Catholicos Blesses Stone for New Glendale Community Center
LOS ANGELES–Over 1,000 people attended Holy High Mass conducted by His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia–at St. Mary’s Church in Glendale on October 9. The Homenetmen’scouts marching band welcomed the Catholicos on his arrival as they played the national anthems of the United States and Armenia. Hundreds of people welcomed His Holiness outside while the church was filled to capacity inside with people eagerly awaiting his arrival.
Immediately after his arrival–His Holiness–accompanied by both Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian–Prelate of the Western United States and Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan–Prelate of the Eastern United States–proceeded to prepare for the day’s mass. The procession into the church began when the Pontiff and the surrounding clergy reemerged wearing their special robes and dress for the mass. With the Homenetmen’scouts lining both sides–when the procession reached the front church steps–His Holiness conducted a special blessing after which white doves were released and the Catholicos and the procession entered St. Mary’s.
In addition to the community at large–present were public officials including Glendale Mayor Rafi Manoukian–Glendale Police Chief Randy Adams and representatives from Western Prelacy committees and councils. Also present were representatives from many other community organizations.
After services–His Holiness conducted a special service at the property adjacent to St. Mary’s Church where there are plans to build a new–modern community center. Nazaret Apanian–representative of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Aharonian Gomideh stated that the community center plans have been in development during the last few years and that it will house the activities of the various community organizations–especially those serving the youth as well as a Saturday and Sunday school. After brief remarks introducing the project–the Catholicos blessed the soil on which the center will be built as well as the cornerstone that will be used in the building.
"Any community center that stands in the diaspora for the purpose of serving the people is a little piece of Armenia," said His Holiness Aram I. "It is a part of our homeland with the mission of preserving and spreading our Armenian values."
Fresno Mayor Pledges Monument for Armenian Genocide Victims
FRESNO–The Mayor of Fresno–California expressed readiness to undertake the building of a Genocide monument in the near future to honor the victims of the Armenian genocide. Mayor Alan Autry made the announcement on the occasion of a visit to the city by His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia–and as a response to a request by His Holiness. Mayor Autry said that the first step would be to target an appropriate location for the memorial. Fresno Armenian community members embraced the announcement–saying that it is a step in right direction in establishing justice.