Pontifical Visit of the Catholicos of All Armenians to the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America

27-Ararat -6

27-Hrashapar 1

Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin – 29/10/17

On 26 October, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, on the first day of his visit to the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America; visited the AGBU Vatche & Tamar Manoukian High School in Pasadena, CA, and met with the administration.

After arriving in the United States, the Pontifical delegation was joined by His Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America; His Grace Bishop Abgar Hovakimyan, Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Canada; and His Eminence Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, Diocesan Legate and Ecumenical Officer of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America. The meeting was also attended by benefactors AGBU President Mr. Berge Setrakian, and guests.

The students welcomed His Holiness under the singing of the Pontifical Prayer. Remarks were made on behalf of the teachers, and the students of the educational institution performed an artistic presentation. At the conclusion, His Holiness conveyed his blessings and best wishes to the students and teachers and gifted to the school a miniature stone-cross.

In the afternoon, His Holiness visited the Ararat Home in Mission Hills, CA; an assisted care live-in facility for elderly Armenian residents. His Holiness expressed his appreciation to the Board members and staff, then conveyed his Pontifical blessing and best wishes, and visited with the elderly residents.

The Catholicos of All Armenians donated to the Ararat Home, a replica of the well-known Holy Mother of God icon, by the artist Gevork Surenyants. The Catholicos of All Armenians Presided over a Blessing and Dedication of a New Wing of the Ararat Home.

In the evening, the official Hrashapar (Welcoming) Service was held in the St. Ghevond Mother Church in Pasadena, CA; with the presence of the clergy of the Diocese, numerous faithful, representatives of Sister Churches, and state officials.

In his remarks addressed to the faithful, His Holiness expressed his congratulations and best wishes on the occasion of the 90th Anniversary of the establishment of the Diocese, assessing the achievements and successes of the Armenian-Americans in the community’s national-church life.

The Catholicos of All Armenians wished for the American-Armenians God’s most gracious graces and blessings, urging them to continue their church-building and patriotic activities through a godly life, inexhaustible energy and a vision of the welfare and brightness of national and spiritual life. Following the Hrashapar Service, the faithful approached the Catholicos to kiss his anointed Right Hand of the Catholicos and receive blessings.