In 2007, His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian was appointed by His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians to lead the formation an international ACYO. Since then, tremendous strides have been made to bring the Armenian youth closer to God by creating an unbreakable bond with Holy Etchmiadzin, the spiritual center of the Armenian people. In the words of Archbishop Derderian, “the purpose of the Pan-ACYO is to lead Armenian young people to God, to the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, to the homeland and to a life filled with faith and Christian morals. The mission of the Pan-ACYO is to help the youth establish their life in dialogue with God and on paths leading to our Savior.
The result of our efforts will be the creation and prosperity of the Armenian family. The path will be to transform our homeland and Holy Etchmiadzin into the starting point of our life and the Armenian family into the anchor of our existence.”
The inaugural Assembly of the Pan-Armenian Church Youth Organization convened in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin in July 2008 under the presidency of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians. More than 130 young men and women, representing 35 dioceses and pastorates of the worldwide Armenian Church, participated in the first assembly.
One hundred fifty young delegates from around the world participated in the second Pan-ACYO Assembly which has held in July 2011 in Tsakhkadzor, Armenia.
Earlier this year, the Primate traveled to Europe where he presided over regional conferences in Romania, Germany and Italy.
Among the topics of discussion included the final draft of the ACYO By-Laws and the ACYO budget, inter-Diocesan relations between the Dioceses of Armenia and the Diaspora, the establishment of ACYO Sister-Diocese and the preservation of the Armenian identity in Europe, which at the directive of Archbishop Derderian would allow ACYO representatives from the Dioceses across Europe to develop a program by autumn 2016 aimed at strengthening the Armenian identity.
Preparations are under way for the Third Pan-ACYO Assembly which will be held at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin from July 1-5, 2015 under the presidency of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.