Bishop Bishay was one of the bishops who took part in the meeting with the Pope. The bishop, who is a former official at the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, described the meeting as "marvelous."
"Previously, ad limina visits included a papal speech that gave the highlights of the situation of the country and provided recommendations. But now there are no more speeches, and each of us was invited to freely speak about the situation in his diocese," Bishop Bishay recounted.
He said the Pope welcomed Egypt's Catholic bishops.
"It reminded me of that passage of the Gospel when Jesus sent the apostles to make disciples, and, when they are back, asks them to tell their experience," the bishop said.
Bishop Bishay said that the bishops, beyond the particular issues of each diocese, talked about the fruits of the Catholic Church's Year of Mercy and about the daily life of the Church in Egypt.
The Pope "encouraged us to carry on our mission in the Church and at the service of Egyptian society, with a particular reference to education and dialogue," the bishop reported.
In the Coptic Eparchy of Luxor, education is a major concern.
"We established two catechetical institutes, one in Luxor and one in Aswan, and classes are attended by about 250 people. We launched a vocational year last Dec. 8, placing it under the Virgin Mary's protection," he said.
Already there are five boys discerning a vocation who could begin seminary next year.
Terrorism is another concern for the Church in Egypt.
"Egyptians are very attentive, as they know that terrorism aims at undermining the unity of our country as well as our shared life with Muslims brothers," Bishop Bishay said.
Despite incidents in which many churches were burned by extremists, "no reaction against the Muslim community came from the Catholic Church," the bishop reported.