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Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), ordained Dn. Vahe Bagdasarian and Dn. Saro Kalayjian to the holy priesthood last weekend in an inspiring service at St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral in New York City.

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A group of 29 young adults from parishes across the Eastern Diocese traveled to the Holy Land from June 6 to June 14. The sixth annual Youth Leadership Pilgrimage to the Holy Land was led by the Rev. Fr. Hovsep Karapetyan, pastor of St. Mary Church of Washington, DC, and Arpi Nakashian, a recent graduate of St. Nersess Armenian Seminary and a Jerusalem native.

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It was only two weeks ago that we thrilled to a majestic vision of humanity and peace; of humility and brotherly love; of respect and caring across nations and cultures. Such was the vision we received when we witnessed Pope Francis and Catholicos Karekin II striding side-by-side among the people of our homeland. When the Pope’s visit concluded, many of us closed our eyes with a deep hope that the world could be a better place under the gentle ministry of our Lord and Savior.

Two weeks later, we seem to have awakened in a very different world.

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“Even the greatest pain, transformed by the saving power of the Cross, can become a seed of peace for the future. Armenians are heralds and witnesses of this power.” The words belong to His Holiness Pope Francis, spoken in the course of his visit to Armenia last weekend.

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Thirteen current and former Central Council members from across the Armenian Church Youth Organization (ACYO) of the Eastern and Western Dioceses came together in late June at St. Nersess Seminary in Armonk, NY, for the 2016 ACYO North American Conference.

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