News




  • It is with a heavy heart that we inform the passing of a longtime servant of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and senior clergyman, Archpriest Fr. Kalousd Keklikyan. Fr. Kalousd entered his eternal rest on August 28, at the age of 93.

    On September 1, at 6:00 p.m the Primate, accompanied by Diocesan clergy, presided over the Church Service at St. Leon Armenian Cathedral. The Last Unction Rite was performed by the Primate during the celebration of the Divine Liturgy.

    The burial service was held at Hollywood Hills Forrest Lawn cemetery on September 2 at 11:00 p.m.

    Biographical Highlight

    Fr. Kalousd Kiklekyan was born in Damascus, Syria on January 1, 1922. He graduated from the Seminary of the Great House of Cilicia. He was ordained and consecrated into the Priesthood in 1971 by His Eminence Archbishop Vahan Terian.

    He had served at the Araratian Pontifical Diocese conducting sacramental rites in Yerevan's St. Zoravor and Noragavit's St. Kevork churches.

    In 1990, he established residence in the United States of America. He had not served at the Western Diocese because he had passed his retirement age. 


  • The Diocese of the Armenian Church of Mexico was transferred to operate under the jurisdiction of the Western Diocese in November 2014 by the Pontifical Encyclical of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians. Within those nine months, the Diocesan Primate has made five pastoral visits to the Armenian community in Mexico with the most recent being in April for the official opening ceremony of the Armenian Genocide exhibition at the Museum of Tolerance in the nation's capital Mexico City.

    In March 2015, the Diocesan Primate led a delegation of Diocesan benefactors to Mexico City for the official commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. On Sunday, March 15 members of the Armenian-Mexican community and the delegation from California participated in the Holy Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico in commemoration of the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide. The celebrant was His Eminence Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, Mexico’s Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church. His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian participated in the service along with ecumenical officials including representatives of the Antiochian Orthodox Church, the Maronite Church, the Anglican Church as well as inter-religious officials of the Jewish Faith.

    The liturgy was widely covered by the Mexican media.

    Tremendous progress has been made in the short span to further the mission of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Mexico City and to support the Mexican-Armenian community in search of their ancestral roots. Archbishop Derderian has constantly stressed the leadership role of Ambassador Hovhannissian in uniting the Armenian community since his appointment as Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to Mexico.

    On Sunday, August 30, Archbishop Derderian celebrated the Divine Liturgy at Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Church in Mexico City marking it the first time that the Divine Liturgy of the Divine Liturgy of the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church was celebrated in the land of the Aztecs. Accompanying the Primate on his fifth pastoral visit to Mexico City were the Rev. Fr. Nerses Hayrapetyan, Pastor of St. Sarkis Armenian Church in Santa Clarita, Deacon Artak Khachikyan.

    With the sanctuary filled near to capacity, the inaugural service was tremendously received by the faithful. His Eminence also officiated the Blessing of the Grapes ceremony and explained the significance of the ceremonial rite.

    In his remarks, the Primate expressed his wholehearted gratitude to His Grace Bishop George Saad Abi Younes, the Bishop of the Maronite Church of Mexico for the warm reception and cordial hospitality.

    Archbishop Derderian spoke about Lebanon's crucial role in the creation of the Armenian Diaspora following the Armenian Genocide and the displacement of the Armenian people. "There is no doubt as to the extent of the mutual love and respect shared by the Armenian and Lebanese people. Since the Armenian Genocide of 1915, Lebanon most graciously welcomed tens of thousands of refugee Armenians and embraced the Armenian heritage and culture."

    Reception at the Armenian Embassy

    In the late afternoon, a reception was graciously hosted at the Armenian Embassy by the Armenian Ambassador His Excellency Grigor Hovhannissian and his spouse. 

    Among the dignitaries in attendance were His Excellency Eduardo Malayan, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Mexico, Dr. Jose Sarukhan, former Rector (President) of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), philanthropists Mr. and Mrs. Vahe Garabedian amongst others. The Maronite Bishop George Saad Abi Younes and Fr. Christopher of the Russian Orthodox Church were among the guest clergymen in attendance.

    In his remarks, Ambassador Hovhnannissian expressed his gratitude to the Primate for the pastoral guidance of the Mexican-Armenian community noting his positive impact on the community since his first visit.

    Archbishop Derderian shared his vision for the newly established community which includes a permanent pastoral assignment of a clergyman and eventually a church building in the Armenian architectural style.  


  • Burbank, CA – Plans and preparations have been underway at the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian’s ordination as a priest as well as the 25th Anniversary of his Ordination as a Bishop of the Holy Armenian Apostolic Church. The Diocese will host a celebratory banquet following the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, October 25, 2015 at the Nazareth and Sima Kalaydjian Hall of the Dickranian Complex of the Western Diocese. A Champagne Reception will be held at the Galleria prior to the luncheon.

    The Organizing Committee, under the leadership of Joseph Kanimian, Esq., Chairman of the Diocesan Council, and Dr. Vahram Biricik, Chairman of the Stewardship Committee, anticipate a capacity crowd from throughout the 60 parishes across the Western Diocese to join in this well deserved tribute.  Along with the clergy and parishioners, benefactors, community leaders and public officials will also be in attendance to show their appreciation for the Primate’s selfless dedication and commitment to our Armenian communities and for rejuvenating both our spiritual and cultural  lives. 

    To commemorate this occasion, the Western Diocese will publish a special Tribute Booklet featuring letters from government officials, Armenian organizations and leaders in the community. His Eminence has requested that proceeds from this special event will benefit and support the Stewardship Program of the Western Diocese.  The main purpose of the Stewardship Program is to ensure the future vitality of churches through the education and preparation of new clergy to serve Armenian communities within the jurisdiction of the Western Diocese and to extend much-needed financial help to viable Mission Parishes that have been recently established.

    For further information, including reservations and sponsorship opportunities, please contact the Western Diocese at (818) 558-7474.


  • Phase Two of the construction of the Armenian Church Complex of Las Vegas officially commenced on Thursday, August 27, 2015. The construction is scheduled to be completed by March 2016.

    The architectural renderings depict the future look of the Armenian Church Complex.

    The adjacent school building, which has an enrollment of close to 60 students, has served as the sanctuary of the parish since April 2014. 


  • The Christian Education Council held its Annual Fall-Faith Kick-Off at the Western Diocese on Saturday, August 29. Sunday School superintendents and teachers participated in workshop which was titled "Catechist Backpack."

    The workshop commenced with an opening prayer by the Rev. Fr. Haroutioun Tachejian, Pastor of St. James Armenian Church in Los Angeles, who also read the message of blessing and commendation of His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian addressed to the organizers and participants.

    "I wish to extend to you all my deep gratitude and appreciation for realizing a mission which is extremely important as we take on the responsibility to cultivate the minds and souls of our children with the love of God and the wisdom of Christ, our Lord.

    Sunday School, is a vital institution where we all meet God and make the commitment to walk to God. I personally remember with the fondest memories my early childhood years as a student of Sunday School. Those were the blessed years in my life and I only wish the same for our children.

    I extend my deepest gratitude to Mrs. Debbie Derderian and the members of the CEC, for you have taken your role which God has entrusted you to perform it with the utmost diligence. I truly admire the dedication of all superintendents and teachers," wrote His Eminence in part.

    The day's keynote speaker was Mashdots Jobanian, the Director of the Religious Education Department whose presentation was titled "Intimacy with God."

    CEC chairlady Debbie Derderian and members Yeretzgin Talin Petoyan, Izzy Toumanian and Rozie Toumanian highlighted the importance of establishing a proper curriculum for Sunday School.

    The workshop concluded with an insightful question and answer session wherein valuable thoughts and ideas to were exchanged.


  • September 3 – Washington D.C., National Centennial Steering Committee Meeting

     

    September 6 – St. Leon Armenian Cathedral – Ordination of Sub-Deacons and Acolytes

     

    September 8 – Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles – Episcopal Ordinations

     

    September 12Morning: Diocesan Council Meeting

    Afternoon: Ladies Auxiliary Hye Tea Event

    Evening: 2015 ACYO Alumni Gala (St. James Armenian Church in Los Angeles)

     

    September 13 - Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

    St. Leon Armenian Cathedral - Celebrant and Homilist - Cathedral's 5th Anniversary Celebration

     

    September 17 – 24th Anniversary of Armenia's Independence Celebration – Organized by the Consulate General of the Republic of Armenia

     

    September 19-20 - Pastoral Visit to St. Apkar Armenian Church in Arizona

    Groundbreaking Ceremony of the Senior Center

     

    September 21-30 - Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin

    Blessing of the Holy Chrism (Myuronorhnek)


  • His Grace Bishop Datev Hagopian and His Grace Bishop Abgar Hovakimyan, the Primates of the Dioceses of the Armenian Church of Romania and Canada, respectively, are visiting the Western Diocese.

    Bishop Datev Hagopian will be the celebrant and homilist at St. Peter Armenian Church in Glendal on Sunday, September 6th. Bishop Hagopian's last visit to the Western Diocese was in November 2014 as at the invitation of the Diocesan Primate Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, His Grace celebrated the Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon at St. Leon (Ghevontiantz) Armenian Cathedral.  

    His Grace Bishop Abgar Hovakimyan will be the celebrant and homilist at St. Leon Armenian Cathedral on Sunday, September 6th. The Diocesan Primate will preside

    Bishop During the service Bishop Hovakimyan will ordain Garen Hamamjian and Karo Giulakian as Sub-Deacons. Hayk Shahbazyan, Emmanuel Amran, Hovsep Akopian, Arman Badikyan, Shant Dickran and Manvel Vardanyan will be granted by the Bishop the Four Minor orders of Acolyte.

    Bishop Hovakimyan's inaugural visit to the Western Diocese was February 10, 2015, the Feast of St. Ghevont the Priest and His Companions as he led a delegation of clergy from the Diocese of Canada to participate in the first clergy conference of the Western Diocese. That evening His Grace celebrated the Divine Liturgy and delivered the homily at St. Leon (Ghevontiantz) Armenian Cathedral. Eight priests served at the Holy Altar alongside the celebrant bishop along with deacons of the Cathedral.  


  • On August 27, the Diocesan Primate paid a pastoral visit to St. Garabed Armenian Church in Rancho Mirage. Archbishop Derderian met with the Parish Priest the Rev. Fr. Krikor Zakaryan and the Parish Council and discussed matters related to the parish.

    His Eminence informed the Pastor and the Parish Council that his next pastoral visit to the parish will be on Sunday, October 11, 2015 when he will be the day's celebrant and homilist. 


  • The Armenian Church Youth Organization's 2015 Alumni Gala Celebrating the Past, Present & Future ACYO Members will be held on Saturday, September 12th at 7 p.m. at St. James Armenian Church in Los Angeles.


    Join us for an evening of great food, company & ACYO memories.

    Sit down dinner with both Armenian & American Style Cuisines. 

    With musical entertainment provided by Melcon Skenderian.

    7:00pm Saturday, September 12th
    St. James Armenian Apostolic Church 
    4950 W Slauson Ave
    Los Angeles, CA 90056

    Adults $50
    12 & Under $30

    For Further Information or Questions please contact: 
    Sofia Dilsizian 
    Central Council- Publicity Director (310)733-9389
    acyowd@gmail.com  

    Not limited to only ACYO members, everyone is welcome! 

    Black Tie Formal

    Tickets can be purchased here: 
    http://www.eventzilla.net/web/event?eventid=2139090182


  • Ararat Home of Los Angeles was honored at St. Leon Armenian Cathedral during the service on Sunday, August 23rd.

    The Diocesan Primate presided over the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. With Archpriest Fr. Sipan Mekhsian participating in the service, the Cathedral's Pastor Rev. Fr. Khajag Shahbazyan was the day's celebrant.

    The Primate's homily was focused on service as he quoted from the Second Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians (2 Cor. 6:4). "as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses."

    Prior to the "Lord's Prayer," the Primate called to the nave the members of the Ararat Home Board of Trustees and introduced them to the congregation. His Eminence commended the God-pleasing mission of the organization, noting the selfless dedication of the Board of Trustees chaired by Joseph Kanimian, Esq. as well as the compassionate nursing staff.

    "Today, we are honoring one of the most distinguished institutions of the Los Angeles Armenian community. Ararat Home, a home which has been catering this community for over 60 years. Over the past decades hundreds of our beloved fathers and mothers have been given the care and compassionate love in an assisted living facility. This mission has been realized through the vision of a handful founders who have foreseen the necessity of a home to better cater to our seniors, especially those who have come to this country as survivors of the first genocide of the 20th century.

    We all remember from the Old Testament the messages conveyed to us from the Ten Commandments. One of them clearly conveys to us a unique message to demonstrate our love and reverence to our parents. Honor your father and mother. A community which cannot honor the elders has failed immensely in a God-pleasing mission. For those who have visited Ararat Home can only witness see through the eyes of our elders the sacrifice that they have carried throughout their lives. They are the bearers of history who have enduring suffering and deprivation but have never failed in their faith life.

    The Western Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church extends words of appreciation to all Board Members with its present Chair Joseph Kanimian, Esq. and staff members who together have become the Holy Hands of the Almighty God in the lives of our fathers and mothers."

    As a token of his gratitude, Archbishop Derderian consecrated a cross-stone (khachkar) and dedicated it to Ararat Home of Los Angeles saying, "On behalf of our community, we extend to you all our very best wishes and consecrate this khatchkar in recognition of your devotion as you realize the Commandment – Honor Your Father and Mother."

    His Eminence also informed the congregants that for nearly thirteen years, the Western Diocese has been actively involved in the life of Ararat Home as clergy and deacons pay regular visits and ceremonial rites are officiated on Tabernacle Feasts. Archpriest Fr. Hovsep Hagopian is the Visiting Priest to Ararat Home while Deacons Stephen Hovagimian and Sevan Palanjian visit the elderly residents on Sundays.

    Following the service, the honorees gathered at the Hampar Family Room for a reception. His Eminence expressed his gratitude to the Board of Trustees under the leadership of Joseph Kanimian, Esq. On behalf of the Board, Mr. Kanimian named the Primate A Life Member of Ararat Home in recognition of Archbishop Derderian's pastoral support and dedication throughout the years. 

    About Ararat Home of Los Angeles, Inc. 

    The Ararat Home of Los Angeles, Inc. was founded in 1949 to care for elderly Armenians in Southern California. Since its early inception, the Ararat Home has expanded in both size and scope. Today, the Ararat Home exists to provide assisted living and nursing/convalescent care facilities primarily for the Armenian Community and to promote Armenian heritage and culture in America.

    The goal of the Home is to provide the best possible care for elderly Armenians in Southern California. We strive to provide high quality assisted living services in a tranquil, familiar yet stimulating environment which includes cultural events for the residents' participation and enjoyment. Patient-care facilities are at two separate campuses: Mission Hills and Eagle Rock.

    Additional amenities at the Mission Hills campus include: The Sheen Memorial Chapel, which provides a dignified, non-denominational chapel appropriate for religious services. The George Deukmejian Grand Ballroom and other meeting rooms, which provide a major banquet hall and auxiliary facilities appropriate for gatherings in serving the Armenian-American community at large; and the Ararat-Eskijian Museum, which is a cultural museum containing artifacts, historical documents and research library chronicling the history and culture of the Armenian people.

    Ararat Home's list of accomplishments include its ranking as one of the top nursing homes in the country by US News and World report, receiving a "Five Star Quality Rating" from Centers for medicaid-medicare services and receiving a zero deficiency survey from the Department of Health Services for the seventh consecutive year.

    For more information visit www.ararathome.org