GLENDALE–His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia called on the Catholicos of All Armenia’s and his "Patriarch brothers" to renew the commitment to a united Armenian Church–during a pontifical address he delivered Thursday evening at a celebration marking the 1700th anniversary of Armenia’s adoption of Christianity as a state religion–held at the Alex Theatre.
In his message–the Catholicos emphasized the importance of the 1700th anniversary–as the beginning of a process to acclimate new generations of Armenia’s to the spiritual aspect of national life.
During the celebration–Aram I presented the St. Mesrop Mashdots medal to poet and writer Jaques S. Hagopian–who–during the evening’s program also recited psalms.
A procession of clerics led the Catholicos to the capacity-filled hall. The pontiff was accompanied by Western Prelate Bishop Moushegh Mardirossian–chairman of the Prelacy Religious Council Right Rev. Papken Charian–Catholicosal Scepter Bearer Very Rev. Krikor Chiftjian–Armenian Consul General to Los Angeles Armen Melkonian with his consular staff–Chairman of the Prelacy Executive Council Arsen Danielian–the chairman of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Western US Central Committee Viken Yacoubian and a delegation of ARF leaders.
Attending the celebrations were Lebanon’s Consul General Dr. John Makaroon and the leader of the Assyrian Orthodox Church–Bishop Eugene Kaplan.
The entire celebration was covered live by Horizon Television and it aired in the communities of Glendale–Burbank–La Crescenta–Pasadena and Montebello. The coverage was made possible by Mr. and Mrs. Mardiros Iskandarian of Zankou Chicken and well-known benefactor Dikran Der Ghazarian.
The keynote speaker of the program–Sarkis Mahseredjian outlined the important historic role of the Armenian church throughout the 17 centuries of service to the community–highlighting the future direction of the church.
The cultural program featured performances by the Western Prelacy 1700th anniversary choir–under the direction of Gomidas Hairapetian–duets by Arpine and Elizabeth Pehlivanian–as well as a dance performance by the Hamazkayin Ani dance troupe.