“A church without children is a church without a future.”
The late Pope Shenouda III, the 117th Pope and Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church and the see of St. Mark.
At St. Justina’s, we understand the importance of focusing on our kids; and that’s why we’re honored to continue the legacy of our fathers in a comprehensive Sunday School program that serves every age group.
A brief history of Coptic Sunday School and St. Habib Guirguis
St. Archdeacon Habib Guirguis was born in 1876. He would go on to become the first student at the now renowned Coptic Orthodox Theological Seminary in Cairo, Egypt and later its 2nd dean. Before he became the head of the renowned Theological Seminary, Habib Guirguis felt that preaching and adult education were not sufficient enough for the advancement of the Coptic Orthodox Church. Protestant and Catholic Missionaries had been at work since the mid-nineteenth century, with the aim to radically influence the views of the Copts in order to abandon their long lasting faith in Oriental Orthodoxy. Thus, with many issues at hand, Habib Guirguis decided to establish Sunday schools at the turn of the twentieth century as a means of satisfying the need for education. As a result, Coptic Orthodox Sunday schools were founded in major cities in Egypt in the year 1900–15 years before there were even Egyptian public schools! The Sunday school movement flourished in Egypt after much hard work, and now, Coptic studies thrive in Egypt and abroad.
As Habib Guirguis saw it, the interest of young children were the true foundations of Sunday schools, and by 1900, Sunday school was the main pillar for the renaissance of Coptic Orthodox Christianity in the twentieth century until present, thanks in part to the hard work of Habib Guirguis and other famous modern-day Sunday school teachers in the Coptic Church. Coptic churches and villages throughout Egypt at the start of the twentieth century felt that they needed to include better curriculum and more textbooks. By the year 1899, Pope Cyril V issued orders pertaining to the need to teach children to learn and deepen their faith, as Habib Guirguis visualized the need for raising children in accordance with the teachings of Christianity and the spirit of faithful patriotism.
Habib Guirguis worked to restructure Sunday school curricula significantly, as he had striven to do what he did eventually: to improve academic standards.
Habib Guirguis departed to our heavenly father in 1951. He was officially canonized and inducted into the Coptic book of Saints (the Synexarium) as Saint Archdeacon Habib Guirguis, in June 2013 at the hands of the our beloved father Pope Tawadros the 2nd, 118th Pope and Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church and the see of St. Mark. Long after his departure, his historic movement to create the Sunday School program lives on today.
St. Justina Sunday School Program (Sunday @ 11:00 am)
At St. Justina, we are proud to carry on the tradition and movement of St. Habib Guirguis. We offer Sunday School classes for all ages from pre-k to high school. All of the servants in this program are educated and well trained in the Coptic Orthodox church. They give their time and effort to relay their knowledge and education upon our children today. Our program relies heavily on the curriculum approved by HG Bishop Youseff, Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States. The curriculum is broken down into grades and weeks throughout the year. You can find the curriculum at the bottom of this page and simply navigate to your child’s age and find the lessons they are being given every week. Below you will find a list of all the classes by grade and the servants/teachers of those classes. Each class has the name of a saint and that saint serves as the patron saint of the class. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the servants of the class.
The Southern Diocese Sunday School Curriculum can be found here.
Classes and Servants/Teachers:
|Grade||Pre-K||Kindergarten||1st & 2nd Grades||3rd & 4th Grade||5th & 6th Grade||7th & 8th Grade||9th & 10th Grade||11th & 12th Grade|
|Saint||The Angels||St. Abanoub||Archangel Raphael||Archangel Michael||Holy Virgin Mary||St. Peter & St. Paul||St. Justina||St. John Chrysostom|