WATERTOWN, Mass. (A.W.)—His Holiness Aram I’s Pontifical visit to the Eastern United States continued this past week with visits and meetings in New York, Detroit, and a special visit to the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) Junior Seminar.
His Holiness’ visit, which officially began on May 7, will conclude on June 4, when he will open the Eastern Prelacy’s National Representative Assembly (NRA) in Watertown, before returning to the Holy See in Antelias.
Meetings and Events in New York
Holinesses Karekin II and Aram I held a meeting in the presence of the archbishops of the two Eastern Prelacies and discussed issues related to the two churches, on May 19.
His Holiness Aram I then visited Mr. Zohrab Mnatsakanian, the UN representative of the Republic of Armenia.
On the same day, His Holiness Aram I also visited the St. Sarkis Church of Douglaston, N.Y., accompanied by the Prelate Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Vicar General Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian, and the other members of his delegation. Rev. Nareg Terterian and ecumenical guests welcomed the Catholicos, who, after blessing the salt and bread, entered the church for canonical prayers.
The Catholicos concluded his day with a visit to the Armenian Home for the Elderly in Queens, where 103 year old Tikran Tavitian, a survivor of the genocide, welcomed him and his delegation. His Holiness thanked the board and the staff for their dedication. The visit concluded with the hymns and the blessings of the Catholicos.
Visit to the Detroit Armenian Community
His Holiness Aram I and his delegation began a four-day pastoral visit to Detroit on May 20. He was received at St. Sarkis Church of Dearborn by Rev. Hrant Kevorkian, accompanied by President Steven Hagopian and members of the Church Council.
Prior to the canonical prayer service, in a gesture of historical memory, Catholicos Aram I was offered flowers by a woman in memory of her grandmother who offered a bouquet of flowers to Catholicos Sahak 112 years ago, when he had visited the Armenian Church in Ayntab.
After a service at the church, His Holiness greeted and blessed the faithful and met with representatives of the interfaith community.
During his time in Detroit , His Holiness Aram I also met with the leaders of the Armenian community there.
Aram I visits AYF Junior Seminar
On May 24, Catholicos Aram I visited the three-day AYF Eastern Region Junior Seminar, in Prospect, Pa. He was accompanied by his delegation, consisting of Archbishop Choloyan, Bishop Tanielian, the Very Rev. Housig Mardirossian, Rev. Bedros Manuelian, and Mr. Jack Mardoyan, the President of the pastoral visit organizing committee.
After his welcome, His Holiness held a question-answer session with the 250 participants. He responded to questions related to the church, identity, community, and nation-building. Afterward, the youth presented a cultural program.
Details about AYF Junior Seminar to follow in an upcoming issue