SYDNEY — On February 1, Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, arrived on a pontifical visit to the Armenian Diocese of Australia and New Zealand.
The Catholicos of All Armenians was welcomed at the airport in Sydney, Australia by Diocesan Primate Bishop Haikazoun Najarian, clergy of the Diocese; diocesan and parish as well as about 20 representatives of Armenian organizations.
On February 2, the “Hrashapar” service was held in the Holy Resurrection Church in Sydney. In front of the church, the Catholicos was welcomed by the clergy, members of diocesan and parish councils, choirs, schoolchildren and scouts with processional banners, flags and welcome posters.
Following the Salt and Bread service, under the singing of the hymns, Karekin II solemnly entered the church where more than 400 faithful were waiting for the blessed visit of the Armenian pontiff. Blessing the pious Armenians, he ascended to the Holy Altar, where the church worship service was held.
Following the service, Najarian, Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Australia and New Zealand, welcomed the Catholicos of All Armenians and invited to convey his Pontifical blessings to the attending faithful.
In his comments, the Catholicos said, “Throughout the ages, our people have faced challenges and trials, and as a result of the Genocide spread all over the world, but in every place, according to the Apostle’s order, have remained loyal to God, endured hardships and through praiseworthy deeds raised his life. As in the Armenian communities throughout the world, here in Australia also, the history of the Armenian community has become an overcoming of trials, creation of new successes, a glorious testimony to the Motherland, our Holy Church and our spiritual center, the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin.