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Coptic Village Retreat Center


Saint Maurice and Saint Verena Coptic Village is a project operated by the Diocese of Los Angeles, under the guidance of His Grace Bishop Serapion, in Big Bear Lake , California . The project seeks to provide a spiritual retreat and convention center within the setting of the European/Swiss environment in which the Coptic saints Maurice and Verena lived and witnessed.

Nestled on two and a half acres of some of the oldest and tallest pines in Big Bear Lake, California, the Village will contain a church building, multi-purpose hall, shops, a small Coptic museum, and lodging to accommodate up to 250 persons.


The Coptic Village will be used for various retreats, conventions and trips, including:

  • Over 10 Diocese Youth Conventions which take place each year for the junior high school youth, high school youth, college youth, young professionals, Arabic youth, families, priests, and servants of the Diocese;
  • Yearly youth and family retreats organized by the churches of the Diocese;
  • Youth and family retreats organized by Coptic and non-Coptic churches or Christian groups;
  • Training courses for preparing servants and missionaries;
  • Family vacations throughout the year in a peaceful, dynamic and Orthodox environment;
  • Spiritual retreats for young women, with the spiritual guidance of the Saint Verena Sisters;
  • And weekend trips for individuals who seek a secluded retreat for contemplation, reflection, and spiritual growth.

Through such a facility, we hope to save tens of thousands of dollars each year.


The Village is located in Big Bear Lake , approximately 20 miles north of San Bernardino and 85 miles east of Los Angeles . Easily accessible from Southern California cities, this recreational site is famous for its winter ski resort as well as fishing, boating, hiking and camping in the summer time.

The Coptic Village is located minutes from Snow Summit and Bear Mountain ski resorts, horseback rides, Alpine Slide (which offers snow tubing, bobsledding and bumper cars for the kids), Pleasure Point Marina, village shops and restaurants.

Existing Property

Currently, the land consists of two properties. The first is approximately 24,600 sq. ft. and contains over 21 cabins with fireplaces, kitchens and kitchenettes, covered porches, barbeques, and Jacuzzis. It currently can accommodate up to 96 people. The Lodge meets AAA standards and received the Auto Club Rating approval. This property also contains a volleyball court, recreational area, game room, playground, swimming pool, and fire pit.

The second property, directly adjacent to the first, features two immaculate homes situated on 17,200 sq. ft. This property is also zoned for commercial use and has ample land available for future buildings and facilities.

How You Can Help

These two properties are currently in escrow at the price of $2.11 million ($1.75 million + $360,000). An expansion project to build a church, multipurpose hall, and additional rooms is expected to cost approximately $1 million; yielding a total budget of approximately $3.11 million. Of this, $1 million is immediately needed for the initial down payment.

We are now actively seeking donations in order to purchase and develop these two parcels of land. All donations can be made to “Coptic Orthodox Church, Diocese of Los Angeles.” When making your donation, please indicate that it should be allocated for the “Coptic Village-Big Bear Project.”

If you would like to place advanced reservations at the Village for your family, please contact us for more information.

Any donation, however large or small, is welcome. We are grateful for all the support we have received for the past services and projects, and look forward to thanking you for your further support of the Coptic Village . Thank you in advance for your generous participation.

“Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it. Many nations shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.’” (Micah 4:1-2)

Posted by Fr. Moses Samaan

July 8, 2012