LA CRESCENTA—At the start of each academic year, Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian visits Prelacy Schools to convey his blessings to the principals, directors, faculty and students for a successful new year.
School visits for the 2013-2014 school year began in mid-August, and continued on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 with visits to Armenian Mesrobian School in Montebello and Ari Guiragos Minassian School in Orange County.
The day began in Montebello when the Prelate arrived at Mesrobian, accompanied by Holy Cross Cathedral Dean Very Rev. Fr. Muron Aznikian, Very Rev. Fr. Boghos Tinkjian, Very Rev. Fr. Dajad Ashekian, and Pastor Rev. Fr. Ashod Kambourian.
The Prelate and delegation were greeted by Principal Dr. David Ghoogasian, administrators and faculty, parents, and students. His Eminence conducted the traditional blessing of salt and bread, followed by the Lord’s Prayer and the official program. Remarks were delivered by Ghoogasian and a number of students. The Principal introduced the faculty and teachers to the Prelate, stating that Mesrobian School has wonderful students and teachers, which is a reflection of the Armenian community in the area. He also noted proudly that enrollment was up ten percent this school year.
The Prelate commended the Principal, teachers, and administrators for their hard work, which was evident in the festive atmosphere created at the start of this academic year as the school was renovated not only externally but also internally with the addition of new and qualified teachers. Referring to the Principal’s statement on the attributes of the students and teachers, the Prelate added that the students must also recognize that they have a remarkable Principal, a man who was born and raised in this country but who has served the Armenian church and community since his youth, and as an alumnus of this very school has now returned to serve for its progress. He also noted that the Principal’s commitment to serve the community is thanks to his parents, who guided his steps to this path.
Speaking on the Year of the Armenian Mother, the Prelate commended the students for the prayers and writings they prepared for the occasion, which will be published by the Prelacy in a compilation of student works.
The Prelate then introduced the clergy accompanying him, and concluded the program with the benediction. They then visited all the classrooms where they closely interacted with the teachers and students. His Eminence encouraged the students to take their education seriously so that in the future they can utilize the knowledge they gain to serve for the progress of the Armenian church and nation. The visit concluded with a luncheon.
Ari Guiragos Minassian Visit
From Mesrobian, the Prelate and clergy headed to AG Minassian School in Orange County. Upon their arrival they were welcomed by Forty Martyrs Church Pastor Rev. Fr. Karekin Bedourian and School Principal Kohar Zaher. The blessing of salt and bread was conducted at the school entrance, with the participation of 6th grade students. During the classroom visits, the young students presented prayers, hymns, and psalms, filling the hearts of the guests with pride as they observed the love and reverence of the children for our religious and cultural treasures.
The Prelate highly commended the Principal and faculty for their devotion to the education and instruction of our youth, and wished them a successful school year.
In his address to the students during the ensuing reception, His Eminence urged them to remain faithful to our values throughout their lives, and invited them to take a moment to think about the children in Syria going through difficult times, and to pray for their safety as they prepare to start a new school year. The visit concluded with a “Der Voghormya” prayer for peace, and the Prelate’s benediction. The students received color illustrated prayer cards recently published by the Prelacy, comprising a prayer to the Holy Virgin Mary by His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia.