History

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BLESS USA has an extensive history starting in 1962. To read the full story read the Community of Love, written by BLESS USA. 

1962 

On September 30th, 1962, His Holiness Pope Kyrillos VI took a progressive step in the history of the Coptic Orthodox Church by establishing the Bishopric of Public, Ecumenical, and Social Services (BLESS Egypt) and ordaining Bishop Samuel to oversee its programs and activities. Bishop Samuel held this office until his assassination on October 6th, 1981. 

1977 

BLESS Egypt officially established the office of Social Services to narrow the gap that had existed between the rich and the poor.

1985 

On June 2nd, 1985, His Grace Bishop Serapion was ordained as the overseer for the Bishopric of Public, Ecumenical, and Social Services at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt.

Ten years later, on November 14th, 1995, His Grace 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 23rd, 1995 at Holy Virgin Mary Church in Los Angeles, California.

1989 

His Holiness Pope Shenouda III made a historical pastoral visit to the Coptic churches of the United States. The same year, under the guidance of His Holiness, BLESS USA was established as an official nonprofit charity organization of the Coptic Orthodox Church, with offices in California and New Jersey.

1995 

His Grace Bishop Youannes was appointed as the overseer for the bishopric. 

1997

In order to encompass a wider scope of service, BLESS USA merged its offices and established its headquarters at the Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America in Cedar Grove, New Jersey.

2002

BLESS celebrates 40 years of service.

2012 

His Holiness Pope Tawadros II is enthroned as the 118th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark.

2013 

On May 18th, 2013, BLESS USA held a Day of Awareness to celebrate 50 years of hope and lifting Egypt’s needy Copts out of poverty. In November of 2013, BLESS celebrated its Golden Jubilee at the Grand Cathedral in Abbasiya in Cairo, Egypt.

2014

His Holiness Pope Tawadros II has appointed His Grace Bishop Karas, the general bishop, to oversee the Archdiocese of North America. Among His Grace's responsibilities is the oversight of BLESS USA.

Today
Through the grace of God, the service continues to flourish in Egypt and in the USA.