Sunday, August 22, 2004

Armenian Jerusalem Days

I just returned from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where I attended the Divine Liturgy service, with Fr. Norayr as the celebrant. This is my 12th day in Jerusalem. I feel very blessed to be here. It is the 16th time I am in the Holy City, where it is said that if you come once, you must come at least 7 times. So I am now on the 2nd visit of the third septet.

My work of directing the revitalization of the Calouste Gulbenkian Library of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem is proceeding well, with the blessing of His Beatitude Patriarch Torkom II. It has been a challenge, but one which is of great importance, not only for the Monastery of St. James, but for Armenians throughout the world, as well as for those who are interested in the Armenian Church, Armenian history, and Armenian culture.

Being here makes me able to focus, undistracted, on developing my doctoral dissertation proposal. I carry a notebook with me everywhere, and am constantly making notes, delving into source material, and otherwise carrying on my research to another level of depth. These are the building blocks which I hope will offer me the sound foundation for my academic studies.

What pleases me is that, as I explain what I am doing, I am at the same time able to encourage, inspire, and mentor a new generation of library apostles, who will continue the work I have begun. Many of them are right here, in the Seminary and in the Holy Translators School. Back in the States, they are the members of ALLIC (Armenian Librarians and Libraries Information Committee) of the American Library Association.

I am hoping that my enthusiasm will generate not only interest and well wishes, but also support so that we can continue to move this work forward. It is all of our responsibility.


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