At the invitation of the Indian Pastorate and the Church Committee Members of the Armenian Holy Church of Nazareth, His Grace Bishop Haigazoun Najarian in his capacity of Pontifical Legate of the Far East and India, visited the Armenian College and Philanthropic Academy (ACPA) in Kolkata from 15-21 December.
On Sunday 16 December, Bishop Najarian, celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the historic Holy Church of Nazareth accompanied by deacons and students of the College as altar servants as well as a choir of students. He expressed what a wonderful moment it was for him to be able to pray together with the Armenian Indian community and the ACPA school in Kolkata. The key message of his sermon was ‘faith’ and ‘hard-work’, and how they help us overcome difficult times to achieve our dreams. He told the school children that it takes great courage to be so far from home at such a young age, but faith and studying well will help them utilise this golden opportunity, to attain a bright future, and make the Armenian community proud. He compared them to Bishop St Jacob Nisibis, who knowing that the journey to Mount Ararat was a difficult one, had still undertaken it with faith and determination. “Faith”, he said,” keeps us alive from generation to generation.”
The following day Bishop Najarian was the guest of honour at the academy’s Annual Athletics Meet held at the Armenian Sports Club. He was accompanied by Very Reverend Father Movses Sargsyan, Pastor of the Indian-Armenian Spiritual Pastorate and Manager of ACPA with other members of the institution. The program began in the morning with a well-coordinated and synchronised march past followed by athletic events as well as novelty events. Bishop Najarian took part in the prize-giving ceremony which capped off the day.
On Tuesday, a special program was organised by the College in the school auditorium to welcome Bishop Najarian. He was greeted to the sound of the pulsating beat of the school band before the program began in the auditorium with the Lord’s Prayer by His Grace followed by the school anthem by the students. Father Movses Sargsyan delivered the welcome address after which the Teachers’ Choir performed a popular Armenian song. Similarly the students performed traditional Armenian songs and rhythmic dances. The program concluded with Bishop Najarian’s address in which he not only blessed the institution and expressed his gratitude for being present among the members of the Armenian College, but was also deeply touched by the confluence of the Indo – Armenian culture shared by everyone in the college.
To show his sincere love he distributed small tokens of appreciation to everyone present.