Upon his return from Antelias, Lebanon after participating in meetings of the Great House of Cilicia Central Executive Religious and Joint Councils, on Sunday, January 29, 2017, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, presided over Divine Liturgy at Holy Martyrs Church in Encino during which he presented the “Year of Renewal” message of His Holiness Catholicos Aram I. His Eminence also gave an overview of the deliberations and conveyed his congratulations on the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Armenian army. The Pontiff’s message was also read in all Prelacy Churches.
Divine Liturgy was celebrated by parish pastor Archpriest Fr. Razmig Khatchadourian. Among the many faithful in attendance was Executive Council Chair Mr. Vahe Hovaguimian, ARF Central Committee Chairman Mr. Daron Der Khachadourian, parish delegates and board members, Ferrahian High School Principal Mrs. Sossi Shanlian and School Board members, Sunday School teachers and students, and representatives of sister organizations.
Noting that he had just recently returned from Lebanon, the Prelate first conveyed the blessings and greetings of His Holiness and then gave a synopsis of the Central Executive meetings, which encompassed the areas of Christian Education, youth concerns, Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations, the Seminary, relations between the two Catholicosates and the Armenian Catholic and Evangelical Churches, Social Services, construction and renovation projects, educational programs, construction of the New Cilicia in Artsakh, the lawsuit demanding the return of the Sis Catholicosate in modern-day Turkey, reconstruction and revival of Armenian communities in Syria, and more.
Next, as January 28 marked the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Armenian army, the Prelate prayed for Almighty God to protect and watch over the brave men and women defending our homeland and grant them added strength and courage in their noble mission. “In the last 25 years, our army has endured attacks and challenges, yet they continue to boldly fight on. In their veins runs the blood of Vartan Mamigonian and his 2016 brave companions, and in their souls lives the courageous spirit of our heroes and Artsakh’s freedom fighters. Today they continue to put their lives on the line in defense of our nation, knowing well that death for nation yields to immortality,” stated His Eminence.
The Prelate then presented the “Year of Renewal” message of His Holiness Catholicos Aram I, which emphasizes renewal as the purpose of the Bible, the core of the church’s mission, and the imperative of renewal in our religious and national life and urges religious, community, and political leaders, scholars, as well as each and every Armenian to focus on serving for the renewal, revitalization, and advancement of our religious and national institutions.