Aram I Begins Pontifical Visit in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES–His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia–arrived in Los Angeles Wednesday–to begin his pontifical visit of the Western United States and preside over celebrations marking the 1700th anniversary of Armenia’s adoption of Christianity as a state religion.

Accompanying the pontiff on his trip to LA were the Prelate of the Eastern US and Canada Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan and the Catholicos Scepter Bearer Very Rev. Krikor Chiftjian.

The Catholicos was on the East Coast and Canada–before coming to the Western United States.

Greeting the pontiff at the airport were Western Prelate Bishop Moushegh Mardirossian–Armenia’s Consul General to Los Angeles Armen Melkonian–the Consul General of Lebanon to Los Angeles Dr. John Makaroon–as well as the chairmen of the Prelacy Religious and Executive councils Right Rev. Papken Charian and Arsen Danielian. Armenian Revolutionary Federation Western US Central Committee chairman Viken Yacoubian and fellow Central Committee member Vahe Bozoian were among the several community leaders–who were on hand to greet Aram I at the airport.

In his remarks–Prelate Mardirossian welcome the Catholicos to the California and wished that the pontiff’s trip would be joyous opportunity for the community. Aram I thanked the Prelate and blessed the welcoming delegation and through them the members of the Armenian community.

Aram I was taken to the Universal Hilton hotel–where he will be staying during his four-day visit to Southern California–following which he will continue his visit to Fresno and San Francisco.

The Catholicos had his first opportunity to meet the community–during a Vespers service at St. Mary’s Armenian Church Wednesday.

He was scheduled to meet with area Armenian students Thursday at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale. Aram I will also preside over an academic conference on Cilicia at UCLA–beginning on Friday and concluding Saturday–after which he will travel to Fresno.

The Catholicos will preside over 1700th anniversary celebrations Thursday evening at 7:30 at Glendale’s Alex Theatre. Those festivities will be covered live by Horizon television on Channel 55 and will reach the communities of Glendale–Burbank–La Crescenta–Pasadena and Montebello. Pasadena and Montebello community members may watch the live coverage on their local cable’s channel one.

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