THE PAIN CAUSED BY THE BIG LOSS OF “STRONG SHEPHERD…GOOD SHEPHERD…”
Tue, 21 Apr 2020

A year after his death, a monologue with His Eminence Father Kevork Yeghiayan.



Dear Father, not believing in the sad game of fate, I try to look up at the sky for a moment and shout. “Almighty God, why did you choose your faithful servant as your new victim ... did you not know that he still had dreams, plans to fulfill, and prayers and rituals to dedicate to you ... so why did you rush to enrich your environment?”



I know that we cannot question your strength and will, we are not expressing dissatisfaction, but he has been your sage servant, who devoted his life to you, to the church, to the nation and he has become an exemplary person by his God-pleasing deeds, an exemplary clergyman and a beloved person from everyone.



Dear Holy Father, when I wanted to take my pen to start writing, my fingers froze for a moment... my thoughts involuntarily took me back ... three or four decades ago, when I met you not long ago, when you were appointed as a young priest in Damascus, bringing a new breath, new life and vitality to your community. It would never be possible to evaluate in words your contribution to the community. The people of Damascus are very well aware of the honest and valuable deeds you have done. I honestly admired your diligence, your energy, your unique initiative to serve and dedicate yourself. It was through your diligent work that the secondary cycle of the Armenian Catholic School in Damascus was granted the State permit, which you achieved with your own efforts, with great sacrifices ... the school where thousands of teenagers and young people grew up.



Due to your administrative ability to create and lead, you gathered hundreds of mixed-gender young people around you and, thanks to your organizational strength, created a clean and warm social environment, arousing the envy of many. Dear Father, it was during those years that you wished that I join the teaching staff of the Armenian Catholic Paros Secondary School to teach Armenian language and literature, besides my position as chancellor in the Armenian Apostolic Prelacy.



We have worked together for about five or six years, with the intimacy of brothers. Then, by divine order, you said goodbye and left Damascus, and I saw you in Lebanon when you took over the management of Mesrobian School. It was a joy for me to see my old and valuable friend in such an important position, which you performed with all your consciousness, success, conscience and zeal. When I visited Mesrobian High School one day and saw the work being carried out, I wrote an article in the press entitled "A Europe on the Heart of Bourj Hammoud" about my admiration and impression. This story dates back twenty years.



At the same time, assessing me as a public speaker, you wanted me to deliver a speech on the occasion of “Vartanants” feast in Hovhannes Boghossian Theater Hall, in the presence of a large crowd. I fulfilled your wish, for which you were very happy and proud. You even suggested that I put my pedagogical knowledge to good use within Mesrobian, to take on an important position. However, at the same time I took over the presidency of the AGBU Regional Committee. You were happy and proud of my new position.



Our strong friendship was the reason we often met and clarified our views or shared concerns, often focusing on urgent national issues. After your success in Mesrobian, you were transferred one day to Bzommar Monastery by divine order. Father Kevork, the builder and innovator, was there again at the forefront of work and progress. He did not know how to stop. It was impossible to tie his hands ... In a short time, you turned Bzommar Monastery into an important place of pilgrimage, endowed it with constructions and cared for it like the apple of your eye, sometimes tolerating even "the defects" on the way to innovation. This is life, Father... they stone the fruit tree ... even sometimes ruthlessly ... I am very familiar with this philosophy.



One day ... dear Father Kevork, you said goodbye to Lebanon as well ... and went beyond the Atlantic ... Some were happy ... many were sad. I can assure you that your work as a patriotic Armenian and hard-working clergyman was greatly appreciated by everyone, because you were exceptional. You went to Canada ... but when you left, your fingerprints showed the breadth and capacity of your dedicated work.



Nevertheless, dear Father, a few years later, Lebanon called you back, and you rejoiced the ones who love you when you took over the responsible position of parish priest at the St. Yeghia Armenian Catholic Church in Downtown Beirut.



There also, you were exceptional with your diligence, enlightening the Holy Church and its surroundings.



Your presence as a clergyman, intellectual, preacher and public speaker always adorned the altars of churches and the stages of associations’ events, when as a brave pastor, you enlightened the minds with your courageous church-loving, patriotic and religious expressions, and comforted the souls, and supported the needy families as a true caring father.



Let us not forget your knowledge of Arabic. We felt honored and proud of your presence and attitude.



Dear Holy Father, we have hoped that your triumphant journey, your activity would continue, but the unfortunate fate suddenly showed its black face and beat down the huge oak tree, causing deep mourning to your family, your relatives, spiritual brothers and hundreds of friends who did not reconcile with this untimely arrangement of the providence.



Dear Father, I still have many words and memories to write ... but forgive me for considering my modest lines enough for today. Please accept my humble writing as incense and prayer, addressed to your bright and immortal memory. May you rest in peace, dear Father.



 



HAMPIG MARDIROSSIAN



 



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