Armenian Communities of Mexico Included in the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America By Pontifical Encyclical of Catholicos of All Armenians

December 2014

Following a request by the Eastern and Western Dioceses of the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church of North America, by Pontifical Encyclical of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; the Armenian communities of Mexico have been removed from the jurisdiction of the Eastern Diocese of the USA and are now included in Western Diocese of the USA, taking into account the mutual close ties between the Armenian communities in Mexico and California and the suitability of Mexico’s geographical location.

Following is the full pontifical encyclical:

KAREKIN II, SERVANT OF JESUS CHRIST,
BY THE MERCY OF GOD AND THE WILL OF THE NATION
CHIEF BISHOP AND CATHOLICOS OF ALL ARMENIANS,
SUPREME PATRIARCH OF THE PAN-NATIONAL PREEMINENT ARARATIAN SEE
THE APOSTOLIC MOTHER CHURCH OF UNIVERSAL HOLY ETCHMIADZIN.
CHRIST-BEQUEATHED GREETINGS OF LOVE AND PONTIFICAL BLESSINGS
TO THE CATHOLICIOSATE OF THE GREAT HOUSE OF CILICIA,
TO THE ARMENIAN PATRIARCHATES
OF HOLY JERUSALEM AND CONSTANTINOPLE,
TO ARCHBISHOPS, BISHOPS, PRIESTS AND DEACONS,
TO DIOCESAN ASSEMBLIES,
DIOCESAN AND PARISH COUNCILS AND OFFICERS,
AND TO ALL BELOVED FAITHFUL ARMENIAN PEOPLE

We render our praise and glory to Almighty God, who blesses our sons for prosperously and vibrantly maintaining the national and spiritual life worldwide.

Yet in the 19th century, when the Armenians who survived the Ottoman massacres settled in North America, the late Pontiff of the Armenians Khrimian Hayrik, by Pontifical Encyclical, confirmed a diocesan structure on the North America continent, so that the service of our Apostolic Holy Church would be useful to our faithful sons and daughters, and thus our longing people would not be indifferent to spiritual care.

Over subsequent years, a great number of Armenians found life safety in North America. Armenian communities were formed in the Eastern, then in the Western regions of US, and in Canada. In order to organize and take care our nation’s spiritual life, in response to the region’s churches requests, the late Pontiffs Gevork V and Vasken I, confirmed the Armenian Western Diocese of the USA and the Armenian Diocese of Canada.

In recent decades, as a result of demographic changes, the number of Armenians has also increased in Mexico. During this time, our Church has made outreach through visiting clergy, so that the Armenians living in Mexico could build their spiritual and national life on our father’s holy sacred rock of faith, and keep their religious and national identity unbroken.

Today, it’s a necessity to offer greater spiritual care and compassion to our nation’s children who live in Mexico. In this regard, responding to the requests of the Eastern and Western Dioceses of the Armenian Church of Nother America, and considering the close ties between the Armenian communities of Mexico and California, and Mexico’s geographical proximity, with this Patriarchal Encyclical we separate the Mexican Armenian communities from the Armenian Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America and include it in the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America.

We extend our Pontifical Blessings to His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian; Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America, urging that he make efforts with pastoral zeal, to offer service for the formation of the community structures in Mexico for their successful activities.

From the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, we extend our Pontifical blessings, love and best wishes to our faithful Armenian sons and daughters living in Mexico. We pray from the depth of our hearts, asking the Lord to preserve the Mexican-Armenian community under the patronage of His Holy Right Hand and with His heavenly graces, richly bless and brighten the national and spiritual life of our Christ-loving people now and forever: Amen.

“Heavenly King, keep your Church immovable and grant peace by Your worshiped name”.

With Blessings,

KAREKIN II
CATHOLICOS OF ALL ARMENIANS

Encyclical issued on the 21st of November
In the Year of our Lord 2014 and in the date of the Armenians 1463
At the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin
Number 877

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