As the number of students enrolled at St. Leon Armenian Cathedral’s Little Angels Saturday School reaches 200, one this is definitely certain. The community values its culture and heritage. For centuries, the Armenian Church has been the center of the Armenian identity. In the Diaspora, the youth, in search of its roots, is learning the ancestral Armenian language.
For over five years, the “Little Angels Saturday School” of St. Leon Armenian Cathedral has been molding the essence of the Armenian identity. Operating under the auspices of the Western Diocese, Little Angels Saturday School employs a professional teaching staff who teach using the official textbooks prepared by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Armenia.
The school’s year-end ceremony was held at the Nazareth and Sima Kalaydjian Hall on Saturday, June 13. The school’s principal Dn. Hovhannes Gumruyan delivered the welcoming remarks and spoke briefly about the history, mission and accomplishments of Little Angels Saturday School.
In his pastoral message, the Primate commended the parents for their vital role in preserving the Armenian identity in the lives of their children. His Eminence encouraged the children and the youth to excel in their studies. “We are the heirs of an ancient language handed down to us by the Holy Translators. You have been entrusted to carry on their rich legacy. Learn it well as you are the future of the Armenian Apostolic Church.”
Archbishop Derderian expressed his wholehearted gratitude to Rev. Fr. Khajag Shahbazyan, the Pastor of the Cathedral for his pastoral guidance, to the School’s Principal Deacon Hovhannes Gumruyan for his leadership and to Dr. Ellie Antreassian, the Superintendent of the Saturday Schools of the Western Diocese for her professionalism and expertise.
To the delight of the audience, the students sang traditional Armenian songs and recited poems by famous Armenian poets.
Due to overwhelming demand, the School a sixth grade will be open for students in the upcoming school year.
Little Angels Saturday School Receives Top Prize
Earlier this year, the Ministry of the Diaspora, in collaboration with the World Armenian Congress and the Union of Armenians in Russia held an annual contest in Armenia’s capital Yerevan. The contest honors those institutions in the Diaspora with notable achievements in the preservation of the Armenian identity.
The purpose of the competition is to encourage the noble yet arduous mission of preserving and strengthening the Armenian identity abroad. This challenging goal includes the proper education of the Armenian language amongst other key factors which help
Contestants underwent a selective process. Institutions were judged based on their performances in four various categories. Fifteen countries including (Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Syria, Lebanon, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, German, Spain, Argentina and the United States of America) were represented in the competition. Of the ninety-five institutions or organizations that had applied from the aforementioned countries, the Little Angels Saturday School of St. Leon Armenian Cathedral was honored with the top prize as Guardians of the Armenian Language (organization).
The Cathedral’s Saturday School was awarded a Certificate of Excellence, a souvenir trophy as well as a monetary prize.
The Very Rev. Fr. Ruben Zargaryan, a member of the Brotherhood of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin had accepted the top honor on behalf of the school.
Such distinguished honor and recognition is truly humbling and spiritually uplifting. It allows the administrative staff to fulfill its responsibilities with a renewed sense of dedication.
It is noteworthy that the school’s administrative staff wishes to add to the monetary prize and donate the sum to a remote region in Armenia for the purpose of educational advancement.