On July 15, 2012, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, welcomed in Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, young pilgrims from the Eastern and Western Dioceses of the Armenian Church of North America to the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. They were accompanied by their group leaders Rev. Fr. Hakob Gevorkian and Rev. Fr. Avedis Abovian.
At the beginning of the meeting the Reverend Fathers presented the youth to the Supreme Patriarch, informing His Holiness that with the blessings of the Diocesan Primates, His Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian and His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, youth from the Dioceses are visiting the Homeland every year for a pilgrimage. Additionally, within the programs "Christian Youth Mission to Armenia" (CYMA), they serve professional internships in regions of Armenia.
The youth group was welcomed and blessed by the Catholicos of All Armenians, who expressed his joy to the dioceses for the annual pilgrimages and for their willingness in bringing their service to the Homeland. In his remarks, His Holiness stressed the importance of such visits, noting that they energize and inspire the youth and provide an opportunity to personally see and experience their Homeland, by witnessing the centuries-old rich culture and sacred values.
The Pontiff of All Armenians extended His appreciation to the Diocesan leaders, for organizing such trips and for providing an opportunity to the Diasporan Armenian youth to discover their Homeland and identity. His Holiness expressed his confidence that as a result of the visit, the youth will return to their homes enriched spiritually, educated, and filled with enthusiasm.
Following the meeting the youth attended in the celebration of Divine Liturgy in the Mother Cathedral.