AGBU Summer Interns Visit Diocesan Center

12 July 2012

By Maral Firkatian Wozniak
Close to 30 participants in the AGBU New York Summer Internship Program visited the Manhattan headquarters of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), where they enjoyed dinner with Diocesan Primate Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, on Wednesday evening, July 7.

The young people were led on a tour of St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral by the Diocesan Vicar, the Very Rev. Fr. Simeon Odabashian. Fr. Odabashian spoke about the cathedral's history and explained the significance of its glass stained windows, khachkars, and sculpted bronze doors.

Archbishop Barsamian welcomed the interns to the tahlij, the formal reception room of the Diocese, where they enjoyed a traditional Armenian meal. He described the Diocese's recent youth pilgrimage to Jerusalem and stressed the central role the Armenian Church has played in the lives of the Armenian people for centuries. He encouraged the young guests to be mindful of that heritage and to safeguard it for future generations.
"Anywhere you go in the world, if you find an Armenian church, you can feel at home," he said.
Interns then had an opportunity to ask questions and to engage in a warm and open discussion with the Primate. "He was entertaining, knowledgeable, and seemed really interested not only in us, but in our thoughts and opinions about the Armenian Church," said intern Peter Kechichian.
"It was a really nice opportunity to have an open and comfortable dialogue with one of the leaders of the Armenian Church," added Taline Gettas.
This year's AGBU interns have traveled to New York from different parts of the globe, including Australia, Argentina, Brazil, England, France, Lebanon, and Russia, as well as from different regions of the United States. They are spending the summer working in their respective fields of study and taking part in cultural and educational activities organized by the AGBU. Among them are two interns serving at the Diocesan Center.  
Directing the AGBU program is Michael Hovsepian, with Mariana Mekbekian and Nicole Zabounian serving as the activities coordinators.
—Maral Firkatian Wozniak is interning with the Fund for Armenian Relief