His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate, participated in the Divine Liturgy at St. Gregory Church of Indian Orchard, MA, on Sunday, Jan. 16. In lieu of the sermon, His Eminence read His Holiness Catholicos Aram I’s proclamation of 2022 as the “Year of the Diaspora.” The proclamation was read in all Eastern Prelacy churches (you may read it in the previous issue of Crossroads or clicking here).
After reading the message, Archbishop Anoushavan invited the public to reflect on the fundamental truth that the whole of the Homeland and the Diaspora, not just Lebanon or the Middle East, are the focus of the Holy See’s mission.
The Prelate brought up an example of daily life, saying that regardless of how removed parents may be from their children geographically, they carry them and their concerns in their hearts. In the same way, he said, the Catholicos shares the multiple concerns of the sons and daughters of the Diaspora and calls on all our organizations to reorganize and revitalize themselves, to deal with the threats the Armenian faith and identity are faced with. Their development will promote the virtuous cycle of a strong Diaspora with a strong Armenia and a strong Armenia with a strong Diaspora as the basis for the preservation of Armenian life.
The Prelate drew a parallel between the daily Bible reading and His Holiness’ proclamation. “Christ’s message to the faithful of all ages is the same: everything is possible with God,” he said. “If transforming the laws of nature He converted water into wine at the wedding, when each of us presents our glass of water in dedication to the Almighty, He will gladly convert it into wine to allow the merriment of Armenian life to continue.”
As the preceding Saturday was the day of the feast of St. John the Baptist, Archbishop Anoushavan celebrated the blessing of the water, praying to God that by intercession of “the greatest among the prophets, St. John the Baptist,” He strengthens our faith and save us from our contemporary Herods as well as from visible and invisible temptations.
After the liturgical ceremonies, the Prelate met the faithful in the parish hall, where he expressed his praise for St. Gregory’s Pastor, Rev. Fr. Bedros Shetilian, the Board of Trustees and the auxiliary bodies for their work together, wishing that in their next meeting they may all greet each other in normal circumstances.