Inaugural Joint Clergy Conference on the Feast of the Holy Translators Held in New Jersey


From October 5-8, 20105, Prelates and clergy members from the Prelacies of the Eastern U.S., Western U.S., and Canada, gathered at St. Vartanantz Church in Ridgefield, New Jersey, for the inaugural joint clergy conference dedicated to the Feast of the Holy Translators. In previous years the joint clergy conference was held biennially on the Feast of St. Ghevontiants.

H.E. Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate of the Eastern U.S., and H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate of the Western U.S., presided over the conference, the theme of which was “Renewal of our Commitment to the Legacy of our Martyrs.” H.G. Bishop Meghrig Parikian, Prelate of Canada, was unable to participate as he had traveled to Lebanon for the funeral of his father.

The conference began on Tuesday morning with a prayer service, after which requiem prayers were offered for Archbishop Ardavazt Terterian, Archbishop Gorun Babian, Diramayr Marie Choloyan, and Shoghig and Rupen Parikian.

The meeting officially began with the reading of the message of His Holiness Aram I, which focused on the pursuit of our cause in this Centennial year and beyond. Welcoming remarks were delivered by the host parish pastor, after which the two Prelates delivered their messages.

The conference featured prayer services, fellowship, lectures, roundtable discussions, and meditations. Lecture topics included; “The Martyred Clergy of 1915,” by Very Rev. Fr. Muron Aznikian, “The History of the Holy See of Cilicia from 301-1923,” by Archpriest Fr. Nerses Manoogian, “The Transfer of the Pontifical Seat from Sis to Antelias,” by Archpriest Fr. Karnig Koyounian, and “The 85th Anniversary of the Seminary of the Great House of Cilicia,” by Very Rev. Fr. Zareh Sarkissian. Topics discussed included the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, canonization of our martyrs, the Pontifical visit to the Eastern Prelacy, blessing of Holy Muron, and pastoral, educational, and parish-related matters.

On Wednesday evening, Episcopal Divine Liturgy was celebrated by Archbishop Mardirossian, who also delivered the sermon on preserving and promoting the legacy of our Holy Translators. A dinner hosted by St. Vartanantz Church Ladies Guild followed, during which a cultural program was presented by Hamazkayin Nayiri Dance Group and Arekag Choir.

On Thursday, the clergy visited various sites, including Hovnanian School, Armenian Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in New Jersey, the 9/11 memorial, and the United Nation. The day concluded with a prayer service and dinner at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral in New York.

Clergy returned to their communities on Friday, renewed by the week’s services and proceedings.

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