Summer Academy for Youth Underway at the Catholicosate in Antelias

Under the auspices of His Holiness Catholicos Aram I, on Monday, July 30, 2018, the Summer Academy for Youth convened at the Catholicosate of Cilicia in Antelias, Lebanon with the participation of nearly 20 youth from the Prelacies of the Eastern U.S., Western U.S., and Canada. The aim of the Academy is to introduce participants to the Bible, Armenian Christianity and the Church, as well as address various contemporary moral and ethical issues. Stole-bearers Gary Markarian (Holy Martyrs Church, Encino), Vartan Baltayan (St. Sarkis Church, Pasadena), Hrag Harboyan (Holy Cross Cathedral, Montebello), and Menas Arisian (Holy Trinity Church, Fresno) are participating from the Western Prelacy.

His Holiness presided over the opening session where he addressed the participants and delivered the first lecture of the Academy titled “The Armenian Church in World Christendom.” Lecturers Very Rev. Fr. Boghos Tinkjian, Very Rev. Fr. Zareh Sarkissian, Prof. Teni Pirri- Simonian and Prof. Joe Pirri participated.

In his message to the youth, His Holiness stressed that though they come from different communities they belong to one nation and one church, adding that each participant will enrich the Academy with their unique experiences and input. His Holiness stated that though the Academy is an opportunity for the youth to increase their knowledge, it is important that they implement what they learn in their service, adding, “Service within the Armenian Church is not limited to serving at the altar; it extends to active participation in the life of the Armenian nation.” In his lecture, His Holiness touched on the history of the Armenian Church, ecumenical and inter-faith relations, social issues, and contribution to the Armenian Cause. These topics will be discussed in further detail by the aforementioned lecturers as well as by Dr. Mohammed Sammak, Dr. Nora Bayrakdarian, Mrs. Seta Kedeshian, and Dr. Hovannes Geokjian. His Holiness also spoke briefly about the Armenian community in Lebanon and the Church’s role in community life.

Participants had the opportunity to become acquainted with one another and received a tour of the Catholicosate and its various departments. At the session’s conclusion, the youth engaged in a dialogue with His Holiness.



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