Episcopal Divine Liturgy at St. Sarkis Church in Pasadena

On Sunday, June 17, 2018, H.G. Bishop Torkom Donoyan, Vicar General, celebrated Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon at St. Sarkis Church in Pasadena. H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, presided over the service. Rev. Fr. Boghos Baltayan, Parish Pastor, assisted at the altar. Executive Council tivan members, Mr. Garo Eshgian, Mr. Meher Der Ohanessian, Mrs. Elo Boyajian, and Mr. Avo Kechichian were among the faithful in attendance.

During the service the Prelate addressed the congregation. He first greeted the Vicar General and wished him good health and many successes in his service. His Eminence expressed his well wishes to His Holiness Catholicos Aram I on the occasion of Father’s Day and the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. Given that June is the month for graduations he also conveyed his best wishes to all graduates. The Prelate noted that this week also marks the 42nd anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood, thus, he asked the faithful to pray for all clergy members. Finally, he greeted the members of the Executive Council and invited the Vicar General to deliver his sermon.

The Vicar General gave thanks to God for the opportunity to celebrate his first Episcopal Divine Liturgy at St. Sarkis Church and greeted the Prelate, Executive Council members, and the parish family.
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The Vicar General centered his sermon on Father’s Day. He noted that God has many titles, but He is first and foremost our Father, not because we are worthy to be His children but because of His love and mercy toward us. Each and every faithful has a personal relationship with God, a unique bond, but what is most important is to have a father-child relationship with Him, he said. Speaking on fatherhood, the Vicar General stated that the Bible is the best instruction manual on how to be a good father, on how to instruct and guide children. Noting that fatherhood is a difficult duty that requires a lot of sacrifice, the Vicar General congratulated all fathers and prayed for the Lord to bless and lead them in their mission while reminding the youth to honor their fathers, and mothers.

The service concluded with the singing of Cilicia and the Pontifical anthem.

A luncheon followed at “Hovhannes and Hripsime Jivalagian” Hall. Members and representatives of the Executive Council, ARF “Lernavayr” Gomideh, ANCA, Hamazkayin “Shahan Shahnour” chapter, Levon and Hasmig Tavlian School, and sponsors were among the guests in attendance. St. Sarkis Church Board of Trustees Chair Mr. Koko Panossian greeted the guests and on behalf of the parish congratulated the Vicar General on his Episcopal ordination and wished him much success.

The Prelate blessed the tables and delivered his message. He once again congratulated the Vicar General and wished him a bright future, greeted the members of the Executive Council, and commended the Parish Pastor, Delegates, Board of Trustees, Ladies Guild, altar servers, and choir members, urging them to continue their service with love and goodness, as members of one family.

Fr. Boghos expressed his joy for the day’s service, congratulated the Vicar General and wished him healthy years and fruitful service. On behalf of the Executive Council, Mr. Avo Kechichian thanked the parish family for the warm welcome, the Vicar General for his sermon, and congratulated all fathers, especially “our two Serpazan Hayrs who lead with love and care.” During the lunch, guests enjoyed musical performances dedicated to fathers.

In his closing remarks, the Vicar General thanked all for their presence at what he called an “agape meal.” He stated that though each individual is unique with distinct characteristics, mindset, and physical attributes, it is important to focus on what unites us rather than what makes us different, and that is our faith, culture, national identity, and homeland. Thus, he urged all to pray for one another, help one another, and work together with one goal in mind, the best interests of the collective.

The program concluded with the cutting of the celebratory cake.

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