Interview with Abouna Tadros Malaty (Fr Paul Fanous)

Interview with Abouna Tadros Malaty:
(Interview from St George Youth Magazine – December 2007)

Interview by (Father) Paul Fanous, marking the 45th anniversary of Fr Tadros ordination as parish priest of St George church in Sporting, Alexandria. 
He was ordained 26th of December by the late Metropolitan Isaac.

When were you were born?
In 1937.

When were you ordained a priest?
In 1962.

What’s your higher learning like?
Bachelor of commerce and arts, majoring in philosophy and sociology.

Favourite food?
The Bread of Heaven.

Favourite saint/father?
St George.

Favourite book?
The Bible. It also varies from time to time. Sometimes the sermons on the New Testament lessons of St Augustine. Or the Priesthood by John Chrysostom.

Favourite saying/quote?
The great miracle of the Lord Jesus Christ that He changes Earth to Heaven and men into angels of God. This was by St John Chrysostom.

Most memorable moment?
The current moment in our lives are the most memorable moments.

What is your vision of the church in Australia in the next 20 years?
What can I see in it? I believe it is guided by the Holy Spirit and we leave it in the hands of God. There is no special vision except to be directed by God.

Your advice on how we should implement that?
Through prayer and love, and always being joyful in the Lord Jesus Christ. Also we must always witness to the Gospel.

Best thing about the youth of today?
I see in them, that they are eager to be true members of the Body of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Worst thing about youth of today?
When they despair.

Advice for the youth of Sydney?
Don’t belittle yourselves. Remember the Grace of God.

Nickname for Tasoni?
She is called Mimi.

Favourite thing about Tasoni?
When she discovers any problems about any person, she is very longsuffering with her dealings with them. She enters into long conversations and discussions with them, in an attempt to console and comfort them. She always speaks openly with them, without guile.

How did you meet Tasoni?
I don’t remember. Abouna Bishoy Kamel told her to pick up something from me.

Advice on growing up?
I feel time is very precious. I did not waste my time.

What is the meaning of life?
Christ is my life.

Best part about being a priest?
The best part is to enjoy the Bible. It is my paradise. It is the pastor for me and the people.

Worst part about being a priest?
Nothing. Everything is enjoyable. I love my work as a Priest.

Who was the major spiritual influence from your youth?
Father Luke of St Macarious Monastery. He became Bishop of Girga in Upper Egypt. He is my father in confession and I loved him very much because he was very spiritual.

Major turning point in your life?
When I became a priest.

Did you ever play sport/favourite sport?
I do not remember. When I was young perhaps.

What was the longest holiday of your life?
I have no holidays.

What was the drive for writing so many books?
The motivation was that I enjoy writing for myself. I feel that all my inner emotions and senses are absorbed in it. It satisfies all my inner feelings.

Most significant encounters with Pope Kyrillos?
When I visited him to say sorry that for a long time Father Bishoy and I did not meet him. He answered me, ‘I am interested not in visiting but you working on behalf of the Church.’ He wanted us just to work and not to visit him.

How many of your spiritual children became full time servants? For example priests, monks, deaconess, nuns?
I am not interested in numbering anything in my life. Even the books. I do not know how many books I’ve written.

What advice can you give to young people struggling with sins?
+ To work together, everyone helping the other. We must feel that we are members of One Body.
+ To discover their situation as children of God. They have to realise that they have the power and strength from God and therefore they must never despair.
+ To pray for the salvation of the whole world.
+ I hope that you continue your life in the same spirit of the early fathers of the Church. To walk in their steps is very important.
+ To feel that the Bible is your paradise.
+ To enjoy the communion of the Holy Trinity: God as a Father, The Lord Jesus Christ as a close friend, and the Holy Spirit as dwelling in your heart.

What do you hope to see/experience when you get to heaven?
When I will go, I will let you know.

+++

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