Who Are We?
The word Coptic means Egyptian, which is derived from the Greek word for Egypt, Aigyptos. The Coptic Church is of the Christian faith. The Coptic Orthodox Church in Alexandria was instituted by Saint Mark in the first century, in the year 62 A. D.† While the mother Church is centered in Egypt, it has spread world-wide over the past 60 years. The Coptic Orthodox Church is guided by a Patriarch seated in Alexandria. We consider our first Patriarch to be Saint Mark, the apostle who preached Christianity throughout Egypt in the first century. His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, the 118th successor of St. Mark, is currently the Patriarch of the Church shepherding the flock.
In our motherland, Egypt, there are several thousand Coptic Orthodox churches where Egyptian Christians worship our Lord Jesus Christ. Some of those churches date back to the second century A.D. In any Coptic church, whether in Egypt or abroad, the Divine Liturgy is celebrated in exactly the same way that our ancestors used to worship; since the time of the early Church Fathers of the second and third centuries.
St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church was the first Coptic Church in the Chicagoland area. Currently, St. Mark Church is blessed with 3 priests, Fr. Samuel Thabet Samuel, Fr. Pavlos Fahmy and Fr. Theodore Labib. We are blessed today with 4 Coptic Orthodox churches in the Chicago area: Burr Ridge, Palatine, Monee and Chicago (Logan Square).
2019 marks the 50 year anniversary of the Coptic Church in Chicago. In the 1960ís, immigration brought many Coptic families to the Chicago area.† Since there was not yet an established Coptic Church, beginning in July 1969 churches were rented and utilized by the congregation to conduct Liturgies, Bible Studies, and Sunday school classes.† Our Burr Ridge Church was built in 1983 and an expansion in 2003 added a youth facility and a Christian-based Montessori Preschool & Daycare facility which is open to serve the community. Since then, the church has continued to grow rapidly with many Christians of Egypt immigrating to the United States to flee persecution and in search of a better life. A second expansion project was completed in 2016 adding our newly opened Church of the Holy Resurrection, a large social hall, auditorium, additional classrooms and meeting rooms. We welcome you to come inside and tour the church while you are here at the Taste of Egypt Festival.
Please visit our church website at www.stmarkchicago.org for more information about our liturgy services. All are welcome to attend our religious services and activities.