Prelate Visits Rose and Alex Pilibos School


Continuing his school visits, on Wednesday, September 11, 2013, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, visited Rose and Alex Pilibos School, accompanied by Rev. Fr. Boghos Tinkjian, Rev. Fr. Dajad Ashekian, St. Garabed Church Parish Pastor Archpriest Fr. Vicken Vassilian, and Deacon Khatchig Shannakian, who teaches religion at the school.

Upon their arrival, the Prelate and delegation were welcomed by Pilibos School Principal Dr. Alina Dorian, Mary Postoian Pre-School Director Mrs. Takouhi Saatjian, administration, school board, and faculty.

The visit began at Mary Postoian Pre-School, where the Prelate led a prayer session for the young children and had pleasant dialogue with them.  He also visited the newly renovated areas and classrooms.  The students has prepared hand-made mementos for the Prelate, among them a cross made of leaves and an artwork depicting daily life at the school.

From the Pre-School, the Prelate and delegation headed to St. Garabed Church where 6th to 12th grade students had gathered for an assembly, the primary purpose of which was to remember the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks and pray for peace in Syria.

  Teacher Carolyn Sermeno reflected on the 9/11 attacks and the lives lost on that day.  Students paid tribute to the memory of the victims, spoke out against violence and called for peace.  They also presented a cultural program of songs and recitations.

In his address to the faculty and students, the Prelate first wished them a successful and fruitful academic year.  Reflecting on the twelfth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks and the first anniversary of the Benghazi attack, the Prelate offered a prayer for the lives cut short on those fateful days, beseeching the Lord to bless the souls of the victims, to comfort the families who lost their loved ones, and to safeguard the United States and its citizenry.  The Prelate also touched upon the conflict in Syria, praying for the Lord to keep the Syrian people and the Syrian-Armenian community out of harm’s way and for peace and stability to be restored in the land so that the people can begin to rebuild their lives.  In conclusion, speaking on the virtues of the Armenian School, His Eminence reminded the students to be grateful to their parents and teachers for the opportunity to attend an Armenian School, and urged them to give back to their school and lend their support in the future when they achieve professional successes.

The assembly concluded with a requiem prayer, the singing of “Der Voghormya”, in which students participated, the Prelate’s benediction, and the Cilician anthem. The students also received color illustrated prayer cards recently published by the Prelacy, comprising a prayer to the Holy Virgin Mary by H.H. Catholicos Aram I.

Accompanied by the Principal, the Prelate and delegation then visited classrooms where they had warm interactions with the students and interesting questions asked by the young students.  The fifth grade class presented His Eminence with a handmade illustration of the Lord’s Prayer.  One student also presented an illustration of the Armenian flag.  The Kindergarten class had also prepared a gift, a cross in which their names were listed.  With their sweet, childlike innocence, they asked questions which the Prelate was happy to answer.

The visit continued at “Daglian” Library, where the seniors had gathered.  Teacher Mr. Kevork Sarkissian delivered the welcoming remarks and invited the Prelate for his address.

Noting his time as an ethics teacher at the school thirty years ago, the Prelate spoke of ethics and morality which guide our everyday actions, stressing the Bible as the source and inspiration for our principles.  He called on the students to be exemplary individuals, exemplary Armenians, and exemplary students, and to utilize the knowledge and experience they gain throughout their lives for the progress of the Armenian nation.  A question and answer session followed, a large part of which concentrated on the situation in Syria and Armenian issues.

The visit concluded with a luncheon hosted by the school Education Committee at the adjacent Armenian Center, with the participation of the Prelate and clergy, School Principal, Director, and ARF Karekin Njteh Gomideh representative.

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