On Sunday 7 September 2014, his Holiness Aram I presided over the Holy Liturgy and addressed the faithful at the Church of the Holy Cross in Washington DC. Archbishop Oshagan, Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Orthodox Church of America, celebrated the Liturgy after welcoming His Holiness and explaining the purpose of his presence in Washington to the congregation.
The last time the Catholicos had visited Washington was when he was a graduate student at Fordham University. He thanked the Archbishop, greeted the faithful and expressed his joy at being with the community after so many years. In his message, he told the faithful that “Christian faith is the foundation of Christian life and is central to the teachings and miracles of Jesus.” He added that Jesus transformed the meaning and purpose of faith.” He went on to point out that according to the Bible, Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and Life, no one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:16). “To follow Jesus,” said His Holiness, “means discipleship, giving up everything and following him. Faith in Christ is the source of life; whoever lives a Christian life will be courageous before the challenges of the world.”
Referring to Armenians, the Catholicos said, “with this assurance our people lived their faith. Armenians were not only the first to accept Christianity as national religion, they also shed their blood for their faith; as the ancient historian wrote, faith for Armenians is like the ‘their skin.’ His Holiness then added that for this reason, in the 5th century, when the enemy wanted us to give up our faith, our people said, “no power in this world can take us away from our faith. “This commitment to the faith,” he added, “has sustained our people throughout history.” The Catholicos then urged the people to remain faithful to their faith and their Church.
In the end His Holiness spoke of 2015, the 100th anniversary commemoration of the Genocide and asked all Armenians to unite and demand justice from Turkey for the one-and-a-half-million victims and the restoration of the rights of the survivors with one voice.
The Ambassador of Armenia, the representative of Karabakh and a member of the Church Council were among the people who attended the Sunday Liturgy.
After the Liturgy his holiness Aram I held meetings with Archbishop Oshagan, the Church Council members and members of the Armenian Genocide Committee.