On Sunday, February 19, Archbishop Anoushavan celebrated the Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon in Providence, RI, on the name day of Sts. Vartanantz Church. At Rev. Fr. Kapriel Nazarian’s request, the Prelate ordained Shahen Attarian and Sarkis Nasr as acolytes during the Divine Liturgy, granting them the grace and responsibility to open the doors, clean the church, light the candles, and read the Psalms and Epistles.
After the ordination, the Prelate delivered a sermon invoking the heroic sacrifice of Saint Vartan Mamigonian and his followers. He said that Saint Vartan and his soldiers willingly entrusted themselves to God. His Eminence stressed the importance of maintaining our faith and hope, especially while going through hard times. As a nation, we are facing many obstacles in the present, between our Homeland, Artsakh and finally the devastating earthquake in Aleppo. Archbishop Anoushavan said that it is with the strength of our faith that we can overcome the obstacles in life.
Following Badarak, the Sts. Vartanantz Church Ladies’ Guild hosted a delicious dinner in Aramian Auditorium with the assistance of the Men’s Club and the Homenetmen scouts. Board of Trustees member Garo Tashian emceed the event. Chairman of the Board Levon Attarian then welcomed His Eminence and stressed the importance of our Christian faith and our Armenian identity, as exemplified by the Battle of Avarayr, which was held in their defense. “A new era is upon us and this is all of our responsibility,” he said. “Our churches are being destroyed and therefore we must do everything within our power to preserve the foundation of our community, Sts. Vartanantz Church.” He congratulated the newly ordained acolytes, as well as those being honored in keeping with His Holiness Aram I’s proclamation of 2023 as the “Year of the Diaspora”(2), Aram (Arzie) Madoian and Sara (Sally) Mouradjian, speaking about the impact the honorees have had in the community by their tireless and humble work ethic. He added that the torch of Vartan that was passed to Arzie and Sally will be passed on to Sarkis and Shahen.
Joanne Mouradjian and Sylvia Simonian presented the honorees, Sara Mouradjian and Aram Madoian, respectively.
Following the presentation of awards by Archbishop Anoushavan, students from the Mourad Armenian School gave a fitting and beautiful performance in celebration of St. Vartan. Two Siamanto Academy students, Garo Tarbinian and Bedig Zaytounian, read the history of the Battle of Vartanantz.
Rev. Fr. Kapriel then offered his congratulations to the honorees and to the newly ordained acolytes, along with their families. He thanked the Mourad Armenian School students and teachers for the beautiful performance. In introducing Archbishop Anoushavan, he spoke of the inspiring example that the Prelate is as a loving shepherd of each of our churches, and who sets an example for us in the way that he sees the challenges of daily life as new opportunities to faithfully rely upon our Lord with optimism and hope, no matter our circumstances.
Archbishop Anoushavan concluded the afternoon by offering his warm remarks. He commended the young leadership in our community and the unity among community members, working together to preserve and strengthen the Sts. Vartanantz Church community. The celebration concluded with everyone singing “Giligia.”