His Holiness Aram I Begins His Pastoral Visit to the United Arab Emirates

08 December 2014

4 December 2014. On Thursday morning, His Holiness Aram I arrived in Dubai, where he will consecrate the Armenian Church in Abu Dhabi. The Catholical Vicar V. Rev. Mesrob Sarkissian, and representatives of the Armenian Church Council in the United Arab Emirates and members of the community, as well as the Ambassadors of Lebanon and Armenia to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) greeted him at the airport. The Armenian Church in Abu Dhabi is the second church that the Catholicos will have consecrated in the UAE; the first was the St. Gregory the Illuminator Church in Sharjah sixteen years ago.


On the evening of Friday 5 December, His Holiness presided over the Divine Liturgy, celebrated by Bishop Papken Charian, the Prelate of Isfahan (Iran). In his message, Catholicos Aram I thanked the vicar and the members of the council for their service to the church and the community. He then reminded everyone that the vocation of the Seminary of the Catholicsate of Cilicia is to prepare monks and teachers to serve the church and the community. Referring to the Gospel (Matt. 16:24), His Holiness said that Jesus had told his disciples: “if any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” He then continued, “Our ancestors accepted Christianity centuries ago; we should remain faithful to their legacy and practice our faith individually and live it out together in our communities.”


Later on, His Holiness joined the members of the community at a banquet organized in his honor. After he was welcomed by V. Rev. Mesrob Sarkissian and the president of the Church Council, Mr. Ara Keusseyan, His Holiness addressed the public. He emphasized the need to set clear priorities and organize well-defined structures, because, he said, given the problems in the region, many more families were immigrating to these countries. Only a united and well-organized community will be able to serve and accompany them.