STUDIO CITY–Hosted by the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church–a Kick-Off Party to officially announce His Holiness Aram I’s visit to the United States–drew more than 200 religious brothers–community activists–benefactors–and devoted sponsors to Bistro Gardens in Studio City–California on August 21.
The Pontifical visit of the Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia will begin on October 5–under the theme–"Towards the Light of Knowledge."
"Inspired and empowered by the caliber of supporters and believers in the Armenian Apostolic Church–we did not find it necessary to organize a Kick-Off Party for the Official Banquet in honor of His Holiness Aram I," Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian told supporters. "This Kick-Off was organized to thank our life-long supporters as well as officially announce the Pontifical Visit of His Holiness."
The evening’s program began with Banquet Committee Chairman–Shant Haytayan and Second Chairman–Peklar Pilavjian–welcoming distinguished guests–and inviting Archbishop Mardirossian to deliver his message.
Archbishop Mardirossian highlighted several key events of the Catholicos’s Visit–including a pontifical mass at St. Mary’s Church in Glendale on October 9–a youth forum in Fresno on October 10–a major address on "Christianity in the Middle East" to be delivered at the World Affairs Council on October 14–and a symposium on the "Christian Response to Violence" to be held at the University of Southern California on October 15.
The Archbishop explained that this Pontifical Visit will coincide with the 1600th anniversary of the creation of the Armenian alphabet and solemn programs marking the 90th commemoration of the Armenian genocide.
The evening concluded with great surprises–including the immediate request for more than 1000 tickets after guests were told about the October 9 Gala Banquet to be at the Universal Hilton.
As inspiring and important were the several large donations that were made to benefit the ongoing work of the Western Prelacy–including the blessing of the Western Prelacy’s headquarters–and the opening of St. Sarkis Apostolic Church in Pasadena.
"The Western Prelacy is dedicated to the community as it works diligently to revitalize the physical–economic–cultural–spiritual–and educational conditions of its churches and schools," said Archbishop Mardirossian. "The Western Prelacy has and will continue to make a substantial impact on expanding its reach to the Armenian-American community as long as it has supporters and believers as benevolent and dedicated as evidenced at this showcase Kick-Off celebration."