By Shahira Rigaud – Coptic Solidarity –
It is with great sadness that Coptic Solidarity announces the passing of Father Henry Boulad. We have lost a great man who craved to change the world and succeeded in making great things happen. Till his last breath, he had in mind all the defenseless, the destitute, the powerless, the impoverished …His cry for Justice and for Freedom was heard in the 4 corners of the world. His cry for the rights of Christian minorities was the fight of his life.
Father Henry Boulad passed away on June 14, 2023 in Cairo at the age of 92. He was born on 28 August 1931 into a Syrian family of the Greek-Melkite Catholic faith. His paternal family had left Damascus during the 1860’s to settle down in Egypt. They originally belonged to the old damascene bourgeoisie specialized in the fabrication & trade of silk. Several members of his family became priests, such as Father Abdel Messih Boulad (Damascus) and Father Antoine Boulad (Lebanon).
In 1950, Henry Boulad joined the Jesuit novitiate in Bekfaya, Lebanon. From 1952 to 1954 he studied in the Laval juniorate in France. Then from 1954 to 1957, he studied Philosophy in the Chantilly Jesuit Scholasticate near Paris. After 2 years of teaching at the “College de la Sainte Famille” in Cairo, he prepared a cycle of theological studies in Lebanon from 1959 to 1963. He was ordained a priest in 1963 according to the Melkite rites.
May his soul Rest In Peace and may his works, ideas and immense courage serve as an example for the coming generations.
Background (translated from French)
In 1965, he took part in a Jesuit study program in Pomfret, Connecticut and obtained a PhD in Scholastic Psychology from the university of Chicago.
Back in Egypt in 1967, he was first a Jesuit superior in Alexandria, then a Jesuit provincial for the Middle East and professor of Theology in Cairo.
In 2004, he is named Rector of the Jesuit school “Collège de la Sainte Famille” in Cairo. All through his life, Father Boulad was strongly committed to the service of those who have nothing, whether Christians or Moslems. This dedication continued with his implication in Caritas. From 1984 to 1995, he was director of Caritas Egypt and president of Caritas: North Africa and Middle East. From 1991 to 1995, he was Vice-président of Caritas International for the Middle East and North Africa.
Father Boulad has published more than 30 books in 15 languages, mainly French, Arabic, German and Hungarian. He was raised to the grade of commander in the French “Ordre des Palmes académiques”.
In 2017, he received the Hungarian nationality and praised the Hungarian regime for its defence of traditional Christian communities in Europe and elsewhere. Viktor Orban was a personal friend and great admirer of Father Boulad.