Joint Clergy Conference Dedicated to “Renewal” Held in Canada with the Participation of the Northern American Prelacies

On Monday, October 2, 2017, the Prelates and clergy of the Northern American Prelacies gathered in Montreal, Canada for a biennial joint clergy conference hosted by the Prelacy of Canada on the eve of the Feast of the Holy Translators. Given the “Year of Renewal” proclamation of His Holiness Catholicos Aram I, the theme of the conference was “renewal.”

The three Prelates, H.E. Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan (Eastern U.S.), H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian (Western U.S.), and H.E. Archbishop Papken Tcharian (Canada) presided over the conference.

Tuesday morning began with evening and morning service at St. Hagop Church, followed by a meditation on the importance of renewal in the church by Very Rev. Fr. Sahag Yemishian.

The conference convened at the Armenian Community Center of Montreal with opening remarks by Archbishop Tcharian, Archbishop Choloyan, and Archbishop Mardirossian. The election of the tivan followed; H.G. Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian was elected as First Chairman, Very Rev. Fr. Torkom Donoyan as Second Chairman, and Very Rev. Fr. Karekin Shekherdemian as Secretary.

Two lectures were presented, one on death and grief by Prof. Garin Papazian Zohrabian, and the other on marriage by Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian. Question and answer sessions ensued. The day’s last presentation was a meditation by Very Rev. Fr. Keghart Kusbegian on renewal in the New Testament.

In the evening, Divine Liturgy was celebrated at St. Hagop Church with the participation of all clergy. H.G. Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian celebrated Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon. At the conclusion of the service, requiem prayers were offered for the souls of deceased clergymen from the three Prelacies. A reception followed at “Avedis Aharonian” Hall, during which the community had the opportunity to converse with the clergy and receive their blessings.

On Wednesday morning, Sunrise Service was held at St. Hagop Church, followed by a meditation on renewal in the Old Testament presented by Very Rev. Fr. Torkom Donoyan.

Next, the clergy visited St. Hagop School, where the students presented a program of recitations and songs dedicated to the Feast of the Holy Translators. Archbishop Tcharian commended the students and faculty and encouraged them to preserve our cultural treasure and live proudly as Armenians.

The conference re-convened in the afternoon with a discussion on various matters, including cremation, a ten-year plan of action, renewal, challenges, and more, at the conclusion of which Very Rev. Fr. Vartan Tashjian delivered a meditation on the Gospel reading of Nicodemus’ meeting with Jesus.

In the evening, a special dinner took place dedicated to Archbishop Choloyan’s 50th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood. The program began with welcoming remarks by Mrs. Dzovig Terzian, Chair of the Canada Prelacy’s Executive Council. Archbishop Choloyan’s life story was read by H.E. Archbishop Varoujan Hergelian, his classmate at the Seminary. Archbishop Tcharian took this opportunity to also recognize Archbishop Hergelian’s 50th anniversary of ordination. The celebration continued with the observance of H.E. Archbishop Suren Kataroyan’s 55th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood and 40th anniversary of Episcopal ordination, and Archbishop Hergelian’s, Archbishop Khajag Hagopian’s, and Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian’s 20th anniversary of Episcopal ordination.

During the dinner, members of the Holy See of Cilicia Brotherhood added to the festive atmosphere with religious, national, and patriotic songs.

Archbishop Choloyan spoke on the service, devotion, and humility that is a requisite of clergymen, and thanked Archbishop Tcharian for the tribute. Archbishop Mardirossian congratulated Archbishops Choloyan and Hergelian on their golden anniversaries, and commended the Armenians of Montreal on being such a tight-knit and organized community,

In his closing message, Archbishop Tcharian acknowledged the generosity of Mrs. Shake Geonjian for sponsoring all the expenses of the conference. He once again congratulated Archbishop Choloyan and all of the clergymen celebrating milestone anniversaries.

The evening concluded with the Cilician and Pontifical anthems.

On Thursday, following a prayer service in the morning, clergy departed for a day trip to Quebec City

Clergy returned to their respective Prelacies on Friday, October 6, renewed and revitalized in their mission.

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