On May 15, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; and Mrs. Rita Sargsyan, First Lady of the Republic of Armenia; visited the “Mer Hooys” Nakashian Children’s Home. His Holiness was accompanied by His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America; His Eminence Archbishop Natan Hovhannisyan, Head of the Monastic Council of the Catholicosate of All Armenians an Director of the Publishing Department of the Mother See; and Mrs. Hasmik Boghosyan, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Armenia.
Under the sponsorship of the “Our Hope” Armenian charitable organization of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church in USA and individual benefactors, 15 teenagers from socially disadvantaged families, ranging in age from 13 to 16, are now being hosted in the center, where they receive professional guidance and social assistance.
During the visit, the Catholicos of All Armenians and the First Lady of the Republic of Armenia were accompanied by Mr. Mihran Mirijanyan, Director of the Center, who gave them a guided tour of the center, and provided information on the program and living conditions for the children.
His Holiness and Mrs. Sargsyan met the young members of the center who talked about their daily routine and goals. After an earnest exchange, the teens presented an artistic performance where they sang national and religious songs and recited their own poems.
Expressing his appreciation to the First Lady for visiting the Nakashian Children’s Home, His Holiness noted that her much anticipated visit brought joy to the children and that Mrs. Sargsyan’s warmth and love would always remain imprinted on their hearts.
At the end of the visit Mrs. Sargsyan presented gifts to all the teens, speaking with each one of them individually.
His Holiness and the First Lady then visited the Arabkir Youth Center which was nearby, where Father Komitas Hovnanyan, Chairman of the Organizing Committee and Director of the Armenian Church Youth Centers, presented the activities of the youth centers, which are under the sponsorship of the Mother See and the Armenian General Benevolent Union. The students of the youth center welcomed the Catholicos of All Armenians and the First Lady of the Republic of Armenia, performing national dances.
In his remarks, the Primate stated that while on his second visit to “Mer Hooys” Nakashian Home, he was inspired by the artistic talent and the creativity of the children.
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