* Mr. & Mrs. Richard and Tina Carolan–and Mr. & Mrs. John and Asdghig Bedrosian–each donate $100,000.00 in the presence of His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia.
TARZANA–Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia–His Holiness Aram I arrived in Los Angeles on September 24–1998–as an honored guest of the United Armenian Fund dinner banquet celebrating the 100th humanitarian airlift to Armenia. With the arrival of His Holiness Aram I in California for this historic event–the Prelate of the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church–His Grace Bishop Moushegh Mardirossian; the Religious and the Executive Councils organized a special reception for the Catholicos–at the residence of well known Armenian community philanthropists Mr. & Mrs. John and Asdghig Bedrosian.
On Friday–September 25–at 8 p.m.–a dinner reception took place in the Bedrosian household with the honored presence of His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia. Community activists–leaders and benefactors were gathered together to welcome His Holiness’s visit to the United States. The successful turnout at the event was geared to strengthen the community’s dedication to the Prelacy and the Catholicosate–by contributing all proceeds of the night to the Seminary and to the Western Prelacy.
Very Reverend Krikor Chiftjian made the opening remarks of the evening–and introduced the host of the event–Mr. John Bedrosian for his welcoming statemen’s to the guests.
With the jubilant participation of singer Mannig Manoogian–violinist Peniamin Kasbarian–and organist Aram Lepejian the guests were entertained with Armenian folk songs and music.
Present alongside His Holiness Aram I were Prelate of the Western Prelacy–Primate of the Western Diocese of Armenian Apostolic Church–Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian; former Prelate of the Western Prelacy–Archbishop Sumbat Lapajian; Prelate of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Syria–Archbishop Souren Kataroyan–Prelate of Julfa Isfahan–Archbishop Gorun Babian–Consul General of Lebanon–Hon. Gebran Soufan–ARF. Central Committee Representative Hovig Saliba–the Executive Director of UAF. Harout Sasounian–Western Prelacy Executive and Religious Council members–and approximately 250 invited guests.
After dinner–His Grace Bishop Moushegh Mardirossian was invited to express his words of appreciation for the evening. He commented that the last days of September were going to be historic days for the Armenian community–with the joining of the President of Armenia His Excellency–Robert Kocharian and the First Lady; His Holiness Karekin I–Catholicos of All Armenia’s; and His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia. The coming together of these three leaders–spiritual and nationalistic–for the celebration of the UAF’s 100th Humanitarian Airlift to Armenia–and to honor respected philanthropist Kirk Kerkorian’s work through the Lincy Foundation is the only way to celebrate such an achievement.
His Grace Bishop Mardirossian pointed out that the proceeds of the evening had already reached $100,000 with the attendance of near 250 guests.
He then thanked Mr. & Mrs. Bedrosian for their tireless effort in hosting the wonderful event for the evening and opening their home and arms to welcome His Holiness Aram I and invited guests. His Grace Bishop Moushegh Mardirossain specially thanked everyone in attendance for their unequivocal support of the Prelacy and the Catholicosate of the Holy See of Cilicia.
He went on to say–"John and Asdghig Bedrosian with their many contribution in the past have always shown their devotion to the Armenian Apostolic Church. Today–as hosts of this joyous occasion and inspired by the support of the Armenian community for the Apostolic Church–they make a new contribution of $100,000–expressing their dedication to the Prelacy and Catholicosate. Also–Mr. & Mrs. Richard and Tina Carolan who are very well known and respected to the Western Prelacy of Armenian Apostolic Churches through several past sizable donations–regret that they are not able to join us due to a prior engagement–but express their support with a donation of $100,000. Furthermore–I want to thank all the guests assembled here today for willingly participating in this event and manifesting their dedication to the Western Prelacy and the Catholicosate."
His Grace Bishop Mardirossian invited His Holiness Aram I to deliver the evenings closing message. The Catholicos started by explaining to the guests what an integral role the Armenian Church has played in the centuries of evolution of the Armenian community. Stressing the harsh situations in the Diaspora regarding assimilation–he expressed the importance of the role the church plays in this respect. Furthermore–he recognized the role that the Seminary of the Great House of Cilicia played in holding firm the churches in the Diaspora. He said–"from this Seminary came Catholicoses–many archbishops–bishops–very reverend fathers–teachers–and community leaders."
His Holiness praised the dedication of the evening’s guests emphasizing his gratitude to Mr. & Mrs. John Bedrosian and Mr. & Mrs. Richard Carolan for their contribution to the preservation of the Seminary of the Great House of Cilicia and the Western Prelacy of Armenian Apostolic Churches.
His Holiness gave his Benediction–which was followed by the hymn of "Giligia" to bring to a close a fruitful and successful gathering among communities activists–leaders and benefactors.