On November 4, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians presided over a celebration dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Vaskenian Theological Academy at Lake Sevan. The celebration was held in the Pontifical Residence of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. Present for the celebration were AGBU Council of Trustees member and benefactor Karnig Yacoubian and his wife Anahit Yacoubian of Canada, AGBU President’s wife Mrs. Vera Setrakian, Mr. Vahram Nersissian of the Araratian Pontifical Diocese of Armenia, a member of the Supreme Spiritual Council, State representatives, Members of the Brotherhood of the Mother See, students of the Gevorkian and Vaskenian Seminaries and many guests. "The Academy is one of the great victories of the 20th century in our national life. For us the Academy is the past, the present and the future", Rev. Fr. Gevorg Saroyan, Dean of the Vaskenian Academy, stated in his speech. During these 20 years, the Academy has produced 142 graduates: 2 Bishops, 4 Archimandrites, 11 Reverend Fathers, 50 priests and 75 deacons. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the Armenian Pontiff extended his message of blessing. He extended his words of appreciation to the administrative and professorial staff, to the seminarians and to the graduates of the academy. "The mission of each spiritual institution is to train and educate the God-loving, Church-loving and patriot offspring. I should pray, ask and wish that our spiritual seminaries nurture priests who will justify the hopes of our nation and realize the oath which will glorify the name of His Holiness Vasken I of Blessed memory. May God send His blessings that the seminary keep the name and sacred memory of our beloved Pontiff vibrant", the Armenian Pontiff stated in part. His Holiness also extended his gratitude to Mr. and Mrs. Karnig Yacoubian, benefactors of the Spiritual Academy, who believed in the mission of the Academy and took the responsibilities of reconstructing the institution. During the ceremony there was a concert presented by the National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia; led by the artistic director and conductor Mr. Robert Mlkeyan. The choir of the Academy performed spiritual songs in honor of the occasion. A film called "Vaskenian Academy-20: The History of the Soul" produced by Shoghakat TV Studio was presented to the audience. The ceremony was closed with the Prayer.



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