St. Demiana Coptic Orthodox Church is a member church of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States and a daughter church of St. Antony the Great Coptic Orthodox Church in San Antonio. His Grace Bishop Youssef established St. Demiana’s as a Coptic Community in October 2017 to serve the San Antonio region. The inaugural liturgy for the community was prayed by Fr. Maximums Abba Moses (currently, His Grace Bishop Gregory) on May 12, 2018. As a community, St. Demiana’s was primarily served by Fr. Maximus Abba Moses and Fr. Theophilus Mikhail. Services were held in a variety of rented locations including hotel meeting rooms and other local churches. HG Bishop Youssef ordained Fr. Simon Dawood as the parish priest of St. Demiana’s on June 30, 2019. Shortly after God blessed the congregation with their first location for their exclusive use, a small rental unit in a shopping center on the north side of the 410 Loop. In December 2019, God again blessed the congregation through the purchase of their first church building, the existing church at 707 McCarty Road. His Grace Bishop Gregory prayed the first liturgy at this location on June 21, 2020. His Grace Bishop Youssef, along with His Grace Bishop Basil and His Grace Bishop Gregory consecrated the altar of the church on August 2, 2020.
St. Demaina’s welcomes anyone who is sincerely seeking to cultivate an intimate relationship with the Lord through the Coptic Orthodox Church, and those who are curious to learn more about this ancient Christian faith. As a community, we pay particular attention to serving families, children, and young people. According to the custom in the Diocese, Sunday services are held primarily in English along with traditional Coptic chanting. Weekday services are often held in mixed languages (English, Arabic, and Coptic).
His Holiness Pope Tawadros II was born Wagih Sobhy Baky Soliman on November 4th, 1952 in Mansoura. His father was an irrigation engineer and his family moved around during his childhood from Mansoura to Sohag and then to Damanhour.
He received his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy in 1975 from Alexandria University and earned a fellowship for the World Health Organization from the British International Health Institute in England in 1985. He attended the Coptic Seminary and graduated in 1983. He then worked as a manager in a pharmaceutical company in Damanhour that was owned by the Ministry of Health.
His Holiness’s life has always revolved around church since his youth; he wished to live the life of monasticism. He entered the Monastery of St. Pishoy in Wadi Elnatroun on August 20, 1986 and remained a brother for two years. He was ordained a monk on July 31, 1988 and after a year he was ordained a priest on December 23, 1989. Two months after, H.H. Pope Tawadros started serving with H.E. Metropolitan Pakhomious of Beheira on February 15, 1990. He was ordained a bishop on June 15, 1997 by H.H. the Late Pope Shenouda III as a General Bishop assisting H.E. Metropolitan Pakhomious. His Holiness focused on childhood whether it was in the country-wide children’s festival as well when he was in charge of the children’s committee in the Holy Synod. Before assuming the papacy, H.H. wrote twelve books.
His Holiness was enthroned as the 118th Pope of Alexandria and Pope of the See of St. Mark on November 18, 2012 at the Cathedral of St. Reweis in Abbassiya, Cairo. The enthronement was presided by H.E. Metropolitan Pakhomious of Beheira, other metropolitans and bishops of the Coptic church and was attended by many delegates of Christian Churches.
To learn more, visit His Holiness Pope Tawadros’ Official Website.
Listening to the call of the Lord Jesus Christ, His Eminence Metropolitan Youssef entered the monastic life in 1986 at the El-Souryan Monastery. He was ordained into the priesthood in 1988. Then in 1989, he came to the United States under the auspices of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, the 117th Pope of the Holy See of St. Mark. He was appointed resident priest to serve the Coptic congregation of St. Mary Church in Dallas/Fort Worth.
In 1992, His Eminence was ordained as General Bishop and in 1993, His Eminence was appointed to oversee the Southern Coptic Diocese. In 1995, His Eminence was enthroned as the first Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States. In 2022 His Eminence was elevated to the rank of Metropolitan.
You may follow HE Metropolitan Youssef here.
His Grace Bishop Basil was born and raised in New Jersey until our Lord Jesus Christ called him to enter the monastic life in 2008 at the St. Mary & St. Moses Abbey in Sandia, TX. He was consecrated a monk in 2009 and ordained into the priesthood in 2011. Then in 2016, His Grace Bishop Youssef appointed him Episcopal Vicar for the state of Florida. In 2018, His Grace was elevated to Hegumen and later that same year he was ordained as a General Bishop serving under the auspices of His Grace Bishop Youssef in the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States.
His Grace Bishop Gregory was born in Egypt and raised in Montreal, Canada until our Lord Jesus Christ called him to enter the monastic life in 2007. His Grace first entered the St. Antony Monastery in California in 2007 and then transferred to the St. Mary & St. Moses Abbey in Sandia, TX in 2009. He was consecrated a monk at St. Mary & St. Moses Abbey in Sandia, TX in 2011 and ordained into the priesthood in 2016. Then in 2017, His Grace Bishop Youssef appointed him Episcopal Vicar for the states of Texas and Arizona. In 2018, His Grace was elevated to Hegumen and later that same year he was ordained as a General Bishop serving under the auspices of His Grace Bishop Youssef in the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States.
Fr. Simon was born in Indiana and raised in Winnipeg, Canada. After completing his undergraduate studies in Civil Engineering at the University of Manitoba, he moved to Raleigh, NC where he attended North Carolina State University and obtained his Master’s and Doctorate degrees. Shortly after marrying his wife Mira, they moved to Houston, TX where he worked as a faculty member at the University of Houston for ten years. His Grace Bishop Youssef ordained Fr. Simon as the priest for St. Demiana Coptic Orthodox Church in San Antonio, TX on June 30, 2019.
His Holiness Pope Shenouda III was the 116th successor of St. Mark the Evangelist, and his era is marked by a remarkable growth in the number of Coptic churches abroad. To address the needs of these churches, His Holiness felt the urgency to establish dioceses abroad. The first Coptic Orthodox Diocese to be established in the United States is the Diocese of the Southern United States. In 1993. His Holiness Pope Shenouda III appointed His Grace Bishop Youssef to oversee this Diocese.
There are currently 84 priests serving the 60 churches and 39 Coptic communities located in the Diocese across the following states:
More information about the diocese can be found at www.suscopts.org.
Welcome to St. Demiana Coptic Orthodox Church. Our Church is open to anyone who is seeking to cultivate a relationship with the Lord through the Coptic Church and to those who are interested in experiencing the richness of this ancient Christian Tradition. We realize that the Coptic Orthodox Church is unfamiliar to many, and we want to make your visit to our church as comfortable and fruitful for you as possible. As such, we have prepared these notes to help visitors know what to expect when they visit our church. We appreciate that our customs and traditions may be unfamiliar to our guests. We appreciate your efforts to approach God’s House with reverence and to familiarize yourself with our customs and traditions. Please know that we are happy to host you and we will not be offended if our guests do not follow our customs exactly as we do, so long as you are respectful of God’s House.
Our primary liturgical services are held on Sunday mornings from 8am – 10:30am, although service times may vary on special occasions. We appreciate that the service is long by Western standards and accordingly it is not uncommon for guests to attend only part of the service. Approximate timing of the service is as follows:
8:00am – 8:30am: Matins Raising of Incense8:30am – 8:45am: Agpeya Prayers (Book of Hours)8:45am – 9:00am: Offering of the Lamb and associated prayers9:00am – 9:40am: Bible readings and sermon9:40am – 10:15am: Liturgy of the Faithful10:15am – 10:30am: Distribution of the Mysteries (Eucharist or Communion)
In the Coptic Church we believe in the real transformation of the offering from bread and wine (mixed with water) into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ through a mysterious sacrament. As such, while all are welcome to participate in our prayers, partaking of the Eucharist (or Communion) is reserved for those who are in full sacramental communion with the Coptic Orthodox Church. As such, we respectfully ask that those visitors who are not in full sacramental communion with the Coptic Orthodox Church remain at their seats and not approach during the Distribution of the Mysteries.
Everyone is welcomed to approach the front of the church after the conclusion of the service to receive the holy bread that is distributed by the priest after the Sunday liturgy.
We kindly ask that attendees dress modestly in the Church. As a point of reference, we recommend “Business Casual” attire, or something more formal.
Clothing should cover the body from the shoulders (arms may be exposed from just above the elbow) to at least below the knees and should be free from non-Christian words, slogans, or imagery. Clothing should not expose the shoulders, décolleté, back, midriff, or upper legs. We also ask that attendees refrain from wearing form-fitting garments such as muscle-fitting shirts or tight pants.
Men should wear long pants and long- or short-sleeved shirts, preferably with a collar. Ties and jackets are optional. Women should wear pants or skirts and blouses, or dresses. Skirts and dresses should fall below the knee.
We appreciate that in some cultures that traditional religious garb may be different than the Western standard. Visitors are welcome to wear their traditional religious attire as long as it covers the body as described above and is free from non-Christian writing or images.
Traditionally the church practices separate seating of men and women with men sitting on the left side of the church (when looking from the back) and women sitting on the right. We appreciate that visitors may prefer to sit with their family members and the back part of the church is typically reserved for family seating.
We ask that attendees behave reverently in the church. The Liturgy is a time of worship, contemplation, and communion with God. As such, we ask attendees to refrain from idle talk during the service. The liturgy is largely chanted by the priest, deacons, and congregation. Visitors are invited to chant with the congregation if they can follow the words (displayed on the screens in the church), hum the tune, or listen. We typically stand for most of our liturgical services, but visitors are welcome to kneel or sit if they prefer. It is customary to remain standing during the Gospel reading and the Distribution of the Mysteries. There are certain times during the liturgy in which the congregation prostrates. These are times of worship, prayer, and contemplation. Visitors may prostrate, kneel, sit and rest your head on the pew in front of you, sit upright, or remain standing.
We respect that young children may not be able to sit still during the services. A little shuffling around or whispering is normal and acceptable. If, however, children become disruptive, we kindly ask that you step out of the church. The service is live-streamed to screens in the fellowship hall where parents can continue to attend the service while their young ones release some energy until they are ready to attend quietly in the church again.
We kindly ask that you do not occupy children by giving them games to play or videos to watch on phones or tablets during the services as this can be a distraction for others.
Incense is used extensively in the Coptic Orthodox liturgical rites. It is burned on charcoal in a censor that is carried by the priest who often censes throughout the church. We appreciate that the smoke may bother some of our guests. You are welcome to bring a hand fan, or a silent battery-operated fan to clear the incense smoke from around your face. If the incense is bothering you, you may step into the lobby, fellowship hall or outside for a breath of fresh air.
707 McCarty Rd.San Antonio, TX 78216
Mailing Address:P.O. Box 461531San Antonio, TX 78246
St. Antony The GreatCoptic Orthodox Church153 W. Borgfeld Dr.San Antonio, TX 78260View Website
St. Mary & St. Moses Abbey102 Scout’s PathSandia, TX 78383View Website
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St. Demiana Coptic Orthodox Church707 McCarty Rd.San Antonio, TX 78216