Communion, you are very welcome in all the church services, can receive the blessed bread (it is not Communion bread) after the service and can join in the congregation responses (Lord have mercy etc) and pray in the church.

    depending on your understanding of Christian faith and your priest, this process may take a few weeks. you may have heard that we fast a lot in our church. new people aren't expected to do all the fasting straight away (it's mostly about days when we abstain from animal products) and this process is also guided by the priest, depending on each person's ability and weakness.

    keep in touch with us here, we will pray for you and look forward to 'seeing' you again on the forum  :)
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