Ferrahian School 8th Grade Class Visits the Prelacy

On the morning of Friday, February 26, 2016, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, welcomed to the Prelacy 8th grade students from Ferrahian School, who were accompanied by their teachers. The visit began with Sunrise Service hymns at the “St. Dertad and St. Ashken” Chapel. The Prelate was joined by Archpriest Fr. Nareg Pehlivanian. A cultural program followed at “Dikran and Zarouhie Der Ghazarian” Hall.

Mrs. Seza Kurdian, a teacher at the school, noted that the students had prepared a program dedicated to Vartanants, and invited them to begin the program, which included a group recitation and musical selections on the piano and violin.

The Prelate thereafter delivered his message, first commending the school administration for upholding the tradition of student visits to the Prelacy, and also the students for their performances. His Eminence gave an overview of the history and structure of the Holy See of Cilicia and our Prelacy, stressing that our schools and students are the priority of the Prelacy. The Prelate then provided information on the feasts celebrated in February, including Ghevontiants, Vartanants, and the Presentation of our Lord to the Temple, which bring to us the message of allegiance to faith and identity, and spoke on Lent as a time of spiritual cleansing and renewal. Finally, the Prelate reflected on the Genocide Centennial commemorations and the canonization of our martyrs, urging the students to remain faithful to our heritage and identity in the example of our martyrs and our religious and national heroes and saints.

A question and answer session followed. The students asked questions such as why the Prelate chose to serve the church and what his alternate choice would have been, and what things bring him joy and sorrow. The Prelate explained the role his parents played in leading him to the priesthood, by having him serve as an altar boy from a young age and later enrolling him at the Seminary. He stated that his second choice would have been teaching, but noted that teaching is also a part of being a clergyman. His Eminence stated that spending time conversing with students brings him joy, while crises, such as the challenges facing our brethren in Syria, bring him sorrow. To another question, the Prelate urged the students to steer clear of negative influences and adhere to the Cross and its power for strength and protection.

At the conclusion of the session, the Prelate blessed the students, and all collectively sang Cilicia and the Armenian national anthem. Each student received a copy of poet Jacques Hagopian’s latest book and an illustration depicting the canonization of our holy martyrs.

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