41st Representatives Assembly Finds Prelacy Activities “More Than Commendable”


On Friday, April 19, 2013, the 41st Prelacy Representatives Assembly convened at Holy Trinity Church in Fresno presided over by H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, and with the participation of Catholicosate Central Executive member Mr. Khajag Dikijian, delegates, representatives of our parishes and educational institutions including principals and directors, Board of Regents and CASPS members.  Benefactor Mr. John Bedrosian was also in attendance as a guest.  The two-day Assembly reviewed the annual activities reports of Prelate and Religious and Executive Councils, and drafted future endeavors relating to our churches, schools, and committees serving under the Prelacy.  The Assembly also elected fifteen delegates and three substitutes to the Catholicosate General Assembly, which is scheduled for June 12-14 in Antelias, Lebanon.

The Assembly convened on Friday afternoon with prayer.  Very Rev. Fr. Muron Aznikian then read the Pontifical message of H.H. Catholicos Aram I, in which His Holiness highlighted the important role of the meeting in analyzing past endeavors and looking to the future having learned from those experiences, and stressed the great importance of reaching out to our youth.

The election of the divan followed, with Mr. Nazareth Sadorian and Mr. Nerses Teshoian elected Chairmen, and Mr. Varoujan Der Simonian and Mr. Hamo Kasbarian Secretaries.

Remarks were delivered by Mr. Khajag Dikijian, Executive Council Chair Mrs. Rima Boghossian, and Mr. Varoujan Der Simonian.

Citing thoughts from the most recent book by His Holiness Taking the Church to the People, Mr. Dikijian stated that we are all invited to serve our people through our Church to the best of our abilities, called for greater collaboration as we look to the future, and commended all those who serve our Churches, especially the Las Vegas parish community for their great accomplishment.

Mrs. Boghossian paid tribute to all those who served our church and people who are no longer with us.  Reflecting on the purpose of the Assembly, the Chairlady stated it is to analyze, critique, and commend in a constructive manner, and called on the participants to offer their useful input.  In conclusion, Mrs. Boghossian conveyed thanks and appreciation to the Prelate and her colleagues on the Executive Council, and special thanks to Holy Trinity Church Pastor and Board of Trustees for hosting the Assembly.

On behalf of Holy Trinity Church Board of Trustees, Mr. Der Simonian welcomed the participants, and wished for a productive and successful Assembly.

In his message, the Prelate gave thanks to God for blessing us with another year to serve and for the opportunity to gather at the 41st Assembly, thanked Holy Trinity Church for hosting the Assembly, and expressed gratitude to His Holiness for his constant paternal wisdom and guidance.  Noting that this year the Western Prelacy embarked on the 41st year of its mission, the Prelate reflected on the efforts of two of our great Pontiffs, Zareh I and Khoren I, both of whom played a valuable role in setting the foundation for the establishment of our Prelacy.  Reflecting on the 50th and 30th anniversaries of their passing which was commemorated earlier this year, the Prelate states, “with grateful hearts we remember them throughout the year, and today we pledge our commitment to keeping strong the foundation they set and keeping bright the torch of the Holy See of Cilicia which lights our path.”  With pride and joy the Prelate spoke of the recent consecration of St. Garabed Church of Las Vegas, which he called a testament that nothing is impossible with God and when we join hands for a common good, and urged, “Let us vow to unite our individual efforts and work together harmoniously for the collective good, for our churches, our schools, our communities, and our family of faithful.  Let us pledge to overcome any obstacles that arise with mutual understanding, respect, and the Christian spirit of love.  Let us keep alive the legacy of Catholicoi Zareh I and Khoren I, and all the forefathers of our faith, by dedicating ourselves fully and selflessly to the prosperity of our collective life.”

Following the election of the Resolution and Vote-Counting Committees, reports on parish activities were presented by the Chairperson of each Church.  Participants were pleased especially to hear the report of St. Garabed Church of Las Vegas Parish Council Chair Mr. Adroushan Armenian, following which a video presentation was shown on the consecration of the Church and dedication of “Koujakian” Hall.

Prior to convening the second session of the day, the Prelate joyfully announced that the tradition to honor a dedicated servant of our Church at this annual Assembly was continuing.  This year’s honoree was Mr. Gahvejian, who was presented with a plaque in recognition and commendation for his life-long service to the Western Prelacy and Holy Trinity Church of Fresno as a member of the Prelacy Executive Council, Delegates, Board of Trustees member and Chair, choir member, and various other committees.

Mr. Gahvejian thanked the Prelate for the honor and affirmed that he will continue his service.  He acknowledged those who have collaborated with him in his service to our Church, and spoke with reverence about the Prelate and his efforts in elevating the mission and endeavors of the Prelacy to an unprecedented level.

The agenda for the day’s second session included the presentation of the financial report, auditing committee report, briefing by the Board of Regents by Co-Chair Mrs. Maggie Sarkuni, briefings by the Religious and Executive Councils by Chairperson Very Rev. Fr. Muron Aznikian and Mrs. Rima Boghossian.  Following these briefings and question and answer session, the Resolutions Committee found the endeavors of the Prelate and Council in the past term to be “more than commendable”.

The session came to a close with the election of delegates to the Catholicosate General Assembly.  Fifteen delegates and three substitutes were elected as follows: Rima Boghossian, George Chorbajian, Meher Der Ohanessian, Gaidzag Zetlian, Hrair Balian, Noubar Demirjian, Sarkis Tatuigian, Zohrab Kejejian, Khatchig Yeretzian, Vahan Bezdikian, Mark Shirin, Bill Sahatdjian, Sarkis Sepetjian, Garo Esghian, and Adroushan Armenian.  The three substitutes are Khatchig Titizian, Nerses Teshoian, and Maggie Sarkuni.

Saturday, April 20 began with a morning prayer inside the Church, after which delegate and deacon Mark Shirin gave an interesting overview of the history of the Fresno Armenian community and Holy Trinity Church, which recently celebrated its 112th anniversary.  Next year Holy Trinity will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Church at the present location, which was built in 1914 after the initial church was destroyed in a fire.

The second day’s sessions focused on the planning of the endeavors of the Religious and Executive Councils, parishes and schools in the coming term, including celebrations of the “Year of the Armenian Mother”.  The 2013-2014 budget was presented and approved, the Auditing Committee was elected, and suggestions and ideas were presented.

The Prelate delivered the Assembly’s concluding message, in which he expressed his commendation to all and shared thoughts and suggestions on successfully carrying out upcoming endeavors.  The Assembly came to a close with the benediction by the Prelate and the Cilician anthem.

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