Catholicosate of Cilicia
Antelias - Lebanon
The World National General Assembly of the Holy See of Cilicia dedicated 5 sessions of its meeting for the World National General Assembly’s Religious and the Lay Councils’ reports. Video presentations documenting the work of both Religious and Lay councils were presented, followed by examination and questions and answer sessions.
The report of the Religious Council focused on the Ecumenical mission and the development of inter-church and inter-religious work. Delegates were also provided with a brief report on the Armenian Orthodox Seminary located in Bikfaya, Lebanon. The Seminary is vital to the growth of our church and it is here that students are shaped to serve the Armenian Church and people not only through religious and spiritual means, but to serve the Armenian community in various capacities. It was stressed that all Prelacies must support the Seminary in various capacities and establish a relationship with the seminary for its growth and longevity. The report also highlighted youth religious activities carried out by its Youth Department, Armenian Church Students’ Association and the Armenian Students’ Alumni, as well as other Departments.
The report of the Lay council highlighted the numerous programs and activities of the Catholicosate. During the last two years, His Holiness Aram I traveled around the globe visiting the Prelacies of the Holy See of Cilicia, and visiting with the faithful. On the occasion of His Holiness Aram I ascension to the seat of Catholicos, the communities celebrated the momentous occasion with various events. The Catholicosate continues to strengthen and build its relationship with the Republic of Armenia, Artsakh and the Holy See of Etchmiadzin. Finally, the assembly focused on the current situation in Syria.
The Prelate of Syria, His Eminence Shahan Sarkissian, discussed in-depth, the struggles that our bothers and sisters in Syria have faced, and the priorities to facilitate rebuilding our communities. The rebuilding of Syria is main focus of the Catholicosate will be discussed throughout the remainder of the Assembly.
In his response to the both religious and council reports, His Holiness Aram I stressed the immediate attention to certain matters including the rebuilding of Syrian communities, protecting and practicing our Western Armenian language, and our church’s presence in today’s society. Our church needs to address certain topics and areas more closely and establish response to those challenges.
The assembly continued with follow-up discussions and moved to topical presentations including Christian and Armenian Education and Youth Engagement.