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  • On July 26, with the blessings of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; during the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, the faithful witnessed the sacrament of priesthood ordination.

    The celebrant was His Grace Bishop Vardan Navasardyan, Director of the Christian Education Center of the Mother See, who ordained seven deacons into the priesthood.

    His Grace Bishop Vardan consecrated the foreheads, then the right and left hands of the new priests with Holy Chrism (Muron) and gave them new names: Dn. Hayk Tadevosyan was renamed Fr. Tadeos; Dn. Artak Vardanyan was renamed Fr. Torgom; Dn. Avetis Asatryan was renamed Fr. Arshavir; Dn. Vardan Zeynalyan was renamed Fr. Pargev; Dn. Arman Shokhikyan was renamed Fr. Grigoris; Dn. Davit Gharibyan was renamed Fr. Karapet and Dn. Arman Martirosyan was renamed Fr. Abraham.

    Following the ordination, the newly ordained clergy conveyed their first blessings to the attendees.

    Afterwards, Bishop Vardan, congratulated the Catholicos of All Armenians, the clergy, the parents of the ordained priests and the faithful on the occasion of the seven newly ordained priests, and stated in part: “The Armenin Apostolic Holy Church again indicates its centuries-long victorious campaign and this day is the great evidence of the triumphant mystery of Resurrection in that process and the grace of God’s presence. During the Holy Communion, we offered one of the seven sacraments of our Church: the sacred wonderment of Ordination. Dear friends, the Armenian Church is established again on the true word of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Today, the Armenian Church once again fortified, is perpetuated through the Mother See, as by our prayers, the spirit of our Lord blessed the priests with His grace, and generously shed the light of His wisdom. Today these seven dedicated servants are witnesses of faith who will serve at the Lord's altar for the recovery of the spiritual life of our people, to share God’s love and true word into their lives”.

    Bishop Vardan addressed the new priests and stressed that God will act through their service and urged their hearts to always be close to their delivered flock, to comfort the grief of their flock through their pastoral word. Bishop Vardan also added that as it was in the case of the sacred Patriarchs and apostles, archmindrates and eminent priests, henceforth God will act on earth through the newly ordained priests.

    Then, the Brotherhood of the Mother See ascended to the Holy Altar, to congratulate the newly ordained priests and kiss their anointed foreheads and hands.

    In the evening, the Granting of the Cowl (veghar) service was  offered. Rev. Fr. Grigoris will be vested with the cowl and became a member of the Brotherhood of Holy Etchmiadzin.

    Following their ordination, the new clergy will follow the traditional 40-day seclusion period of fasting and with the blessings of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; will be appointed to serve in different Dioceses and Institutions of the Armenian Holy Apostolic Church.


  • The bookstore of the Western Diocese is please to announce a sale on the Holy Bible. In Eastern Armenian, the translation, compared to other Armenian translations, contains the collection of books authorized and approved by the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church (complete canonical books). They have been translated from the classical Armenian manuscripts which are also known as "Queen of Translations."

    The Holy Bibles may be acquired by visiting the Diocesan Bookstore (3325 N. Glenoaks Blvd., Burbank, CA 91504) or by calling at (818) 558-7474. The Holy Bible is on sale for $25.

    Also available at the Bookstore are the New Testament in (Western Armenian) and the pocket-sized New Testament and Psalms (Eastern Armenian). The prices are $15 and $20, respectively.

    "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work"

    (2 Timothy 3:16-17).


  • The 2015 Special Olympics World Games, being staged in Los Angeles from July 25 - August 2, 2015, is the largest sports and humanitarian event anywhere in the world in 2015, and the single biggest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympic Games, with 6,500 athletes and 2,000 coaches, along with 30,000 volunteers and an anticipated 500,000 spectators in attendance.

    In the Special Olympics, Armenia's athletes will compete in the following sports:

     • Aquatics
     • Athletics 
     • Powerlifting 
     • Table Tennis

    The City of Glendale, one of the largest Armenian communities in the world hosts the Armenian athletes.

    Click here to learn more about the Armenian athletes. 


  • During the month of July 2015, ACYO Central Council Chairman Jacqueline Boyadzhyan, Central Council member Sona Khachikyan, and ACYO member Lilit Khachikyan visited the Nakashian Children’s Support Center in Yerevan, Armenia, and spent time and with the girls of the Mer Hooys program.  Jacqueline and Sona raised money to bring a variety of gifts and arts and crafts supplies to the Center, and spent time with the girls at the Center.  They had the chance to see the talented art work created by some of the older girls. 

    Mer Hooys board president Adrienne Krikorian arranged for the three ACYO members to spend a week at Our Lady of Armenia Summer Camp for disadvantaged children, as the guests of Sister Arousiag Sajonian, Director.  While at camp, the girls had the chance to interact with all of the Mer Hooys residents and close to 200 other children from Armenia. In addition to attending classes and workshops with the children, the US visitors met other volunteers from the Diaspora, played games and interacted with the groups of children which included the newest of the Mer Hooys residents, ages 8 ½ to 11. 

    Ms. Boyadzhyan commented to Ms. Krikorian that her experience at the camp, which had children from so many different backgrounds, gave “everyone an opportunity to grow within themselves as they befriended others.”  She left a message with the Mer Hooys girls to “learn all they can so that when they are older they can become influential women.”  Leaving camp was very hard for our ACYO visitors, because in the five days they were there, they bonded closely with the Mer Hooys girls, especially the younger ones.  Their bond will continue after they return to the USA. 

    The Mer Hooys board, which was delighted to see our ACYO members investing their time and talent in this valuable program, will make arrangements for the ACYO members to contact the girls through SKYPE and continue their relationships as role models and mentors.  More information about Mer Hooys is available at www.mer-hooys.org.


  • On Wednesday, July 22, 2015, the Diocesan Primate Archbishop Hovnan Derderian presided over a special meeting of the clergy executive committee at the Headquarters of the Western Diocese in Burbank.

    Among the important topics on the agenda included the preparation and publication of a guideline of religious and liturgical rites, a conference dedicated to the Armenian Apostolic Church, the preparation efforts of the 90th anniversary of the establishment of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America, the peregrination of the relics of the newly canonized Holy Martyrs as a source of homage and pilgrimage and lastly, the recent ruling of the US Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriage. The aforementioned ruling raises serious religious, theological and social issues for Christian communities. The clergy clarified, defined and reaffirmed the position of the Armenian Apostolic Church pertaining to the matter.

    After discussing the matter in the biblical, ethical and theological context, the Western Diocese reasserted the belief of the Armenian Apostolic Church and theological stance. The marriage of same-sex couples is viewed as unacceptable. The official belief of the Armenian Apostolic Church will remain unchanged as it has throughout the centuries and no such rulings can distort her conviction.

    At the conclusion of the meeting, the clergy decided to convene another special meeting on Tuesday, August 25th at the Diocesan Headquarters. 


  • The Christian Education Council of the Western Diocese convened its bi-monthly meeting at the Diocesan Headquarters on Saturday, July 18.

    The meeting was presided by His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate, and was chaired by Mrs. Debbie Derderian. Following the treasurer's report, the CEC discussed the 2015-2016 schedule of events, its mission parish project, 2015-2016 backpacking through the Bible, CEC/ACYO transitional phase and others.

    Below is the 2015-2016 Calendar of Events

    Back to Faith Workshop-August 22, 2015

    Rally Day-September 13, 2015

    Seattle/Washington – September-26 & 27-Cultural Month Activities

    Catechetical Sunday-October 4, 2015

    Advent Fair—November 15, 2015

    CEC meeting- December  5 or 12

    Lenten Workshops: Jan 31- Feb. 7, 14, 21 & 28; March 6 & 13 (Easter March 27)

    Host Parishes:  Sacramento, St. Gregory, St Mary-Yettem

    Lenten Almsgiving Project:

    Last day of Faith Formation-Sunday May 15, 2016

    Under the direction of His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian the CEC is committed to supply resources and tools by which teachers and parents can be equipped for this dynamic and growing mission.

    In January of 2010 the CEC, under new leadership, combined the talents of continuing members with a number of new members to move forward and tackle new tasks and challenges as our Diocese grows and matures.


  • Week one of this year's summer camp is officially in the books as a new wave of campers were welcomed to the Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian Summer Camp on Sunday, July 19.

    Nothing would bring down the uplifted spirits of the campers not even the gloomy weather. This year's summer camp theme, We Remember, is dedicated to the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide and the 131 campers who attended the second week of camp came prepared to commemorate the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide. 

    For campers, the second week of camp is action packed as it is filled with learning, games & sports, arts & crafts, nature hikes, and fellowship. 

    On the morning of July 21st, the campers took part in a series of classes including Armenian History, Bible Study, "Our Armenian Church" and,  “Icebreakers” – an opportunity for campers to make new friends!

    In the evening, the campers gathered at the Arbor for the evening chapel service. The Diocesan Primate attended the campsite and met with the campers. Among the clergy who were present were His Eminence Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian, (after whom the camp is named), and the chaplains for the week Rev. Fr. Krikor Zakaryan and Rev. Fr. Yeghishe Ksachikyan.


  • The mission of the Stewardship Program is aligned with the Armenian Apostolic Church’s principal mission of being a light to all Armenian believers providing the faithful with the spiritual knowledge and nourishment to ensure their growth in to become mature Christians (1 Corinthians 2:15). In practical terms, therefore, the mission of the Western Diocese Stewardship Program is to ensure the future vitality and growth of our church.

    The scope of the mission is threefold as it includes the preparation of priesthood-candidates, mission parish support and youth and young professionals programs.

    More than 60 friends and supporters of the Stewardship Program attended the reception at the Primate's residence on Thursday, July 16, 2015. The fundraising mixer, organized by the Stewardship Committee, was also attended by Diocesan benefactors and members of the Diocesan Council.

    In his remarks, the Primate expressed his wholehearted gratitude to Dr. Vahram Biricik, the Chairman of the Stewardship Committee for his steadfast leadership which spans over a decade and to the members of the Committee for their zealous Christian spirit and commitment.  

    "Your unwavering commitment and your ancestral Christian Faith is evident in your desire to contribute to the God-pleasing mission of the Armenian Apostolic Church by preparing the new wave of Armenian clergy. As stewards of a noble mission, you continue to ensure the livelihood of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church," said Archbishop Derderian in part.

    Highlights of Past Accomplishments

    The Stewardship Program has been an undeniable success. To date, its alumni now include several ordained clergy who are faithfully serving their communities. Since the reorganization of the Stewardship Program in 2004, seven graduates have received their Master of Divinity degrees including:

    Fr. Khajag Shahbazyan (Claremont School of Theology)

    Fr. Avedis Abovian (Claremont School of Theology)

    Fr. Nerses Hayrapetyan (Claremont School of Theology)

    Fr. Mesrop Ash (Kevorkian Theological Seminary (Armenia))

    Fr. Krikor Zakaryan (Claremont School of Theology)

    Fr. Serovbe Alanjian (St. John’s Seminary)

    Fr. Yeghishe Ksachikyan (St. Nersess Armenian Theological Seminary)


  • On Sunday, July 19, 2015, the Diocesan Primate Archbishop Hovnan Derderian made an official visit to St. Mary Armenian Church in Yettem where His Eminence celebrated the Divine Liturgy and offer the homily. During the services, the Primate also presented the Diocesan Hye Spirit Award to three of our parishioners based on the recommendation of the Parish Council and Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Zaven Makosyan. Honored this year were Charlie Davidian, Lucille Margosian and Marilyn Zerounian.

    The Hye Spirit Awards were first presented in our parish in 2005 by Archbishop Derderian. The award recognizes parishioners who for many years have rendered service to their parish and the Armenian Apostolic Church.

    Marilyn Zerounian was recognized for her many years of service beginning with ACYO and as a member of the Yettem Church Choir that began in 1953. She has also been an active member of the Ladies Society which she joined in 1963. Following her mother's lead, Marilyn has served on the "mas" committee and was chair of that group until very recently. Marilyn and husband Pete were also charter members of the Mr. and Mrs. Club.

    ​Lucille Margosian began her service to our church as a member of the ACYO. Lucille also joined the Ladies Society in 1963 and served that organization as its treasurer for many terms. Lucille has served on the Ways and Means Committee, the Mr. & Mrs. Committee, the Kitchen Remodeling Committee, the Monument Committee, the 75th Anniversary Committee and was instrumental in getting a miniature rose named after the St. Mary Parish.

    Charlie Davidian was unable to attend the event because of a previous commitment to be in Washington State with his family. Charlie who also began serving in his early years with ACYO was recognized for serving multiple terms on the Parish Council. On the Council he has served as vice chairman and maintenance committee chair. Charlie spends many hours doing odd jobs around the church even when "off" the board. Charlie was a member of the Mr. and Mrs. Club for many years.  Charlie also has followed in his father's and uncle's footsteps as a master barbeque specialist for numerous church luncheons and banquets.

    A video of the presentation can be seen by clicking this link: HyeSpiritAwards2015

    Following the awarding of the Hye Spirit Awards, Archbishop Hovnan Derderian also took time to recognize church choir members with special gifts in gratitude for their continued service to our parish. This presentation can be seen by clicking here: Hye Spirit Awards 2015 and Choir Recognition.

    After the choir recognition Archbishop Derderian presented stoles to altar servers David Safrazian and Jordan Yahnian. Both young men have been active serving on the altar here,  and in Jordan's case also in Southern California.. In presenting the two with their stoles, the Primate expressed his gratitude to them in being "a good example to the faithful for their dedication and service to this Holy Altar and this Holy Church".  

    Click here for Awarding of Stoles Video. 

    After services, all those in attendance were invited to the Majarian Hall for a delicious fellowship luncheon sponsored by the Parish Council, Ladies Society and ACYO. The lunch featured lahmajoons, cheese boregs, numerous salads and desserts including a birthday sheet cake donated by the Safrazian family in honor of the birthdays of David and Pete Safrazian and Uncle Jack Barsamian. 


  • The youth and their sound relationship with the Armenian Apostolic Church has always been a top priority for H.E. Archbishop Hovnan Derderian throughout his Primacy. Nestled in the Sierra Mountains "The Arcbhishop Vatche Hovsepian Summer Camp" allows campers to embrace the natural setting of God’s creation. 

    On Monday, July 13, 2015, the Primate paid a visit to “Abp. Vatche Hovsepian Summer Camp” where he met with campers, counselors and chaplains. In his address to the campers, His Eminence emphasized the importance of a strong relationship with God that can be attained through a prayerful life. 

    To follow the activities of this year's summer camp, visit the camp's blog page.