ARMENIAN CHURCH OF NORTH AMERICA WESTERN DIOCESE
3325 North Glenoaks Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91504
Tel: (818) 558-7474
Fax: (818) 558-6333
E-mail; [email protected]
News from the Diocese
The Following are the activities of His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan
Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of
North America, during the months of March – May, 2004.
Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese, had
intimate meetings with several delegates, in order to further his
involvement with various facets of the community.
* His Eminence met with Mariam Mihranian, Chairlady of Armenia Fund,
on March 11, 2004 at the Western Diocesan Headquarters in Burbank,
where she presented to the Primate her vision for the future of
* On March 12, 2004 Archbishop Derderian held an official meeting
with Ms. Armine Hovannisian, founder of Orran and Junior Achievement
of Armenia. It was decided at the meeting that Orran and JAA will
become the partners of CYMA.
* His Eminence paid an official visit to Bishop Bruno, the Primate
of the Episcopalian Church on March 15, 2004.
* On March 18, 2004 the Primate held an official meeting with
Sheriff Lee Baca at the Diocesan Headquarters, to discuss the formation
of a committee to address issues related to community life and the
youth. The two leaders met for a second time on April 16, 2004.
* Also on March 18, 2004 Archbishop Hovnan Derderian met with
Father John Bakas of the Greek Orthodox Church.
* On March 19, 2004 His Eminence was officially visited by Very
Reverend Father Mesrob Sulahian, Administrator of the Mekhitarist
School in Venice. After being closely acquainted with the Diocese,
Fr. Mesrob left the meeting with warm embraces and the best
* Also on March 19, 2004 the Primate met with the Armenian Academy
of Los Angeles, whose mission is to establish a high school in the
Los Angeles area that will open in September 2005. The meeting ended
with mutual interest in cooperation.
* Rev. Fr. Baruyr Avetisyan and Rev. Fr. Khoren Kirakosyan
visited the Western Diocese from April 26, 2004 to May 26, 2004. They
represented the Mother See in the 77th Diocesan Assembly.
Several events were hosted at the Arshag and Eleanor Dickranian Complex
of the Diocese in Burbank, under the auspices and presidency of His
Eminence Archbishop Derderian.
* His Eminence hosted a gathering for fifty students of the Alfred
and Marguerite Hovsepian School at the Diocesan Headquarters on March
10, 2004, where the students had the opportunity to personally meet
the Primate in a warm and informal setting.
* On March 18, 2004 Archbishop Derderian met with the students
of the Merdinian Armenian School at the Western Diocesan Complex,
where he addressed the students and personally greeted them.
* His Eminence and the Ladies’ Auxiliary hosted a reception for
the Debutantes and Escorts of the 2004 Debutante Ball at the Arshag
and Eleanor Dickranian Complex on March 21, 2004.
* On March 22, 2004 the Primate hosted the students of the St.
Sahag-Mesrob Armenian School at the Diocesan Complex, for an intimate
discussion of current issues.
* A conference entitled “Armenian Women Facing Contemporary Trends”
organized by the AGBU Hye Geen was held at the Diocesan Headquarters
on March 27, 2004 under the auspices of Archbishop Derderian.
* To bring to a close the Vigil Services that were held regularly
during Lent in all churches of the Diocese, a Collective Lenten Vigil
Service was held at the Diocesan Headquarters on April 2, 2004 under
the Presidency of His Eminence.
* Kemal Yalcin, author of the new book “My Heart Rejoices with
You”, spoke at a gathering in the Kalaydjian Hall of the Dickranian
Complex on April 4, 2004, organized by the Tekeyan Cultural Committee
and under the Auspices of the Primate.
* On Friday evening, April 23, 2004, in commemoration of the
Armenian Genocide, Very Rev. Fr. Dajad Yardemian celebrated Divine
Liturgy and performed a Requiem Service in the Kalaydjian Hall of
the Diocesan Complex under the presidency of the Primate and with
the participation of the Diocesan Clergy and the Diocesan United Choir.
* On May 5, 2004 a welcoming reception was held in the Kalaydjian
Hall in honor of Very rev. Father Dajad Yerdemian, who became a
member of the Armenian Apostolic Church on February 19. The evening
also included a cultural program.
* Dr. Gerard L. Libaridian, author of the newly published book
“Modern Armenia: People, Nation and State” spoke at the Diocese on
May 6, 2004. He presented his book and discussed Armenian politics
from the mid-nineteenth century to the present.
* On May 12, 2004 over 100 faithful and clergy gathered in
the Kalaydjian Hall to honor the 50 years of dedicated service of
Mother Hripsime Sassounian, who currently serves the Kalfayan Home
His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian took part and presided over
the following conferences and meetings.
* On March 13, 2004 His Eminence presided over several meetings at
the Diocesan Headquarters, including the Building Committee Meeting,
the Diocesan Council Meeting, Clergy Stipend Meeting, and the meeting
of the Christian Education Council.
* Archbishop Derderian presided over the Diocesan Clergy meeting on
March 16, 2004, which is held at regular intervals to discuss issues
relating to the needs of the Clergy.
* The Primate attended the Religious Leaders’ Meeting on March 17,
2004 held with the participation of leaders from various religious
* On March 19, 2004 the Primate participated in the Diocesan Ladies’
Auxiliary meeting to discuss past and current projects. Among many
other items, the meeting discussed the upcoming Diocesan Ladies’
* Upon the invitation of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch
and Catholicos of all Armenians, His Eminence Archbishop Derderian
participated in the meeting of the Supreme Council in the Mother See
of Holy Etchmiadzin, on April 1 – 2, 2004.
* On the weekend of April 30 – May 1, 2004 His Eminence presided
over the 77th Diocesan Assembly which took place at St. John-Garabed
Armenian Apostolic Church in San Diego, with the participation of over
250 clergy and delegates from the Western Diocese. Each committee and
organization that functions within the Diocese presented its report
and discussed pertinent issues.
Consistent with his mission to maintain direct contact with the
Diocese, the Primate paid several visits to various parishes and
schools throughout the Diocese.
* On March 10, 2004 the Primate presided over a Lenten Vigil
Service at St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church in East Los Angeles.
During his visit His Eminence also met with the Parish Council.
* On March 11, 2004 Archbishop Hovnan Derderian presided over
a Lenten Vigil Service at the Armenian Church of La Verne, with an
overwhelming presence by the youth.
* Archbishop Hovnan Derderian celebrated Divine Liturgy and
delivered the Sermon at St. James Armenian Apostolic Church in Los
Angeles on March 13, 2004.
* The Primate officiated over a Lenten Vigil Service on March 17,
2004 at St. James Armenian Apostolic Church in Los Angeles, and also
presided over the meeting of the Parish Council.
* On March 18, 2004 His Eminence presided over a Lenten Vigil
Service at St. John-Garabed Armenian Church in Hollywood, accompanied
by His Eminence Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian and His Eminence Archbishop
Sebouh Chouljian, Primate of Gougark, Armenia. Archbishop Derderian
also met with the Parish Council.
* The Primate conducted a Lenten Vigil Service at the Armenian
Church of La Crescenta in Tujunga on March 19, 2004, during which the
Primate also officiated over the ordination of Deacons. A reception
and cultural program followed.
* On March 21, 2004 His Eminence celebrated Divine Liturgy,
delivered the Sermon and officiated over the ordination of six
Deacons and Sub Deacons at St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church in
Costa Mesa. A reception followed in honor of the elevation of Father
Moushegh Tashjian to the title of Archpriest.
* The Primate visited Central California on Wednesday and Thursday,
March 24 – 25, 2004 where he presided over a Lenten Vigil Service at
St. Gregory Armenian Church in Fowler on Wednesday, and on Thursday,
paid a visit to Bakersfield, after a meeting with the Clergy of the
* Archbishop Hovnan Derderian officiated over a Lenten Vigil
Service at St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church in Costa Mesa on March
25, 2004, where he also officiated the ordination of 10 Stole-Bearers
and 34 Acolytes.
* On March 26, 2004 the Primate officiated over a Lenten Vigil
Service at the Burbank Parish held at the Diocesan Headquarters, with
the participation of Very Rev. Fr. Dajad Yardemian, Very Rev. Fr. Asbed
Balian, and other Clergy from the Los Angeles Area.
* On the evening of April 12, 2004 Archbishop Hovnan Derderian
paid a pastoral visit to the newly established parish of Palmdale,
accompanied by Pastor in Charge Archpriest Fr. Nareg Matarian.
* On April 25, 2004 the Primate celebrated Divine Liturgy and
delivered the Sermon at St. Gregory Armenian Church in Pasadena.
Following the Liturgy, His Eminence blessed the four cornerstones of
the new Church. A reception followed in the hall.
* On May 2, 2004 His Eminence celebrated Divine Liturgy and
delivered the Sermon at St. John Armenian Apostolic Church in San
* Archbishop Hovnan Derderian was the Keynote speaker at a Mothers’
Day luncheon at St. Peter Armenian Apostolic Church in Van Nuys,
in honor of Mother of the Year Mrs. Marguerite Zavian, on May 12, 2004.
* On May 20, 2004, the feast of Ascension, the Primate officiated
over a ceremony at the Armenian Church of Crescenta valley,
Tujunga. Present also were Very Rev. Fr. Dajad Yardemian, Very
Rev. Fr. Asbed Balian and other clergy.
* On May 21, 2004 Archbishop Derderian paid a Pastoral visit to
St. Andrew Armenian Apostolic Church in San Jose to preside over a
program by the Friday Armenian School.
The Primate was invited to and attended several events and ceremonies
throughout his Diocese.
* On March 8, 2004 is Eminence paid his first official visit to
the center of the Organization of Istanbul Armenians, where he was
greeted by the Executive Board of the Organization, as well all
Auxiliary Bodies, in a cordial Reception.
* His Eminence visited the Claremont School of Theology on March
11, 2004 accompanied by Attorney Joseph Ganimian. The Primate was
greeted by President Philip Emerson and Vice President Jack Fitzmier.
* On the evening of March 13, 2004 His Eminence attended the 24th
Anniversary Celebration Banquet of the Sts. Sahag-Mesrob Armenian
Christian School, held in the Banquet Hall of the Ararat Home,
marking the first attendance of the Primate to an event by the school.
* On March 14, 2004 Archbishop Derderian was the keynote speaker at
the 10th Anniversary Banquet of New DAY, New Direction for Armenian
Youth. The Primate addressed the guests with a message entitled
“The Stewards of God’s Light”.
* His Eminence was invited to the Mayor’s Breakfast meeting on
March 18, 2004 with the attendance of several community leaders from
the Los Angeles Area.
* The Primate presided over the funeral service and read the
eulogy of renowned Armenian singer Arpine Pehlivanian on March 20,
2004. In his address to the attendees he centered on her faith,
humility and vision for the Arts.
* Also on March 20, 2004 His Eminence attended the Annual Banquet
of the TCA Arshag Dickranian School.
* On March 24, 2004 the Primate spoke to the student body of the
Milken Community High School, after a meeting with Rabi Eli Herscher
and Head of the school Rennie R. Wrubel, Ed.D.
* On April 6, 2004 Archbishop Derderian, accompanied by Archbishop
Vatche Hovsepian and Very Rev. Fr. Asbed Balian, participated in
the inauguration of the Honorable Bob Yousefian as Mayor of the City
* The Primate paid a visit to the Homenetmen Cupertino Chapter on
the night of April 10, 2004, where he was greeted by Chairman of the
Chapter, Dr. Yenikomoushian.
* On April 13, 2004 the Primate paid a second visit to the Claremont
School of Theology, accompanied by Very Rev. Fr. Dajad Yardemian
and several Deacons of the Western Diocese, who are candidates for
* His Eminence visited the Friendly Adult Center in Tujunga on
April 14, 2004, accompanied by Fr. Hovsep Hagopian, where he greeted
and addressed the residents.
* In the evening of April 14, 2004 the Archbishop Derderian
addressed the students of the University of California San Diego in a
stimulating discussion of “The Armenian Church in the Context of the
Post Former Soviet Era”. The event was organized by Heritage Western
Armenian and the ASA.
* On April 16, 2004 the Primate presided over a commemoration
ceremony of the Armenian Genocide. The event was organized by the
Armenian Society of Los Angeles.
* On April 18 – 19, 2004 His Eminence Archbishop Derderian
participated in the 2004 National Conference in Washington, DC,
organized by the National Assembly and in cooperation with the AGBU
and the Eastern and Western Dioceses of the Armenian Church of North
* On April 22, 2004 the Primate attended the April 24th
commemoration service of the TCA Arshag Dickranian School.
* Also on April 22, His Eminence and various Diocesan clergy
participated in a joint Liturgical Service at the St. George Coptic
Church, in Pomona.
* The Primate attended a Genocide Commemoration event organized by
the ADL Hye Tad Committee, where he addressed the faithful on April
* His Eminence, with the participation of the Diocesan clergy
presided over a Requiem Service at the Armenian Memorial Monument in
Montebello, on April 24, 2004.
* Also on April 24, the Primate attended an April 24th Commemoration
Ceremony and candle-light vigil co-sponsored by the City of Glendale.
* On April 26, 2004 Archbishop Derderian conducted the opening
prayer at a Genocide Commemoration ceremony in the State Assembly,
in Sacramento, California.
* His Eminence attended a program at the Center of the Armenian
Ecclesiastical Brotherhood May 17, 2004 accompanied by Very Rev. Fr.
Dajad Yardemian, and other clergy of the Diocese. The program was
followed by a reception in the hall.
* On May 19, 2004 the Primate gave a presentation at the UCLA
Center for Religious studies on the topic, “Reflections on the Armenian
Church and a Vision for Renewal”.
Several noteworthy donations have been made within the community.
* Since the inception of the United Armenia Fund, the Western
Diocese has participated in its projects and missions, for the benefit
of the Motherland. This year the Western Diocese has transferred
$11,000 to the United Armenia Fund.
* Mr. and Mrs. Nshan and Ruby Derderian have graciously donated
$100,000 to the Western Diocese, making them one of the Godfathers
of the Diocesan Cathedral.
* St. James Armenian Apostolic Church and Mr. and Mrs. Martin and
Bertha Yacoobian have each donated $15,000 to the Diocesan Summer Camp,
towards its renovation project.
* Mr. John Stephens has made a pledge to donate $20,000 to the
Western Diocese, to be allocated towards the training of candidates
for the Order of Priesthood.
His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian officiated over the following
ceremonies during Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter.
* On Palm Sunday, April 4, 2004 His Eminence celebrated Divine
Liturgy and delivered the Sermon at St. John Armenian Apostolic Church
in San Francisco. On the occasion of the church’s 80th Anniversary,
a banquet followed in the church hall.
* On the evening of Holy Wednesday, April 7, 2004 His Eminence
presided over a Youth Worship Service at the St. Peter Armenian
Church Youth Ministries Center in Glendale. The service was written
and directed towards the youth.
* On the morning of Holy Thursday, April 8, 2004 the Primate
celebrated Divine Liturgy and delivered the Sermon at St. Paul Armenian
Apostolic Church in Fresno. A luncheon followed the Liturgy in the
* In the afternoon of Holy Thursday Archbishop Hovnan Derderian
presided over the Washing of the Feet at St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic
Church in Fowler.
* His Eminence presided over the “Khavaroom” Ceremony Thursday
night at St. Paul Armenian Apostolic Church in Fresno.
* The Primate officiated the Order of Crucifixion at Sts.
Sahag-Mesrob Armenian Apostolic Church in Reedley on Good Friday,
April 9, 2004.
* On Friday evening, April 9, 2004 the Burial Service took place
at St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church in Yettem, presided by His
Eminence Archbishop Derderian.
* On Holy Saturday, April 10, 2004 Archbishop Derderian attended a
joyous gathering with the children of the Saturday and Sunday Schools
and Scouts of St. Andrew Armenian Church in Cupertino, where breakfast
was served during which the Primate participated in an egg-cracking
contest with the children.
* In the afternoon of April 10, 2004 the Primate celebrated Easter
Eve Divine Liturgy and delivered the Sermon at St. Mary Armenian
Apostolic Church in Yettem.
* On Easter Sunday, April 11, 2004 His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan
Derderian celebrated Divine Liturgy and delivered the Sermon at
St. Peter Armenian Apostolic Church in Van Nuys, with a congregation
that filled the church to full capacity.
* On Monday, April 11, 2004, His Eminence, accompanied by several
clergy of the Los Angeles area, presided over an Easter House
Blessing and Holy Communion Ceremony at the Ararat Home for the Aged
in Mission Hills.
In the afternoon of April 11 the Primate officiated over a requiem
service at the Forest Lawn Mortuaries, for the memory of departed
souls. His Eminence was accompanied by several Clergy of the Diocese.
In the upcoming week, the Primate will participate in the following
* The Primate will pay a Pastoral visit to Carmel on May 22, 2004,
where he will celebrate Divine Liturgy and deliver the Sermon. A
reception will follow the Liturgy.
* On May 23, 2004 His Eminence will pay a Pastoral visit to
Oakland, where he will celebrate Divine Liturgy and officiate over
the ordination of Acolytes and Sub-Deacons. A reception will follow
in the church hall.
* On the weekend of May 27 – 29 His Eminence will preside over
the Annual ACYO Sports’ Weekend in Fresno.
* On May 30, 2004 the Primate will pay a Pastoral visit to St.
Mary Armenian Church in Yettem, for a Centennial Celebration.
DIVAN OF THE DIOCESE
May 22, 2004