ECHMIADZIN — Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; presided during the solemn Ground Blessing service for the new Church in Dilijan, Diocese of Tavush.
The church will be built through the joint efforts of the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin, the Dilijan Municipality, Iniatives for Development of Armenia Foundation (IDeA), as well as the Dilijan Development Fund.
The benefactors of the Church construction project are Ruben Vardanian, Gagik Adibekyan, Maxim Atayants and Armen Karapetyan.
Following a traditional welcoming ceremony of offering salt and bread, Armen Mantrosyan, Mayor of Dilijan, and Artur Hakobyan, director of the Dilijan Development Fund; gave opening remarks.
Following their remarks, Bishop Bagrat Galstanyan, Primate of the Diocese of Tavoush; welcomed Galstanyan expressed joy that after a long historical break, Dilijan will receive a new sanctuary.
The catholicos then offered the service of Ground Blessing. Led by the catholicos, the clergy prayed for the strength and vibrancy of the newly built church. At the conclusion of the service, he addressed the people in attendance.
“Today, with a joyful spirit, we offered the Ground Blessing Service for the Church of Dilijan. For centuries, through the efforts of our pious fathers, ecclesiastical structures and places of prayer have been established in all areas of Armenia, for providing spiritual care and comfort to the faithful Armenians, and for keeping the communication with God always awake and alive”, said His Holiness.
The Catholicos of All Armenians noted that the newly built Church will bring new divine heavenly blessings to the residents of Dilijan and will brighten their spiritual and ecclesiastical life.
Referring to the important mission of the Church in the life of man, Karekin II added: “The Church is the initiator of our mission; to live according to God’s will and commandments, to stay away from sin and evil, and to increase pious patriotic works in our national and ecclesiastical life.”
Karekin II, expressed his appreciation to the benefactors of the church, through whose efforts many programs are being implemented. He expressed his personal appreciation to Vardanyan, a member of the Supreme Spiritual Council See, who constantly supports the efficient implementation of the mission of the Armenian Church and the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin through good initiatives. He stressed that a number of patriotic and church-building initiatives bear Vardanyan’s name: the establishment of the Dilijan International School, the renovation of the St. Gevork Church in Georgia, the reconstruction of the Monastery of Tatev and the 100 Lives Program, launched on the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
He conveyed his appreciation to the Governor of Tavush, Mayor of Dilijan, and the attendees, for visibly supporting the mission of the Church, and expressed his wish that the Lord supports all those who are going to invest their efforts in the pious initiative of Church building.
The choir and dance group of the Dilijan Community Center, and the Artistic School Dance Group of Dilijan gave performances.
During his visit to the Diocese of Tavush, His Holiness was accompanied by Archbishop Yezras Nersisyan, Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Nor Nakhijevan and Russia; Bishop Arshak Khachatryan, Chancellor of the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin; Bishop Hovnan Hakobyan, Grand Sacristan of the Mother See; His Grace Bishop Vardan Navasardyan, director of the Christian Education Center of the Mother See; Rev. Shahe Ananyan, director of the Ecumenical Relations Department of the Mother See; Rev. Aghan Yernjakyan, staff bearer to the catholicos; Rev. Vahram Melikyan, director of the Information Services Department of the Mother See, and. Gabriel Chemberdjian, benefactor of the Mother See.