In the evening, the graduation ceremony of the Sunday School was held at St. Stephen’s Church. Sunday School principal Nayiri Baljian-Bell gave brief biographical references about each student and highlighted their unique personality traits and talents. They then received their certificates and special gifts prepared by the Principal’s office.
After the ceremony, a Vespers service was held. At the end, Archbishop Anoushavan ordained Daniel Alexander, Avedis Bell, Hagop Kechejian, and Aram Stepanian as acolytes, and Tavit Toramanian as subdeacon. His Eminence expressed his appreciation for their willingness to serve and encouraged them to continue their spiritual growth in the same way.
On Sunday, May 22, the Prelate celebrated the Divine Liturgy, during which subdeacon John Daghlian, the son of late Archpriest Fr. Arshak Daghlian, was ordained a deacon. In the sermon, His Eminence stressed that the diaconate, the first stage of service in the ministry of the Church, reflects the mission of our Lord Jesus Christ, because He “came not to be served, but to serve” (Matthew 20:28). Quoting the ordination prayer, he wished that Deacon John may attract and invite believers to Christ “with the fragrance of fragrant life”, in other words, with the fragrance of faith, love, humility, and other virtues. The ordinations of acolytes, subdeacon, and deacon were sponsored by Archpriest Fr. Antranig Baljian.
After the liturgy, the Pastor, the Board of Trustees and the Ladies’ Guild offered a lavish reception in honor of Deacon John Daghlian. Once again highlighting the merits of the ordinand, the Prelate said that the Daghlian family has been an exemplary church-loving and patriotic family since the days they lived in Lebanon, happily bringing their service to the community, the Prelacy, and the Catholicosate. He then briefly presented the new programs of the Prelacy to strengthen community life. Deacon Daghlian thanked the Prelate and all church bodies for this honor and promised to continue his mission with the same spirit of commitment.
After the reception, the Prelate visited St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School, accompanied by the Pastor and school principal Mrs. Houry Boyamian. After a two-year hiatus, six studies were bound to Armenia this year, continuing a beautiful tradition. In the guise of a surprise exam, Archbishop Anoushavan asked the students about the significance of places such as Khor Virap, Holy Etchmiadzin, Oshakan, Matenadaran, Sardarabad, Tsitsernakaberd, and got satisfactory answers. He prayed to the Most High that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself lead this group and enlighten them with heavenly wisdom throughout the journey and, thus reborn in their faith and identity, return as messengers of the immortal Armenian spirit.