NEW YORK (A.W.)—On Dec. 4, the ARF Eastern U.S. Central Committee organized a reception in honor of the Most Reverend Mikael Mouradian, Eparch of the Armenian Catholic Eparchy in the U.S. and Canada, and Bishop Emeritus of the Eparchy, the Most Reverend Manuel Batakian.
The event, attended by church and community leaders, began with opening remarks by activist Ani Tchaghlasian, who then introduced ARF Central Committee member Hrair Baronian.
Baronian spoke of the contributions of the Armenian Catholic priests from Venice to Vienna to Bzommar (Lebanon) in safeguarding and promoting Armenian culture over the centuries. He said the work started with Abbot Mkhitar of Sebaste more than three centuries ago, and continues despite the challenges.
Baronian spoke of the close cooperation between the ARF Central Committee and Batakian. He expressed confidence that the relationship with the Eparchy will continue developing with Eparch Mouradian.
In his remarks, Batakian noted that despite health problems, he still has work to do and plans to continue his service. “I will return to Bzommar with fond memories,” he added.
Mouradian talked about how he had crossed paths with Batakian again and again during their service in Lebanon, France, Armenia, and now the United States. “I have learned much from [Batakian], and I will continue learning from him,” he noted.
Mouradian also stressed the importance of fostering the relationship with the ARF and community organizations in general.
Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian, in turn, talked about his fond memories and encounters with Batakian over the years. On behalf of Prelate Oshagan Choloyan, he wished Mouradian success in his duties to the church and the community.
The event was hosted by Virginia L. Davies at her Manhattan home.
The solemn installation of Mouradian as the Eparch of the Armenian Catholic Eparchy in the U.S. and Canada was held on Oct. 2 in the St. James Roman Catholic Cathedral of Brooklyn.
Mouradian was born in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1961 and was ordained a priest in 1987. He fulfilled several missions prior to his arrival in the U.S., including as secretary general and executive director of Caritas-Armenia (1995-2001), pastor of Our Lady of Annunciation parish in Beirut (2001-05), and Patriarchal Vicar of the Monastery of Our Lady of Bzommar (2007-11).