Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Catholicos with ecumenical leaders

NORTHRIDGE-His Holiness Catholicos Aram I led an ecumenical prayer
service, on Wednesday, October 19, with the participation of
spiritual leaders and clergy from the Armenian Apostolic, Catholic,
and Evangelical Churches, Coptic, Syriac, and Antiochian Orthodox
Churches, and the Roman Catholic Church.

The prayer service was hosted by the Coptic Orthodox Diocese and took
place at St. Mary and St. Athanasius Church in Northridge.

Participating in the prayer service were Western Prelate Archbishop
Moushegh Mardirossian, Bishop Serapion (Coptic Church), Archbishop
Mor Clemis Eugene Kaplan (Syriac Church), Bishop Joseph Zehlaoui
(Antiochian Church), Rt. Rev. Alexei Smith (Roman Catholic Church),
Very Rev. Fr. Krikor Chahinian (Armenian Catholic Church), and Rev.

Joe Matossian (Armenian Evangelical Union), and clergy members from
each of the Churches. The Prelate was accompanied by Archbishop Yeprem
Tabakian and clergy members.

With the singing of the "Hrashapar" hymn, His Holiness entered the
Church accompanied by the clergy. Prayers were then offered by the
leaders or clergy of each Church in their respective languages,
followed by readings from the Bible.

Remarks were delivered by Bishop Serapion, Archbishop Kaplan, and
Bishop Zehlaoui, all of whom reflected on the current situation in
the Middle East and specifically on the recent clashes in Egypt,
and expressed their hope for peace to prevail in the region. Bishop
Serapion conveyed the greetings and well wishes of Pope Shenouda III
to His Holiness.

The Prelate spoke of the purpose and significance of the ecumenical
gathering, and invited His Holiness to deliver his message.

After greeting the clergy, His Holiness commended Bishop Serapion,
who he has known for many years, speaking highly of his service in
ecumenical affairs from the Middle East to the United States, and
expressed his thanks to the Bishop for hosting the gathering.

His Holiness noted that Christian Churches were established on the
basis of peace, that peace forms the heart of our Churches and the
foundation of our mission. Christians are disciples of peace and must
remain so, and with their faith, knowledge, and hope, must preserve
their identity in the Middle East as they have deep roots in the
region and form a part of the region's rich and ancient culture.

Being a disciple of peace does not mean being stagnant, it means
protecting one's rights, assuming responsibility of obligations, and
contributing to the development of democracy. His Holiness concluded
by calling for strengthening of ecumenical collaboration.

An exchange of mementos followed, after which His Holiness and clergy
were hosted to lunch by the Coptic Church.

Catholicos addresses Armenian professionals at luncheon

Aram I Meets with Armenian Professionals On Tuesday, a luncheon
was held at the Prelacy during which His Holiness Catholicos Aram I
met with Armenian professionals of various fields. The luncheon was
organized by the Pontifical Visit Public Relations Committee and was
significant in that it related to the program recently initiated by
the Catholicosate of Cilicia aimed at gathering information about
our manpower in the Diaspora.

His Holiness, accompanied by Archbishop Mardirossian, Prelate, and
Councils members, was led to the "Dikran and Zarouhie Der Ghazarian"
Hall where over a hundred Armenian professionals welcomed the Pontiff.

The lunch meeting provided attendees with a unique opportunity to
discuss with His Holiness challenges and opportunities affecting our
community and to hear his paternal guidance and message. Attendees were
given forms to fill out, which will be submitted to the Catholicosate
to assist in their program of gathering data.

Master of Ceremonies Pattyl Aposhian-Kasparian welcomed the guests,
and thanked His Holiness for the opportunity to hold this important
luncheon, which she said is about acknowledging the individuals who
take on another level of responsibility and burden. "Every attendee
here volunteers their talent, skills and knowledge for the betterment
of the Armenian community. Armenians are achieving professional
milestones in larger numbers in every professional arena. We all have
potential power inside us and it is the request of His Holiness to
identify our talents, strengths and skills to serve the better good
of all Armenians." She concluded by stating, "Your Holiness, allow
our presence today representing 12 active professional organizations
to signal our support to your initiative."

An opportunity was given for a representative from each organization
to share information with the guests to more closely familiarize them
with the endeavors and mission of their specific organization.

The Prelate commended all the organizations present for the work they
carry out and for their service to the Armenian community. He then
invited His Holiness to deliver his message.

His Holiness expressed joy and pride at the growing number of Armenian
professionals. He noted that we must not be satisfied with the status
quo, rather individuals and organizations must strive to do more as
the work that needs to be done is unending. His Holiness also stated
that professionals must consider service as a part of their mission
and they, in conjunction with the Church, must reach out to members
of society and assist in the betterment of their communities.

A question and answer session followed on topics including confiscated
Churches in Western Armenia and the growing number of religious
factions in Armenia and the Diaspora. In conclusion, His Holiness
stated that manpower is much more crucial then financial capacity,
as manpower is God given while the financial is man-built.

The event concluded with the benediction by His Holiness.

Catholicos with Ramkavar party delegation

Catholicos Hold Meetings With Various Groups On the Tuesday afternoon,
Catholicos Aram I had a number of meetings with community members at
the Prelacy "Sulahian" reception room.

Archbishop Mardirossian, Prelate, and Executive Council member Vahan
Bezdikian, joined His Holiness at the meetings.

His Holiness met with representatives from the Armenian Evangelical
Union of North America, Armenian Writers Association of California,
Armenian Veterans of World War II and Artsakh, and the Armenian
Democratic-Liberal Party. A representative from the "Azad Or" newspaper
joined the last meeting.

The meetings were an opportunity for an exchange of information and
a discussion on general concerns of the Armenian people. His Holiness
also spoke of the main themes of his Pontifical Visit to the Western
Prelacy and the endeavors and mission of the Catholicosate.

Each of the meetings concluded with an exchange of mementos.