Pope Tawadros II (Coptic: Ⲡⲁⲡⲁ Ⲁⲃⲃⲁ Ⲑⲉόⲇⲱⲣⲟⲥ Arabic: البابا تواضروس الثاني) the 118th Coptic Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark.
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 as a monk on July 31, 1988, and after a year, he was ordained as 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.
Metropolitan Serapion is the first hierarch and bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Los Angeles, Southern California, and Hawaii. He was ordained as a priest on July 18th, 1981 at El-Sourian Monastery. H.H. Pope Shenouda III then sent him to serve the Coptic community in Switzerland from December 1983 to June 1985. On June 2, 1985, he was ordained as a bishop for the Bishopric of Public, Ecumenical, and Social Services at St. Mark Cathedral in Cairo.
Ten years later, on November 14th, 1995, His Eminence was called to be the Bishop of the Diocese of Los Angeles and Southern California and was later enthroned as the Bishop of the Diocese of Los Angeles on December 23, 1995, at Holy Virgin Mary Church in Los Angeles.
He is on the Governing Board of the National Council of Churches of Christ and the Steering Committee of Christian Churches Together in the USA. For many years he served on the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches and the Life and Service Committee of the Middle East Council of Churches and as Vice President of the All Africa Conference of Churches.
On Sunday, February 28, 2016, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II elevated Bishop Serapion to the episcopal dignity of Metropolitan. His official title is Bishop of Los Angeles and Metropolitan of Southern California and Hawaii.
Fr. John Botros earned a degree in Computer Science from the American University in Cairo, Egypt. He came to North America in 1990 and worked for the government of Ontario in the Ministry of Transportation, Consumer & Business Services, and the Environmental Tribunal.
He served at St. Mary & St. Abraam in St. Louis, Missouri, Holy Virgin Mary & St. Athanasius Church in Mississauga, Canada, Archangel Michael & St. Tekla Church in Brampton, Canada as well as St. John the Beloved Church in Helmiet El Zeitoun, Cairo, Egypt. He was ordained presbyter by His Eminence Metropolitan Serapion on November 5, 2006.
His pure soul returned to its heavenly home on Wednesday, November 8, 2023, at the age of 62 years old to join the heavenly choir of saints. We ask God to repose his pure soul in the Paradise of Joy, remembering his faithful and sacrificial ministry, especially his 17 years of priesthood.