Divine Liturgy and Banquet in Honor of Very Rev. Fr. Dajad Ashekian Ahead of His Return to Antelias

On Friday, September 20, 2019, the parish community of Holy Trinity Church of Fresno gathered for Divine Liturgy and an appreciation banquet in honor of parish pastor Very Rev. Fr. Dajad Ashekian, who will return to Antelias after serving the community for three and a half years. H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, presided over the service and banquet, which was organized by the parish Board of Trustees and Ladies Guild. In attendance were H.G. Bishop Torkom Donoyan, Vicar General, St. Gregory the Illuminator Church of San Francisco pastor Very Rev. Fr. Barouyr Shernezian, clergy from local Armenian churches, Executive Council Chair Garo Eshgian and members, representatives of community organizations, and hundreds of parishioners and friends.

Fr. Dajad’s sermon was inspired by the following passage from Luke 17:10; “We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.” He focused on the importance of service, stressing that service is the motto of the Armenian Church and that the Church is called to serve the people and to share their concerns. He stated that the seeds of services are planted in the hearts and souls of clergy members during their preparatory years at the Seminary, and added that servants may come and go, but they leave their mark in the communities in which they are called to serve. He concluded by conveying his gratitude to His Holiness Catholicos Aram I for the opportunity to serve the Fresno parish community and to the Prelate for his support and guidance, and thanking his fellow clergymen for their support.

The banquet followed at the Church social hall. Opening remarks were delivered by the MC, Sevag Jierian, followed by remarks by Board of Trustees Chair David Srabian, Deacon Bill Sahatdjian, Deacon Mark Shirin, Honorary Consul of Armenia and Executive Council member Deacon Berj Apkarian, and Nareg Apkarian, all of whom commended and thanked Fr. Dajad for his devoted service and many accomplishments during his tenure. Guests viewed a video prepared by the Holy Trinity Youth Group expressing their gratitude to Fr. Dajad. Representatives from various sister organizations conveyed their remarks and presented mementos to Fr. Dajad.

Fr. Dajad conveyed his remarks, once again thanking the Prelate for his constant encouragement and all those who welcomed him with open arms and helped him to feel at home in Fresno.

Deacon Berj Apkarian delivered remarks on behalf of the Executive Council.

The Prelate delivered the closing message. He highly commended Fr. Dajad’s meritorious service, humility, and hard work, and bestowed him with a pectoral cross for a job well done. He conveyed his blessings and commendation also to all the members of the Holy Trinity Church family who serve for the advancement of the community. The Prelate concluded by informing that Very Rev. Fr. Ashod Khjadoryan, whom His Holiness Catholicos Aram I has appointed as the new parish pastor, will arrive in Fresno soon, and urged the community to warmly welcome and support him as they did Fr. Dajad.

The banquet ended with a benediction and singing of Cilicia.


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