His Holiness Catholicos Aram I visited the Armenian community of Niagara Falls, New York, on Thursday, June 8, making a one-time detour into the United States during his pontifical tour of Canada. He was accompanied by His Eminence Archbishop Papken, Prelate of Canada; Bishop Torkom, Prelate of the U.S. Western Prelacy; the co-chairman of the Central Executive Council of the Catholicosate, Krikor Mahseredjian, and Rev. Fr. Baruyr Shernezian, crozier bearer.
Following a visit and a prayer at the Niagara Falls cemetery, where many Armenians residents have been buried over time, His Holiness visited St. Hagop Church, where the parishioners welcomed him. At the parish hall, Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino; Archpriest Fr. Zareh Sahakian, Visiting Pastor, and Sonia Gregian, Board of Trustees member, delivered welcoming messages. An artistic program including Sara Ohanessian (violin) and Gayane Chukasian (dance) and a dinner ensued.
His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate, said that the Catholicos was pleased with the visit to Niagara Falls, where he served as visiting pastor in the 1970s while he was posted at the Eastern Prelacy as a young theology student. In his message, His Holiness highlighted the efforts of the community to maintain its identity. He quoted Mayor Restaino, expressing his joy that the Armenian community brings a positive contribution to the development of the city of Niagara Falls.