On Sunday 3 February, His Holiness Karekin II celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the Church of Holy Resurrection assisted by His Eminence Archbishop Nathan Hovhanissyan from the Mother See and our Primate, His Grace Bishop Haigazoun Najarian. Also in attendance were grand benefactors of Holy Etchmiadzin, Mr and Mrs Haig and Elza Didizian, who visited Sydney specifically for the Pontifical visit.

Making their way from the new Diocesan Centre, the official procession of deacons, acolytes and choir ushered the Catholicos of All Armenians under a traditional ornate canopy escorted by official bearers to the hymn “Khorhoort Khorin”.

As the regal procession moved into the church it was evident this was to be a memorable occasion in many ways as we raised our prayers to Almighty God with the spiritual head of the Armenian Church leading us. It was the seat of St Gregory the Illuminator, occupied by Catholicos Karekin II, that brought the 1700 year old church back to its origin in Sydney.

In his homily, His Holiness Karekin II conveyed his blessings to the attendees. “During our pastoral visits, our meetings with our faithful people and children strengthen our conviction more that the Armenian people, strongly attached to the Holy Church of Christ, even in the most distant corners of the world, will keep his national and Christian identity. We praise the Lord for the grace granted to us to raise a gratitude prayer to heaven with you, repeating the words of the Apostle Paul: “All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with a holy kiss” (1 Cor. 16: 20).

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

During the Divine Liturgy, His Holiness honoured the NSW Premier The Hon Gladys Berejiklian who was in attendance with a Pontifical Encyclical and bestowed the St Sahag Mesrob Medal in recognition of  her immense contribution to society.

Following the church service, the Catholicos of All Armenians officiated the formal opening of the newly-opened Diocesan Centre in the presence of many of our community faithful, some 60 invited guests which included representatives of Armenian organisations, benefactors and Armenian and Australian journalists. During his official remarks, His Holiness awarded the title of “Arch” to the Primate of Australia and New Zealand, His Grace Bishop Haigazoun Najarian, who is now addressed as His Eminence Archbishop Haigazoun Najarian.

During the proceedings, the Pontiff honoured Mr and Mrs Loris and Sonia Kanjian, grand benefactors of the Diocesan Centre, with a Pontifical Encyclical and the St Gregory the Illuminator Medal.

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Posted by ???? ???? ????? ????????/ Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin on Tuesday, 5 February 2019