Opening Ceremony and Blessing of Ararat Home “Avakian” Wing


On Saturday, February 8, 2014, the official opening and blessing of the new “Avakian” wing of Ararat Home in Mission Hills took place conducted by leaders of the Armenian Apostolic, Catholic, and Evangelical Churches.  H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, participated in the ceremony.  His Eminence was accompanied by Archbishop Yeprem Tabakian, Rev. Fr. Boghos Tinkjian, Archpriest Fr. Nareg Pehlivanian, and Rev. Fr. Razmig Khatchadourian.

The ceremony began with the blessing of salt and bread and continued in the reception room with the home blessing prayer.  The blessing concluded with the benediction by the Prelate.

Board of Trustees Chairman Mr. Joseph Kanimian, Esq. welcomed the guests and conveyed his gratitude to the clergy for the spiritual nourishment they provide to the residents throughout the year.

The Prelate congratulated the administration on the successful completion of the expansion project, a project he deemed as vital to meet the needs of the growing elderly population.  His Eminence cited a passage from the “Year of the Elder” Pontifical message of His Holiness Aram I in which the Pontiff extols the virtues of our elders as “the lifeline of society, the foundation of the family, and one of the strong footholds of any organization” and how we must “show a high level of care, love, attention, and respect for our elders,” emphasizing “the necessity of building and supporting existing old age homes and retirement residences.”

“No doubt we all share these sentiments towards our elders, who we regard as beloved and integral members of society.  And so, we are grateful and fortunate to have this facility in our community, a safe haven to where we can entrust our elderly; a place where we know they will be treated like family, with utmost care, love, attention, and respect”, stated the Prelate.  In conclusion, His Eminence commended the Ararat Home family on the quality care and compassion they provide, thanked and commended the sponsors for their support, and prayed for God to bless and sanctify Ararat Home.

The evening’s Master of Ceremonies, Fox 11 News Anchor Araksya Karapetyan, acknowledged the government officials and representatives in attendance, and invited them to present congratulatory proclamations.  The official program concluded with a tour of the new wing.

The Jubilee Banquet followed.  The evening began with the American and Armenians national blessings, followed by blessing of tables by clergy members.  The Prelate officially read the letter of blessing of His Holiness Aram I highly commending the humanitarian service of the Board of Trustees and staff, which he then presented to Mr. Kanimian.  Guests then viewed a video presentation on the day in the life of Ararat Home, which was followed by remarks from the Co-Chairs of the New Wing Celebration Committee Berj Shahbazian and Ron Nazely, Board Chair Mr. Kanimian’s message and presentations, and closing remarks by former Governor of California the Honorable George Deukmejian.

(Click here for Pontifical Letter of Blessing)

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