A REFLECTION ON OUR BELOVED FATHER DANIEL BY THE YOUTH OF ST. MINA
To the youth at St. Mina’s church, Abouna Daniel was an angel who was sent to guide and teach us how to grow spiritually. He went above and beyond this call of duty. He was not only our spiritual advisor and father of confession, but he was our friend, our refuge and most of all he was like a father to us and he truly treated us as his children. He touched the lives of us all in a way that cannot be justified by words. His life of purity inspired us to strive to be Christ-like, not through his words, but through his actions. He demonstrated to us that it is possible to live a life that reflects Jesus Christ in this day and age.
He knew each of his youth personally. He knew our capacity and always pushed us to excel as Christians. He always saw the best in everyone. Although our beloved Father Daniel was a never ending fountain of Christ’s love, he was also a roaring lion when it came to our paths to salvation. He would never try to please us or anyone else on God’s account. The Pauline epistle reading of the day he departed, August 20, 2003 (Coptic calendar date: Mesra 14): “be ready in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.… and the time of my departure is at hand” (2Timothy 4:2-6). Little did we know that reading of St. Paul’s farewell would also be the farewell of our beloved father. The final words of St. Paul are a faithful discharge of all the duties of his office as he urged the readers to be prepared for Judgment Day at all times, and to be unashamed of our faith.
Father Daniel spent his thirteen years of service at St. Mina delivering the same message to us but this day specifically, the message struck a different chord. It was that day that with no warning, the Lord took Abouna Daniel from this world to the world of his citizenship, the heavenly world. The last lesson he left us with was his sudden death, teaching us again by example that we must be ready in and out of season. This was an unforgettable lesson.
Father Daniel had an amazing smile that would light up, not only the room, but also our hearts. His liturgies were truly a taste of heaven on earth. His voice was always very soothing. We were so fortunate to have him as the mediator between us and God during the liturgy every week. People would come by the busloads just to gain a spiritual blessing from him. His spirituality and intense passion for our
Lord surpassed the confined of the church. He would always say to us that a church is not made up of the walls of the building, but of the souls of the people of the congregation. Therefore he put his entire being; both sweat and tears, into helping us grow as a united congregation of believers. “For he was looking forward to the city with foundations whose architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10).
Abouna Daniel has given us an example to follow and a lifetime of wonderful memories. He was a prime example of humility, meekness, and goodness. Our love for him is indescribable with words but will be eternal. May we take the lessons that he has taught us through his life and try to follow in his footsteps. Father Daniel Farag was an honorable and virtuous man and we are pleased to know that he has fought a good fight, finished his course, and has kept the faith (2Timothy 4:7).
We now only ask one more favor of you, Father Daniel. We ask you to pray to the Lord for the salvation of all of our souls so that we too may be united with our beloved Christ.
~The youth of St. Mina’s church.