YEREVAN–The rededication of the church of Saint Kevork of Moughni which dates back to the 12th century–was held on October 8. The ceremony was officiated by Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenia’s His Holiness Karekin II.
The rededication was set to coincide with the Feast of St. George and it attracted many of the donors to this project from New York–New Jersey–Providence–Los Angeles–Washington–DC and other cities.
The Catholicos arrived at the outskirts of Moughni–and in a beautiful gesture–walked half a mile among the cheers of students and children of Moughni. At the gates of the monastery–His Holiness was welcomed by civil and religious authorities and governor of Arkadzotn region Hrayr Karabedian.
Renovation work was done within the monastery for a conference hall–library–and living quarters for monks. A fountain and gazebo were also added in the surrounding gardens. The garden is now also an open-air museum with khatchkars and stonework. "Some of the stones on display are 2500 years old," said Archbishop Ashjian.
A special area has been planted with orchard trees thanks to the Armenian Assembly’s Tree Project–and is dedicated to the late Catholicos Karekin I.
The library was donated by Sosie Khatchikian–in memory of her late husband Rouben Khatchikian; the gazebo was a gift from the Souren Papazian family in memory of the Kaghtzrahayiatz vank of Havav; and the century-old fountain was reconstructed by Dr. and Mrs. Aram Semerjian. Among other donors were the Prelacy’s Ladies’ guild–Silva Zadourian–Mr. and Mrs. Mourat Nersesian–Cezar Chekijian–Dr. and Mrs. Vahakn Aghbabian and many others.
At the end of the divine liturgy–the religious procession led by Archbishop Shahe Ajemian proceeded to the monastery courtyard were–together with Archbishop Mesrob Ashjian–the traditional "harissa" was blessed. Also–twelve cauldrons of the "keshkek" were distributed by the H.M.E.M. boy scouts who–in tradition–helped to maintain order.
The unforgettable day was concluded by a show–during which the local school children and the Maratouk dance group cheered up the crowd.
Special thanks are due to Mr. and Mrs. Vartkes Markarian of Providence–Rhode Island–who were in Armenia for the unveiling of the bust of the late Catholicos Karekin I of All Armenia’s in Holy Etchmiadzin. They also offered 1600 commemoration Crosses and also defrayed the costs of the "hokehatz" and the day-long programs.