“Year of the Armenian Mother” Culminates with Community-Wide Celebration

 

For the past year, the Western Prelacy and its parishes and schools have been hosting events and activities celebrating the “Year of the Armenian Mother” proclaimed by His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia.

The celebration of the “Year of the Armenian Mother” culminated with a community-wide event held under the auspices of H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, on the evening of Tuesday, October 29, 2013, at the “Dikran and Zarouhie Der Ghazarian” Hall.  The event was organized by the Prelacy Cultural-Educational Committee and featured keynote speaker Dr. Alina Dorian, Principal of Rose and Alex Pilibos School, and a cultural program in which Pilibos students participated.

At the hall entrance mothers were greeted with carnations.  The program commenced with welcoming remarks by Committee Chair Mr. Herair Jermakian, who invited the Prelate for the opening prayer.  He then invited Master of Ceremonies and Pilibos School teacher Mrs. Tamar Tufenkjian-Seraydarian, who reflected on the role and value of mothers particularly in light of the circumstances and challenges of modern times, and on the mission of mothers in the development of individual children and creating the future of our nation.

The rich cultural program featured performances by professional artists as well as Pilibos 10th and 11th grade students who presented recitations and songs accompanied by flute and guitar.  Other performers included mother and daughter duo Sossie and Salpi on the lyre and flute, St. Mary’s Church Choir member Elena Avanesyan, and Ruzanna Ooligian who recited poetry.  A nice surprise was when Salpi announced that she wished to say a few words about how grateful she was to her mother for not only instilling in her appreciation for music, but also for the Armenian education she provided.  She stated that despite not having the opportunity to attend an Armenian school, she knows and speaks Armenian well, and for that she is grateful to her mother.

 The MC then introduced the keynote speaker’s educational and professional background, highlighting her contributions to Armenian schools and within universities and her noble work in Artsakh in the 1990’s as the establisher of the first health services centers in liberated regions.

Dr. Dorian delivered a poignant lecture on a mother’s influence, incorporating the role her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother had in her development, stating that mothers are masterpieces from God who work alongside Him in giving life to children and leading them to flourish; and that if a mother is a blessing and a gift, children are to mothers a blessing in return.  Dr. Dorian also emphasized the role and contributions of mothers in the development of society and nation through the telling of her experiences in Artsakh and life in general, and concluded by expressing respect to all mothers, as well as those who are no longer with us.

The program came to a close with the message of the Prelate, who first noted that throughout the year we have expressed our respect and gratitude to mothers through various endeavors, and also that these sentiments are not confined to the year 2013 but in fact remain with us always.  His Eminence stated this year’s events served two purposes; they allowed us to express our love, respect, and gratitude to mothers, but also gave the opportunity to ponder and the virtues and values of Armenians mothers, their service and sacrifice, love, and dedication to the Christian and Armenian education of her children.  If we were able to fulfill these purposes, then we can consider the Year of the Armenian Mother celebrations a success, said the Prelate, who then highly commended all the program participants, and echoing the keynote speaker’s sentiment that mothers are blessings and gifts from God, stated “all of you are blessings to your mothers”.  Reflecting on the message of His Holiness on the proclamation of the “Year of the Armenian Mother”, the Prelate stressed the importance of rereading and reviewing the Pontifical message and following the advice set forth in the message (Copies of the bilingual Pontifical message were distributed to attendees).  The Prelate also spoke of the challenges of modern day life and the role, mission, and responsibilities of Armenian mothers in the past compared to today, stating that long ago, despite having limited or no education, mothers built character in their children, and today, when access to education is widespread, the challenges have changed but they are still there for mothers to overcome.  In conclusion, the Prelate stated that “the future of our families and nation, and also the present, lies in the hands of Armenian mothers.”

Thus, the “Year of the Armenian Mother” celebration culminated with the benediction by the Prelate and the Cilician anthem sung by unison by the students, artists, and guests.

MC Tamar Tufenkjian-Seraydarian’s Remarks
Keynote Speaker Dr. Alina Dorian’s Speech
Prelate’s Message

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