A Publication of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland
Catholic Voice Online Edition
Front Page In this Issue Around the Diocese Forum News in Brief Calendar Commentary
Mission Statement
Contact Us
Publication Dates
Back Issues

Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland

Movie Reviews

Mass Times

Catholic Voice
articles list
placeholder New altar, numerous renovations at
Holy Spirit

Gift of Giving

New president is a
first for St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County

Local charities
deliver holiday
season wish lists

Help retired
religious weather
financial future

Supporting elderly religious is work
of the heart,
honorees say

Deeper look at statistics about women's religious orders


Pilgrimage takes us
into our faith
in a profound, transformational way

Pax Christi
Assembly inspired
by panelists,

Coptic deacon
fights secularism
to reach youths

Financial Services

Have a conversation about long-term care with your parents

Making this
Christmas season bright, and
affordable for everyone

How to save
money on pet care

Holiday Guide

Bishop's Vineyard
at the Cathedral

'VatiLeaks' 2015: Books claim

resistance to pope's
finance reform

Fremont pastor
pens a book on
humor, inspiration


New liturgical year
a time to put our
houses in order

The "O Antiphons"
of Advent

Blessing of an
Advent wreath

Sister Theresa
Martin Pigott, OP

placeholder November 23, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 20   •   Oakland, CA
Coptic deacon fights secularism to reach youths

When George Bassilios speaks to college students, "All I want is for them to be uncomfortable; to put a stone in their shoe."

The Coptic Christian deacon explains "We are fighting the secular ideology — atheism, agnosticism, pluralism, materialism, skepticism, relativism."

But without God, "man, money and pleasure become god."

Bassilios cites survey data that in college 61 percent of students leave their faith due to skepticism; 35 percent are atheists or agnostics.

Bassilios is a deacon engaged in youth ministry through St. Antonius Coptic Orthodox Church in Hayward. He spoke to the November Catholics at Work breakfast.

Oakland Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, visited St. Antonius last spring to personally express Christian solidarity with the community after the beheading of 21 Coptic workers in Libya by Islamic State militants.

At the time Pope Francis lamented those killings, saying "Their blood is one and the same; their blood confesses Christ."

Describing his experiences talking to students at UC campuses in Berkeley and Davis, Bassilios emphasizes the challenge facing all Christians in contemporary society is to fight the death of truth. The dominant moral relativism and skepticism result in a culture where "man, money and pleasure become god."

So the challenge in providing pastoral care for college students is large and difficult. And that is why he starts by simply trying to put a stone in their shoes.

Bassilios grew up in Egypt's large, vibrant Christian community. At age 13 he migrated to the U.S. A graduate of Cal State Hayward he works professionally in health care marketing, but as a deacon also uses his skills to reach young adults. He and his wife and children live in San Francisco.

back to topup arrow


Copyright © 2015 The Catholic Voice, All Rights Reserved. Site design by Sarah Kalmon-Bauer.