FRESNO–His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Holy Cilicia presided over celebrations in Fresno over the weekend–marking the 1700th anniversary of Armenia’s adoption of Christianity. Greeting the pontiff in Fresno–were Mayor Jim Patterson–among others.
A late night Mass at Fresno’s Holy Trinity Armenian church–also kicked off the centennial celebration of that church–coupled with events dedicated to the 1700th anniversary. Accompanying the Catholicos were Western Prelate Bishop Moushegh Mardirossian–Scepter Bearer Very Rev. Krikor Chiftjian–members of the Prelacy Religious and Executive councils–and leaders of the Fresno church and community.
On Sunday–the Catholicos said a sermon at the Holy Trinity Cathedral–marking the 100th anniversary of the church. He remembered all those who had served the church–and in turn the community–during his words of wisdom to the community.
Following church services–the Catholicos inaugurated the newly constructed "Ksanna Setragian" Sunday School.
Sunday School students performed songs and a cultural program for the Catholicos and his entourage.
"By building this school–we have built our future generation and their future as Armenia’s," said the Catholicos in his remarks.
That evening–some 1100 community members attended a reception celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Holy Trinity Church. Attending the celebration were Mayor Patterson. The Master of Ceremonies was State Senator Chuck Poochigian–who praised the role of the church and the Cilician Catholicosate in Fresno’s Armenian community development.
On Monday–the Catholicos lectured at Fresno State University. He was greeted at the university by Chancellor John Welty and the director of the Armenian Studies Chair–Dr. Dickran Kouyoumjian–this year’s recipient of the Fresno ANC’s Man of the Year Award.
Following a luncheon hosted by the University–the Catholicos flew to San Francisco to preside over celebrations and meet Bay Area community members.