Western Prelacy News – 11/08/2013

November 8, 2013
Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America
H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate
6252 Honolulu Avenue
La Crescenta, CA 91214
Tel: (818) 248-7737
Fax: (818) 248-7745
E-mail: [email protected]


On Sunday, November 10, 2013, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian,
Prelate, will preside over Divine Liturgy and deliver the sermon at Holy
Cross Cathedral in Montebello.


On Sunday, November 3, 2013 Holy Martyrs Church of Encino commenced
its 50th anniversary celebration with Episcopal Divine Liturgy celebrated by
H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, who also ordained deacons
and stole-bearers on this special occasion. Rev. Fr. Boghos Tinkjian and
Parish Pastor Rev. Fr. Razmig Khatchadourian assisted at the altar. H.E.
Archbishop Yeprem Tabakian participated in the service as well.
The Church was filled beyond capacity as hundreds of faithful had
gathered to be part of this historic and momentous day. Central Executive
member Mr. Khajag Dikijian and Executive Council Chair Mrs. Rima Boghossian
were among the guests in attendance, as well as Ferrahian School 11th grade
students. Sunday School students joined the choir in the singing of the
Accompanied by the “Hrashapar” hymn, the Prelate entered the
sanctuary to begin the service. After the Scripture reading by Sunday
School students, the ordination of deacons began with the “Oorakh Ler” hymn.
Rev. Fr. Razmig Khatchadourian presented the two candidates, Hovig
Seraydarian and Toukhman Khatchadourian, and testified that they are worthy
of ordination. The sub-deacons ascended the altar on their knees and facing
the altar, knelt before the Prelate. With his hand on their heads, the
Prelate prayed for God to extend His protective hand over them and to bless
them so that they are worthy of this calling to serve His holy church. May
they receive Your grace and spread it among the faithful as they serve our
one true Lord through their rank as deacons, recited His Eminence. He
prayed for them to leave behind the worldly and become preachers of His
Word, for god to cleanse them of sin, give them the strength and wisdom to
live righteously, and for the mercy of His son and the truth of the Holy
Spirit to be upon them.
The candidates then turned around to face the congregation, hands on
their ears with palms facing out as the “Divine Heavenly Grace” hymn was
sung. The Prelate placed his hands on their heads and prayed for God to
look upon His servants with mercy, keep them resolute in their calling,
increase their faith and love, and give them the strength and grace of the
first deacon and proto-martyr St. Stepehen so that they serve obediently and
humbly, filled with the Holy Spirit, and bring joy and goodness to
themselves and those around them.
With the Gospel reading by Rev. Fr. Boghos Tinkjian, the Liturgy
continued until the Kiss of Peace when the ordinations continued. The
sub-deacons once again knelt before the Prelate, and with his hands on their
heads, His Eminence prayed for God to be the helper and protector of His
servants, keeping them in peace away from visible and invisible enemies so
they live just and pure lives and become worthy of eternal life in the
example of His saints. Placing the stoles on their left shoulders, he
called on the deacons to cast off the shadow of sin and to become an example
to others with their lives and actions. Presenting the Gospel, His Eminence
granted them permission to read the Word of God from the altar, and
presenting the censer, granted them permission to cense. The newly ordained
deacons censed three times, and before the final benediction, the Prelate
placed stoles on the shoulders of acolytes Hagop Demirjian, Manuel
Bayramian, Bedros Najarian, and Gary Markarian, elevating them to the rank
of stole-bearer. Thus the ordinations concluded, and the Liturgy continued
until the sermon.
The Prelate began by offering praise and glory to God for making us
worthy of participating in the Liturgy on All Saints Day, which is also the
name-day of Holy Martyrs Church and this year coincided with the 50th
anniversary. He congratulated the deacons and stole-bearers once again,
praying that they remain faithful in their calling. Service to our church,
from acolyte to the highest rank of Catholicos, begins with faith, hope, and
love, stressed the Prelate, and prayed for the Lord’s strength, wisdom, and
grace to lead them in their God-pleasing service. The Prelate offered the
same prayer for all the faithful, stating that as children of God, as
Christians created in the image of God and children of the Armenian
Apostolic Church, all of us must live God-pleasing lives strengthened by the
Holy Spirit.
Speaking on All Saints Day, the Prelate noted that in the early days
of Christians, martyrs who sacrificed their lives for our Lord and our faith
and became witnesses for the church were venerated individually. As the
number of martyrs grew, the Roman Catholic Church established a day for all
saints to be honored collectively. These saints, old and new, known and
unknown, were heroes and champions of our faith. They were pure men and
women who lived pure lives obedient to God’s commandments and were
persecuted for our Lord and for righteousness. All Saints Day, as the
name-day and pilgrimage day of Holy Martyrs Church, is an invitation, a call
to follow in their example of unwavering faith, utmost devotion to God,
selfless spirit of sacrifice, and purity. Nothing could shake their faith
or lead them astray from their path, not even torment and untold
With this same faith, love, and devotion, the founders of Holy
Martyrs Church established this church fifty years ago, stated the Prelate.
And each year, when we celebrate another anniversary, the message is for us
to reflect on the past and on our forefathers, and to pray for God to help
us live in their example and in the example of our martyrs who dedicated
their lives to worshipping God, to doing good; they loved God with all their
being and God blessed them and made them worthy of eternal life and of
inheriting His kingdom. On this 50th anniversary, my call is for servants
and faithful alike to live and serve with the faith, spirit, and devotion of
our martyrs, loving God with all your heart, said the Prelate. He blessed
the memory of the church founders and prayed for God to bless us, their
descendents, with faith, love, wisdom, and strength to continue their path
of service. He blessed and commended all those who serve for the progress
of our church, and blessed the students, stating that our churches and
schools are united in common cause and purpose. “Heavenly King, preserve
Your Church unshaken and keep in peace those who worship Your name,”
concluded the Prelate, and the Liturgy continued.
Prior to the Lord have Mercy prayer (Der Voghormya), Fr. Razmig
addressed the congregation On behalf of the Holy Martyrs Church family he
thanked the Prelate for the sharing in this special day and for the
ordinations, welcomed Archbishop Yeprem Tabakian, Rev. Fr. Boghos Tinkjian,
Mr. Khajag Dikijian, and Mrs. Rima Boghossian, and congratulated the new
deacons and stole-bearers. Fr. Razmig also announced that special donations
were made on the occasion of the Church 50th anniversary; he thanked Mr. and
Mrs. Garbis and Vart Berberian for donating a beautiful hand decorated
Bible, Dr. and Mrs. Garo and Lida Tchakian for sponsoring the new church
robes, and acknowledged the donation of the late Lucine Kahkejian which was
used to purchase new church vessels for this occasion.
The service came to a close with the requiem, during which prayers
were offered for departed church servants and faithful. By the request of
the Homenetmen Regional Executive and the ordinance of the Prelate, requiem
prayers were also offered for departed Homenetmen members.
With Homenetmen scouts standing at attention in the courtyard, the
Prelate was led in a procession to “Avedissian” Hall where he blessed the
madagh. The service came to a close with the Cilician and Armenian anthems.
The celebration continued with a sit-down luncheon during which the madagh
was served.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees Fr. Razmig welcomed the guests,
giving thanks to God for the opportunity to collectively celebrate the 50th
anniversary, which he stated was even more special because the church was
enriched with the ordination of deacons and stole-bearers. He thanked the
Prelate again for sharing in this historic day, stating, “we offer to you
our boundless gratitude. During your Prelature, the Prelacy has experienced
great growth, and you have impelled us in our service”. In conclusion, Fr.
Razmig thanked the Board of Trustees, Delegates, Ladies guild, and all the
church servants for their devoted service, the Executive Council for their
support, and the madagh sponsors for their generosity.
The luncheon also featured a cultural program of music, poetry, and
dance. Newly ordained deacon Hovig Seraydarian and his young daughter Nanor
presented two songs on the piano and violin . Young dancers from Lilia
Dance Group performed two dances, and Sunday School students recited poetry
and presented three group songs.
The historic day came to a close with the Prelate’s message.
“Let us build the holy altar of light, because from there light
dawned upon the Armenian nation”, began the Prelate with these words from
the “Etchmiadzin Ee Hore” hymn. Today’s service and this cultural program
are living witnesses to these words from the hymn sang by the Sunday School
students, stated His Eminence. St. Gregory the Illuminator had his vision
and received the sign to build the church, and with it the spiritual and
national lives of the Armenian people were illuminated. Hand in hand, with
faith and love, our religious forefathers established our church and spread
spiritual light. Thanks to God for sustaining our church over the
centuries. Stating that as the descendants of our forefathers it is our
duty to continue their path, the Prelate commended all servants, clergy and
laity alike, for their service. He greeted fellow clergy members Archbishop
Yeprem Tabakian, Fr. Boghos, and Fr. Razmig, Central and Executive Council
members Mr. Khajag Dikijian and Mrs. Rima Boghossian, Board of Trustees,
Delegates, altar servers, choir members, Sunday School staff and students,
stating that the more we are elevated in rank, the more deeply we must
serve, with humility, without judging one another, with Christ’s presence in
our hearts and souls. All that we do is for our spiritual awakening, said
His Eminence, thus, we must serve with pure hearts and minds, with
faithfulness and integrity, with goodness in our actions, words, and
thoughts, and for praise from God and not from people. The celebration
concluded with the Prelate’s benediction.


On Thursday, November 7, 2013, Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian, President
of Haigazian University in Lebanon, visited the Prelacy and met with H.E.
Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate. Rev. Haidostian is in the United
States for the Haigazian University annual banquet to be held on Saturday,
November 9 and to participate in board meetings. He was accompanied by Dr.
Hrair Aharonian, who has served as Haigazian University board Chair and
member and is a long-time servant of the Armenian Evangelical Church.
Rev. Haidostian spoke of the University’s growing endeavors and
expansion of properties in its over 55 year history, noting that Haigazian
is an esteemed institution not only in Lebanon but in the Middle East and
beyond, including Armenia. During his stay in the United States Rev.
Haidostian stated that he will also have board meetings and meet with groups
who work for the progress of the University, including the Ladies Auxiliary
whose members will be honored at the annual banquet.
The Prelate, who had received an invitation to the banquet,
expressed that he could not attend as he will be at the Holy Martyrs Church
50th anniversary banquet. He noted however that he had appointed Very Rev.
Fr. Muron Aznikian to represent him and convey his message to the gathering.

The Prelate commended the commitment of the University to providing
high-quality education to Armenian and non-Armenian students alike. He also
spoke of the endeavors of the Prelacy in the spiritual, cultural, and
educational arenas, and the Prelacy’s involvement in efforts to assist
Armenia, Artsakh, and Syria.
The visit concluded with an exchange of gifts. Rev. Haidostian had
brought from Lebanon a newly published book listing the titles of all
Armenian books published to date, a number which exceeds 6,500. The Prelate
presented three newly published books by Garo Bedrosian, Journey to the
Armenian Heritage, and Feasts of the Armenian Church and National Traditions
in Armenian and English.


On Friday, November 8, the annual Professional Development Day
organized by the Board of Regents of Prelacy Schools was held at Holy
Martyrs Ferrahian School in Encino, with the participation of 450 teachers
from Prelacy and non-Prelacy Armenian Schools.

The Prelate presided over the opening of the seminar and conveyed
his message to the participating teachers.
In his message, His Eminence stated that professional development
and continuing education is important in any field, but especially in
teaching, for our teachers are one of the most valuable facets of society
and have a profound impact on our students and through them on our society.
Teachers are doing a valuable service not only to each individual student,
but to society in general; given this mighty obligation, it is crucial for
our teachers to have ongoing opportunities to learn from one another, to
share knowledge, wisdom, and experiences, stated the Prelate. Citing the
words of St. Gregory of Nareg, “I constantly learn, but cannot reach to the
perfection of the true knowledge”, the Prelate affirmed that learning is a
life-long process, and thus commended the Board of Regents for organizing
this annual seminar offering our educators the opportunity to learn and
enhance their skills. His Eminence also commended the teachers for their
participation, and the presenters for their input in sharing their knowledge
and experiences.
Holy Martyrs Church Pastor Rev. Fr. Razmig Khatchadourian
accompanied the Prelate.


On the evening of Thursday, November 7, 2013, the presentation of
the second volume of architect Harmik Hacopian’s book “From the Pages of My
Life” was held under the auspices of H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian,
Prelate, at the Armenian Society of Los Angeles center in Glendale.
The Prelate, accompanied by Archpriest Fr. Nareg Pehlivanian and
Rev. Fr. Gomidas Torossian, attended the event. Executive Council Chair
Mrs. Rima Boghossian was also in attendance.
The official program concluded with the Prelate’s message. As a big
surprise to the honoree, His Eminence bestowed the Prelacy “St. Dertad”
medal on Harmik Hacopian in recognition and commendation of his years-long
and extensive service to our national and educational life.
From Iran to the Western United States, Harmik Hacopian has been a
devoted servant of our people and community, utilizing his architectural
talents for the beautification of our communities, among them the beautiful
monument at Soghomon Tehlirian’s gravesite in Fresno and his involvement in
the Genocide monument in Montebello, said the Prelate. Furthermore, he
commended the honoree for his role in the establishment of educational
institutions, specifically in the Hollywood community. In conclusion, the
Prelate expressed contentment that Mr. Hacopian has documented his works on
paper as an enduring witness of his skills and also as an example to future
generations. His Eminence also presented Mr. Hacopian’s wife, Theresa, with
a pearl cross in commendation for her faithful service alongside her husband
and as an exemplary mother, grandmother, and educator. Given that the event
coincided with Mr. Hacopian’s birthday, the Prelate congratulated the
honoree and wished him longevity so that he may continue her service to our
The event came to a close with the blessing of the book by the


On Saturday, November 2nd, the Maronite community of Los Angeles
celebrated the recent ordination and enthronement of His Excellency Elias A.
Zaidan as Bishop of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon. The banquet was
organized by Our Lady of Mt. Lebanon – St. Peter Maronite Catholic
Cathedral, and was held at the Beverly Hills Wilshire Hotel.
The Prelate attended and conveyed his congratulations and well
wishes to Bishop Zaidan. On this occasion, His Eminence also presented the
new Bishop with an Armenian Bishop’s hand cross in appreciation of their
years-long friendship.


Organized by Le Papillon gift and jewelry store in Glendale, on the
evening of Wednesday, November 9, a cocktail reception was held with
renowned metal ware artisan Michael Aram.
The Prelate attended the reception and met with the designer,
commending his talent and wishing him continued success in his professional
life. His Eminence presented Michael Aram with Hrair “Hawk” Khatcherian’s
photo book, Yergir 2 Yergir: A Journey to Historic Armenia. The designer
presented the Prelate with his “Noah’s Ark” centerpiece.
From there, the Prelate headed to Garboushian Gallery in Beverly
Hills for an exhibit of artist Arthur Sarkissian’s paintings. The event was
organized by Orran, the charity for needy children and elderly in Armenia.
The Prelate commended artist Arthur Sarkissian, Orran, and Garboushian
Gallery owner Herair Garboushian.


On Monday, November 4, the Prelate participated in the Armenia Fund
Corporate Board meeting held at the Western Diocese in Burbank. The
meeting’s agenda was the upcoming Armenia Fund Telethon. Community
representatives also participated in the meeting.


On Sunday, November 3rd, the Los Angeles affiliate of the Armenian
International Women’s Association held a luncheon honoring Mrs. Silvia
Tchakmakjian, recipient of the 2013 Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
The Prelate had sent a congratulatory letter in advance, expressing
pride and joy that Silvia Tchakmajian, a member of our community was
recognized for her service and contributions to society. “As a pioneering
businesswoman for over three decades, you continue to make a difference in
our professional and community life, and for that we commend you.
Furthermore, we highly commend and appreciate your initiative in utilizing
the resources you earn through hard work to help our community through your
charitable endeavors and benevolence,” stated His Eminence.


On Saturday, November 2nd, the Homenetmen Los Angeles Chapter
celebrated its 45th anniversary with a banquet held at Monte Cristo
restaurant in Hollywood.
Archpriest Fr. Vicken Vassilian attended on behalf of the Prelate,
conducted the blessing of tables, and conveyed the Prelate’s
The Prelate had previously sent his message to the Chapter,
conveying his blessings to the board and members of the chapter and
commending their service to our community and nation through their
involvement in Homenetmen. His Eminence praised the Homenetmen organization
for the healthy environment it provides for our youth and their commitment
to the physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual development of our
youth and planting in them seeds of love for our Christian and Armenian
national values and heritage.