Name-Day Celebration of St. Sarkis Church “Rich Is He Who Has Jesus Christ in His Life” Stated the Prelate

On Sunday, January 30, 2021, H.G. Bishop Torkom Donoyan, Prelate, celebrated his first Episcopal Divine Liturgy at St. Sarkis Church in Pasadena. The Prelate stated; “Praise the Lord, for He granted us this day to be together at St. Sarkis Church. Today, I am sure that the Divine Liturgy will be an occasion of spiritual consolation for all of us. How we longed to see our parishioners in God’s house once again, because it has been a long year in which we were deprived of celebrating and giving thanks within the church. But your presence today – though social distanced and wearing protective face-coverings – comes to remind us all that we rightly missed God, and that God missed us.” Thereafter, the Prelate noted the attendance of H.E. Archbishop Gomidas Ohanian, Rev. Fr. Boghos Baltayan (Pastor,) deacons and choir, Board of Trustees, representative of the Executive Council Mr. Sarkis Tatikian, delegates, ladies guild and representatives of Armenian organizations from the area.

The Prelate congratulated the name-day of St. Sarkis Church, and all those who bear the names of Sarkis and Mardiros, then spoke about the great love that St. Sarkis, his son Mardiros and the 14 soldiers had towards Jesus Christ and were martyred. He pointed out that the saints are a helping presence in our lives, but they are also those who place Jesus Christ above themselves in order to attain the eternal life.

Explaining the symbolic bread of life as a spiritual food, the Prelate expounded that all who taste Christ will not remain hungry, but all those who do not accept Jesus will remain in perpetual spiritual hunger. He then praised the martyrdom of St. Sarkis and his followers, reminding us that being close to Jesus Christ would not necessarily mean having a peaceful life. Contemplating this thought, the Prelate asked those in attendance, “Who is the model Christian that is not persecuted because of their faith. At the same time, today I am witness to Jesus’ promise, which says; ‘Though you have difficulties in your life, do not be afraid, I have conquered the world.’”

“St. Sarkis reminds us that the most sacred, beautiful, and joyful truth in our life is the truth of Jesus’ name. When Christ is present in your life, people will not bother to harm you, because you are united with Jesus.” The Prelate added; “Was it not with this faith, conviction and love that in the first centuries, people were martyred for their love in Jesus. They remained with a smile on their faces, and today, when we have lesser fears of persecution in our lives, we do not want to carry our cross.” The Prelate concluded his message with the following words; “We cannot follow Jesus Christ without carrying our cross. Throughout our lives, it is inevitable that we would say that this cross is too heavy for us to carry, but by keeping our eyes focused on Jesus, we confess that we shall fear nothing because Jesus is at the center of my life. It is with this faith, that I greet the parish of St. Sarkis Church in Pasadena, praying that Divine blessings will be a lasting presence in the lives of our people so that they may serve for the betterment of our nation and church.”

The Divine Liturgy concluded by blessing of the madagh and singing of “Cilicia.” Followed by the Prelate receiving congratulatory remarks from the parishioners and representatives of Armenian organizations.

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