An unprecedented event was held at the Western Diocese as on December 2, 2013, the Most Reverend Jose H. Gomez, Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles paid his first official visit to the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America. Archbishop Gomez was the guest of honor at the 3rd Annual Ecumenical Prayer Service. His Eminence also delivered the day’s homily at the spiritual center of the Western Diocese.
On December 4, 2013, ACYO members of the Armenian Church of Ventura County led by Deacon-in-Charge Sarkis Alanjian paid a visit to the homeless at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Westlake Village and distributed food to the less fortunate people of God. The Primate commended the leadership of Dn. Alanjian for instilling in the hearts of the youth the essence of the Christian spirit.
Ladies Society Central Council Chairlady, Gladys Saroyan, and board members Araxie Boyamian, Aida Askejian, Ramela Seropian and Arpi Hovsepian eagerly welcomed the Christmas Season by attending a festive and joyful Christmas Boutique Luncheon prepared by the Ladies Society of St. Peter Church of Van Nuys on November 22, 2013.
The annual tradition of hosting students from Armenian Schools at the Western Diocese carried on to this year as 450 students from TCA Arshag Dickranian School, AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School, AGBU Vatche and Tamar Manoukian High School, Alfred and Marguerite Hovsepian School, Merdinian Armenian Evangelical School and Little Angels Academy took part in the Primate’s 10th Annual Children’s Christmas Pageant on Thursday, December 5, 2013.
The spirit of Christmas filled the air at the 3rd Annual Christmas Boutique of the St. Leon Cathedral Ladies Guild of the Western Diocese held on December 4, 2013. Starting at 10:00 a.m., the Paul Brothers Galleria was crowded with hundreds of Christmas shoppers purchasing gifts from the large variety of venders. The Christmas Boutique offered something for everyone, from baked goods, to jewelry, to Christmas decorations, to anything that you would like Santa to bring.
“Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors” (Proverbs 8:34) Sunday, November 24, 2013, marked a new milestone in the history of St. Andrew Armenian Apostolic Church in Cupertino, California. A project which was twenty-five years in the making, was now complete.
At the Western Diocese, the month of December is dedicated to the children and the youth. To celebrate, Junior Godfathers of St. Leon Armenian Cathedral were invited to serve at the Holy Altar at St. Leon Armenian Cathedral on Sunday, December 1, 2013. The day’s celebrant was Cathedral’s Pastor Rev. Fr. Khajag Shahbazyan, who was assisted by visiting clergyman from Diocese of Russia Rev. Fr. Ashot Ghazaryan and the deacons of the Cathedral Parish.
The 65th annual ACYO Convention, presided by Diocesan Primate Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, was held at the Armenian Church of Crescenta Valley over Thanksgiving Weekend 2013. The Assembly convened on November 29 with nearly 70 delegates in attendance.
The Armenian National Committee of America - Western Region (ANCA-WR) hosted its Annual Banquet on November 30, 2013 at the Ray Dolby Ballroom in Los Angeles. Diocesan Primate Archbishop Hovnan Derderian attended the event and delivered the Invocation.
A formal banquet in honor of NKR President H.E. Bako Sahakyan and Consul General H.E. Sergey Sarkisov was held at the Nazareth and Sima Kalaydjian Hall on November 27, 2013. More than 300 people including government officials and civic leaders attended the banquet hosted by Dr. and Mrs. Aramais Paronyan. Community leader Maria Mehranian served as the event’s Mistress of Ceremonies.
1 – Divine Liturgy - St. Leon Armenian Cathedral – (With the participation of children) 2 – 4th Annual Ecumenical Prayer Service – St. Leon Armenian Cathedral 4 - 3rd Annual Christmas Boutique (Diocesan Headquarters, Burbank)
On November 23, parishioners from St. John Armenian Apostolic Church, in San Francisco, ACYO members, the Diocesan Youth Director, Deacon Mkrtich Ksachikyan and Parish Priest, Fr. Mesrop Ash met at St. Martin de Porres house of hospitality to prepare lunch for the needy and the homeless. ACYO members from St. Vartan Armenian Apostolic Church of Oakland also joined the group and everyone together served with gladness the hundreds that walked in to St. Martin de Porres.
Private funeral services were held Monday, November 25, 2013 in Los Feliz for Joseph Gatto, the father of state Assemblyman Mike Gatto. Hundreds of people, including LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and other city leaders, attended the services at Our Mother of Good Counsel Catholic Church. Diocesan Primate Archbishop Hovnan Derderian attended the service accompanied by Executive Director Dn. Harout Markarian.
The annual Armenia Fund gala was held on Sunday, November 24, 2013 at the Glendale Hilton Hotel. Hosted by Armenia Fund Chair Mr. Antranig Baghdassarian, His Excellency Bako Sahakyan, President of Artsakh was the guest of honor. Diocesan Primate Archbishop Hovnan Derderian attended the event and delivered the benediction.
It is truly amazing how time flies! 2013 marked the 10th anniversary of the Primacy of His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian at the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America. H.E. Abp. Hovnan Derderian was elected as Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America on May 3, 2003, by the 76th Diocesan Assembly, making him the 8th Diocesan Primate.