The Catholicosate of the Holy See of Cilicia Grew by Three New Celibate Priests

On Sunday, May 22, 2022, H.G. Bishop Torkom Donoyan, Prelate of the Western Prelacy of the United States of America celebrated Divine Liturgy and conducted the ordination of three new celibate priests in St. Gregory the Illuminator Mother Cathedral, presided over by His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia.

During the Liturgy, three graduates from the seminary Deacon Hrag Kalayjian, Deacon Shant Kadehjian and Deacon Nareg Filikian were ordained and elevated into the ranks of celibate priesthood and renamed Rev. Fr. Armen, Rev. Fr. Arakel and Rev. Fr. Azad respectively. The Dean of the seminary, Very Rev. Fr. Barouyr Shernezian assisted in the ordination ceremony as the Sponsoring Priest.

The ordination Godfather was Mr. & Mrs. Vahe and Hasmig Hovaguimian, Chairman of the Executive Council of the Western Prelacy of the United States of America. After the ceremony, the foreheads and hands of the three newly ordained celibate priests were washed by the godfather.

Following the ordination ceremony, Bishop Donoyan delivered his sermon and expressed his filial gratitude towards H.H. Aram I., Catholicos for giving him the opportunity to celebrate Divine Liturgy in St. Gregory the Illuminator Mother Cathedral and ordain the three new celibate priests. Bishop Donoyan also congratulated the ordination godfather and parents of the newly ordained.

Continuing his sermon, Bishop Donoyan addressed the newly ordained priests directly, stating; “You no longer belong to yourself, but to everyone. He who is the brother of Christ becomes your brother today and who is the mother to Christ becomes your mother today. Becoming a priest is not an easy task and you are invited every day to reach a new level and a new peak in your spiritual life. It is your duty to open your door and listen to the challenges and difficulties of those who knock at your door.”

At the end of the sermon, Bishop Donoyan addressed the His Holiness Aram I.; “Your Holiness, on behalf of the Religious and Executive Councils of the Western Prelacy of the United States of America, and thousands of our faithful, we formally invite you to the Western Prelacy of the United States of America, so that our faithful may experience comfort in your fatherly presence.”

Following the example of our Lord Jesus Christ, they will spend the next 40 days in prayer, fasting and reflection at St. Mary’s Seminary in Bikfaya, to begin their sacred mission.

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