Pilibos 11th Grade Students Receive Prelate’s Blessings Prior to Pilgrimage to Armenia

On Thursday, April 30, 2015, the 11th grade class of Rose and Alex Pilibos School visited the Prelate to receive the blessings of H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, prior to their pilgrimage to Armenia in two weeks. The 61 students arrived in the morning accompanied by their teachers, and headed to the “St. Dertad and St. Ashkhen” Chapel for prayer led by the Prelate, who was joined by Archpriest Fr. Vicken Vassilian and Archpriest Fr. Nareg Pehlivanian. The visit continued at the “Dikran and Zarouhie Der Ghazarian” Hall where the students presented a cultural program of songs, recitations, and instrumental performances.

In his opening remarks, student Nareg Koucherian, reflecting on the Armenian Genocide Centennial commemorations, affirmed that our cause is not over and that the youth feel a strong sense of duty to keep pursuing our quest for justice. Student Sevag Injeyan served as the Master of Ceremonies and successively invited his peers for their presentations. At the conclusion of the cultural program, teacher Tamar Tufenkjian-Seraydarian invited the Prelate to deliver his message.
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His Eminence greeted and commended the students not only for their performances but for their expressions of commitment to our nation and cause. Citing a verse from Baruyr Sevag’s “We are few but we are proud,” which the students had recited earlier, the Prelate noted how a week before, the Armenian people, from Armenia to the Diaspora, captured the attention of the world with the motto “we remember and we demand,” a motto which our youth are also committed to. His Eminence wished for the students’ sense of belonging to our church and nation to become even stronger as they visit sacred pilgrimage sites in our homeland and to return reinforced in their identity. Speaking on the lawsuit filed the day before for the return of the Sis Catholicosate, the Prelate concluded by stating, “We will remain vigilant and persistent; but our future is determined in large part by your vigilance and persistence.”

The visit concluded with the benediction, after which students joined in the singing of Cilicia and the Armenian national anthem. The students were then given a tour of the Prelacy and received illustrated posters of William Saroyan’s famous quote as mementos.

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