From left, Dr. Armen Sarkissian, Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II and Haig Didizian

Opening of the Haig and Elza Didizian ‘Master’s School’ Youth Center of Yerevan 

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YEREVAN — On September 20, under the presidency of Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II; with the presence of Serzh Sargsyan, President of the Republic of Armenia; the opening ceremony was held for the Haig and Elza Didizian “Master’s School” Youth Center of Yerevan.

The Youth Center will be operating under the auspices of the See of Holy Echmiadzin, and has been renovated by the “Yerevan-My Love” Foundation. The center has been created to offer social, educational and cultural treatment for children with physical disabilities, refugee and displaced children, who are deprived of adequate care, and for those from socially vulnerable groups.

The event was attended by the members of the brotherhood of Echmiadzin, officials of the government of the Republic of Armenia; Taron Margaryan, mayor of Yerevan; Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) President Berge Setrakian; benefactors of the Mother See, AGBU members and other guests.

A symbolic red ribbon at the entrance of the center was cut by the Catholicos of All Armenians, Ambassador Armen Sarkissian, president of the “Yerevan-My Love” Foundation, and Haig Didizian (London, UK) benefactor of the Mother See.

Sarkissian, ambassador of Armenia to Great Britain and himself a benefactor of the Mother See, delivered opening remarks presenting the goals of the project, history of the institution and the important role of the Armenian Church in this initiative. Sarkissian expressed his gratitude to the president of the Republic of Armenia and the Catholicos of All Armenians for immediate assistance to the program, and thanked the primary benefactors Haig and Elza Didizian, and the over 150 friends who also supported the project.

Didizian made heartfelt remarks, expressing his joy to be involved in such a nation-wide program. The renowned benefactor noted with gratitude that the vision of the catholicos has become a reality and urged all to unite their efforts for the further successful implementation of the project.

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Under the presidency of the catholicos a special Blessing Service for the newly opened building was offered. At the conclusion of the service, the catholicos extended his message to those present.

“Since the establishment of the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church the most important part of her mission has been the educational enlightenment and the upbringing of children. Through this vision, in the Armenian national and ecclesiastical life, schools and colleges have been established which are the crown of the Armenian pedagogy and upbringing, where our children revered our enduring spiritual and national values and the glorious history of the Armenian people.

Two years ago, expressing a sincere desire to participate in the godly mission of education and upbringing of a new generation; Ambassador Sarkissian, pr0esented his proposal within the “Yerevan My Love” program, to renovate and complete this building to serve as a social- cultural rehabilitation center for children with physical disabilities.

Through the same sincere feelings, he re-constructed the park of Holy Echmiadzin, which is located by the St. Vartan and St. Hovhannes Baptistery of the Mother See that was built by his sponsorship. In this area a new cultural center is to be built in the future. And Ambassador Sarkissian is planning to build another educational center near the St. Hovhannes Church of Kond, Yerevan,” stated His Holiness.

Catholicos Karekin II expressed his appreciation to Armen and Nouneh Sarkissian, as well as Haig and Elza Didizian.

Catholicos Karekin II noted that in the personal history of the faithful Didizians, it is not their first beneficial initiative, and in appreciation for their additional benefaction; the newly renovated Center will be named in honor of Haig and Elza Didizian.

Extending His Pontifical love and greetings to all those present, the catholicos also expressed his appreciation to all the individuals and organizations who contributed to the opening of the center.

“There is nothing more gratifying than the fulfillment of a steadfast vision of our future, in the form of a dignified education of our younger generation. Educational centers and schools are the best guarantees for the building of the homeland, and preservation and maintenance of a national spirit,” he stressed, urging them to adhere to the mission of the upbringing of children, which for centuries has guided the Armenian Christian nation.

At the conclusion the Catholicos of All Armenians offered his prayer that Heavenly God keep the native educational centers vibrant and bright, as well as keep under His blessings the Homeland and the Armenian people worldwide.

Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, the guests toured the educational center and viewed the environment of the Center and talked to her first little visitors.

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