St. Gregory the Illuminator Church Hosts Farewell Reception in Honor of Archpriest Fr. Khoren Habeshian

On Friday July 8, 2016, a farewell reception in honor of Archpriest Fr. Khoren Habeshian and Yeretsgin Berjouhi was held in San Francisco under the auspices of H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate. The event was organized by St. Gregory the Illuminator Church parish pastor Very Rev. Fr. Barouyr Shernezian, Board of Trustees, and Ladies Guild. Fr. Khoren enters retirement following nearly fifty years of service to the Armenian Apostolic Church, six of which as the pastor of St. Gregory. Clergy from the Armenian Apostolic and Evangelical Churches in the Bay Area, as well as parish members and representatives of community organizations joined in the celebration.

The reception began with the invocation by the Prelate. Welcoming remarks were delivered by Board of Trustees Chair Dr. Garo Mirigian, who served as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies. Several representatives delivered congratulatory remarks, among them Mr. Varant Kasparian (on behalf of the Bay Area Armenian Community), Archpriest Fr. Datev Haroutunian (on behalf of local pastors), Ms. Naira Der Kiureghian (on behalf of the Board of Trustees and Ladies guild) all of whom spoke highly of Fr. Khoren and Yeretsgin’s dedicated service and community involvement and wished them well.

Fr. Barouyr thanked Fr. Khoren and Yeretsgin for their devotion to the parish community and greeted the presence of Fresno’s Holy Trinity Church pastor, Very Rev. Fr. Dajad Ashekian, and Board of Trustees members. Fr. Barouyr also congratulated the Prelate on his re-election and 40th anniversary of ordination, wishing him a healthy and long life to serve our Church. Thereafter, he invited the Prelate to convey his blessings.

The Prelate welcomed everyone and commended the dedication that both Archpriest Habeshian and Yeretsgin Berjouhi have demonstrated to the San Francisco parish community. His Eminence highlighted four virtues of the retiring Archpriest; faith, devotion, service, and love, all of which together impelled him to serve God, the Holy See of Cilicia, our nation, and his family, faithfully, dutifully, and selflessly. The Prelate also commended Yeretsgin Berjouhi, who in addition to being a nurturing mother has contributed valuably to the parishes in which Fr. Khoren has served over the years. On this occasion, the Prelate presented mementos to Fr. Khoren and Yeretsgin and blessed them both.

Mr. Berj Apkarian, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Armenia in Fresno and Board member of Holy Trinity Church, conveyed his remarks and presented a congratulatory proclamation to Fr. Khoren.

Fr. Khoren expressed his deep thanks and appreciation to all for their kind words and well wishes, and recounted his service over the past five decades, noting that he began his service at St. Gregory the Illuminator Church in St. Louis, and now ends his service at another church bearing the name of our patron saint.

Throughout the evening, guests conveyed their well wishes and thanks to Fr. Khoren and Yeretsgin. The evening concluded with the Prelate’s benediction and “Cilicia.”

On Sunday, July 10, the Prelate presided over Divine Liturgy at St. Gregory the Illuminator Church, where Archpriest Fr. Khoren Habeshian celebrated his final service as pastor. Homenetmen scouts were among the faithful in attendance.

The Prelate once again praised Fr. Khoren and Yeretsgin Berjouhi for their 6 years of meritorious service to the San Francisco parish community. He also commended the dedicated service and efforts of Very Rev. Fr. Barouyr Shernezian, Delegates, Board of Trustees, and the Ladies Guild.

Fr. Khoren delivered his sermon, the theme of which was the verse from Psalm 51:15, “Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise,” the same verse that had been the basis of his first sermon 47 years ago.

A reception followed at “Vasbouragan” Hall.

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