Prelate Participates in Opening of “New Cilicia” Homes in Artsakh and Liberation of Shushi 25th Anniversary Celebrations


As previously reported, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, traveled to Antelias last week, from where he continued to Artsakh to join the Holy See of Cilicia delegation participating in the opening ceremony of the second phase of the “New Cilicia” village as well as in the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the liberation of Shushi.

The official opening of this second phase of newly built homes took place on Monday, May 8, 2017, and the homes were presented to their new residents. Thirty-two homes have been built thus far, and many others renovated, primarily for families of Artsakh’s martyrs and those with multiple children.

H.E. Archbishop Barkev Martirosyan, Primate of Artsakh, presided over the opening ceremony. On behalf of His Holiness Catholicos Aram I, Catholicosate Central Religious Council members H.E. Archbishop Sebouh Sarkissian, Prelate of Tehran, and H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate of the Western U.S., participated, as did H.G. Bishop Magar Ashkarian, Vicar General of the Tehran Prelacy, government leaders and representatives, Catholicosate Central Council member Mr. Dikran Jinbashian, Prelacy Executive Council member Mr. Alec Baghdasaryan, and residents.

The ceremony began with the Blessing of the Home service. Archbishop Sarkissian read the message of His Holiness Catholicos Aram I and conveyed his remarks. In an interview for Artsakh TV, Archbishop Mardirossian and Mr. Dikran Jinbashian expressed their joy at the project’s progress. At the conclusion of the service, the delegation visited the new homes. The residents expressed their gratitude to His Holiness and all who contributed to the project’s realization and demonstrated their great joy with song and dance.

On Tuesday, May 9, events were held in Stepanakert and Shushi in celebration of the Artsakh defense Army and the 25th anniversary of the liberation of Shushi. President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, President of Artsakh Bako Sahakyan, and H.E. Archbishop Barkev Martirosyan, Primate of Artsakh, led a march from the Presidential Palace to the Stepanakert Memorial where flowers were laid at the Artsakh War Tank Memorial and at the memorial statute of the late Artsakh War military commander Vazgen Sargsyan. Government members, clergy leaders and members, armed forces members, and a large number of citizens took part in event, as did the Prelate, who paid tribute to Artskah’s martyrs by laying a flower at the monument. In the evening a concert was held at Vazgen Sargsyan Square in Stepanakert, which concluded with celebratory fireworks.

The Catholicosate delegation also had the opportunity for a private meeting with President Bako Sahakyan. On Thursday, May 11, Archbishop Sebouh Sarkissian and Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian were received by His Holiness Catholicos Karekin II to extend His Holiness Catholicos Aram I’s brotherly greetings and to report about their mission and celebration in Artsakh.

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