Armenian Church – Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin
On June 28, the opening ceremony of the Saints Cyril and Methodius Russian Language Laboratory was held in the Vaskenian Theological Academy at Lake Sevan. The language laboratory was founded with the assistance of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy of the Russian Orthodox Church and through the benefaction of Mr. Hrachia Poghosian from Russia.
Present for the ceremony were His Grace Bishop Ararat Kaltakjian, Director of the Properties of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin; His Grace Bishop Marcos Hovhannisian, Primate of the Diocese of Gegharkunik; His Grace Bishop Sahak Mashalian, Dean of the Gevorkian Theological Seminary; His Grace Bishop Mkrtich Proshian, Locum Tenens of the Diocese of Aragatsotn; His Grace Bishop Ambrose of Gatchina, Dean of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy; members of the Brotherhood of Holy Etchmiadzin, Benefactor Hrachia Poghosian, representatives of the Armenian Community and members of the teaching staff of the Vaskenian Academy.
Following the official opening of the laboratory, Rev. Fr. Gevorg Saroyan, Dean of the Vaskenian Theological Academy gave opening remarks, “The history of the Vaskenian Academy is not a book, but the history of а soul. This day is another spiritual achievement in the chronicle of our 20 years. Today we face the issue of development of qualified clergy.
Clergy who will contribute to the Renaissance of our Christian State with their devotion, faith and love towards the nation. Over the last several years, the Academy has placed great importance on the teaching of the Russian language. This centuries old historical relationship ties the Armenian and Russian nations with spiritual and cultural threads. The opening of the Russian language laboratory is testimony to the good relations between the two countries”, he stated in part. He expressed his gratitude to Mr. Karen Mkrtchian, President of the Armenian Community in Saint Petersburg for expanding the Academy library with Theological literature and for providing the best textbooks of the Russian language. Father Gevorg also expressed his appreciation to Mr. Hrachia Poghosian, representative from the Armenian Community of Saint Petersburg for furnishing the linguistic laboratory and providing proper technical equipment. Father Gevorg also reflected on the establishment of cooperation in spiritual education between the Vaskenian and St. Petersburg academies.
Bishop Ambrose, Dean of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy addressed those present, “Glory to God that I have the opportunity to participate in this festive ceremony of the opening of the language laboratory, and share this joy with those present. This event is witness to the atmosphere of warmth and friendship that exists between the two nations and Churches, and the decades-old cooperation between our two educational institutions. This bond is further evident by the numerous clergy, who after graduation from the Vaskenian and Gevorkian Seminaries, continue their education in our country and serve in different departments, parishes and Dioceses of the Armenian Church”. He also reflected on the difficulties of the past and the excellent conditions of the present. According to the Bishop, the technical equipment in the laboratory will provide an opportunity to the students to follow the theological lectures of the St. Petersburg Academy. He also extended the greetings and best wishes of His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.
Mr. Karen Mkrtchian, President of the Regional national-Cultural Community of Saint Petersburg and benefactor Hrachia Poghosian also spoke, both expressing their sincere feelings on the occasion of the opening. At the conclusion of the ceremony the choir of the Academy gave a brief musical performance.