A trip to Armenia wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, which is just where students from the AGBU Marie Manoogian Institute of Buenos Aires and members of the AGBU Montreal Venturers Scout Group headed this past Sunday.
Together with the students of the Toronto St. Sahag-Mesrob Saturday School, on July 22, 2012, the AGBU youth were welcomed to the Armenian Church’s headquarters by His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians. Local clergy introduced the group to the Pontiff, who bestowed his blessing and best wishes, praising them for connecting with their cultural heritage and their values.
After meeting with His Holiness, the students joined the celebration of the Divine Liturgy in Etchmiadzin and visited the Mother See’s museums. Though many of the Marie Manoogian students were visiting the complex for the first time, it was immediately recognizable – for months, they have been reading about the ancient site in preparation for the trip. As in years past, the school organized weekly community dinners at the AGBU center in Buenos Aires to fundraise for the annual two-week trip.
For the Venturers, the tour was even more familiar. In 2010, many members of the 12-person team arrived in Armenia with over $50,000 in donated funds, and boundless enthusiasm, ready to participate in a transformative community service project: building houses for the victims of the devastating 1988 earthquake, which has left many families still homeless today. Now, the scouts are back in Vanadzor, where they’re spending three weeks getting their hands dirty and breaking new ground on a new endeavor.
To stay updated on all of the AGBU Montreal Venturers’ great work, visit their blog: http://agbumontrealventurers.wordpress.com/