ARS “Talin” Chapter Saturday School Students Visit the Prelacy

On Saturday, February 18, 2017, ARS La Crescenta “Talin” Chapter Saturday School students paid a visit to the Prelacy where they met with H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, and presented a cultural program dedicated to the Feast of St. Vartanants. They were accompanied by Principal Mr. Kevork Bedikian, teachers, parents, and ARS “Talin” Chapter Chair Mrs. Liza Santikian and member Ms. Dzaghig Kadian. The Prelate was joined by Archpriest Fr. Nareg Pehlivanian and Rev. Fr. Ghevont Kirazian.

The program began with remarks by Mr. Bedikian who first thanked the Prelate for this opportunity and for his two decades long service and fatherly care as an exemplary leader of the community. “Your presence reinforces us and brings light and hope to our collective life,” stated Mr. Bedikian.

The students, who were accompanied on the piano by Ms. Noemi Lokhmanian, began their performance with the Lord’s Prayer, the Armenian national anthem, and the ARS student anthem, after which student Arek Zakarian led them in the recitation of the “Student’s Pledge.” A series of patriotic and national recitations and songs followed. Student Nicholas Kadian recited a verse from a poem penned by Mr. Bedikian, after which the students collectively recited gratitude and well wishes to the Prelate on behalf of the school family.

The Prelate began his address to the students by commending their heartwarming performances and expressing joy at their visit, which was the first for an ARS Saturday School. His Eminence especially commended the students’ fluent and articulate expressions, as well as the parents for their entrusting the instruction and education of their children to our Saturday Schools and the Principal and staff for their dedicated service.

Given that the program was dedicated to St. Vartanants, the Prelate directed questions to the students about St. Mesrob, St. Sahag Barthev, Vartan Mamigonian, Ghevont Yerets, and others, which the students answered correctly much to the delight of all. In a fitting coincidence, the Prelate announced that artist Razmik Hadjikian had created a painting depicting the battle of Vartanants for the Prelacy Chapel which he was to deliver during the student’s visit. Thus, the students were not only the first to see it, but they also heard the artist’s interpretation of his painting. Speaking on the Armenian Church’s position on saints, the Prelate stated that “we do not worship saints, rather we seek their intercession to strengthen us in our faith and draw us nearer to God.”

In conclusion, the Prelate wished good health and continued successes to all in their worthy mission and presented mementos to the ARS “Talin” Chapter Chair Mrs. Liza Santikian, students, and teachers.

Mrs. Liza Der Bedrossian, a parent, had prepared a memento on behalf of the staff and parents, a framed drawing of an Armenian cross and the Lord’s Prayer, which her daughters presented to the Prelate along with a bouquet.

The gathering concluded with the benediction and Cilicia.

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