NEW YORK — The Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, Karekin II, presided over the monthly meeting of the Diocesan Council — the administrative body which governs the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, on Friday, January 21.
Diocesan Primate Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, in his role as president of the Diocesan Council, welcomed the catholicos to the Diocesan Center and expressed his thanks for the opportunity to share the vision and thoughts of the leader of the worldwide Armenian Church.
Oscar Tatosian, Diocesan Council chair, expressed his gratitude to the catholicos for his leadership and pledged the Diocese’s continued support to him for his ongoing ministry to the church in its homeland of Armenia and across the globe.
Catholicos Karekin II had arrived in theUnited States earlier in January, to meet privately with community leaders.
During the January 21 luncheon meeting, the Diocesan Council offered its warm good wishes for Karekin II’s continuing leadership of the church. Barsamian informed the council that the present year would mark the catholicos’ 60th birthday, and that the Supreme Spiritual Council had agreed to observe the milestone by launching a worldwide endowment fund to help benefit the education of future clergy. The council members pledged to contribute to this effort, and organize suitable events in the Eastern Diocese.
In the last decade, 300 deacons have been ordained to the holy priesthood and there are plans to open a new seminary in Armenia this year. Each year, several newly-ordained priests are invited to intern in the Eastern Diocese, where they work closely with experienced parish pastors and become better acquainted with parish life in the United States, in preparation for future service as full-time pastors in the Eastern Diocese.