On Tuesday 5 February, His Holiness accompanied by Archbisop Haigazoun Najarian, Archbishop Nathan Hovhannisyan and Father Anania Tsatuyran visited the Hamazkaine Arshak and Sophie Galstaun College where he was met by the Principal of the College, School Board members, teaching staff and the student body of 350 ranging from the youngest 4 year olds to the Year 12 senior students, all greeting the Pontiff with waving flags.
As the guests made their way to the school’s Nalbandian Hall, two senior students awaited with the customary Bread and Salt to welcome the Catholicos of All Armenians as he made his entrance into the assembly.
The students presented a program that demonstrated the preservation of our Armenian language, culture, spirit and identity on these far shores from the Motherland, a mission which our nationalistic-religious Church reiterates and determines so essential in raising our children and youth.
The following day on Wednesday 6 February, His Holiness met with the students, teaching staff, Principal, School and AGBU Board members at the Alexander Primary School. As with the previous day, a guard of honour met the Catholicos with students lined up at the school entrance adorned with flags, badges and banners of the Pontifical Visit. Following the Bread and Salt welcome the guests were escorted into the school’s Gemjian hall to present a delightful program.
On both of these school visits, His Holiness addressed the school bodies with his words of pleasure, commendation and encouragement to keep the Armenian torch alight by keeping steadfast to learning and keeping our language, culture, heritage and Christian faith.
Both afternoons the Catholicos’ schedule continued on. Together with Archbishop Najarian, Archbishop Hovhannisyan and Father Tsaturyan, on Tuesday His Holiness offered prayers and paid respect at the graves of former Primate, the late Archbisop Aghan Baliozian of blessed memory and pioneer priest of the Australian-Armenian community, the late Father Aramais Mirzaian of blessed memory at Macquarie Park Cemetery.
On Wednesday early afternoon, a visit to the Armenian Rest Home at Brookvale to meet with the residents and Management Board was met with deep satisfaction for the elderly who received the blessings of the Holy Father and reciprocally contentment for the visitors who later shared a meal with the devoted ladies who oversee the operations of the Home.
In the late afternoons, His Holiness made his way to the Diocesan Centre where he received representatives of Armenian religious, political, benevolent, cultural, educational and sporting organisations and had heartfelt conversations with them.
Click here to read the media release of the Mother See on the visits to Alexander School and the Rest Home.
Click here to read the media release from the Mother See on the meetings with the organisations.