At noon on Saturday 2 February, the Catholicos of All Armenians with his entourage were joined by our Primate, parish clergy, diaconate and choirs of the Holy Resurrection Church in a procession that started from the top of Macquarie Street to welcome his Holiness Karekin II to our church in the “Hrashapar” service. Leading the procession were Homenetmen scouts with Armenian school children and community members standing alongside holding welcome banners, balloons and waving flags festively to mark the special occasion.

As the Catholicos approached the entrance to the church, balloons were set high into the sky and the traditional Bread and Salt was brought before him to be blessed and pave the way inside. His Holiness then blessed the people and under the singing of the “Hrashapar” he was led to the church where a joint prayer was held.

On behalf of the community, Bishop Najarian welcomed the Pontifical visit of the Catholicos of All Armenians to the Armenian Diocese of Australia and New Zealand stressing the importance of the visits of His Holiness to the Armenian community and invited His Holiness to convey his blessings and message to the pious people.

Applying to the faithful Armenians, the Catholicos of All Armenians delivered his message and expressed his delight that by God’s will he once again had this opportunity to visit them.

At the end of the church service, the congregants respectfully approached His Holiness’ right hand for the “Achahampouyr” and afterwards mingled with him in an informal afternoon tea in the Edgarian hall. Before leaving the parish, His Holiness and the entourage were escorted to the Armenian Khachkar in Beauchamp Park located a block away to offer a prayer. The Khachar was installed in November 2015, dedicated to the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide and the declaration of sister cities between Willoughby City Council and Nor Nork in Yerevan.

Click here to read more in the media release of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.

In the early evening, His Holiness accompanied by Archbishop Nathan Hovhannisyan, Bishop Haigazoun Najarian, Father Anania Tsaturyan and clergy from the Holy Resurrection Church made their way to the Armenian Apostolic Church of Holy Trinity in Wentworthville where the Catholicos was welcomed by parish priest Very Reverend Father Yeremia Abgaryan and the faithful community members of the region.

Similarly to the early afternoon, the Hrashapar service was conducted in the new parish which was the first time to be visited by the Supreme Patriarch. In his welcome remarks, Bishop Najarian expressed the joy of welcoming His Holiness to this church, which though humble in its own way was now a spiritual home for the western Sydney Armenian community after 20 years without their own church.

Click here to read the media release of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.