Churches induct men into the priesthood

Los Angeles Times, CA
May 31 2008

Churches induct men into the priesthood

At least 20 candidates will be ordained in Southern California, with
12 joining the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

By Steve Padilla and Duke Helfand, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
May 31, 2008

For churches all over it’s the season of ordinations as candidates for
the priesthood complete their studies. In Southern California, at
least 20 men are joining the clergy in solemn and joyful ceremonies in
this week.

The ordinations began Thursday night in Hollywood as Vahe Abovian and
Mayis Shahbazyan were welcomed into the priesthood by Archbishop
Hovnan Derderian of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of
North America.

Following custom, Derderian gave the men new first names upon
ordination — Avedis for Abovian and Khajag for Shahbazyan. "Grant
them to keep the priesthood pure with holy heart," he said.

The elaborate ceremony, conducted mostly in Armenian, was held at
St. John Garabed Armenian Church. These were the first ordinations in
the diocese in 10 years because many clerics serving in the region are
from overseas.

Today, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles will celebrate
the ordination of 12 men, the largest ordination class since 1998,
when 14 took vows. Mirroring national trends, the new priests reflect
a variety of ages — 29 to 49 — and nationalities. Six were born
overseas, three in Vietnam.

The Diocese of San Bernardino today will ordain six priests. It’s a
significant number, said spokesman John Andrews, noting that the
diocese had ordained only seven priests in the previous 10 years. He
said the diocese has seven fewer priests than when it formed 30 years
ago — even though the number of Catholics it serves has increased by
1 million. On June 7, two priests will be ordained in the Diocese of
Orange County.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops this month released a report
on trends in priestly vocations. The report, based on data collected
in March, found 401 potential ordinands nationwide. Of those, 335
responded to the survey.

In keeping with recent trends, many of the men are in their 30s and
one-third of this year’s new priests were born outside the United

The report can be found on the conference’s website,

Mediterranean Jewish program

Andrew Viterbi enjoys a distinction few others can claim: He can trace
his family’s Italian Jewish roots to 1588.

The onetime UCLA engineering professor and co-founder of cellphone
giant Qualcomm Inc. can tell you that his ancestors lived in a town 30
miles north of Rome more than 400 years ago.

He can explain, with the finesse of a history scholar, how the
Mediterranean region has been home for centuries to vibrant Jewish

Now the wireless communications magnate and his family have taken
steps to preserve that history: They have established a $1.4-million
endowment to create a program in Mediterranean Jewish Studies through
the UCLA Center for Jewish Studies.

Starting in the fall, the endowment will pay for visiting scholars to
teach one quarter a year about Mediterranean Jewish history or
culture. It also will pay for quarterly lectures and seminars on
communities in Italy, France, Spain, Greece, Egypt, Israel, North
Africa and the Balkans.

The gift, announced earlier this month, is the latest to a university
from the renowned engineer, who pioneered technology used in cellular
telephones. In 2004, Viterbi and his wife, Erna, donated $52 million
to the school of engineering at USC, his alma mater.

The new UCLA undertaking follows a pilot program in Italian Jewish
Studies launched three years ago, also with support from the Viterbi
Family Foundation.

Robert Kennedy remembered

To mark the upcoming 40th anniversary of the assassination of Robert
F. Kennedy, two of the region’s leading religious figures will preside
over a ceremony at the hospital where Kennedy died.

Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and
Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles,
will lead the ceremony Tuesday in the All Soul’s Chapel at Good
Samaritan Hospital. Kennedy was taken to Central Receiving Hospital,
which no longer exists, before he was moved to Good Samaritan, where
he died at 1:44 a.m. on June 6, 1968.

The hospital has long been affiliated with the Episcopal Church. It
was founded in 1885 by Sister Mary Wood, an Episcopal nun, as the
nine-bed Los Angeles Hospital and Home for Invalids. Two years later,
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church assumed control of the facility, largely
through the efforts of women at the parish.

Walking for Darfur

Jewish World WatchGood Samaritan Hospital reports that about 1,000
people have signed up to participate in its second annual Walk for
Darfur, a three-mile walk to be held Sunday to raise awareness about
the ongoing violence in Sudan.

In recent years, a number of Jewish groups and congregations have
tried to call attention to violence against non-Arab black Africans by
mostly Arab militias in Darfur, in western Sudan.

The walk is scheduled to begin at Jewish Federation Valley Alliance,
22622 Vanowen St., West Hills. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and
the walk at 9 a.m. More information is available at

http://www.latimes.c om/news/local/la-me-beliefs31-2008may31,0,7728599. story

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

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Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS