Orange County Community Welcomes His Holiness Aram I

Pontiff meets World Vision–students–and visits Glendale Adventist and Ararat Home

LOS ANGELES–His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia kept to his busy schedule–reaching out to all parts of the southern California community and on October 13–traveled to Orange County to visit Forty Martyrs Armenian Apostolic Church in Santa Ana. Greeting His Holiness were leaders from Forty Martyrs Church and the various community organizations as well as clergy from the Coptic Church and Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido with the welcoming procession led by the Homenetmen’scouts. Anticipating the visit–The Orange County Register newspaper had printed a lengthy article that day about His Holiness.

After presiding over Hrashapar service–the community proceeded to the large community center adjacent to the church for a special welcoming banquet cultural program. In his remarks during the banquet His Holiness stressed that there should consistently be greater collaboration and unity in the community and the church with a renewed level of proactive participation–especially with the youth.

Earlier His Holiness started his day meeting with the international Christian relief and development organization World Vision in Monrovia–California–where he held leadership meetings to discuss strengthening ecumenical collaboration and partnerships between churches and humanitarian organizations. His Holiness also spent some time at Glendale Adventist Medical Center where he met with the medical center’s President Scott Reiner–the center’s leadership–and visited patients. The Glendale News-Press and the Associated Press wire service covered his visit to Glendale Adventist.

On Thursday afternoon–His Holiness met with over 250 college students at Glendale Community College–an event organized by the ARF Shant Student Association and co-sponsored by the Armenian Student Associations of Glendale Community College–the University of California Los Angeles–California State University Los Angeles–and Loyola Marymount University. His Holiness partook in a lengthy open forum question and answer session in order to make the session interactive. He answered questions regarding religion–faith–education–the church–Christianity–and moral and family values. Students came away from the forum feeling enlightened and inspired because of their intimate interaction with His Holiness as he clearly articulated his philosophy on the many current issues facing students in everyday life. As with all the events during the visit–the college student session received an enthusiastic response because of the ability of His Holiness to connect with all people–including the youth.

On the previous day–His Holiness visited the Ararat Home in Mission Hills–immediately after returning from Fresno–California. There he met with the Ararat Home’s Board of Trustees and staff and spent time with residents. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian–Prelate of the Western United States stated: "His Holiness specifically wanted to visit the Ararat Home to share his love–care–and respect toward our mothers and fathers."

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