Catholicosate of Cilicia
Antelias - Lebanon
20 May 2017. On Saturday evening, Armenians gathered around an Agape dinner to honour their spiritual leader.
The evening began with the prayer of His Holiness Aram I and the Kuwaiti and the Armenian national anthems; it continued with speeches and musical and cultural presentations. Dr Jano Bebejian welcomed the Catholicos in the name of the Armenian National Committee (Hay Tad). He thanked the Catholicos for urging the community in 2011 to build their church through their own resources and expressed his joy for his visit and for the completion and consecration of the church. The guests also watched a film narrating the construction of the Church and the work of the team of architects and engineers and the leadership of the community.
Mr Harout Bedirian, Chairperson of the Executive of the Church Council of Kuwait and its neighbouring regions, addressed His Holiness’s vision for the Catholicosate of Cilicia as a ‘journey of faith and service.’ He also mentioned the Catholicos’ achievements on the international scene, particularly his leadership in the ecumenical movement, his support of the Republic of Armenia and Karabagh, as well as the Armenian Cause ‘Hay Tad.’ He then affirmed the allegiance of the community in Kuwait to the Catholicosate of Cilicia and to its vision under the leadership of the Catholicos.
After the greetings of the Ambassador of Lebanon, Very Reverend Masis Choboyan took the floor. After thanking the Catholicos for his visit and for accompanying the construction of the church, he reaffirmed the commitment of the community to His Holiness Aram I’s vision and added, “Your Holiness decreed 2017 as the ‘Year for Renewal.’ Your presence among us will be remembered as an important part of this process.” He then introduced the persons who were instrumental in the realization of the construction of the Church and Prelacy project and invited the Catholicos to recognize them.
Catholicos Aram I honoured and bestowed the insignia of the Catholicosate of Cilicia to the following members of the community: Mr Anoushavan Nazarian as ‘Prince of Cilicia’ and Messrs. Philip Patatanian, Krikor Saovoudjian, Dr. Jano Bebejian, Mounir Tarpinian, and Constantin Momjian as ‘Knights of Cilicia.’ Mr Yeghia Garboushian received the St Mesrob Masdotz insignia. Finally, he recognized Very Rev Masis Choboyan with a special gift.
His Holiness then thanked everyone who had contributed to the realization of the project, saying, “During the years following the Genocide, being Armenian meant rebuilding, becoming a community and maintaining our identity. The new Church and the Prelacy will be the axis of this community.” As an expression of their appreciation, the community offered His Holiness a cross to be worn around his neck. Celebrations concluded with the prayer of ‘Bahbanich and blessings of Catholicos Aram I.