Diocese of the Armenian Church of Australia & New Zealand
10 Macquarie Street
Chatswood NSW 2067
Contact: Laura Artinian
Tel: (02) 9419-8056
Fax: (02) 9904-8446
Email: [email protected]
10 June 2009
PRIMATE MEETS WITH THE ARMENIAN COMMUNITY OF AUCKLAND
The Armenian Community of Auckland in New Zealand welcomed His Eminence
Archbishop Aghan Baliozian, Primate of the Diocese of Australia & New
Zealand over the Queen’s Birthday June long-weekend. Accompanying the
Archbishop was Reverend Father Bartev Karakashian from the Church of Holy
Resurrection in Sydney.
The arrival of the Archbishop and Reverend Father on Friday, 5th June was
met by committee members of the Armenian Society of New Zealand and the
Parish Priest of the Indian Orthodox Church of Auckland.
The annual visit of the Primate, which is normally reserved solely for the
Armenians of Auckland, included a different dimension on this occasion as he
met with the parish of the Indian Orthodox Church. As sister churches, ties
within our region of the world have particularly strengthened over the past
year with increased fraternal visits and opportunities for engagement. In
February, Archbishop Baliozian was invited to India as a guest speaker at
the Platinum Celebration of the Feast of St Geevarghese Mar Dionysius
Vattasseril, the faith father of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church who
fought for the establishment of the Catholicate to be the symbol of
self-identity and independence of the Church.
In the evening of their arrival, a small community gathering was held to
welcome the Archbishop and Father Bartev in a warm casual atmosphere. The
following day commenced with a visit to the local cemetery to bless the
graves and offer prayers for the souls of the dearly departed Armenians of
On Saturday evening the official dinner was held in honour of the Primate’s
visit where community members gathered to show their hospitality and share
an evening of traditional Armenian fare, conversation, laughter and cheer.
Sunday 7th June, Archbishop Baliozian visited the parish of the Indian
Orthodox Church where he gave a message on the significance of maintaining
the traditions of faith and embracing our cultures, most importantly
perpetuating these values onto future generations.
The same afternoon the Armenian community gathered at St Peter’s Anglican
Church in Takapuna for the Divine Liturgy offered by Reverend Father Bartev
Karakashian accompanied by the local choir conducted by Deacon Margos
Iskenderian. The sermon was given by Archbishop Baliozian whose message
focussed on how faith makes us live and how the faith founded in the Mother
See of Holy Etchmiadzin has preserved for all these centuries.
Following Holy Mass the congregation gathered in the church hall for a final
opportunity to engage with the Archbishop and enjoy a community gathering
which evoked high spirits in recreating a little Armenia.
Archbishop Baliozian and Father Bartev returned to Australia on Monday after
a fulfilling weekend of pastoral duties and deriving warm relationships.