On October 24, 2014, ACYO seniors gathered at Abp. Vatche Hovsepian Summer Camp for the annual ACYO Senior Retreat. The beautiful nature of our camp and the fresh air four thousand feet above the sea level filled us with positive energy and prepared us for a wonderful weekend of fellowship and reflection. Our retreat sessions were led by Rev. Fr. Yeghia Hairabedian, Fr. Yessai Bedros, and Deacon Mkrtich Ksachikyan, who shared the teachings of the Armenian Church on the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony and important facts to consider prior to dating and before saying “I do.”
November 1 – Armenian Church of Las Vegas - Groundbreaking ceremony of the church building November 2 – Sts. Sahag-Mesrob Armenian Church in Reedley (Celebrant and Homilist) 90th Anniversary of the establishment of the Parish
On Tuesday, October 7, His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, the Primate of the Western Diocese, ordained and consecrated the Rev. Fr. Serovbe Alanjian was into the Sacred Order of the Priesthood. Hundreds including Diocesan faithful and ecumenical leaders participated in the ceremonial rite which was held at St. Leon Armenian Cathedral in Burbank.
Under the auspices of the Primate, a special evening dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the passing of His Holiness Vasken I, the late Catholicos of All Armenians was held on Sunday, October 26th. With more than two hundred fifty people in attendance, the evening of tribute was held at the Nazareth and Sima Kalaydjian Hall and was organized by the “Zvartnots” Cultural Committee of the Western Diocese.
The 4th Annual Walk for Domestic Violence Awareness, organized by the Datev Outreach, took place on October 23. Activists calling for a greater awareness of domestic violence within the Armenian community walked the 8.8 Kilometer road between the St. Peter Armenian Church in Glendale to the St. Leon Armenian Cathedral in Burbank, during the dense evening commute to accentuate the dire need to bring the issue of family violence to forum.
On Sunday, October 26, the Armenian Apostolic Church will observe the Feast of the Discovery of the Holy Cross (Kyood Khachi). According to ecclesiastical chronicles, an informed Jew from Jerusalem by the name of Judah was forced to disclose the place where the cross was buried. Three crosses were found, one of the being our Lord’s, the others belonging to the two criminals crucified with Him. In order to authenticate the true cross, the body of a youth who had recently died was placed on each. When he was placed on the third cross he was resurrected and thus the true and Holy Cross was discovered. At that time, Bishop Cyril, Patriarch of Jerusalem elevated the Holy Cross before the faithful who, having witnessed the miracle was awe-inspired and venerated it. The commemoration of this historical event is celebrated on the closest Sunday to October 26 and is called Discovery of the Holy Cross.
St. Apkar Armenian Church in Scottsdale Arizona marked its 5th anniversary of consecration on Sunday, October 19, 2014. On the auspicious occasion, the Primate travelled to the Arizona Parish where he celebrated the Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon. Archbishop Derderian was assisted at the Holy Altar by the Rev. Fr. Zacharia Saribekyan and the deacons of the host parish.
On October 19, 2014, more than 800 people attended a spectacular and unforgettable performance by the Gevorkian Dance Academy. One hundred dancers of all ages took the stage in San Diego’s first ever Dances Under the Stars at the Moonlight Amphitheatre in Vista, California. The mesmerizing choreography, dazzling costumes, and spirited music brought the audience into the very heart of the Armenian culture.
The Zorayan Museum Committee of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church are pleased to present a special art exhibition, featuring the paintings of international artist and architectural designer KOKO. The art exhibition of his works on canvas titled “Between Two Worlds,” will open on Thursday November 6 and run through November 7 at the Zorayan Museum, located in the Western Diocesan Complex of the Armenian Church of North America, 3325 North Glenoaks Boulevard in Burbank, CA.
On the morning of October 23rd, the Primate visited AGBU Vatche and Tamar Manoukian High School where he met with the Principal Dr. Armine Movsisyan, Mr. Levon Keshishian, Director of Business Operations and the faculty. Archbishop Derderian was briefed by Dr. Movsisyan on the activities of the school. Following his meeting with the administrative staff, His Eminence met with 9-12 grade students. The topic of the Primate’s discussion was responsibility. His Eminence elaborated on the importance of responsibility towards peers, the family, the Armenian community, the Church and God. In turn, the students engaged in an active discussion with the spiritual leader of the Western Diocese.
Throughout his pastoral tenure, visiting Armenian Schools has been amongst the top priorities for Archbishop Hovnan Derderian. On October 21, 2014, the Primate visited T.C.A. Arshag Dickranian School. Accompanied by Father Manoug Markarian, Pastor of St. John Garabed Armenian Church, His Eminence met with the Principal Dr. Manoug Seraydarian. Archbishop Derderian commended the leadership of Dr. Seraydarian and his initiative to organize and promote cultural events in the month of October also known as “culture month,” the term coing coined in 1940 by His Holiness Karekin Hovsepians, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia.
On October 21, 2014, the Primate participated in the monthly meeting of the Los Angeles Council of Religious Leaders (LACRL). The fellowship was hosted by LACRL Chair The Right Reverend Jon Bruno, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.
On Tuesday, October 21, the Rev. Fr. Nerses Hayrapetyan, Pastor of St. Sarkis Armenian Church in Santa Clarita, represented the Primate at the regular Board of Supervisors meeting and delivered the Invocation.