Catholicosate of Cilicia
Communication and Information Department
Tel: (04) 410001, 410003
Fax: (04) 419724
E- mail: [email protected]
PO Box 70 317

"Humanitarian Service is integral to the vocation of the Church,"
states His Holiness Aram I during his Pre-Christmas Pastoral visits

1.- Meeting with the children at the Birds Nest Orphanage/School in Byblos

On Monday 23 December 2013, Catholicos Aram I, accompanied by members of
the clergy, visited the Birds Nest. The sisters of the Kayanian Order, the
members of the Board, the director, faculty and staff, greeted the
Catholicos. After watching a special programme, which featured poems, songs
and dances by the children, His Holiness talked with the children while the
priests distributed gifts they had brought with them.

The Birds Nest was established as an orphanage/school after the Genocide
of the Armenians in Turkey. Danish Missionaries brought hundreds of orphaned
children to Lebanon at that time. The institution currently serves children
from broken or poor families and is hosting children victims of the war in

2.- Visiting the Howard Karagheusian Association for Child Welfare

The director of the Centre, Mr. Serop Ohanian, welcomed His Holiness Aram
I and transmitted the greetings of the General Director of the Foundation at
the Headquarters in the United States of America. After thanking the
director and the staff for their reception, Catholicos Aram I expressed his
appreciation for the work of the Karaghuesian Foundation in Lebanon for its
long years of service to the Armenian community and particularly for its
family-centred support. The Catholicos then blessed the personnel for
expressing God's love through their work.

3.- Meeting the Members of the Armenian Relief Cross (ARC) at the Araxie
Boulghourdjian Social Centre

President of the ARC Mrs Maral Hovhannessian and Director Verjin Sarafian
welcomed His Holiness Aram I to their Centre. His Holiness thanked the
benefactor of the Centre, Mr. Melkon Boulghourdjian, and the members of the
ARC who had come to welcome the Catholicos. His Holiness said that the
Centre was close to his heart because he had been involved in the planning
of the project with Mr. Boulghourdjian while Prelate of Lebanon. He
mentioned the important role of the Social Centre during the civil war in
Lebanon and acknowledged its contribution to alleviating the suffering of
many needy Armenian families. He also commended the devotion and commitment
of Armenian women through the Armenian Relief Cross and wished them a
blessed Christmas and a fruitful New Year in 2014.

4.- His Holiness Aram I declares 2014 "Year of the Armenian Elderly"
during his visit to the Home for the Elderly

The Armenian Home for the Elderly was the last leg of the pastoral visits
of the day for Catholicos Aram I. After the formal welcome of the director,
Rev. Sebouh Terzian, the priests accompanying His Holiness held a prayer
service. The programme continued with a cultural programme prepared and
presented by the residents of the Home. The Catholicos thanked the members
of the Board and the director and staff of the Home for their services to
the elderly. Addressing the elderly, the Catholicos told them that the Home
is not an institution, but a home that belongs to the community, hence their
home. He then announced that, in order to continue the tradition he had
instituted to acknowledge and pay respect to the different members of the
Armenian community in the world, he is declaring 2014 as the Year of the
Armenian Elderly.

During the visit to the Karaghuesian Foundation, the Armenian Relief Cross
and the Elderly Home, His Holiness Aram I was accompanied by the Prelate of
Lebanon, Bishop Shahé Panossian, Priests, Panos Manjian, a member of the
Government, Vrej Saboundjian, the Minister of Industry, and Hagop
Pakradouni, a member of Parliament.

5.- His Holiness Visits the Azounieh Sanatorium-Hospital in the Chouf

On Thursday 26 2013, His Holiness Aram I concluded his pastoral visits by
going to the Azounieh Hospital accompanied by members of the clergy.
Following the prayer service, the Catholicos addressed the medical staff and
thanked them for their care and attention towards the residents. He then
blessed the patients. Before leaving the Sanatorium-Hospital, the
Catholicos, accompanied by the clergy, visited the bed-stricken patients and
prayed with them; the priests served them the Eucharist.
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From: Baghdasarian