"Love Never Fails."(1Cor 13:8)

Biography of H.G. Bishop Karas
H.G. Bishop Karas, the first Bishop in the land of immigration and the first Bishop and Abbot of the first Coptic Orthodox Monastery in the U.S.A. and Canada.

He was born in the Sudan, on January 18th, 1955, to pious parents and was named Sourial Ayad Sourial. He was raised in a family that loved Christ the Lord.
He received his Bachelor Degree in Chemical Engineering, with honors, from the University of Khartoum.
In view of his excellent academic achievements, he was sent to France in 1980, to prepare for his Doctorate in Chemical Engineering.
As the love of Christ the Lord filled his whole being, he left what he considered worthless, and on January 18th, 1981, he went to the Monastery of Saint Pishoy in the wilderness of Shehite in Egypt, to become a Monk.
He was ordained Priest by His Holiness Pope Shenouda III on February 14th, 1984.
In view of the great confidence his Holiness had in him, he was appointed Head of the Papal Center in the Monastery of Saint Pishoy. He performed his duties with great loyalty, and he was loved by all and loving to all.
He was elevated to the priestly Hegumen rank by H.H. Pope Shenouda III on May 23rd, 1989.
H.H. Pope Shenouda III sent him to the U.S.A. on September 26th, 1989, as Head of the Monastery of St. Antony the Great in California.
His spiritual and loving service helped the Monastery to flourish in the U.S.A. and Canada. Large numbers of visitors came to seek his blessing, attend the Divine Liturgies and prayers, and spend some spiritual time.
The Holy Synod recognized the Monastery of St. Antony the Great in California as a flourishing Monastery of the Church under the spiritual leadership of the Very Reverend Hegumen Karas. On July 6th, 1993 (Pashans 29th, 1709 AM), he was ordained by H. H. Pope Shenouda III as the first Bishop and Abbot for the Monastery. There was unanimous joy and approval from the Metropolitans and Bishops; sixty members of the high hierarchy and thousands from the congregation attended the ceremony, for they loved him for his gentleness, the kindness of his heart, his profound spirituality, his service to all, his great virtues which were the fruits of the spirit. He was enthroned at the Monastery on July 31st, 1993, amidst the joy of the people and in the presence of a number of Metropolitans and Bishops.
His struggle with his illness started in the month of May 1998, when he was diagnosed with cancer of the lungs. The disease had already attacked the lungs and he had to receive chemotherapy. The physician said that his terminal medical condition allowed no more than nine months, but also that "he was a Saint and had power from heaven." He continued to fight his illness with patience, thanksgiving and a smile that never left his lips, even during the most severe pain. The disease would be manifested in different sensitive areas and disappear in a way beyond medical knowledge. In similar cases of lung cancer the patient must remain in bed; any effort and even talking requires great effort, but the physician said: "He moves with a power from up above." "I do not know how he can fast and celebrate the Divine Liturgy." "After the chemotherapy treatment, he would visit the sick in the hospitals and pray for them." He even dealt with the more simple civilities which he could easily avoid, for he did not want to hurt a loving heart, or refuse a request, even at the expense of his own rest.
On January 10th, 2002, he had a brain clot which he fought for several days, for in His Wisdom, God wanted us to be prepared to accept with our faith and our love for Abba Karas the news of his departure to Heaven, on Thursday, January 17th, 2002 (Toba 9th, 1718 AM), at 1:00 a.m.
We have all enjoyed his love and we believe that His Grace is praying for us.
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