Wednesday, August 12, 2009

From the Armenian Church of Iraq- A visit to the Armenian Community of Kirkuk

In times of needs and difficulties, it is the duty of concerned shepherds to visit their flock. It is with this understanding that Archbishop Avak Asadourian, the Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Iraq, together with Mr. Baruir Hagopian, Chairman of the Diocesan Council, visited the Armenian Community of Kirkuk on 6 & 7 August, 2009. They were accompanyed by Deacon Sevan Palanjian, a theology student of our Diocese.
At the entrance of the city of Kirkuk they were met by Parish Council members who welcomed their guests in a befitting manner. Then His Eminence proceeded to the the Chaldean Diocese where he was hosted by His Grace Louis Sako, the Chaldean Archbishop of Kirkuk. Here they were met by Rev. Fr. Avedik Mardirosian, Parish Priest of the Armenian Community of Kirkuk. This arrangement was necessary for reasons of security.
In the afternoon, Avak Serpazan and Mr. Baruir Hagopian visited the parish house where they met with the priest and then with the parish council members. They discussed the many difficulties that are specific to the politics regarding the claim of the many groups concerning Kirkuk. Afterwads, His Eminence met with the Armenian Community at the Community Center where a special program was presented by the Sunday School Children and the Choir of St. Asdvadzadzin Church which included songs and poems.
After this presentation His Eminence addressed the community by exhorting them on the virtues of belonging ( badganeliutyoon) to the Armenian Race. Serpazan Hayr reminded his flock that as Armenians they have deep roots in the soil of history. He advised them to come together as often as they could in order to feel the presence of each other. Then Serpazan Hayr destowed gifts on all those who participated in the program. New graduates from different school levels were also recognized. The Armenian Community of Kirkuk is comprised of 90 families, some 350 faithful.
On Friday morning, August 7 His Eminence confirmed the rank of Tbir on 8 young men during the Divine Liturgy celebrated by Fr. Avedik. During this time 2 young men received the order of sub-deacon as well.
On this occasion Serpazan Hayr delivered the sermon and called upon the people to keep their church alive, radiant and flourishing by actively participating in her life. He congratulated the people for encouraging their children to take part in community and Church affairs. Serpazan recognized the efforts of Fr. Avedik in the above accomplishments.
Taking leave of the Armenian Community and their host, the Primate and the accompanying delegation returned to Baghdad in the afternoon.

PS/ Some photos by Vahe Avedisian are attached

Divan of the Diocese

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