St. Gregory the Illuminator Church in Philadelphia hosted a book signing for Archpriest Fr. Nerses Manoogian’s latest work, “From the Pastor’s Desk” (Vol. II), on Sunday, March 20, following Divine Liturgy (see Book of the Week in this issue of Crossroads).
In the presentation at the parish hall, His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate, said that the best way to understand this book is to start reading it from the last page. Indeed, in his afterword Fr. Nerses humbly acknowledges his debt of gratitude to the ranks of teachers at the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia for his intellectual and spiritual formation, who beyond the classroom inspired generations with their faith and vision.
The Prelate said that the book is not a mere collection of essays but the fruit of three decades of Fr. Nerses’ pastoral service in the churches of Granite City and Philadelphia, both named after St. Gregory the Illuminator. These pages contain heartfelt speeches, reflections, and messages about religious and national feasts, as well as social occasions, church anniversaries and the building of new community structures.
A valuable section of the book is a compilation of entries from the Pastor’s diary, in which Fr. Nerses very accurately portrays joyous and sad moments on the same day, which is a common occurrence in the life of every pastor.
This selection of spiritual reflections concludes with touching poems, inspired in events such as his ordination, children’s baptism, and the sacrament of communion.
In congratulating Fr. Nerses, His Eminence said this book has its special place in the literature of pastoral service and expressed his wish that it may serve as a source of inspiration for other clergy.