On March 5, 2014, Archpriest Fr. Hovsep Hagopian represented the Primate at Hi-Am Charity Foundation’s Annual Fundraiser at Stage Café in Burbank. Father Hagopian extended the Primate’s blessings and cordial wishes to the organizers of the fundraiser including Hi-Am Foundation’s president Nshan Adjemian and CEO of Hospice of Grace, Inc. Arpi Tarkhanian Kestenian.
Throughout the last five years, Hi-Am Charity Foundation has been supporting a remarkable organization in Armenia - Armaveni Charitable Foundation - and its "Standing Tall" program that provides medical assistance to handicap children of low-income families. As a result of our donors' remarkable efforts and our several fundraising events, numerous kids in Armenia have been operated on and received the necessary long term care to be able to stand tall and become fully integrated members of the Armenian society.
We are happy to announce that as a result of our last fundraiser organized in February, 2013 three more kids in Armenia - David Karapetian, Alina Nersessian and Mary Margarian have already gone through the surgery process and are in the recovery stage.
We want to express our great appreciation to Dr. Arshak Mirzoyan and his medical team for their devotion and continuous effort in improving our kids health and well being.
These kids have been given the chance to forget about being handicap and start living their lives as normal and active kids. Let's try to give the same chance to the other kids that are impatiently waiting for their turn to receive the life-changing but quite expensive surgery, there are many on the waiting list.
If you would like to have more information, make a donation, or sponsor a specific child, please contact Hi-Am Charity Foundation.
Close to 80 Ladies Society members and Chairs of various Diocesan parishes attended the Ladies Society Appreciation and Women’s Prayer Day at St. Leon Armenian Cathedral on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. The event was organized by the Ladies Society Central Council.
The day commenced with a morning service presided by the Primate. Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian, the Very Rev. Fr. Dajad Dz. V. Yardemian, Archpriest Fr. Hovsep Hagopian, the Rev. Fr. Tavit Zelveyan, the Rev. Fr. Avedis Abovian, the Rev. Fr. Krikor Zakaryan and the Rev. Fr. Khajag Shahbazyan also participated in the service.
In his welcoming remarks the Primate thanked the Ladies Society Central Council, chaired by Mrs. Gladys Saroyan, for organizing the important event. His Eminence noted the essential role of the woman in the Armenian Apostolic Church and encouraged the ladies to remain steadfast in their ancestral Christian Faith and loyal to the sacred teachings of the Armenian Church.
The lives, martyrdom and sainthood of Sts. Gayane, Hripsime, Sandoukht, and Nune were presented by Mrs. Ramella Serobyan, Mrs. Aida Askejian, Mrs. Araxie Boyamian and Mrs. Gladys Saroyan.
Following a group photo, the ladies gathered at the Nazareth and Sima Kalaydjian Hall for a lecture. Mrs. Saroyan introduced the day’s keynote speaker who spoke at length about the role of Armenian women in early history of Armenian Christianity.
In 2015, Armenians worldwide will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and will pay homage to our 1.5 million martyred ancestors. On March 30, 2014 at 7:30 p.m., the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America will host a memorable concert commencing a year-long commemoration of the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide. The event, under the patronage of the honorable Governor George Deukmejian, will feature renowned pianist Armen Guzelimian, violinist Armen Anassian, and cellist Ruslan Biryukov.
A special commemorative booklet will be printed for the inaugural concert. Tickets are $25 and booklet sponsorship opportunities are available.
We cordially invite you to take part in the historic concert at St. Leon Armenian Cathedral, the spiritual center of the Western Diocese. Let us send a clear message to the world through the sacred gift of music that we stand united against genocide and that we are a people of peace.
Blessed is the memory of the righteous.
Session 1: Sunday, 7/13/14 -Saturday, 7/19/14
Session 2: Sunday, 7/20/14 - Saturday, 7/26/14
Session 3: Sunday, 7/27/14 - Saturday, 8/02/14
Session 4: Sunday, 8/03/14 - Saturday, 8/09/14
Accepting camper and staff applications starting February 14, 2014. Priority deadline for campers and staff is April 30, 2014. Apply on line hyecamp.com. For more information please call the church office 415-661-1142.
Never been camp before? A great way to see the camp is to attend Family Day Saturday, May 17, 2014. Register today www.hyecamp.com/family-day
The official opening ceremony of the Saturday School of the Armenian Apostolic Church Complex in Las Vegas was held on March 1, 2014. Accompanied by their parents, fifty students registered for classes.
The school’s Principal Mrs. Laura Khlghatyan invited Archpriest Father Nareg Matarian to deliver a prayer after which the school’s teaching staff was introduced to the students.
Father Nareg read the congratulatory letter of Dr. Ellie Antreassian, Chairlady of the Saturday School Executive Committee of the Western Diocese addressed to the students and parents.
After Father Nareg’s message to the students, the students recited various poems some of which were authored by the School’s principal, herself.
The ceremony concluded with Father Matarian’s closing prayer. Students were divided into classroom for their first lesson – the Armenian alphabet.
We pray for the students and teachers wishing them continued success.
St. Andrew Armenian Church in Cupertino Celebrates 50th Anniversary – Rev. Fr.Datev Harutyunian Bestowed Title of “Archpriest”
On March 1st, 2014, St. Andrew Armenian Church in Cupertino, California, held its annual banquet in celebration of the parish’s 50th anniversary. His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian presided at the special celebration. Diocesan clergy including Rev. Fr. Asoghig and Yn. Jamgochian from St. James Armenian Church of Sacramento, Rev. Fr. Hovel and Yn. Ohanyan from St. Vartan Armenian Church of Oakland, Rev. Fr. Mesrop and Yn. Ash from St. John of San Francisco took part in the jubilee celebration.
Reverend Nerses Balabanian from Calvary Congregational Church of San Francisco also present for the memorable evening.
Some of the original Parish members also spoke, sharing history and memories with the younger generations of St. Andrew Church. During the banquet Mr. Raffi Charekian, Ms. Genese Phillips, Ms. Suzan Devletian, Diramayr Sirouhi Harutyunian, Mrs. Zabel Kutukjian, Ms. Alits Nazarian, Mrs. Ani Yenikomshian and Mr. Leon Bezdikian were awarded Diocesan “Hye Spirit” Medals.
In recognition of their selfless service rendered to St. Andrew Armenian Church in Cupertino, Mrs. Nairy Stephanian and Mrs. Sossy Makdessian were awarded the St. Nerses Shnorhali Medals by His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Cathoicos of All Armenians. The Primate presented the medals to the honorees and commended their enduring Christian spirit, and dedication of the Armenian Church.
The Primate blessed the medal recipients, as well as announced the bestowment of the title of Archpriest to Fr. Datev Harutyunian the next day during the Liturgy. The banquet was filled with spiritual excitement and rejuvenation as the Primate connected with the parishioners, taking photos, and extending pastoral blessings.
The following day, March 2nd, the Primate celebrated the Divine Liturgy assisted by with Fr. Datev Harutyunian, deacons and acolytes. During the service, Archbishop Derderian informed the congregation that the title of “Archpriest” had been bestowed upon on Fr. Datev Harutyunian by His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians. The Pontifical Encyclical was read by the Primate and presented to the Pastor of Cupertino’s Armenian faithful community. His Eminence congratulated Archpriest Fr. Harutyunian and encouraged him to remain resolute in his pastoral duties of guiding the flock of Christ on the path to righteousness.
The Primate’s homily was centered on the Gospel according to St. Matthew (6:1). "Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.”
In his homily, the Primate spoke about a Christian virtue. “For a Christian, righteousness is virtue, a grace bestowed by the Almighty God. However, Christ warns us that this grace should not be practiced before others. We should not expect a reward from men. Rather, righteousness is a gift that nourishes the soul,” said His Eminence.
Following the service, a luncheon was organized in the Amerian Hall for now Archpriest Fr. Datev Harutyunian. Various leaders of Armenian organizations were present, all giving speeches of support and appreciation.
It was indeed a weekend filled with celebration at St. Andrew Armenian Church, with many reasons to rejoice - for all of which, we thank the Lord Almighty.
- By Deacon Dikran Harutyunian
Primate’s Video Message – Sunday of Expulsion
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that
leads to life, and only a few find it”
The narrow gate leads us to true life as instructed to us by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For us Christians, the narrow gate is the life put in the Hands of God which should be justified by our words and actions which it turn should reflect the Word of God. When Christ preaches to us about the narrow gate, He refers to the life sacrificed on the cross.
We should never attempt to comprehend the narrow gate in its literal sense. For us, the narrow gate is a life lived with Christ.
Sunday of Expulsion
(Courtesy of the Eastern Diocese)
The cycle of Sundays in Great Lent begins this weekend with the Sunday of the Expulsion—a reference to the exile of Adam and Eve from Paradise.
This day reminds us of the loss of man’s happiness due to his disobedience. During this day’s service the hymn of St. Nersess the Graceful, Vor Zorenes Serpoutian, describes man’s Fall: how Adam and Eve experienced the bitterness of sin and death, how they first felt “fear” in their hearts, and “hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees in the garden.”
Thereafter, the re-establishment of the friendship between God and man had to await God’s entry into our lives. Through this act of grace, man is able to search his heart, perceive his condition as an exile of “paradise lost,” and see that God has given human beings the opportunity to regain their former status.
The Great Lent will begin on March 3rd. The Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America has published a book authored by His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian in time for the Lenten journey.
Containing daily messages by the Primate, the bilingual book, titled "The Lenten Journey...A Walk with God" serves as a guide for the faithful for the spiritual journey leading up to the Victorious Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
“Walk with God, fill your spirit with prayer and you will bear witness to the depth of your spiritual life and to the power of your Christian faith.”
Archbishop Hovnan Derderian
Great Lent (Medz Bak) is also called Karasnork in Armenian, since it lasts forty days. Great Lent is the longest of the fasts prescribed in the liturgical calendar and it begins on the Monday following Poon Paregentan and lasts for forty days up until the Friday prior to Lazarus Saturday. Great Lent is therefore the preparatory spiritual journey with its destination of Easter, “The Feast of Feasts.”
The Liturgical Structure of Lent
Lent originated in the very earliest days of the Church as a preparatory time for Easter, when the faithful rededicated themselves and when catechumens were instructed in the faith and prepared for baptism. By observing the forty days of Lent, the individual Christian imitates Jesus’ withdrawal into the wilderness for forty days and rededicated himself to the church through prayer, fasting and learning.
The Lenten worship is thus a school of repentance. It teaches us what repentance is and how to acquire the spirit of repentance. It prepares us for and leads us to spiritual regeneration, without which “absolution” remains meaningless. Both teach about repentance and the way of repentance. And, since there can be no real Christian life without repentance, without this constant “re-evaluation” of life; the Lenten worship is an essential part of the liturgical tradition of the Church.
Posture of the Church
During Lent, the Church maintains a penitential posture that is physically displayed by the closing of the altar curtain on the eve of Poon Paregentan as a symbolic representation of the expulsion of Adam and Eve, the first human beings, from the Garden of Eden. The faithful are thus ushered into the Lenten period as penitents seeking to return to their Creator through prayer, forgiveness and instruction. Also during Lent, it has become the practice of the church to not offer Holy Communion during Divine Liturgy, but is available to those who personally approach the celebrant.
Fasting during Lent
A special word must be said about fasting during lent. Generally speaking, fasting is an essential element of the Christian Life. Christ fasted and taught men to fast. Fasting is done in secret. It has as its goal the purification of our lives, the liberation of our souls and bodies from sin, the strengthening of our human powers of love for God and man, the enlightening of our entire being for communion with the Blessed Trinity.Published: Sat, 01 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0800
Glendale’s Noon Rotary Club welcomed the Primate on February 27, 2014. Archbishop Derderian was the day’s keynote speaker around a topic themed “Understanding Our World.”
Reflecting on his role as a spiritual leader, His Eminence said in part “As a pastor of the Armenian Church, my firm belief is that God’s love should become the cement of the very fabric of our being. Spirituality needs to be injected into the souls of the people in order to make them tools in the hands of God, and enable them to live a more responsible, prudent, and productive life for the commonwealth and prosperity of our communities and the world in general. In this, I hope to see the active engagement of religious and public institutions working closely and harmoniously to help God’s children better understand the challenges of this world and recognize the shared responsibilities we have towards the divine creation.”Published: Fri, 28 Feb 2014 00:00:00 -0800
March 1 – St. Andrew Armenian Church in Cupertino – 50th Anniversary Celebration
March 2 – St. Andrew Armenian Church in Cupertino – Celebrant and Homilist
March 3 – Pastoral visit to AGBU Vatche and Tamar Manoukian School
March 4 – Pastoral visit to AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School
March 5 – Women’s Prayer Day
March 6-15 – Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin – Supreme Spiritual Council Meeting
March 19 – Morning: Pastoral visit to Hovsepian School
Evening: St. Leon Armenian Cathedral - Vigil
March 20 – Exhibition by Artists of Gyumri, Armenia – Proceeds to benefit Artsakh’s soldiers and their families
March 21 – Pastoral Visit to AGBU Vatche and Tamar Manoukian School
March 22 – 100th Anniversary Joint Commemoration Committee Meeting in Washington DC
March 23 – St. Leon Armenian Cathedral
Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry Event
Glendale Memorial Hospital
Ambassadors of Faith Event
March 24 – Brotherhood
March 26 – St. John Garabed Armenian Church in Hollywood – Median Day of Lent
March 27 – St. Mary Armenian Church of Costa Mesa
March 28 – Armenian Church of Crescenta Valley
March 30 – Pastoral visit to St. John Armenian Church in San Francisco
Evening: Concert in honor of Gov. George Deukmejian
(inaugural concert dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide)Published: Fri, 28 Feb 2014 00:00:00 -0800