• On Monday, November 23, 2015, the Diocesan Primate Archbishop Hovnan Derderian welcomed His Excellency Ara Harutyunyan, Prime Minister of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic and his delegation. Upon his arrival, the Prime Minister was greeted by the Primate, Joseph Kanimian, Esq., Chairman of the Diocesan Council, Diocesan benefactors and community leaders. Also present was His Excellency Sergey Sarkisov, Consul General of the Republic of Armenia in Los Angeles.

    Accompanying the Prime Minister were His Excellency Tigran Sargsyan, Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia in Washington, D.C., His Eminence Archbishop Pargev Martirosyan, Primate of the Diocese of Artsakh and NKR government officials.

    In his address, the Primate welcomed the President and the accompanying officials to the Western Diocese and noted the importance of contributing to the 18th Annual International Armenia Fund Telethon as a means of strengthening the Motherland Armenia and Artsakh.

  • Traditional Armenian costumes were on display at the Nazareth and Sima Kalaydjian Hall of the Western Diocese on Friday, November 20. Designed by Lucine Zeitountsian, the exhibition featured garments from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. 

  • December 2 - Christmas Boutique


    December 5 - Christmas Ball


    December 6 – Divine Liturgy with the participation of children – Ordination of Deacons

    Children's Hospital Los Angeles to be honored during the Divine Liturgy

    Bishop Armash Nalbandian Celebrant at St. Peter Armenian Church in Glendale

    Zvartnots Cultural Committee Concert – St. Gregory the Illuminator Arm. Church in Pasadena


    December 8 - Ecumenical Service at St. Leon Armenian Cathedral

    American Red Cross to be recognized


    December 9 – AGCC Commemorative Event


    December 11 - Children's Christmas Pageant


    December 13 - St. James Armenian Church in Los Angeles


    December 14-23 – Pan ACYO European Regional Meeting


    December 28 – Ararat Home Christmas Celebration

  • The Artsakh delegation headed by Ara Harutyunyan held meetings with the Armenian community of Los Angeles prior to the 2015 Armenia Fund Telethon. On November 24, the Consulate General of Armenia in Los Angeles hosted the Prime Minister of Artsakh. The Diocesan Primate Archbishop Hovnan Derderian attended the event accompanied by His Eminence Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian, the Very Rev. Fr. Dajad Dz. V. Yardemian, Archpriest Fr. Mampre Kesabyan and the Rev. Fr. Avedis Abovian.

    The Prime Minister of Artsakh discussed the primary issues of the country, including regional security and prospective development projects. A question and answer session with the community leaders followed. 

  • The Armenian Bar Association’s Annual Judges’ Night Gala was held on November 24, 2015 at the Vertigo Event venue. The Primate attended the prestigious gala accompanied by the Rev. Fr. Avedis Abovian. This year’s honorees were Judge Zaven Sinanian and Judge Gregory Keosian.

    Addressing the honorees, the Primate said "Tonight's gathering is a noble act by the Armenian Bar Association to acknowledge the contributions of individuals who have become leading honorable judges in our community life. This year's gala honors two distinguished judges, the Honorable Judge Zaven Sinanian and the Honorable Judge Gregory Keosian. Their journey of life truly reflects the fulfillment of the Law of God, for they have taken an important task to enlighten the people of God with the truth of justice. As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving Day and thank God for the beauty of this world, it is also our duty to give thanks for our honorable judges – Judge Sinanian, Judge Keosian and the Armenian Bar Association for being a blessing in the life of our community."

  • St. Paul Armenian Church of Fresno marked its diamond (75th) anniversary on Sunday, November 22nd. The festive celebration commenced with the episcopal celebration of the Divine Liturgy by His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America. His Eminence was assisted at the Holy Altar by the Rev. Fr. Yessai Bedros and the deacons of the Fresno Parish.

    During the service, Archbishop Derderian presided over the Blessing of the Water Service with the newly blessed Holy Chrism, after which the blessed water was distributed to the parishioners. The Godfather of the Cross was a long-time servant of the Armenian Apostolic Church Deacon Allan Yeghia Jendian.

    Prior to his homily, the Primate called to the nave the Sunday School students of the parish. He reminded the youth of the importance of maintaining a close relationship with God, leading prayerful lives, and adhering to Christian values and morals. He commended the parents for valuing the significance of a Christian education and upbringing.

    Archbishop Derderian also congratulated the Rev. Fr. Yessai Bedros on the auspicious occasion of the priest's tenth anniversary of ordination and consecration into the priesthood.  

    In his homily the Primate reflected on the parable of the rich fool in the Gospel according to St. Luke (12:13-21). “The parable of Christ, our Lord cultivates within the life of each Christian the divine message of God. The ultimate reward is a life led in adherence to the Word of God and not by the acquisition of material possessions,” said His Eminence in part. “Such was the vision of the founders of St. Paul Armenian Church, who collectively engaged in the noble endeavor of building the House of God,” he continued.

    A special prayer was also offered for the victims and the families affected by the attacks on the City of Paris.

    Following the Divine Liturgy, a celebratory banquet containing an exciting cultural program was held at the Berberian Hall of the parish. Welcoming remarks were delivered by Dn. Dr. Varouj Altebarmakian, the Master of Ceremonies and were followed by the Primate’s offering of the invocation. A proclamation recognizing the 75th anniversary of the establishment of St. Paul Armenian Church of Fresno was issued and presented by the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Armenia in Fresno Mr. Berj Apkarian.

    The artistic portion of the program featured pianist Dr. Astghik Gevorkyan.   

    Guests also viewed a video presentation depicting the rich history of St. Paul Armenian Church. The historical and archival information related to the Armenian community of Fresno and the St. Paul Parish had been compiled by Dn. Allan Yeghia Jendian.

    Remarks were delivered by Parish Council Chairman Ben Krikorian. As a token of their gratitude and on the 10th anniversary of his ordination into the priesthood, the Parish Council presented liturgical vestments to their Pastor the Rev. Fr. Yessai Bedros.

    Father Yessai expressed his wholehearted gratitude to the Parish Council for the warm gesture and to the parishioners of St. Paul Armenian Church vowing to serve the flock of Christ with a renewed sense of dedication and zeal.

    In his closing remarks, the Primate spoke about the significance of the Church and service in the life of a Christian. “The Church embodies in itself an intense mystery. The Church leads humanity to the doorway of the knowledge of God. It is in the Church that the faithful lives the very presence of God,” said Archbishop Derderian. Speaking about service, the Primate said “Service in the context of our worship life is truly the expression of our faith and the revelation of truth. Faith must be applied in all of our actions wherever we lead our ministry.”   

    The luncheon concluded with the Primate’s closing prayer.

    Guests received a 130-page commemorative book as a keepsake printed especially for the 75th anniversary of the founding of the St. Paul parish. 


  • The Executive Committee of the Association of Armenian Church Choirs of the Western Diocese (AACCWD) and the Camp Committee held meetings at the Western Diocese on Saturday, November 21, 2015.

    The AACCWD, led by the new Chairman Sevag Derderian discussed the preparations for the upcoming Christmas Carol program which will be held on Sunday, December 20 at St. Leon Armenian Cathedral.

    The camp committee discussed ways to further improve the week-long camp session held in the summer months. The Camp Committee members include Kevin Kalfayan (Chairman), Lynn Saroyan (Vice Chair), Jeff Bogosian (Treasurer), Gina Eskigian (Secretary) Tammy Karakashian, Lauren Diramerian, Nicole Mikaelian, Renee Missakian, Raffi Postaldjian, Mark Pryor, Matthew Yaldezian,  Gina Khorigian (Camp Administrator), Dn. Artak Khachikyan (Youth Director), Fr. Mesrop Ash (Clergy Liaison) and Christine Hagopian (Medical Liaison)

    Other matters pertaining to their relative committees were discussed.  

  • The Armenian Church of Las Vegas held its annual gala banquet on Saturday, November 21, 2015. The Very Rev. Fr. Dajad Dz. V. Yardemian represented the Diocesan Primate at the banquet and read Archbishop Derderian’s message of blessing and commendation addressed to Archpriest Fr. Nareg Matarian.

    Reflecting on Fr. Nareg's ministry, the Primate stated "We have witnessed the level of commitment and dedication with which Archpriest Fr. Nareg Matarian has served. We highly commend his compassionate care and enduring affection for the Armenian-American community of the City of Las Vegas. He has answered to God's call with humility and grace. We wish him continued success in his God-pleasing endeavors following his retirement this month."

    On the following day, Fr. Nareg celebrated his last Divine Liturgy as Pastor of the Armenian Church of Las Vegas in a service presided by Fr. Dajad.

    Fr. Matarian retires from the pastorate after 35 years of service.

    The Rev. Fr. Serovbe Alanjian will assume the role of Pastor of the Armenian Church of Las Vegas effective January 2016.

    Archpriest Fr. Nareg Matarian – A Brief Biography

    Fr. Nareg Matarian was born Khatchatour (baptismal name) on July 10, 1946 in Syria. Father Nareg married Yeretzgin Baidsar (nee Entakhparian) in 1969. He was ordained and consecrated as a married priest on February 24, 1980 by the late Archbishop Hoosig Santourian at St. Gayane in Etchmiadzin, Armenia.

    In 1992, he received the title of Archpriest by the Pontifical Encyclical of His Holiness Vazken I, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.

    After immigrating to the United States, Father Nareg served as Pastor of St. Sarkis Armenian Church in East Los Angeles, a visiting priest of the Armenian Church of La Verne, the Musical Director of the Western Diocese, Pastor of Ararat Home and Parish Priest of the Armenian Church of Las Vegas.  

  • November 19th marked yet another exciting chapter in the life of the Western Diocese as donors, supporters and friends gathered at the Impressions Banquet Hall in Glendale for a festive dinner benefitting Children's Hospital Los Angeles. The event was attended by His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America, who was accompanied by His Grace Bishop Armash Nalbandian, the Rev. Fr. Khajag Shahbazyan, Mr. Diran Avagyan and Mr. Vahe Sargsyan.

    The CHLA-Diocese Committee, headed by Mrs. Alice Chakrian had organized their inaugural luncheon in 2014, raising $15,000 in the process. In continuing the tradition, and in the spirit of Thanksgiving, this year's luncheon was a tremendous success with over 250 guests in attendance.

    In our previous communiqués, we had announced that the Western Diocese had pledged $25,000 to CHLA, specifically to the Vision Center of the hospital headed by Dr. Thomas Lee, who rendered outstanding humanitarian service to Armenia. We are delighted to announce that the Western Diocese, through the dedicated service of the Committee members has exceeded its pledge amount. The donations will support CHLA Vision Center, Cancer Center, Literary Healing Department, Neonatal and other departments.

    The guests were treated to a champagne reception prior to the elegant luncheon graciously hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Garnik and Diana Galoostian. The Committee acknowledges the Impressions Banquet Hall for its generosity as well. After opening remarks by the event’s emcee Magie Sumian, Rev. Fr. Khajag Shahbazyan delivered the Invocation. 

    Chairlady Alice Chakrian invited her fellow members to the podium for a group picture with Rita Terterian, Assistant Vice-President of Foundation and Dr. Thomas Lee, Director of the Vision Center, CHLA.

    In a brief message, Ms. Terterian shared with the audience the mission of CHLA and proceeded to express her gratitude to Archbishop Derderian and the dedicated ladies headed by Mrs. Chakrian for their continued support.

    The highlight of the day was Dr. Lee's presentation which moved the hearts of those in attendance. Through a Powerpoint presentation Dr. Lee encompassed the work accomplished in recent years in Armenia, namely in the field of corrective vision. His presentation was received with tremendous applause.

    During the event, Committee member Eileen Keusseyan and Chairlady Alice Chakrian presented a check for $2,500 from the Armenian Mothers and Daughters Association to support CHLA's Cancer Center. Other generous donations followed.

    In his remarks, Archbishop Derderian reflected on the close relationship between the two institutions. His Eminence commended the initiative of the committee members and expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the Mr. and Mrs. Garnik and Diana Galoostian, to the Impressions Banquet Hall as well as all the supporters and donors for their benevolence and generosity. The Primate noted the importance of social responsibility both in and outside of the Armenian community. "The world is changing rapidly and humanity needs moral values and more importantly, God's compassion to navigate through the trials and tribulations of daily life. Your very presence at this luncheon is a testimony of your compassionate hearts and of your commitment to social responsibility," said His Eminence in part. As a token of his wholehearted gratitude, Archbishop Derderian presented Dr. Lee and Mrs. Galoostian mementos.

    Guests enjoyed an exquisite luncheon and an entertaining program.

  • Under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese, the Association of Armenian Church Choirs of the Western Diocese, in collaboration with  the Choir of St. Peter Armenian Church of Van Nuys honored Mrs. Marguerite Zavian on Friday, November 13, 2015 for 65 years of dedicated service to the Armenian Church and community.

    The evening's program commenced at the sanctuary of St. Peter Armenian Church of Van Nuys at 7:30 p.m. After Archpriest Fr. Shnork Demirjian's opening prayer, Mrs. Lucy Tashjian, AACCWD Chair, delivered the welcoming remarks. The honoree's grandson Michael Zavian read his grandmother's biography and surprised the honoree by inviting his cousins to share a few words with the congregation.

    The musical portion of the program featured Nadima Avakian performing Dzirani Dzar composed and arranged by Gomidas Vartabed.

    In her remarks St. Peter Armenian Church Choir Chair Cathia Chalvardjian Leylekian reflected on the loving and compassionate personality of Mrs. Marguerite Zavian, the Choir Director of St. Peter Armenian Apostolic Church, and her meticulous approach as it pertains to the performance of the liturgical hymns of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Congratulating the honoree, Mrs. Chalvardjian Leylekian expressed her wholehearted gratitude to Mrs. Zavian for her selfless service.

    The Western Diocese Combined Choirs under the conductorship of Deacon Stepan Gozumian and accompanied by Dr. Ron Sinanian on the organ wonderfully performed Antzink Nviryalk, Der Voghormia and Yegeghetsin Haygagan. On behalf of the AACCWD, Deacon Gozumian presented the honoree with a commemorative souvenir noting Mrs. Zavian's invaluable contributions to the parish life.

    In turn, Mrs. Marguerite Zavian thanked the Primate, the AACCWD for the honor and vowed to continue to serve the Church with unrelenting dedication and enduring affection.

    On behalf of the St. Peter parish, Archpriest Fr. Shnork Demirjian congratulated Mrs. Zavian, noting her resolute Christian spirit and inspirational character.

    In his closing remarks the Primate commended the steadfast service of Mrs. Marguerite Zavian and presented the honoree a miniature painting depicting the picture of the Holy Mother of God.

    A reception followed at the Karagozian Hall of the parish. Congratulatory remarks were make by the Honorable Judge Adrienne Krikorian, Parish Council Chair, Archpriest Fr. Dr. Zaven Arzoumanian and Dr. Ron Sinanian.

    The event concluded with the closing prayer by the Primate and Dn. Allan Yeghia Jendian.