Chamlian 8th Grade Class Visits the Prelacy Prior to Pilgrimage to Armenia

On Thursday, March 15, 2018, the 8th grade class of Vahan and Anoush Chamlian School visited the Prelacy to receive the blessings of H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, prior to embarking on their pilgrimage to Armenia. The sixty-two students were accompanied by Dr. Talin Kargodorian, Principal, Mrs. Rita Kaprielian, Vice-Principal, Armenian teachers and a group of parents.

The visit began with prayer at the “St. Dertad and St. Ashkhen” Chapel conducted by the Prelate, who was joined by Very Rev. Fr. Torkom Donoyan, Vicar General, and Archpriest Fr. Nareg Pehlivanian, and continued at “Dikran and Zarouhie Der Ghazarian” Hall.

Two students, Eric Tovmassian and Nayiri Kalindjian, who served as the MC’s, thanked the Prelate for the warm welcome and introduced the program. Following a group recitation, Natalie Harutunian explained the purpose of their visit and expressed how fortunate the class feels to be going on a pilgrimage to Armenia on the 100th anniversary of the First Republic, the 30th anniversary of the Artsakh liberation movement, and the 2800th anniversary of Yerevan. On behalf of her peers, she promised that they would take in all the history Armenia has to offer, visit important pilgrimage sites, and always remain faithful to our language, traditions, and heritage. Musical and dance performances followed, and four students shared their expectations regarding their upcoming trip, anticipating a mix of emotions and returning strengthened in their national identity.

The Prelate commended the students’ patriotic sentiments and their enthusiasm at visiting our ancestral lands. His Eminence reminded them of the Primate of Artsakh’s invitation for them to visit Artsakh, and hoped that they will have the chance to see Artsakh as well, if not during this trip then in the future. Referencing the hymn titled “Light” that was sung in the Chapel earlier, the Prelate wished that the hearts and minds of the students be illuminated with God’s Light in Armenia and enlightened with our rich history and heritage. He invited them to pray while in Armenia for God to increase their faith, wisdom, and nationalism. Noting that the feast of St. Gregory the Illuminator’s descent into the pit was forthcoming, the Prelate told the students to remember when they visit Khor Virab how St. Gregory survived in the pit for thirteen years by trusting in God and seeking His Light, and later spread His Light throughout Armenia. He concluded by wishing them a meaningful and enriching pilgrimage, and blessed them and principal, administration, faculty. The program came to a close with Cilicia and the Armenian national anthem.

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