Catholicosate, Featured




To the Prelates,
the clergy,
the community authorities
of the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia,
and to the daughters and sons of our people,


On the eve of 2024, with fatherly love, patriarchal blessings, and intense patriotic feelings, we greet the beloved­ daughters and sons of our people from the Monastery of the­­ Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia. We greet especially our Prelates, community authorities, the organizations and associations that are active in the Armenian community, as well as community, educational, charitable, cultural, social,­ and sports institutions, and we wish them all a year of new achievements. We pray to Most High God, that the New Year that begins with His Son’s becoming man and His revelation,­ will be full of heavenly ­riches and grace for our people.


As it is well-known to the daughters and sons of our people, since 2003 we have dedicated each year to an event, development, value, or concern in our collective life. We have made the necessary analysis and highlights within each topic, and then we have conveyed our fatherly suggestions to ­our people. We have often stressed that the church with its essence and calling is a mission directed to the people. Indeed, the teachings of Christ were not theoretical or casual; they had direct relevance for the life of the people. Today, too, the church is called to invite its spiritual flock to address ­concerns and challenges that have direct import to their lives. At the same time, it is the church’s mission to­ give the necessary instructions for further implementation of spiritual, moral, and national values. This is the goal of our patriarchal proclamations. We are satisfied to declare that the proclamations published so far have been the object of ample discussion­ in our collective life and, in light of the concerns and the suggestions expressed in them, the daughters and sons of our people have been driven to review and reassess their individual and community life.

As you know, the years 2022 and 2023 were dedicated to the Diaspora, declaring 2022 the Year of the Diaspora, and 2023, the Year of the Diaspora: From Self-Examination to Reorganization. Our decision to focus on the Diaspora for two consecutive years was not at random. The formation and development of the Diaspora has its own process, and it has always been subject to the influence of external factors and environmental conditions.  Today, the Diaspora faces serious challenges. In view of the­ penetration of the global culture into Armenian life,­ the retreat of national values, the degradation of the Armenian language, and other critical problems, the revalorization and reorganization of the Diaspora have become an urgent imperative.

In the two declarations,­ in 2022­ we made the following statement about the current situation of the Diaspora: “The Armenian identity is exposed to rapid attrition in the Diaspora. Our structures have begun to lose their relevance. Hence, the revitalization of the Diaspora is a mandatory task in the light of the circumstances and conditions of our present life.” And in 2023, we made the following comment regarding the structures of the Diaspora: “The Diaspora has an enormous potential in terms of culture, religion, economy, expertise, relations, and experience. However, resignation and assimilation here and indifference and omission there have begun to drain the potential of Armenian life. In fact, the Diaspora has not been able to harness its potential and utilize it in an accurate way to its fullest. The organization and utilization of the potential of the Diaspora is a need. Such a huge plan requires collective and consistent work.”

In the two abovementioned proclamations, after identifying­ the challenges faced by the communities and structures of the Diaspora, we emphasized that the lack of human resources in every area of Armenian life has begun to make itself felt. In other words, in every community, the number of expert people who are also experienced and­ accountable has begun to decrease gradually. This is a deeply worrisome development, both because of its global impact in the Diaspora and its­ unpredictable consequences. Indeed, human resources give vitality to our structures, reinforce the Armenian-centric existence of the Diaspora, preserve its national identity, and give it quality and direction; human resources that are intellectually and psychologically prepared, have acquired expertise, and are fully dedicated. With this deep conviction, ­we ­declare 2024,


The Bible reminds us that on the sixth day of the creation of the universe, He created man (Genesis 1:26-27, 2:7). The creation of man was different from that of the other creatures of the universe not only because of its timing and nature, but also its purpose. The Bible testifies that the man created in the “image of God” was called­ to be the caretaker of Creation­­, its defender, and the one who would enrich it (Genesis 1:28-30); in other words, God’s “collaborator” (1 Corinthians 3:9-17). What a sacred calling! But man betrayed his God-given ­calling, abused his privilege by using it for his pleasure and glory, and was expelled­ from Paradise because of his disloyalty (Genesis 3).

However, God always kept watch over the sinful man­. God took his Only Begotten Son into the world to draw near to his Heavenly Father the man who had distanced himself. The Son of God became man, and he even shed his blood to reestablish man in his divine image and God-given ­devotion. This is the purpose and message of the Bible, the revelation of God­. The Bible stresses with particular importance man’s special place and unique role in the­ divine revelation and plan. Indeed, by way of different parables, events, and teachings, in the Bible ­we see the ­­fatherly love and care­­ shown by God to man, even sinful man. Thus, for example, when the shepherd abandons his 99 sheep to seek the stray one ­(Matthew 18:11-14); when the father welcomes his prodigal­ son with open arms ­(Luke 15:11–32). The Bible emphasizes that man and woman are a value for God. However, the value of man is not merely in his physical existence, but in his faithfulness­­­ and obedience to God­­.

All religions and civilizations have devoted special­ attention to man as a thinking, acting, ruling, and enriching reality in the life of society with his creative spirit. For ancient philosophers, psychologists, and sociologists, man has been the object of serious analysis­ and continues to be so in the present world ruled by technology. The history of nations shows the role of man behind every achievement, discovery, and innovation. How central is that role in the life of the universe and the society! Countries, communities, societies­, and organizations develop, progress, and grow not only with their wealth, political or military advantages and potential, but with the human resources that create, develop, govern, and defend them.

* * *

We have pointed out, and we will again stress it, that there is a lack of human resources in ­Armenian life. Unfortunately, we often lack the courage and the wisdom to see and accept our shortcomings, our omissions, and our weaknesses. We are inclined to see everything through rose-colored glasses, to cover up errors, or to look elsewhere for the causes of mistakes. Religious ethics, as­ well as popular wisdom, remind us that accepting errors covers half the road to success. A general overview of our communities, organizations­­, and structures clearly shows that the lack of human resources increasingly deepens and grows, and its various and negative ­consequences of become obvious. It is unacceptable to be indifferent to this worrisome situation. We all have something to do and give to address this major need in Diaspora life. We must be well aware that without human resources, our lives will lose its quality, will stagnate and fade, and the roots of our existence will be weakened. The preparation of human resources is an urgent­ priority­.

Why is there a lack of human resources in the life of the Diaspora? What are the reasons? It is necessary to ask such questions and try to find answers with an objective approach. In the sense of human resources, Armenian life shows the following picture today: first, our current human resources do not generally address the needs and demands of the present times; second, an important part of our human resources either remains on the margins of Armenian life or out of Armenian life.



The first important step in the reorganization and empowerment of the people should be to involve our human resources, who are far from the mainstream of Armenian life.

Let us look around for a moment. It is true that we have specialists in many fields, but many of them are far from our lives. We have educated young people, but many do not participate in the activities of our structures. We have devoted teachers, but many work in non-Armenian educational institutions. The enumeration of human resources who are outside Armenian life for one reason or the other can go on and on… In the face of this sad reality, one must ask why an important part of our human resources have moved away from our community life. The questions should lead us to a diagnosis, and the diagnosis, to correctives. In every case, our approach should be realistic, not sentimental; practical, not theoretical; local, not general. We must consider the geopolitical conditions of every area of the Diaspora and the internal movements often derived from them, the decline of some communities for economic reasons and the growth of others, the transformation of their character, the differences in their environmental conditions, etc. These continuing developments should be evaluated in the light of the global culture that has permeated Armenian life. Naturally, the abovementioned events have had a negative impact on the displacement of human resources from Armenian life and the migration from one community to another.

Along with the abovementioned external factors, internal and personal reasons have also driven some people away from our community life. Thus, we may mention the indifference sometimes shown by the local leadership or sometimes one-sided positions on issues affecting the community, competition inside institutions, incompatible approaches by the old and new generations, the lack of proper and worthy appreciation of human resources, as well as the desire of opening wider perspectives and securing a higher income, etc.

In the face of this worrying phenomenon, we do not want to blame either those who stay away or the institutions or people responsible for that. We want to stress firmly that, more than ever, it is imperative that the human resources who are far from Armenian life for different reasons should come closer, become participants in our collective experiences, struggles, plans, and activities. We expect this firm determination and conscious commitment from those who stay away. At the same time, we expect from responsible bodies to create wide opportunities for our human resources and especially young people, involving them in our institutions and Armenian life in general. We love and respect our human resources. Therefore, it is not acceptable for our human resources to knock on other people’s doors, to serve others, to put their expertise and experience at the service of others’ success. For us, our nation, our Armenian homeland, our communities are what the priority is, what is essential, what is permanent.


The second important step in the organization and empowerment of human resources should be the preparation of new human resources. This is not an easy and smooth plan to be immediately realized. We must be realistic. The preparation of human resources presupposes a long-lasting process, complete dedication, serious organization, consistent work, as well as a large material investment. Look around you! States, religions, organizations, and institutions carry out a huge amount of work and make a great investment, materially or otherwise, into human resources training. Indeed, without a conscious, specialized, and dedicated person, what we have, from the material to the spiritual spheres, and from the educational to the political ones, has no value. Man is the one who gives it value, meaning, quality, direction, and purpose.

The time has come now for us, starting from this awareness and determination, to focus our attention in the Diaspora on the preparation of human resources, fully utilizing our potential and resources. The preparation of human resources means to inculcate spiritual, moral, and national values into Armenians, to acquaint them with the special events, figures, and challenges of the past and present of our nation, to give them the possibilities to delve into the specialties of the present world, and above all this and giving meaning to all of this, to instill the spirit of serving our people with complete dedication, to bring their active participation into Armenian life.

How can the Diaspora be driven to training human resources with an organized approach and renewed momentum? We must keep in mind that the preparation of human resources is not only the work of a given institution, but it is a collective endeavor and a continuous process, involving various stages and initiatives. We want to briefly point out those institutions and resources that can bring an important contribution to the mission of human resources preparation.

1) The main and lasting anchor of a person’s preparation is the FAMILY. The solid foundation of the formation of an Armenian person is laid within the family. We learn a lot from our parents by listening and seeing. It is not only knowledge about our nation that we learn from our parents, but also and especially the spirit of being a conscious and proud Armenian and the dedication to serve our nation, homeland, and church unconditionally. Hence, it is necessary for the Armenian family to emphasize its unique role in the preparation of human resources. To carry out this very important mission with dedication, the Armenian family must stay away from circumstances that can degrade its moral atmosphere and Armenian character and debase its high calling.

2) The second place of human preparation is the CHURCH. The church is the storage furnace of our spiritual, moral and national values and the source of revitalization. Many of the great figures of our nation have immersed themselves in the life and testimony of the church and received the zeal and commitment to serve the nation and the motherland from the church. Through various undertakings (Sunday school, Bible studies, popular lectures, Christian teaching, etc.), it is necessary for our church, along with its spiritual mission and national service, to give a boost to his teaching and educational work.

3) The goal of the THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY of our Holy See continues to be the formation of clergy, teachers, and intellectuals imbued with spiritual values and called to serve the nation and the church. In this sense, the Seminary has done a great job in the last decades. Indeed, the presence of many people who have passed through the Seminary and have made important contributions to the religious, educational, and cultural areas of our national life in Armenia and the Diaspora is an eloquent testament to the Seminary’s unique mission.

4) THE ARMENIAN SCHOOL is naturally one of the most important institutions in the preparation ­of human resources. Unfortunately, certain indifference towards the Armenian school has begun to emerge today among our parents. The Armenian school contributes greatly to the preparation of human resources with its successful record in official examinations, with the Armenian education and atmosphere it offers. Therefore, it is necessary ­to emphasize the formative mission of the Armenian school, supporting its programs ­­that contribute to it.

5) ALL INSTITUTIONS within Armenian life—political, charitable, cultural, sports, social, and others—are, in their own way, special schools for the preparation of human resources. Indeed, their internal atmosphere full of national and cultural values, as well as their voluntary work to serve the needs of our communities, contributes to the preparation of human resources. There are Armenians who, for different reasons, have not attended Armenian schools, but by being part of community organizations, they have acquired an ample knowledge of Armenian life and the spirit of serving the nation has taken root in them.

6) The ARMENIAN STUDIES COURSES have a significant role in the development of human resources. Today, in fact, the only organized Armenian Studies Center in the Diaspora operates within the Catholicosate. We also must remember the Armenian Studies courses at the Karen Jeppe School in Aleppo and the Haigazian University. After 15 years of organizational development, the Armenian Studies Center of the Catholicosate operates in a more organized and self-confident manner, offering a wide range of subjects and the presence of experienced teachers invited from Armenia and the Diaspora.

7) The PEDAGOGICAL CENTER that operates within the Catholicosate, which trains teachers with new pedagogical methods, is of particular importance within this field. Its more than 35 years of activity and its cumulative success in state examinations show that its extensive work in the field of pedagogical training remains key.

8) Apart from the above-mentioned community structures for the preparation of human resources, we consider UNIVERSITY EDUCATION an essential, as well complementary part of preparation of human resources. Today’s world is a world of specialization. In fact, there is no longer a place for an amateurish approach to issues, developments, crises, and plans in all aspects of society’s life. As much as dedication and preparation are necessary, specialization is just as necessary. Currently, higher education institutions and possibilities have multiplied. In the light of the many resources offered by technology, university education has become more accessible, if not materially, in terms of time and work. Our young men and women who are eager to learn must profit as much as possible from the benefits offered by higher and professional university education.

Naturally, living in different conditions, we cannot expect the new generation to pass through the mentioned phases of human resources formation. Self-teaching also gives an opportunity and can have its important contribution in the formation of a person. In all cases, it is imperative that the young Armenian men and women, imbued with spiritual, moral, and national values and armed with professional education, make themselves valuable in Armenian life, putting their education in the service of the development and empowerment of our nation. The Diaspora urgently needs human resources. Therefore, the preparation of human resources for the Diaspora should become a priority.



We would like to make the following practical recommendations following the concerns, possibilities, and points we have stressed regarding human resources preparation:

1) Despite the difficult conditions and limited resources of the Diaspora, huge work has been done in the field of human resources preparation. We express our high appreciation to all those dedicated to the sacred mission of educational and Armenian formation. The time has come for a more inclusive, coordinated, and updated work by the institutions devoted to human resources training in our community life. In this sense, it is essential to do special planning work with the participation of the leaders of these structures, to avoid duplication and omissions.

2) We see an urgent need for gathering human resources within the communities. The gathering can be done in two stages. The first one involves the human resources participating in the community, and in the second stage, the human resources that have remained outside the community get involved.

3) In any case, it is necessary to organize all gatherings with a clear agenda. It is necessary to listen to the points of view, concerns, and suggestions of those present, and then together determine a common direction for the empowerment of the community, specifying the priorities and dividing the work.

4) Special attention must be paid to the participation of young men and women, especially university students and graduates.

5) On certain occasions and even gradually, it is necessary to organize gatherings that bring together the community’s human resources, to discuss general plans that pertain the community as well as concerns and challenges that concern the Diaspora and the Armenian nation.

6) A comprehensive list of a community’s human resources is essential. It should include basic information to exchange it with other communities and have a comprehensive picture of human resources in the Diaspora.

7) It is advisable that the executive bodies of prelacies, political parties, educational, youth, cultural, charitable, and other organizations participate actively in the abovementioned important works.

8) As we mentioned, the preparation of human resources also requires material commitment. In this collective effort, our wealthy fellow Armenians should feel obliged to make an important contribution in this direction, by establishing funds or by allocating annual benefits, in general, to programs devoted to human preparation and in particular to those structures that serve the same purpose.

9) Our prelacies and structures should allocate an important place on the agenda of their activities to initiatives and activities related to human resources training.

It will be the task of our human resources to conceive, plan, and execute the work of reorganizing and revitalizing the Diaspora. This is how important human resources are for us and, therefore, how imperative and urgent is the preparation of human resources.

With these thoughts and expectations, we greet you with warm fatherly love, and we assure you that the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia is always ready to support and participate in the sacred mission of human resources preparation.

With patriarchal blessings,



January 1, 2024
Antelias, Lebanon


2003 − The Year of the Bible

2004 − The Year of the Armenian Family

2005 – The Year of National Demand for Justice

2006 − The Year of the Armenian School

2007 – The Year of the Armenian Language

2008 − The Year of Christian Education

2009 − The Year of Youth

2010 − The Year of the Armenian Woman

2011 − The Year of the Armenian Child

2012 − The Year of the Armenian Book of Revelation

2013 – The Year of the Armenian Mother

2014 – The Year of the Elderly

2015 – The Centennial of the Armenian Genocide (Encyclical)

2016 – The Year of Service

2017 – The Year of Renewal

2018 – The Centennial of the First Republic of Armenia (Encyclical)

2019 − The Year of the Armenian Press

2020 – The Year of Armenians with Special Needs

2021 – The Year of Artsakh

2022 − The Year of the Diaspora (I)

2023 − The Year of the Diaspora (II) From self-examination to reorganization

2024 − The Year of Human Resources Preparation