• On Sunday, October 26, the Armenian Apostolic Church will observe the Feast of the Discovery of the Holy Cross (Kyood Khachi). According to ecclesiastical chronicles, an informed Jew from Jerusalem by the name of Judah was forced to disclose the place where the cross was buried. Three crosses were found, one of the being our Lord’s, the others belonging to the two criminals crucified with Him. In order to authenticate the true cross, the body of a youth who had recently died was placed on each. When he was placed on the third cross he was resurrected and thus the true and Holy Cross was discovered. At that time, Bishop Cyril, Patriarch of Jerusalem elevated the Holy Cross before the faithful who, having witnessed the miracle was awe-inspired and venerated it. The commemoration of this historical event is celebrated on the closest Sunday to October 26 and is called Discovery of the Holy Cross.

  • St. Apkar Armenian Church in Scottsdale Arizona marked its 5th anniversary of consecration on Sunday, October 19, 2014. On the auspicious occasion, the Primate travelled to the Arizona Parish where he celebrated the Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon. Archbishop Derderian was assisted at the Holy Altar by the Rev. Fr. Zacharia Saribekyan and the deacons of the host parish.

    In his sermon, the Primate reflected on the significance of the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the lives of the faithful. “The focal point of my message is the preservation of the Christian identity as the most important ingredient in the lives of the faithful. The Gospel of Christ, our Lord allows us to keep intact within us the image of the Almighty God in our spirituality,” said His Eminence in part addressing the congregation.

    During the service, the Primate, assisted by Father Zacharia, consecrated the stained glass windows and frescoes of the church.

    At the conclusion of the service, in a procession led by the Primate, the parishioners participated in the blessing and dedication of the children’s playground whose main benefactor is Dr. Vardges Vandian. The Primate thanked Dr. Vandian for contributing to the livelihood of the youth of St. Apkar Armenian Church through his generous donation. Archbishop Derderian also officiated the groundbreaking ceremony of the Mesrop and Marian Megerdichian Senior Living Residence.

    A festive luncheon, donated and catered by Gevorg and Erica Pchakjian, was held at the Melikian Hall of the parish. During the program, St. Apkar’s parishioners marked the 20th anniversary of Father Zacharia Saribekyan’s ordination into the Priesthood. The entertainment was provided by the Hyeland Ensemble Lisa Mahlebjian Buzzard, Paul Maranian and Robert Takoushian.

    In his remarks, the Primate reflected on the significance of the historic day in the life of St. Apkar Armenian Church. “On this historic day in the life of St. Apkar Armenian Church, we are celebrating the 5th anniversary of the consecration of the parish, the 20th anniversary of Father Zacharia’s ordination and the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Ladies Society. We highly commend the dedicated pastoral service of Father Zacharia Saribekyan who has been the spiritual leader of the community since 2007. Inspired by the Living Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, you share a common vision of preserving the Christian values which you collectively hold in reverence. I pray that you continue to uphold the ancestral Christian Faith of our forefathers and continue to cherish the sacred traditions of the Armenian Apostolic Church.”

    The Primate recognized parishioners Hagop Naldjian, Bedros Touresian and Hoory Dikranian with “Hye Spirit” medals for their selfless service and valuable contributions to the parish life. He congratulated the honorees encouraging them to continue to serve the St. Apkar parish with a renewed sense of dedication and zeal.

  • On October 19, 2014, more than 800 people attended a spectacular and unforgettable performance by the Gevorkian Dance Academy.  One hundred dancers of all ages took the stage in San Diego’s first ever Dances Under the Stars at the Moonlight Amphitheatre in Vista, California.  The mesmerizing choreography, dazzling costumes, and spirited music brought the audience into the very heart of the Armenian culture.

    Enchanting dances from other countries, including Russia, Georgia, Moldova, Israel, Greece, Romania, and the United States, were also performed.  George Krikorian, Jr., owner of Krikorian Premiere Theatres, was the lead sponsor of this magical evening.

    “Words cannot describe the beauty, grace, and energy displayed by the Gevorkian dancers.  The performance made every one of us so proud to be Armenian.  The Academy has shown the world that the Armenian nation is very much alive and thriving.  We thank Vartan, Siranoush and Sona Gevorkian, and all the dancers and their parents, for bringing this great celebration to San Diego,” stated Harry Krikorian, chair of the organizing committee.      

    The Los Angeles-based Academy enjoyed two successful concert tours in 2001 and 2005, including three consecutive sold-out performances at the renowned National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet in Yerevan.  In 2005, they proudly celebrated their 10th anniversary at the famous Kodak Theatre. In 2010, they celebrated their 15th anniversary at the world-famous Nokia Theatre with a live performance, where Vartan Gevorkian received a gold medal from the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Armenia.  In 2013, the Gevorkian Dance Academy participated in the “My Armenia” festival in Yerevan, where they received a gold medal from the Minister of Diaspora.    

    The performance was generously supported by Aladdin Restaurant, John & Cynthia Andonian & Evans Tires, Richard & Ursula Avakian, Carpeteria Carpet One & Melcon Markarian, Robert & Viviane Hagopian, Homenetmen San Diego Sevan Chapter, Khoren & Kathy Kassardjian, George Krikorian, Jr., Richard & Sherry Manoogian, Vahe & Jeannette Manoushakian, John Shakarian Jewelers, Jerry Torossian, and Alan & Mireille Yaghdjian.       

    The event was planned with the participation and support of many Armenian organizations of San Diego, including the Armenian General Benevolent Union, Armenian Jeweler’s Association, Armenian National Committee, Armenian Relief Society, Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Armenian Catholic church community, Armenian Protestant church community, Homenetmen San Diego Sevan Chapter, Knights & Daughters of Vartan, St. John Garabed Armenian Church, Trust Fund Committee, and the Triple X Fraternity.

    At the request of the sponsors and organizing committee, the net profits from Dances Under the Stars will support Phase One of the Bridge to the Future project, which will establish a new church campus in San Diego near Del Mar.  For more information, email