His Holiness Aram I Begins Pontifical Visit to Eastern United States

On Sunday, May 10, 2015, His Holiness Aram I began his Pontifical Visit to the Eastern Prelacy with Divine Liturgy at Holy Cross Church in Bethesda, Maryland. H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, was among the delegation accompanying His Holiness.

In his address to the congregation His Holiness spoke of the theme of the Pontifical Visit, “Your Church, Your Nation, Engage,” highlighting the importance of our spiritual, cultural, national roots, and especially the role of the Armenian Church, in our history.
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“Throughout our history, our Church has had a vital role. Many of our institutions were destroyed or confiscated, but the one constant that remained, from the time of St. Gregory the Illuminator until today, is our Church, which has been an illuminating presence in the life of our people. Thus, when we speak of our roots, we must first look to our church,” said His Holiness.

Speaking of our national demands, His Holiness noted that our cause is not limited to a certain boundary or timeframe. “Our objective is recognition and reparations, and we will continue our collective and national struggle until we achieve our goals,” stated His Holiness and concluded by stressing the importance of remaining grounded in our roots of church, culture, and collectivity, which have kept our people strong amid the many storms of our history. A reception in honor of His Holiness followed, during which our expounded on the Sis Catholicosate lawsuit.

On Monday morning, His Holiness Aram I and delegation visited the Lebanese Embassy in Washington and met with Ambassador Antoine Chedid. The discussion centered on the situation in the Middle East and particularly in Lebanon. The Ambassador spoke of his work with American authorities, and His Holiness briefed the Ambassador on the100th anniversary commemorative activities of the Catholicosate. They also spoke of the role of the Armenian communities in the U.S.

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