On Sunday, December 10, His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate, celebrated the Divine Liturgy at St. Gregory the Illuminator’s Church of Granite City, Illinois. In the sermon, the Prelate referred to the importance of the fifty-day period of spiritual preparation according to the church celebration, at the end of which we are all invited to be revived by the great mystery of the incarnation of Divine Love. In reference to the efforts we put into exchanging gifts in the coming festive days, he said we should all reflect deeply on the great gift, life, which God has bestowed upon us, and accordingly please our Lord God, the Most Bountiful Giver, with the gift of our gratitude and charity.
After the Divine Liturgy, the Prelate presided over the community’s 69th anniversary celebration. St. Gregory’s Board of Trustees Chairperson Steve Hagopian welcomed the attendees and offered an overview of the annual activities of the church. Anahit Grigoryan spoke about “VOMA: The Art of Staying Alive,” a new organization operating in Armenia with the main goal of minimizing the vulnerability of Armenia and its armed forces to enemy attacks. Addressing the audience, Rev. Fr. Taniel Manjikian, Pastor, expressed his gratitude to all the bodies affiliated with the parish, whose unconditional support had endowed the church with a successful year.
The Prelate then expressed his praise for the will as strong as granite displayed by the community, where the church structures and sister organizations cooperate seamlessly. He also highlighted the contributions made by all the Eastern Prelacy churches for the Artsakh Armenians and called on everybody to include them among the recipients of our gifts and donations for the New Year.
In recognition of Fr. Taniel’s service to the community, His Holiness Catholicos Aram I granted him the right to bear a pectoral cross, on whose behalf Archbishop Anoushavan presented it to St. Gregory’s pastor and read the accompanying letter of benediction from the Catholicos. The cross was donated by Mr. and Mrs. Steve and Susan Hagopian and Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey and Lynn Hagopian.
This event came to a close with a blessing and the customary singing of “Giligia.”