This was no ordinary Friday at St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary and Nursery School. It was the last day of school before the winter break, but more importantly, Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian (Srpazan) was coming to visit the Watertown students.
This weekend marks the Archbishop’s first official visit to this church community as Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy. He was elected Prelate back in September, succeeding Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, who has now retired after 20 years of faithful and dedicated service.
Archbishop Tanielian was accompanied by the Very Reverend Sahag Yemishian from the Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church of Worcester and Reverend Archpriest Antranig Baljian of St. Stephen’s Armenian Church in Watertown. The principal of the elementary school, Houry Boyamian, welcomed the religious leaders and took them on a guided tour, visiting students from classroom to classroom.
The students seemed excited to meet the new Archbishop and displayed respect by standing upon his entrance into their classroom. The Archbishop was engaging and friendly with the students, asking them about their schoolwork and gauging their excitement for winter break. With the fifth graders, he discussed their upcoming trip to Armenia in 2019 and the sights they would witness during their visit. Most of the students also spontaneously performed for the Archbishop, singing Armenian songs and reciting Armenian poetry.
On Saturday, Archbishop Tanielian will be visiting the students and board members at St. Stephen’s Saturday School. On Sunday, His Eminence will be celebrating the Divine Liturgy at St. Stephen’s Armenian Apostolic Church on the occasion of the church’s namesake, St. Stephen. The faithful are invited to attend a reception after badarak to meet Srpazan.