On the occasion of the Blessed Holy Nativity and Theophany, the Governmental Relations Office of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of Canada is pleased to acknowledge receipt of the following congratulatory statements from the Honorable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism and the Honorable Robert Oliphant, Official Opposition Critic for Multiculturalism. We are heartened by their sincere sentiments of good wishes for this blessed season of the Armenian Orthodox Church calendar and recognize their kind gesture as a testament to our shared friendship.

In turn, we offer deepest compliments to the Hon. Jason Kenney and the Hon. Robert Oliphant and take the opportunity to express our immense and true appreciation for their ongoing support provided to our community. The Governmental Relations Office conveys heartfelt compliments for 2011, with sincere hopes for a New Year full of peace, hope and prosperity.

Honorable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism

OTTAWA – The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, issued the following statement on the celebration of Christmas by Armenian Orthodox Christians: “I am pleased to extend my very best wishes to Armenian Orthodox Christians as they celebrate Christmas today.

“For more than 1,700 years, Armenian Orthodox Christians have celebrated Christmas on January 6, a day that coincides with the Epiphany and commemorates both the birth and baptism of Christ.

“Christmas is a time of profound importance during which rich cultural and religious traditions are observed. Christmas is also a time marked by kindness and generosity when we are encouraged to act with compassion toward those less fortunate than ourselves.

“As we celebrate this holiday season, I wish you and yours a peaceful Christmastime as we give thanks for the many gifts that we have in our own lives and share those gifts with our families and communities.

“During this season of hope and joy, I also reflect on our great fortune in living in a country that embraces diversity and finds strength, stability, and unity in the coming together of the many cultures and faiths of the world.

“As Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, I offer my warmest wishes for a merry and blessed Christmas, and a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.”

Honorable Robert Oliphant, Liberal MP Official Opposition Critic for Multiculturalism

OTTAWA – The Rev. Dr. Robert Oliphant, M.P (Don Valley West) and Liberal Party Critic for Multiculturalism, extended greetings today to Armenian Orthodox Christians as they celebrate Christmas:

As Armenian Orthodox Christians gather to celebrate Christmas with family and friends on January 6, 2011, I offer them my warmest wishes.

Among the oldest of Christian communities, Armenian Orthodox adherents enjoy incredibly rich traditions observing the birth of Christ. As those of the western rite celebrate the Epiphany of Jesus, Armenian sisters and brothers honour the sacred birth of Jesus with glorious music, deep prayer, ancient liturgy and joyous family gatherings.

A glimpse of the richness of the Armenian Orthodox tradition was given to me in September of this past year. Among the highlights of my first trip to Armenia was a visit to the spiritual and administrative headquarters of the Armenian Church, the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. The solemnity and beauty of that place has provided me with a spiritual blessing throughout this fall. As you gather in parishes throughout Canada and the world to celebrate the nativity of Jesus, I hope that you gain strength from the knowledge of the continual expression of the Christian faith in that holy place this and every year.

During this season of hope, peace, joy and love, I celebrate with you the blessings we enjoy in Canada, a country made richer by the great diversity of its people, the generosity of its many faiths, and the strength of its many rich cultural traditions. Haygagan Sourp Dzenount is part of that wonderful mosaic that enriches all Canadians.

As the Official Opposition Critic for Multiculturalism I offer you my personal wishes for a very happy Christmas. Shenorhavor Sourp Dzenount!