On Monday, Jan. 6, Bagramian Hall in Montebello was abuzz with Christmas cheer as six hundred Prelacy sponsors and supporters had gathered to celebrate the Birth and Theophany of our Lord Jesus Christ at the Prelate’s New Year and Christmas Dinner, Asbarez reports.
Presided over by Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, the annual dinner has become a beloved tradition within the community, bringing together members of the extended Prelacy family for an evening of festivity filled with warmth, love, and good cheer.
The event is the undertaking of the Religious and Executive Councils and is organized by the Prelacy Ladies Auxiliary. This year’s dinner was hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Eddie and Talin Amroyan, who also hosted the event last year.
The guests watched the video message by His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia. The Catholicos first conveyed New Year and Christmas well wishes to the Prelate and guests and commended the devoted service of the Prelate Councils, and volunteers to our church and nation. He then spoke of the New Year and Christmas season as a time for introspection both in our individual and collective lives, and a time for renewal given that the earthly mission of Christ was the restoration and renewal of mankind. His Holiness also reflected on the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, advising “for reassessment and renewal to become the guiding principals of our lives and for preparations for the Armenian Genocide centennial to acquire an important place on the agenda of our church and community in the course of this year.”
The Catholicos took the opportunity to share a few thoughts with the youth. First, he stressed that life is a gift from God and it must be sustained by spiritual and moral values and with a clear vision, otherwise it becomes a life with no meaning and importance. Therefore, we must make our life a purpose-driven life by articulating in our actions those values, principles, and ideals which constitute our Armenian Christian identity, said Aram I.
Second, the Pontiff spoke of the pivotal importance of youth participation in our church and community, stating “our youth don’t belong at the periphery of our life. They are all to participate actively in the life of our church and community and should assume an important role in all spheres and at all levels of our church and community life.”
During dinner, guests enjoyed a cultural program of instrumental music by the “Donagan” Band, songs by Gevorg Tchakmanyan, Vahakn Hovents accompanied on the piano by Armenouhi Terteryan, and a performance by students of Lilia Dance Studio. Throughout the evening guests also enjoyed a slideshow of the Prelacy’s endeavors in the past year.
The program concluded with the Prelate’s message. The Prelate began by thanking God for granting another year and opportunity for the Prelacy family to come together to exchange felicitations to one another on the Birth and Theophany of our Lord. He wished for the New Year to be filled with an abundance of health, happiness, and prosperity for all, and for the Christmas message and promise of love and hope to remain the guiding light of our lives, and an inspiration to live in His holy example. The Prelate then presented some highlights from the previous year, including Sunday School activities, new pastor assignments, new publications, participation in the historic Bishop’s Synod in Etchmiadzin, among others.
The Prelate thanked the members of the various Prelacy committees for their service and the sponsors for their contributions to the realization of the Prelacy’s endeavors. He expressed gratitude to the evening’s hosts Mr. and Mrs. Eddie and Talin Amroyan for their generous sponsorship for the second year, to Mrs. Tina Carolan, the Carolan Family Foundation, and the Khachaturian Family for their continued benevolence, and to Forest Lawn for their donation to establish the Prelacy Good Samaritan Fund. The Prelate also commended the members of Prelacy Schools for their commitment to the intellectual and emotional development of our youth, and thanked school sponsors, specifically the Dream Fund, for their generous support. Speaking of school sponsors, the Prelate announced that he had special news to share. The hall erupted in applause as His Eminence announced that Prelacy and community benefactors Mr. and Mrs. Hakob and Hilda Baghdassarian had undertaken the sponsorship of ChamlianSchool’s new gym with a donation of $250,000. In conclusion, the Prelate commended the service of the Religious and Executive Councils and all affiliated bodies, and wished for the endeavors of the coming year to proceed smoothly guided by the Christmas tidings of love, harmony, and goodwill.