ALBANY–NY–His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia departed Detroit for Albany Monday afternoon–accompanied by his entourage.
The Pontiff’s entourage included Eastern Prelate Archbishop Mesrob Ashjian–Canada Prelate representative Bishop Hagopian and Scepter bearer Rev. Khoren Doghramajian.
The Catholicos was greeted at Albany Airport by clergy–community members–and held a brief press conference at the airport reception area.
The Catholicos–upon leaving the airport–received parishioners and leaders of non-Armenian faiths at Holy Cross Church. After messages from various guests–the Catholicos addressed the faithful–emphasizing the importance of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
More community members met with the Catholicos that evening at the city’s Armenian center. A banquet followed.
The Catholicos’ visit was at times carried live by local news stations. In a meeting with the city’s mayor and governmental representatives–His Holiness Aram I presented gifts to the guests and praised their work.
Albany news stations also conducted interviews with the spiritual leader.
In his closing speech–Aram I reiterated what he called the message of the Armenian church–which he said was the strengthening of Christianity–national identity–the Armenian culture and homeland.
The Catholicos visited North Andover–while Archbishop Ashjian departed on a one day visit to Washington to represent His Holiness at the arrival of the Universal Patriarch Wednesday.
In North Andover His Holiness visited the St. Gregory the Illuminator community Church where he was greeted by an extraordinarily large group of community members.
In his address–Aram I emphasized the importance of becoming involved in the daily life of the Armenian Church–and challenged the parishioners to devote themselves to this cause.
On the following day His Holiness–after meeting with community organization and groups departed for Worcester–Mass.