The Western Diocese is pleased to announce that Rev. Fr. Zaven Markosyan has been assigned as the new pastor of the St. Mary Church of Yettem, California. The newly-appointed pastor celebrated the Divine Liturgy and delivered the homily on Sunday, August 12, on the Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God.
Following the Divine Liturgy, and just before the homily that was delivered by Father Zaven, Archpriest Fr. Vartan Kasparian officially introduced and welcomed Fr. Zaven and his family. Father Vartan read a letter from Archbishop Hovnan Derderian on the special occasion. After the message, both Father Vartan and Father Zaven conducted the Blessing of the Grapes service. Assisting at the altar were Deacon Allan Y. Jendian, Deacon Sirag Kalfayan, Stolebearer Kevin Yahnian and Acolyte Jacob Yahnian. The choir was directed by Carolyn Mikaelian, accompanied on the organ by Deacon Randy Tellalian. As usual, an abundance of grapes were donated by parishioners to be offered and then later shared with the congregants.
Parishioners greeted their new parish priest Father Zaven, Yeretzgin Adrine and their daughter Maneh following a delicious chicken kabab dinner prepared and served by the Parish Council.
Although Father Zaven assumed pastoral duties at St. Mary Armenian Church in Yettem on August 12, Father Vartan Kasparian will be supporting Father Zaven during a transitional period between August 12 and October 1. Archpriest Fr. Vartan Kasparian will officially retire from the pastorate of St. Mary Armenian Church in Yettem on October 1.
“It is with a sincere heart that we call upon the Parish Council, the Ladies Society, the auxiliary bodies and the entire faithful of St. Mary Armenian Church in Yettem to welcome Rev. Fr. Zavem Markosyan and his Yeretzgin Adrine to your family in order that through your collective efforts you may write new chapters in the life of the Parish while “serving the Lord with gladness,” wrote Diocesan Primate Archbishop Hovnan Derderian in his congratulatory message to Rev. Fr. Markosyan and the family of St. Mary Armenian Church in Yettem.
“We convey our sincere gratitude to former Pastor Archpriest Fr. Vartan Kasparian, who, for 26 of the 39 years served Christ’s flock of St. Mary Armenian Church with the utmost love and affection. We commend you, Der Hayr, for your most inspiring dedication to the mission of the Western Diocese and the Armenian Holy Apostolic Church,” wrote His Eminence reflecting on the pastoral service of Archpriest Fr. Vartan Kasparian.
Father Zaven was born in Tehran, Iran and was ordained to the priesthood at Holy Etchmiadzin by Archbishop Karekin Nercesian (now his Holiness Karekin II - Catholicos of All Armenians) on August 30, 1998.
Fr. Zaven's previous assignments in Armenia include: Vice-Principal of Vazkenian Theological Seminary(1997-2000); Parish Priest of St. John, Yerevan (1997-2000); Vice-Principal of Kevorkian Theological Seminary (2001-2006; Parish Priest of St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral, Yerevan (2001-2006);and President of "Mutual Aid Fund" of the Holy See of Etchmiadzin (2001-2006).Upon the invitation of His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America, Fr. Zaven arrived in the Western Diocese in 2006 and served as a visiting priest and Diocesan staff until his assignment in 2008 as Parish Priest to the Mission Parish of Denver, Colorado, where he celebrated Badarak every Sunday.
May our Christ, our Lord, guide His people as they embark upon a new chapter in parish life.
Photos: Courtesy of Mark Wall