WASHINGTON — On Sunday, December 12, the Parish Council of St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church organized and hosted an event dedicated to the church’s 89th anniversary as well as the 50th year of the ordination of Archbishop Vicken Aykazian.
The program started with greetings from MC Avedis Seferian, welcoming remarks by Parish Council Chairwoman Shoghig Sahakian and an invocation by Archbishop Vicken Aykazian.
Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the US Lilit Makunts spoke next, expressing her gratitude to Archbishop Aykazian for his decades of service to his people in Armenia and the Diaspora.
The keynote speaker was the president and general secretary of the National Council of Churches, James Winkler, who highlighted Aykazian’s many contributions to Christian ecumenism, his knowledge of many languages, and familiarity with the many important personalities and religious places in Jerusalem. Winkler said Archbishop Aykazian has served the Armenian nation more than any political person by introducing its history, atrocities committed against it and the needs of the people living in Armenia and Karabakh through his work with many religious organizations in the US.
Many representatives from different religious communities spoke about him, including pastor of St. Mary Church Rev. Fr. Hovsep Karapetyan and several faculty members from the Catholic University of America, including dean and associate professor of Liturgical Studies/Sacramental Theology Very Rev. Mark Morozowich, Associate Professor of Church Dr. Robin Darling Young and Associate Professor of Liturgical Studies and Rev. Stefanos Alexopoulos.
Archbishop Aykazian is the ecumenical director of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), in which capacity he has served since 2000.