By the mercy of God–once again we are preparing to celebrate the life-giving feast–the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
God revealed His immense love towards humanity through the birth of the New King in a manger in Bethlehem–who is the Savior of our souls. The Armenian Apostolic Church calls this wondrous incarnation "Great and deep mystery." We read in the Gospel–"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son–that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
In spite of certain difficulties–in the year 2002–our people in Armenia lived peacefully and recorded many new achievemen’s. It is our wish that our free and independent Armenia be prosperous and establish a normal life once again.
The Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin–under the wise leadership of His Holiness Karekin II–Catholicos of All Armenia’s–continues its religious–educational and national mission. A great number of Clergymen were ordained in Armenia–who now serve our people with dedication and enthusiasm.
The Armenia’s all over the world and especially at the Mother See are preparing to celebrate the 1700th Anniversary of the building of the Mother Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin. These celebrations will be special occasions for spiritual rejoicing and for the renewal of our faith–as well as for the Christian world who will be participating in these celebrations.
The year 2002–became a period of spiritual renewal and progress for the Western Diocese and our Parishes. The construction works of the Diocesan Dickranian Complex have been proceeding according to schedule. We are glad to inform you that the construction of the Nazareth and Sima Kalaydjian Hall; Varnum and Dr. Barre Paul Galleria; Armen and Gloria Hampar Official Reception Hall–Arakel and Shak Aghasarkisian Library have been completed. The construction of the arch-domed Armenian style Main Entrance of the Diocese is underway. The construction activities of the Mother Church are being planned with much enthusiasm.
On this special occasion of the Holy Nativity–let us pray for the peace of the world–for the security and strengthening of Armenia and Karabagh. Moreover–let us also pray for the peace of the Holy Land and the safety of the Dominical Holy Places.
It is our prayers and wishes that the newly born Savior always dwell within our hearts and guide us all with His wisdom.
On the occasion of New Year and the Holy Nativity–we congratulate His Holiness Karekin II–Catholicos of All Armenia’s wholeheartedly–with best wishes of health and longevity. We also congratulate the Honorable Robert Kocharian–President of the Republic of Armenia; the Honorable Arkady Ghoukassian–President of Karabagh; the leaders of the Governmen’s of Armenia and Karabagh and our entire compatriots. We also wish that the life-giving graces of the newly born Saviour be bestowed abundantly upon the United States of America and upon the President and his family.
We send our Fatherly Greetings of love and blessings to the Clergy of the Western Diocese–Diocesan and Parish Organizations and to our entire faithful.
With the spirit of the Holy Nativity and with spiritual joy let us greet one another–saying–"Great Tidings to us all,"CHRIST IS BORN AND REVEALED; BLESSED IS THE REVELATION OF CHRIST." With Fatherly Blessings, Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian–Primate