By Florence Avakian
NEW YORK — On Sunday, April 7, Bishop Sahak Mashalian from the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul celebrated an Episcopal Badarak at St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral and delivered an inspiring sermon, delivered in both Armenian and English. Presiding over the occasion was Diocesan Primate the Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan.
His visit to America afforded an occasion to speak with Bishop Mashalian about his personal ministry and the state of the church in general.
A wise, respected, charismatic, deeply faithful, and compassionate clerical leader, Mashalian has served in his birthplace of Istanbul, in Jerusalem, and in Armenia as dean of the Gevorkian Theological Seminary. At present, he is the director of ecumenical and interfaith relations of the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople, and secretary of its Religious Council.
In his April 7 sermon, he paid tribute to the late Patriarch of Constantinople Archbishop Mesrob Mutafyan, who was mourned by Armenians worldwide. “I pray that we elect a worthy patriarch,” he declared.
Mashalian is himself one of six candidates to succeed the late Patriarch. An election to choose the next occupant of the patriarchal throne is scheduled to take place at the Istanbul Patriarchate following the 40-day mourning period for Patriarch Mutafyan, who passed away following a decade of illness and incapacitation.