Catholicosate of Cilicia
Antelias - Lebanon
21 December 2016. On his way back from Iran, His Holiness Aram I arrived in the UAE for a brief pastoral visit. Very Rev Misrob Sarkissian, Pontifical Vicar for the UAE and Qatar, Mr Hrayr Soghomonian, member of the General Assembly of the Catholicosate of Cilicia, and other community leaders welcomed him at the airport.
In the evening the Catholicos held a working meeting around dinner with the members of the UAE Church Council, the General Assembly of the Catholicosate and benevolent donors. Together they assessed the impact of the work of the Church Council on the life of the Church and the community. In the end, His Holiness expressed his satisfaction and urged the leadership to encourage the participation of the youth in their activities.
On Thursday, His Holiness continued meeting with the different committees, listened to their concerns and discussed proposed plans for the Armenian communities in Dubai, Sharja and Qatar.
On Friday morning, Catholicos Aram I presided over the Holy Liturgy and preached. In his sermon he told the faithful that Christmas is the feast of the manifestation of God to humanity, the road to salvation, and an invitation to self-introspection. He then asked the faithful to assess their lifestyles to determine whether they were loyal to Christian values and the message of the Feast. After the Holy Liturgy, Catholicos Aram I visited the adjacent Ohannessian School and joined the students in their Christmas and New Year celebrations. In the evening he attended a dinner in his honour organized by Hrayr and Maguy Soghomonian, to which the members of the Church Councils of the UAE and Qatar and other community leaders were invited. Upon the request of guests, Catholicos Aram I explained the process and the status of the litigation demanding from Turkey the return of its Historical Seat in Sis.
On Saturday, 24 December 2016, His Holiness Aram I returned to Antelias.