Romanian Armenian community leader tours New York
Published: Wednesday June 20, 2012
New York - The Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America welcomed the visiting Primate of the Diocese of Romania, His Grace Bishop Datev Hagopian, last week. He took part in several community events, including a worship service, and met with diplomats in the company of Diocesan Primate Archbishop Khajag Barsamian.
At New York's St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral on Sunday, June 3, Bishop Hagopian celebrated the Divine Liturgy, before a substantial crowd which included many members of the local Romanian-Armenian community. Bishop Hagopian delivered a homily, and Archbishop Barsamian presided.
Afterwards, in the Diocesan Center's Haik and Alice Kavookjian Auditorium, Bishop Hagopian was the guest of honor at a luncheon reception organized by the New York metropolitan-area Romanian-Armenians.
Dr. Arthur Kubikian served as master of ceremonies for the day's program, which also included welcoming remarks by Mr. Bedros Givelekian.
Mr. Hagop Kouyoumdjian-who served as godfather at Bishop Hagopian's episcopal elevation in 2011-gave formal remarks introducing the guest of honor to the audience of around 175 people.
In his address, Bishop Hagopian spoke about current developments in the Romanian Diocese. Though he has only led the diocese since the autumn of 2010, Bishop Hagopian showed an impressive command of the centuries-long history of the Armenian communities of Romania. He has been energetic in preserving the treasures of the Armenian Christian presence in the country, with preparations underway for a celebration of the 500th anniversary of the restored Hagigadar Monastery in Suceava scheduled for this summer. His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, will preside over the ceremonies in August.
Archbishop Barsamian closed the Sunday program with his own congratulatory words to his brother bishop.
On Monday, June 4, Archbishop Barsamian hosted a luncheon in the tahlij of the Diocesan Center in New York for Bishop Hagopian and the United Nations ambassadors of Romania, Moldova, and Armenia.
In words to welcome the guests, Archbishop Barsamian conveyed good wishes to the people of Romania and Moldova, "whose long histories have given our own Armenian people an opportunity to live, prosper, and contribute-while allowing us to preserve our identity, and worship according to our traditions."
Attending the luncheon were Her Excellency Ambassador Simona-Mirela Miculescu of Romania; His Excellency Ambassador Vlad Lupan of Moldova, and his wife Mrs. Rodica Lupan; His Excellency Ambassador Garen Nazarian of Armenia, and his wife Mrs. Nana Nazarian; and Mr. and Mrs. Hagop and Ica Kouyoumdjian.
Bishop Datev Hagopian, a native of Mosul, Iraq, has studied at Holy Etchmiadzin's Gevorkian Seminary, and in his native land, Geneva, Switzerland, and Lyon, France. He served the church in Iraq, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands, and Armenia, prior to his appointment as Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Romania in 2010. He was elevated to the rank of bishop by the hand of His Holiness Karekin II in November of 2011.