Weekly News – July 20, 2012


On Sunday, July 22, 2012, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, will preside over Divine Liturgy and deliver the sermon at Holy Martyrs Church in Encino.



Earlier this week, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, visited the Las Vegas parish community to finalize details of the construction of St. Garabed Church that is set to begin soon.

On Thursday, July 18, 2012, the Prelate, accompanied by Executive Council member and Prelacy Building Committee Chair Mr. Vahan Bezdikian, met with Parish Pastor Archpriest. Fr. Avedis Torossian, Parish Council Chair Mr. Adroushan Armenian and members, and members of the parish Building Committee Mr. Levon Gulbenkian and Mr. Koko Darakjian.

As reported by the Church Building Committee, to date all permits for the construction of the Church have been granted and construction has been set to begin in August. The completion of the project is expected to be in May of 2013.

The Prelate shared this news with the Church benefactor Mr. Larry Barnes, who was equally pleased with the progress of the project.

His Eminence highly commended the Pastor, Parish Council, and Building Committee members who are diligently overseeing each phase of this project, and wished that the progress continues smoothly until its final completion in the coming year.

The construction of St. Garabed Church and Cultural Center has two phases.  The Church and adjacent hall will form a complex which will be the spiritual and cultural center of the community.  The construction of the hall was completed over a year ago, and it is where Divine Liturgy is celebrated for the time being.  During his Pontifical Visit in October of last year, H.H. Catholicos Aram I blessed the foundation of the Church and consecrated the dome cross.



Under the auspices of H.E. Archbishop Khajag Hagopian, Prelate of Canada, and organized by St. Hagop Church of Montreal, this weekend the community will honor H.E. Archbishop Souren Kataroyan on the 50th jubilee anniversary of his ordination into the priesthood.

Archbishop Kataroyan has served the Armenian Church and Holy See of Cilicia for over fifty years.  He was the Prelate of the Diocese of Aleppo, Syria, for twenty-five years before relocating to Montreal where he now serves as dean of St. Hagop Church.

The jubilee banquet will be held on the evening of Saturday, July 21st, and on Sunday morning Archbishop Kataroyan will celebrate Divine Liturgy at St. Hagop Church.

H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, was invited to participate in the celebrations, however due to prior commitments will not be able to attend.

In a congratulatory letter sent to Archbishop Kataroyan, the Prelate congratulated him on his five decades long service to the Armenian Church.  “Archbishop Souren has been a teacher to us, an exemplary clergyman, a humble and devoted servant, and a mentor and example to generations of seminarians at the Seminary of the Holy See of Cilicia”, read the Prelate’s letter.



Upon learning of the tragic shooting in Aurora, Colorado, on Friday, July 20, 2012, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, sent a letter of condolence to Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan conveying the sympathies of the Armenian community on the tragic and senseless shooting which stunned the city and our nation.

“We are deeply moved by the tragic loss of life and our hearts are filled with grief as we join you in mourning our fellow citizens who lost their lives and praying for the speedy recovery of the injured.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you all during this sorrowful time.  We pray for Almighty God to grant peace to the souls of the deceased, to hasten the healing of the wounded, to comfort families who are coping with the loss of their loved ones, and to restore tranquility to your beautiful and peaceful city”, stated the Prelate in his letter.



On Friday, July 13, 2012, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, arrived in San Francisco where the parish community had organized a banquet to honor him on his re-election. During his visit, the Prelate  also had the opportunity to meet with the Pastor and Board of Trustees to discuss issues of concern to the parish.

The banquet was held at the Saroyan Hall of the Khatchaturian Armenian Community Center.  Pastor, Board of Trustees, Delegates and Ladies Auxiliary members of St. Gregory Church were joined at the banquet by members of Krouzian-Zekarian-Vasbouragan School and local sister organizations.

Welcoming remarks were delivered by Board of Trustees Chair Mr. Rostom Aintablian who stated that the San Francisco and Bay Area community were honored to welcome the Prelate to their community.  He congratulated the Prelate on his recent re-election and his strong leadership over the past 16 years, wishing him many more years of successful leadership to the Armenian Church of the Western United States.

ARF Krisdapor Gomideh representative Mr. Hrayr Sarkissian also congratulated the Prelate and praised his meritorious leadership and role in the progress of the Armenian Cause. In conclusion, he reaffirmed the full support and devotion of the community to the Prelate’s endeavors and mission.

St. Gregory Church Pastor Archpriest Fr. Khoren Habeshian conveyed his congratulatory and well wishes to the Prelate on behalf of the parish community.  The faithful children of the Holy See of Cilicia worldwide are deeply grateful to the Holy See for helping to establish the organized Armenian communities we have today, said Fr. Khoren. He emphasized that the prominence of the Western Prelacy today is owing to the hard work and efforts of our Prelate, and  concluded by praying for the Lord to continue to grace His Eminence with the strength and wisdom to carry on his service as the spiritual leader of our community.

Fr. Khoren then invited the Prelate to deliver his message.

His Eminence began his message by first offering thanks and praise to God for His blessings, and gratitude to His Holiness for his paternal care and guidance.  He also thanked the Pastor, Board of Trustees, and parish community for the warm welcome and reception.  “With vision, faith, and our best efforts, we will continue our service to the Armenian Church and the Armenian people.  Let us always praise God for His abundant blessings, and live and serve with gratitude and love for one another”, said the Prelate.  His Eminence then highlighted important principles we should all live by: to overcome hate with love, and evil with goodness, as the Apostle Paul teaches us, to forgive without expectations in return, to accept our shortcomings and look to the future with optimism and positivity.  “If we can do these things, we will be seen as worthy in the eyes of God,” concluded the Prelate.

A cultural program of songs and music was also offered, performed by Mrs. Seda Kizirian and pianist Mrs. Nayirie Sarkiss.

At the conclusion of the banquet, the Prelate blessed a pair of wedding crowns and presented them to Fr. Khoren for use during wedding ceremonies.  The crowns had recently been donated to the Prelacy and each parish by sponsors Mr. and Mrs. Kevork and Mirna Kacharian.

The Prelate returned to Los Angeles on Saturday.



On Saturday, July 14, 2012, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, met with member of Armenia’s National Assembly and of the ARF Supreme Body Mr. Agvan Vardanyan.

The meeting was held at Holy Martyrs Church “Yeghia Sarafian” Reception Hall in Encino.  Mr. Vardanyan was accompanied by ARF Central Committee member Dr. Viken Yacoubian.  The Prelate was joined by Holy Martyrs Church Pastor Rev. Fr. Razmig Khatchadourian and Executive Council member Dr. Dikran Babikian.

The meeting provided the opportunity for an exchange of information on current events in Armenia by Mr. Vardanyan, and on the endeavors and mission of the Prelacy by the Prelate.  His Eminence reaffirmed the commitment and support of our community to our homeland and compatriots in Armenia, and at the conclusion of their meeting presented Mr. Vardanyan with a copy of Mr. Garo Bedrosian’s latest book Journey to the Armenian Heritage and the Spiritual Spectrum special issue dedicated to the Pontifical Visit.



On Monday, July 16, a luncheon and book signing was held at the Universal Sheraton Hotel to launch the book tour of New York Times Bestselling Author Chris Bohjalian’s 15th novel The Sandcastle Girls.

The event was hosted by the ANC Grassroots Film and the Arts Committee, in conjunction with Doubleday Publishing and the Genocide Education Project.

The Prelate attended and delivered the invocation, in which he prayed for God to enrich the author’s gift of story-telling, inspire him in his writings, keep his imagination alive, his mind focused and bright, and to nurture his creativity so that he may continue to inspire and touch the hearts and souls of his readers through his literature.




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