Fr. Mesrop Ash
Fr. Mesrop Ash, was born on June 12, 1981 to Ralph and Jeanine Ash. His baptismal name was Matthew. Through his parents' dedicated service he was raised within the community of St. James Armenian Church of Los Angeles. His formative years were devoted to Sunday School, Armenian Church Youth Organization, and the Western Diocese Summer Camp. As a young adult he began transitioning to a leadership role within the life of the Church, and found outlets for service in Lay Ministry with the youth. During this time he developed skills which would later be of use in his ministry, working with the Armenian Assembly of America and studying in the field Organizational Communications. In 2005, with the support and blessing of the Primate, His Eminence Abp. Hovnan Derderian, he was accepted as a Candidate to the Priesthood for the Western Diocese and subsequently served as Diocesan Youth Director for two years.
In 2006, he was ordained to the Order of the Diaconate by Abp. Derderian. In 2008, he married his dear wife Ani, who has ardently supported him throughout their long journey to the Holy Priesthood. In 2009, with the blessing of the Primate, Abp. Hovnan Derderian, and His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, he began his studies at the Kevorkian Seminary and Theological University located at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin in Armenian. After graduating from his two year program and serving several months at the St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral in Yerevan he returned to the Western Diocese where he was appointed as pastor of the faithful of St. John Armenian Church in San Francisco. On April 29, 2012, he was ordained into the Holy Order of the Priesthood by His Eminence Abp. Hovnan Derderian, at St. John Armenian Church in San Francisco, and bestowed with the priestly name Mesrop.