On February 21, 2010, following the church service, the Primate presided over the Parish Assembly of St. Apkar Armenian Church in Scottsdale, Arizona. The church was consecrated by the Primate on September 20, 2009. A fundraiser was held during the meeting and was followed by an election. In his closing remarks, the Primate commended the dedicated service of Rev. Fr. Zacharia Saribekyan, the members of the Parish Council, Ladies Society and all auxiliary bodies of the Parish.
Febuary 2010 Archive
Rev. Fr. Zacharia Saribekyan, Parish Priest of St. Apkar Armenian Church in Scottsdale, Arizona is the representative of the Inter-Ecumenical and Inter-Religious relations.
On February 21, 2010, on the 90th anniversary of the massacres of Marash, the Union of Marash Armenians of California, organized a Requiem Service for the souls of the victims.
On January 23, 2010, the members of CYMA met at the Headquarters of the Western Diocese. Meline Semirjian informed the youth and their parents about the CYMA project. We are pleased to inform that five youth members registered to join CYMA this year.
The ACYO Central Council is proud to inform that through the tireless collective efforts of the Central Council and Rev. Fr. Avedis Abovian, Youth Director, the ACYO has organized four more chapters including: St. Sarkis, Santa Clarita, St. John, San Francisco, Armenian Church of the Desert, Rancho Mirage, and St. Andrew, Cupertino. The Central Council met with the members of the above-mentioned four chapters and commended their dedicated service.
On February 19-20th, ACYO members from all regions gathered for our Annual ACYO Leadership Conference in Fresno, CA. With roughly 50 members and clergy in attendance, the main focus for the weekend were resource management and fundraising, which are two key objectives in all ACYO chapters. Some topics that these professionals from World Vision and various organizations conducted during the lectures and workshops were:
March 19th-21st: Junior Retreat Location: Hye Camp, Dunlap
On February 23, 2010, the graduating students from the TCA Arshag Dickranian School led by Principal Mr. Vartkes Kourouyan, visited the Western Diocese. They were welcomed by Rev. Fr. Avedis Abovian, Youth Director. The students also toured the construction site of the Diocesan Cathedral.
On February 23, 2010, the Primate presided over the Annual Parish Assembly of the Burbank Cathedral Parish. The meeting was chaired by Mrs. Araxie Boyamian.
On February 27, the Primate will preside over the meeting of the Regional Meeting of Parish Priests, Diocesan Delegates and Diocesan Councils of Northern California.
Exceeding all expectations, the reviews are in that the 39th Annual Debutante Ball held on February 14, 2010 at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel was a huge success. This traditional event is presented by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Western Diocese under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate. An audience of approximately 300 families and friends joined in celebrating the presentation of ten lovely young women of Armenian descent in a picturesque ceremony that will forever remain as a cherished and treasured memory.
On February 20, 2010, the Primate presided over the Diocesan Council meeting at the Western Diocese. The meeting was chaired by Joseph Kanimian Esq.
Following the devastating earthquake in the island-nation of Haiti, the Primate called upon the faithful of the Western Diocese to contribute to the much-needed relief efforts.
The newly-formed Mission Parish in Tucson, Arizona, is distinctively small. Furthermore, its visiting Priest is Rev. Fr. Zacharia Saribekyan. On February 21, 2010, the Primate and Fr. Zacharia met with the faithful of the Mission Parish. They were eager to welcome the Primate and witness his celebration of the Divine Liturgy. In turn, the Primate ensured that he will make room in his busy schedule to visit and celebrate the Divine Liturgy at the Mission Parish. Additionally, the Primate will ensure that the Mission Parish in Tucson, Arizona will have a permanent Priest.
Yet, despite all the talk about unifying the Armenian people, writing fiery poems and singing patriotic songs about the benefits of unity, this most cherished dream remains elusive. Examples of failed attempts at unity are aplenty. Even in perilous times, Armenians have remained at odds and marched to the beat of different drummers.
March 2 Primate’s Pastoral visit to Armenian Church of the Desert, Rancho Mirage March 3 Morning: Visit to Hovsepian School Noon: Reception for the wives of the Godfathers and Benefactors of the Cathedral Afternoon: Official Visit by representatives of Pepperdine University Evening: Fifth Vigil, St. Peter, Van Nuys
April 1 Maundy Thursday – Ceremonies at the Burbank Parish April 2 Good Friday – Divine Liturgy at St. John Garabed, Hollywood
Under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America, the Ladies Society Central Council Chair headed by Mrs. Araxie Boyamian organized the 31st Annual Observance of Women’s Saints Day in honor of St. Hripsime. The scheduled events took place in four Parishes of the Western Diocese.
On February 14, 2010, on the occasion of the Feast Days of Great Barekendan and Presentation of the Lord to the Temple, Parish Priest, Rev. Archpriest Fr. Sarkis Petoyan, celebrated the Divine Liturgy at St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Church in Pasadena.
We are pleased to inform the Diocesan faithful that under the direction of Rev. Fr. Datev Harutyunian, St. Andrew Armenian Church in Cupertino, Santa Clara Valley, continues to display its humanitarian support.
We were profoundly saddened to hear the passing of Jack Jandegian, a devout member of the St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Church in Pasadena.
On February 11, 2010, Rev. Archpriest Fr. Dr. Zaven Arzoumanian celebrated the Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon. The Primate presided over the service which saw the participation of His Eminence Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian, Very Rev. Fr. Dajad Dz. V. Yardemian, Vicar General, Very Rev. Fr. Baret Dz. V. Yeretzian, Rev. Archpriest Fr. Sipan Mekhsian, Chancellor of the Western Diocese and Rev. Fr. Khajag Shahbazyan, Parish Priest.
On February 13, 2010, His Grace Bishop Bagrat Galstanian, the Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of Canada visited the Primate at the Western Diocese. He informed His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the current and future activities of the Diocese of Canada. In turn, His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian invited His Grace to the consecration of the Cathedral on September 11, 2010.
On February 12, 2010, the Primate presided over the Western Diocese Endowment Fund Meeting. Considering the health condition of Dr. Gary Lulejian, Chair of the Endowment Fund, Ben Krikorian was elected to serve as the new Chair. Ben Krikorian had also served as the Treasurer of the Diocesan Council.
On February 13, 2010, on the eve of the Presentation of the Lord to the Temple, His Grace Bishop Bagrat Galstanian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of Canada led the “Dyarnuntarach” service at St. Peter Armenian Church in Van Nuys. Rev. Archpriest Fr. Shnork Demirjian, Parish Priest, Rev. Archpriest Fr. Nareg Matarian and Rev. Archpriest Fr. Dr. Zaven Azroumanian were also present for the service.
The Christian Educational Council is appointed by the Primate to develop, implement and oversee the religious educational programs of the Western Diocese. In doing so, it strengthens and develops the Christian Faith as expressed in the Armenian Apostolic Church for the glory of the Most Holy Trinity.
On February 15-16, 2010, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians made a Pontifical visit to Jerusalem. The Pontiff was joined by His Eminence Archbishop Datev Karibian, Primate of the Diocese of Brazil, His Eminence Archbishop Kissag Mouradian, Primate of the Diocese of Argentina, His Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern Diocese of North America, His Eminence Archbishop Vicken Aikazian, Director of the Inter-Religious Relations of the Eastern Diocese, His Eminence Archbishop Navasard Kdjoyan, Primate of the Pontifical Diocese of Ararat, His Grace Bishop Arshak Khachatryan, Chancellor of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, and Very Rev. Fr. Garegin Hambartsumyan, staff bearer.
The second Sunday of the Great Lenten Period which is namely known as the Sunday of the Expulsion can be entitled “Engagement in God’s Work / Partnering with God”. I have purposely chosen these titles with the thought that humanity needs a Return to God. Furthermore, by building churches, being involved in humanitarian projects and in many God-pleasing projects, we exemplify engagement in God’s work. By taking on these glorious tasks, we are responding to God’s call. In other words, God is seeking to enter the hearts of individuals but above all, He is showing His love and care for mankind.
On January 23rd, CYMA held a very successful informational meeting at the Diocese headquarters in Burbank. Armine Semirdjian delivered a coherent presentation of this year’s trip and mission in front of an enthusiastic group of young adults and engaged parents. As a result of this meeting, CYMA now has a total of 5 committed participants, which leaves a total of 7 remaining spots.
The Central Council of the ACYO-WD is proud to announce four new chapters that have formed throughout the state of California: Santa Clarita, St. John San Francisco Senior ACYO, Rancho Mirage, and St. Andrew Cupertino. We have met with all of these chapters and are thrilled to see the eagerness and excitement in their eyes to create active ACYO members for their specific regions.
On February 6, 2010, His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate, attended the Winter Gala organized by the AGBU Young Professionals of Northern California. The event took place at the Historic War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, California and saw the participation of 250 youth from different regions. The Primate was accompanied by Rev. Fr. Hovel Ohanyan, Parish Priest of St. Vartan Armenian Church in Oakland and Rev. Fr. Diran Avagyan, Parish Priest of St. John Armenian Church in San Francisco. Mr. Ervand Zorian, member of the AGBU Central Council, was also present at the event.
On February 7, 2010, the Primate celebrated the Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon at St. Andrew Armenian Church in Santa Clara Valley, Cupertino, California. Rev. Fr. Datev Harutyunian, Parish Priest, and the Deacons of the Parish assisted the Primate at the holy altar.
The Pasadena AGBU Secondary School Annual Banquet took place on February 6, 2010. Rev. Archpriest Fr. Sarkis Petoyan, Parish Priest of St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Church in Pasadena, represented the Primate at the event. Rev. Fr. Sarkis offered the opening prayer and expressed the Primate’s blessings to the mission of the school.
On February 9, 2010, Mr. Alexei Krindatch, Research Consultant of Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCCOBA) visited the Western Diocese and met with the Primate. Also present during the meeting was the Very Rev. Fr. Dajad Dz. V. Yardemian, Vicar General.
On February 9, 2010, on the Feast Day of St. Ghevont the Priest and Companions, the Primate presided over the church service at St. Peter Armenian Church in Van Nuys, California. He was joined by His Eminence Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian and numerous clergy from the Western Diocese. The musical portion of the service was directed by Rev. Archpriest Fr. Nareg Matarian, Musical Director of the Western Diocese.
On February 11, 2010, James Sanchez, Church Relations Director and John Bouchebel, Director of Resource Development of World Vision of Los Angeles visited the Western Diocese. They met with the Primate and the Vicar General. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the ways to further support the victims of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. The Primate commended the humanitarian efforts of the World Vision representatives.
The Great Lenten Season began on February 15, 2010. Beginning Thursday, February 18, 2010 the church will hold Vigils at 7:00 PM. A Lenten dinner will be served at 8:00 PM. Beginning Sunday, February 21, 2010, the hymns of the Divine Liturgy will be performed by the Hovsepian and Zvartnots Choirs.
February 19 Women Saints Day, Northern Region – St. Vartan, Oakland Second Vigil, La Canada February 20 Diocesan Council Meeting
In addition to planning to deceive Armenia and international public opinion, Turkish leaders tried to mislead their closest ally, Azerbaijan, and the Turkish public, about the potential benefits of the Protocols.
The great Lenten spiritual journey guides our lives for a return to God which is conditioned through prayerful life and fasting. Throughout the Lenten period, our Church offers spiritual readings and prayers which clearly explain the role of prayer and fasting as special tools which cultivate our spiritual live with the Love of God. In deepening within our identity is the consciousness that all humanity is blessed by the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The sixth chapter of the Gospel of St. Matthew teaches us about prayer and fasting. These inseparable acts aim to lead our lives towards God. "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matthew 6:19-21).
The title of this article, taken from Walter Scott’s epic poem, the Marmion, aptly describes the web of deceit weaved by Turkey’s leaders in seeking to create the false impression of wanting to normalize relations with Armenia.
His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, has declared that the Feast Day of St. Sarkis will be dedicated as the day of blessing of the youth. Consequently, on January 29, 2010, in celebration of St. Sarkis, St. John Garabed Armenian Church in Hollywood had a special surprise for the young faithful.
On January 31, 2010, St. Sarkis Armenian Church in Santa Clarita celebrated its Name Day. The Parish was consecrated by the Primate on December 20, 2009.
On January 19, 2010, Rev. Fr. Zacharia Saribekyan, Parish Priest of St. Apkar Armenian Church in Scottsdale, Arizona attended the First Institutional Baptist Church in Phoenix. A prayer vigil took place for the Haiti earthquake victims following the meeting. There, Fr. Zacharia got acquainted with His Grace Bishop Thomas Olmstead of the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. He will meet with the Bishop in February.
On January 30, 2010, Rev. Fr. Zacharia Saribekyan and the Parish Deacons delivered a special service on the occasion of the Feast Day of St. Sarkis. In his uplifting message, Fr. Zacharia talked about the courage of St. Sarkis and called upon the parishioners to be as faithful in Christ.
On February 3, 2010, the “Shoghart” Gallery in Burbank was the venue for the premiere of the Gakavig Children’s Magazine.
The “Two School” project that was established in memory of the late Archbishop Karekin Hacadurian, Patriarch of Constantinople and Patriarch Archbishop Shnork Kalustyan has become a reality. The schools have opened their doors to students this academic year.
The official opening ceremony of the Beshgoturian Hall took place on January 31, 2010. Representing the Primate at the event was Rev. Archpriest Fr. Dr. Zaven Arzoumanian. He was joined by Rev. Archpriest Frs. Sarkis Petoyan and Hovsep Hagopian.
On January 24, 2010, the Greater Community Missionary Baptist Church in Pacoima, California was the venue for the 2010 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The message for the program was “You are Witnesses of These Things” (Luke 24:48).
Under the auspices of the Primate, the Diocesan Musical Director Rev. Archpriest Fr. Nareg Matarian organized the first day-long study session devoted to the Deacons of the greater Los Angeles Area. On January 30, 2010, the Feast Day of St. Sarkis, 25 Deacons from the greater Los Angeles area gathered in the Hampar Room of the Western Diocese for a memorable study session.
We are pleased to inform the Diocesan faithful that His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America, has appointed the following members of the clergy to serve as the representatives of the Western Diocese in the Inter-Religious Ecumenical Relations.
In recent months, as heated debates raged on the Armenia-Turkey Protocols, Diaspora Armenians reacted with frustration and anger at the damage these agreements would have caused to Armenian national interests.