On Sunday, November 11, with the blessing of His Grace Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate, around 45 parishioners from Saint Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church in North Andover, Mass., traveled to New York City. Led by pastor, Rev. Fr. Stephan Baljian, they attended Divine Liturgy at Saint Illuminator's, where they were warmly welcomed by Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian and the entire Cathedral community.
A luncheon followed in Pashalian Hall. Both Der Hayrs had an opportunity to address those present. Der Mesrob welcomed the pilgrims from North Andover on behalf of the Prelate, the Board of Trustees and the entire community. He also remarked that the 2018 National Representative Assembly that took place in North Andover earlier this year was one of the best he had attended in all his years as a priest.
In his remarks, Der Stephan warmly greeted the Prelate, Der Mesrob, the Board of Trustees and all community organizations, and introduced several members of Saint Gregory's Board of Trustees that were present. On behalf of all, he thanked Der Mesrob and the community for opening their doors to them and for their warm hospitality. He reflected on Der Mesrob's role as an elder spiritual brother in his life, and that since the two fall next to each other in seniority, they can often be seen standing next to each other or walking side by side at official events. He expressed hope that they would also remain close spiritually in years to come as they serve the Lord together as fellow priests of the Armenian Church.
Following this, both the North Andover group and a small group from the Cathedral traveled to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see the acclaimed "Armenia!" exhibit. The travelers then returned home to Massachusetts, enriched and satisfied by the experience.