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On Wednesday, December 21, the Western Prelacy of the United States organized an opera concert at St. Mary’s Church of Glendale as part of its 50th anniversary celebration, presided over by His Grace Bishop Torkom, Prelate. Their Eminences Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy, and Archbishop Papken, Prelate of Canada, were also present.   

On this occasion, Archbishop Anoushavan delivered a congratulatory message on behalf of the Mother Prelacy.  

“Like parents who are infinitely pleased to see the growth and development, the success and happiness of their children, the Mother Prelacy salutes with deeply joy the progress, development, and contribution to Armenian life, realized with gigantic step and monumental achievements. Outside the diasporas of the former Soviet republics and modern Russia, California is the largest community both in terms of quantity as well as quality. It has welcomed individuals from all walks of life from the homeland, Iran and generally the Middle East, including distinguished personalities, which brings honor to all Armenians. It has become the biggest Diasporan community, of which responsibility and protagonism of the highest level in service to all Armenians are expected. 

“Thanks to the prescient vision and paternal love of His Holiness Catholicos Zareh I, of blessed memory, the Mother Prelacy, founded in 1957, from which the Western Prelacy in 1973 and the Canada Prelacy in 2002 branched out, with their educational, social and sports structures keep the Armenian faith and identity for the honor of the Armenian people and the glory of God.  

“We celebrate today with objective appreciation the spiritual service provided by these three prelacies, which History will justly record for future generations. And as much as this day is a magnificent occasion to commemorate the unspoken dreams and sacrifices of our previous generations, it is also a driving force to realistically build a resilient future.  

“After the fall of the Bagratuni and Rubenian dynasties, Armenians formed communities in different countries, which over time, starting from scratch, developed and achieved exceptional success, and wore down under the grind of time. Therefore, it is the wish of every fellow Armenian that on the basis of our experience in the Diaspora of the past millennium, using all the local resources of the present, we will be able to build a wondrous future.  

“In the sacred march of our existence in this most fateful period after the Genocide, the existential message coming from our Fathers—which is condensed in the sacred motto of Yeghishe Charents: “O Armenian people, your only salvation lies in the power of your unity”—let us live, act, and grow in strength for the sake of our heroic martyrs, our Homeland and the citadels of our Diasporan existence, our young generation and, in the words of martyred writer Daniel Varuzhan, for the “rose-filled dawns” of our people.  

“With this faith and hope, I congratulate the fiftieth anniversary of the Western Prelacy and I pray that this groundbreaking celebration will increase tenfold and hundredfold for the sake of the realization of the just rights of Armenia and the progress of humanity.”