Bishop Daniel Findikyan’s visit to the St. Gregory the Illuminator Church in Binghamton, NY, on August 25 marked a special “homecoming” for the Diocesan Primate. Binghamton was the parish of his youth, where he first developed his interest in the Armenian Church and felt the call to serve. While he had been back many times to celebrate badarak there, this was the first time he did so as a bishop of the church.
This significance of the day was deeply felt by many local parishioners, as they saw a lifelong friend enter the sanctuary to the hrashapar hymn. Accompanying the bishop was a retinue of deacons from throughout the region, including St. Gregory’s long-serving deacon Hagop Injajigian, and its young altar servers Paul Sarkisian and Haroutune Kerjilian.
In his sermon, Bishop Daniel recalled coming to the St. Gregory Church for the first time at the age of 14, and noted the place he sat in the back of the sanctuary. He remarked on the unlikelihood of the journey that brought that teenaged boy back to the parish as a bishop. But citing the angel’s words of assurance to the expectant Virgin Mary—“With God, nothing shall be impossible”—the Primate challenged the Binghamton parish and small churches like it to strive to attain the impossible, with God’s help.
At a banquet honoring Bishop Daniel, parish children offered a special welcome, jazz violinist Armen Boyajian performed, and longtime church organist Adrienne Kachadourian re-read the farewell message she had written to Bishop Daniel in his youth, when he had left Binghamton to begin his journey in service to the Armenian Church. As a reminder of those beginnings, the parish presented the Primate with a painting of the Binghamton church.
To view a gallery of photos, click here.