Pilibos High School Students Visit the Prelacy

Following in the footsteps of their fellow students who have visited the Prelacy on various occasions in the past few months, on Friday, April 26, 2013 sixty 10th and 11th grade students from Rose and Alex Pilibos School visited the Prelacy on a pilgrimage to “The People’s Home”.  The students, accompanied by their teachers, were welcomed by H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, who was joined by Archpriest Fr. Vicken Vassilian and Rev. Fr. Ghevont Kirazian.  Given that the 11th grade class would be departing for their pilgrimage to Armenia a few weeks later, the visit also served for them to receive the Prelate’s prayers and blessings prior to their trip.

The students first assembled in the “St. Dertad and St. Ashkhen” Chapel group by group, after which they headed to the “Dikran and Zarouhie Der Ghazarian” Hall where they presented a rich cultural program of recitations, music and songs.  The program began with the Lord’s Prayer, after which the Prelate invited Fr. Ghevont to present an Easter hymn given that we find ourselves in Eastertide, the forty day period following Easter.

Two 11th grade students delivered remarks on their thoughts and feeling regarding their upcoming pilgrimage to Armenia, and also spoke of the positive impact of the Armenian School and Armenian Church in their lives, affirming that their visit to the Prelacy is a demonstration of their development as faithful Armenian Christians.  The students then surprised their teacher Mrs. Tamar Seraydarian by inviting her participate in the cultural program with a song.

Archpriest Fr. Vicken Vassilian presented an overview of the Prelacy’s endeavors and mission so the students have a better idea of the nature of the work that is carried out, and invited the Prelate to address the students.

The Prelate commended the students for the beautiful program they had prepared, and welcomed them to the Prelacy, emphasizing that it is the home of all our people as we are children of one nation and one family.  Speaking on their trip to Armenia, the Prelate noted the importance of the pilgrimage and how being on our motherland will reinforce their Armenian identity.

Reflecting on April 24 commemorations two days earlier, the Prelate urged the students to keep alive and carry on the legacy of our martyrs and forefathers such as St. Sahag and St. Mesrob who gave us our literary and cultural heritage.  His Eminence echoed the words of Khachadour Apovian that what preserves a nation is its faith and language, and added to that the pursuit and securing of our rights.  Speaking on the joint statement of H.H. Catholicos Karekin II and H.H. Catholicos Aram I demanding from Turkey the return of confiscated Armenian Churches and Church properties, the Prelate stressed that it is the obligation of all to work together for the fulfillment of our national rights.  In conclusion, the Prelate appealed to the students to cultivate our religious and national values that have been instilled in them and arm themselves spiritually and mentally so that they can overcome challenges and develop into model citizens and worthy children of the Armenian nation.  He then blessed the 11th grade students and prayed for their safe pilgrimage to Armenia.

During the question and answer session that followed, students received further information on our confiscated Churches and properties, the memorial monument and museum in Der Zor, and the four hierarchical Sees of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

The program came to a close with the Prelate’s benediction and Cilician and Armenian anthems.  Students then received a tour of the headquarters and were acquainted with Prelacy staff and departments.

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