His Grace Bishop Ermia… The General Bishop and
Head of the Coptic Orthodox Cultural Center
“Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” (Matthew 25: 21)
In fact, I got much sorrowful at the departure of Prof. Dr. Deacon Eng. Fakhry Sadek on the Christmas’ Eve, as I joined him a day earlier while receiving the divine Communion, and he told me: “I have got much weary!” Heaven was open then and of faster response to him than us, his spirit was there, where his prepared treasure was, “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6: 21)
He was born in Beni Mazar of pious Orthodox Christian parents; Mr. Sadek Gerges, and Mrs. Nagiya Gobran Bishay, on 9th of August, 1932, yet his birth was registered on 5th of January, 1933 in his birth certificate. He is the third son among his four brothers; Mrs. Tafida, the wife of late Mo’awad Dawoud Abdel Noor, Archdeacon Fawzi, Mrs. Fawzeya (May God prolong her life). His father worked at the Egyptian Railways, and was used to move from a place to another due to his work nature. In 1963, he got married to Mrs. Caren Arnest in Germany and was gifted with three children; Magda, Mervat and Michel.
I have maintained a long strong relationship with Prof. Dr. Deacon Eng. Fakhry Sadek Gerges, I will summarize some of his traits, despite words are ineffective while describing this mighty man who was a virtuous servant and teacher… He was a strong calm man, competent in management, organization and ministry work.
Amidst all this, he had never forgotten his spiritual life, he was adhering to attending masses, a keeper of tunes and prayers, being influenced by Saint Pope Cyril VI whom he knew while he was a monk living in St. Mina’s Church in Zahraa Misr Al Qadima. He used to go to Pope Cyril, bake the holy bread with him, pray with him in the praise then the mass, so, he learnt the love of church, monasticism, praise and daily prayer, it is worth noting that he is the one who wrote the present billboard in St. Mina’s Church in Zahraa Misr Al Qadima in Coptic Language (the current headquarter of St. Mina’s Monastery).
Dr. Fakhry is considered a prominent distinct figure in the Coptic Church’s history in the twentieth and the twenty first Century. He was a well known servant by the church since his early youth, he served in many districts, as Beni Mazar, Alexandria and Cairo foremost, in addition to his service for a period abroad in Germany, where he taught his beloved and mastered Coptic language with all its dialects in many districts.
The Lord set His lamp on the top of a lampstand to be seen by many, who would learn from him and be disciples of him, he taught many male and female servants, priests, monks and bishops, who all have never forgotten his favor but rather they do acknowledge him as a modest teacher and servant, who taught them the Church’s language. He had devoted all his talents, knowledge and study to join his brilliant family in the Coptic language.
The late Mr. Mo’awad Dawoud Abdel Noor, one of the past century’s pioneers in the Coptic language, and the husband of Mrs. Tafida, Fakhry’s elder sister, expressed thanks to him in the foreword of the Coptic Language Dictionary in its Lower and Upper Egyptian dialects (Coptic – Arabic), third edition, saying: “In this occasion, I can only express thanks to all who assisted in producing this dictionary, especially the late Eng. Fawzi Sadek Gerges and his brother Dr. Eng. Fakhry Sadek Gerges, whose beautiful legible handwriting had the upper hand in delivering the dictionary in this form.”
Dr. Fakhry is a man of doctrine and conscience, whose life and virtues will ever be living in our hearts, he was much intelligent, active, cultured, circumspect, assiduous, working, role model, honest, noble, dignified, complaisant, modest, brave, loving, firm, sacrificing, peaceful, tolerant, loyal to his country, a son of the church, honest in all his acts before the Lord, an ideal husband and a tender father.
I am closely connected to his family and children, he used to be a regular visitor of the Monastery of St. Mina, the Wonderworker, especially at Kiahk month every year. We used to listen to him at the evening praise, as he used to pray in his beautiful voice and accurate proper Coptic reading, particularly in the Greek parts then the Coptic commentary parts, we felt as if we were in heaven, he sued to pray the Sunday praise of Kiahk until morning.
He was received together with his family by the Triple Beatified His Grace Abba Mina Ava Mina, as they were beloved by Saint Pope Cyril VI, they were also dear to the monastery’s council of monks.
- Early in this century, we’d pray the Kiahk praise weekly, and hold the mass in the Diocese of South Sinai’s location in Cairo, where heaven is called to our minds while we are on earth.
- He had an effective and distinct role in:
Publishing the Coptic Language Dictionary in its Lower and Upper Egyptian dialects (Coptic – Arabic), third edition, 2013 by Mr. Mo’awad Dawoud Abdel Noor.
Publishing several books
Teaching at the Institute of Coptic Studies, until he became the deputy of Coptic Language Department.
Teaching at Gawargios and St. Anthony’s Church.
Assuming the control of the Institute of Coptic Studies.
Indexing the microfilm and microfiche at the Monastery of St. Mina the Wonderworker in the eighties, and at the Coptic Orthodox Cultural Center, due to his wide knowledge and mastery of the Upper Egyptian Coptic language.
- His life is a luminous candle in the field of education, particularly the Coptic Language, that he began filming episodes for ME Sat Channel, and were broadcasted. His aromatic fragrant will keep emitting, he kept the fathers’ language in his heart, hence the history will memorize him in its pages.
I have witnessed his love and zeal for the service, filled with love, firmness and honesty, as well as his loyalty to his virtuous wife, late Mrs/ Carin Arnest, he loved and respected her very much. After her departure on February, 22nd, 2017, he preferred silence and heartily praying to God in order to take him from this world full of weariness.
As much as he got weary and sacrificed, the Lord will compensate him with a heavenly portion. He will hear the cheerful voice saying: “Enter into the joy of your Lord”, he departed at a good senescence, yet his spirit was never senescent. May the Lord rest his soul in the bosom of our saint fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and grant his children, family and all his friends heavenly comfort.
21 March 2018