On July 2, with the blessings of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; and under the presidency of His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America and Director of the Pan Armenian Church Youth Organization (ACYO), the 3rd Pan-ACYO World Assembly was launched in the auditorium of the Vatche and Tamar Library of Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.
After the prayer “Wisdom of our Father Jesus”, Archbishop Hovnan gave opening and welcoming remarks and asked the youth before starting the meeting to commemorate the victims of the Armenian Genocide with a minute of silence.
Archbishop Hovnan addressed his speech to the 99 youth delegates representing the Hierarchical Sees of the Armenian Church and the Dioceses, and reflected on the mission of the ACYO and its achievements over the past 15 years, calling the youth - Ambassadors of modern times, and urged them to continue the mission of the Armenian Church.
“Glory to Almighty God that once again He has led us to the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, where the Armenian Church was founded, and all of us have the honor to be her children. We have no doubt that all of you are here as a testimony of your faith, as you are committed to be a humble servant of the Armenian Church. The Pan-ACYO is not a new structure as it was dedicated during the celebrations marking the 1700th anniversary of Armenia's adoption of Christianity, starting the life of Armenians. Over the past ten years this movement has spread within all diocesan and pastoral structures.
Undoubtedly, we still have a long road ahead to strengthen the foundations of this structure. “We are the Church”… Let this be the motto of our life and mission: Preaching the word of God is the Church's mission. And ACYO is the structure that keeps the leaders of tomorrow in its ranks. Therefore, it is necessary that we be organized in a spiritual and administrative sense so that our Holy Church will always be a life transmitting presence. …You must confirm your faith and trust in God. This is our message, addressed to the youth of the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church. When we connect our faith and hope with God, then we strive to live a perfect life, which is filled and developed by the Gospel of Jesus, His preached doctrine of love, His life example, and His every word leads our life towards wisdom. Your goal is to become a good example for the youth. Your are our Church’s hope for tomorrow but in order for your children to one day have a solid house of prayer, you must become tomorrow's spiritual architect of the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church”, stressed Archbishop Hovnan.
Rev. Fr. Paruyr Shernezyan, Director of the Youth Department of the Great House of Cilicia, conveyed the blessings and best wishes of His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia. Expressing gratitude for the invitation, in his remarks Father Paruyr referred to the importance of the youth’s involvement inside the church life and the carried work with the youth by the Catholicisate structures.
During the three-day Assembly, discussions will be held concerning the ACYO general guidelines, inter-diocesan cooperative projects, and future iniatives of the orgnization. The young delegates will give presentations by Diocese, presenting the activities of the ACYO chapters inside their dioceses.