Close to 50 people took part in a special forum at the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America on Thursday, April 14, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. Organized by the Board of Trustees of the American University of Armenia, the informative event featured panelists AUA Board of Trustees Chairman Lawrence H. Pitts, AUA President Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian and AUA President Emeritus and Board Member Dr. Haroutune Armenian. UC affiliation and US accreditation, AUA academics and rural development were among the evening’s topics of discussion. The forum was moderated by AUA Vice President of Development Miss Lorraine Alexander.
On April 12, 2016, clergy, civic officials, community leaders and hundreds of faithful took part in a prayer vigil service at the steps of Los Angeles City Hall. The massive event aimed at demonstrating solidarity with the soldiers and the civilians who fell victim to the Azeri military aggression was organized by the Artsakh-NKR Community Task Force.
St. Peter Armenian Church of Van Nuys celebrated a milestone on Sunday, April 10, 2016. The day marked the Archpriest Fr. Shnork Demirjian’s 25th anniversary of ordination and consecration into the Priesthood.
On April 10, the Primate, accompanied by the Very Rev. Fr. Dajad Dz. V. Yardemian and Archpriest Fr. Manoug Markarian attended a sold out Shushi Dance Ensemble concert at the John Wayne Auditorium in Glendale, California. Sixty performers from Yerevan, New York and California delighted the audience with their masterful performances of Armenian dances. The event was themed “Remember 1915 and Rise.” Composer Ara Gevorgyan was the guest of honor in a concert which included renowned vocalists Andre, Armen Hovhannisyan, Salbi Mailyan, Hasmik Mekhanejian, Leyla Saribekyan, Ruben Telunts and Anahit Zakaryan.
On April 6, 2016, His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian appointed the Very Rev. Fr. Pakrad Bourjekian as the Interim Pastor of St. John Garabed Armenian Church of San Diego. Father Pakrad celebrated his first Divine Liturgy as Interim Pastor of the San Diego Parish on Sunday, April 10, 2016.
On April 13, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; and His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, visited the historical 10th century Gandzasar Monastery of Artsakh. They were accompanied by the Primate of the Artsakh Diocese, Archbishop Pargev Martirosyan; and Mr. Ashot Ghulyan, Chairman of the NKR National Assembly.
On April 12, 2016, President Serzh Sargsyan met with His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians and His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia. The Department of Mass Media and Public Relations of the Presidential Administration informs that the situation in Nagorno Karabakh and the Azerbaijani military attacks were discussed during the meeting. The sides stressed the importance of joining state-church efforts in order to solve challenges and issues of national importance. The Catholicoi also informed President Sargsyan about their upcoming visit to the Nagorno Karabakh Republic.
Following a two-day visit to Artsakh, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians and His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia returned to the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin on April 14, 2016.
Ապրիլի 14-ին, հանդիսապետությամբ Ն.Ս.Օ.Տ.Տ. Գարեգին Բ Ծայրագույն Պատրիարք և Ամենայն Հայոց Կաթողիկոսի և Ն.Ս.Օ.Տ.Տ. Արամ Ա Մեծի Տանն Կիլիկիո Կաթողիկոսի, Շուշիի Ղազանչեցոց Ս․ Ամենափրկիչ եկեղեցում կատարվեց Հանրապետական մաղթանք Արցախի ապահովության և խաղաղության համար:
On April 11, 2016, the Diocesan Primate paid a pastoral visit to the Armenian community of Las Vegas. Archbishop Derderian, who was accompanied by Dn. Harout Markarian, the Executive Director of the Western Diocese visited the construction site of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Las Vegas. While on his visit His Eminence also presided over the consecration of the cross of the main dome.
On April 13, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; and Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia Aram I, along with Ashot Ghoulyan, Speaker of the National Assembly (NA) of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR); visited the Central Military Hospital in Stepanakert.
On April 13, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians and His Holiness Aram I of the Catholicos Great House of Cilicia, flew to Artsakh, to express their support to the authorities of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh (NKR), the Armenians of Artsakh, and soldiers defending the Homeland.
At the invitation of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, His Holiness Pope Francis I will pay a Papal Visit to the Republic of Armenia from June 24 to 26. The announcement of the Papal Visit was made by the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin on April 9, 2016.
On April 8, 2016, the Very Rev. Fr. Pakrad Bourjekian was appointed as the General Director of the Saturday Schools of the Western Diocese. The appointment was made official by the letter of His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, the Diocesan Primate. Fr. Pakrad will be working closely with the Saturday School Executive Committee under the leadership of Dr. Ellie Antreassian as well as the Parish Priests in the overall development of the curriculum.
The students of the Yerevan Municipality Music School named after Armen Tigranyan visited the Headquarters of the Western Diocese on April 3, 2016. The promising young singers met with the Primate who commended their God-given talent and encouraged them to remain steadfast in their pursuit of music education.