Prelate Pays Pastoral Visit to St. Garabed Church Parish Community in Las Vegas on the Occasion of the New Year and Christmas

In celebration of the Nativity and Theophany of our Lord Jesus Christ, on Sunday, January 8, 2017, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, paid a pastoral visit to the St. Garabed Church parish community in Las Vegas, where he celebrated Divine Liturgy, delivered his message, and conducted the blessing of water. Parish Pastor Rev. Fr. Arsen Kassabian and Archpriest Fr. Avedis Torossian assisted at the altar. Among the faithful in attendance was Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Armenia in Las Vegas Mr. Adroushan Armenian, members of sister organization and Homenetmen “Artskah” Chapter scouts.

The Prelate began his sermon by giving thanks to God for the blessing of another year and for the enduring gift of His only-begotten Son, and wished the parish community a healthy, happy, peaceful, and prosperous year. His Eminence spoke of the good tidings of the Birth of Christ, noting that on that holy night love, light, hope, and righteousness was born, and reminded the faithful that Christmas is not just a moment in history or a one-day celebration, but that Christ is born anew in our hearts and generates new life within us every time we call upon Him.

Speaking on the New Year, the Prelate noted that it is an opportunity to examine and evaluate our lives and rejuvenate our spirits so that we may live a God-pleasing and purposeful life in His example. “As we turn the page to a New Year, let us put off the old man and put on the new, and strive to change for the better, for renewal is vital for us as individuals and for us as a church and nation” stressed His Eminence, and reminding the faithful that His Holiness Catholicos Aram I has proclaimed 2017 the Year of Renewal, urged the faithful to commit to renewing themselves and renewing their commitment to serving for the advancement of the community with brotherly love, a humble spirit, a joyful heart, with sincerity and selflessness, with only the best interests of the collective at heart.

As the church would be celebrating its name day the following weekend on the Feast of the Birth of St. John the Forerunner, the Prelate invited the faithful to also take inspiration from the life and service of St. John and from all the martyrs of our faith.

The Prelate concluded by again wishing the community renewed faith, renewed spirits, and a renewed sense of duty in their service, and for 2017 to be a better and brighter year for Armenia, Artsakh, Syria, and the Armenian people worldwide.

Later in the service, on behalf of the parish family Fr. Arsen greeted and thanked the Prelate, the “good and bold shepherd of our community.”

The blessing of water followed. Garen Havanjian served as the Godfather.

At the conclusion of the services, the parish family gathered at “Koujakian” Hall for a Christmas luncheon organized by the Parish Council and Ladies Guild. Welcoming remarks were delivered by Parish Council Chair Mr. Yeghia Yeghiayan. Two individuals were honored; Sunday School teacher Seza Hevoian, and luncheon host Garabed Bairamian. In his remarks, Fr. Arsen recognized the Prelate’s 40 years of dedicated service and wished him continued strength, vigor, and new successes.

The Prelate conveyed his thanks to all for the lovely luncheon and reiterated the importance of collaborative efforts and selfless service for the growth of the parish community. The program concluded with the cutting of the cake dedicated to the Prelate’s 40th anniversary of ordination into the priesthood.

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