• On the occasion of the national Armed Forces Day, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; and His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilica; accompanied by President Serzh Sargsyan of the Republic of Armenia; and President Bako Sahakyan of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic; visited the Yerablur Military Pantheon to pay tribute to the memory of heroes who sacrificed their lives for the Independence of the Homeland.

  • On January 27, Fr. Hovel Ohanyan, Parish Priest of St. Vartan Oakland, and Fr. Mesrop Ash, Parish Priest of St. John San Francisco, enjoyed a spiritually uplifting meeting with His Eminence Bishop Marc Andrus, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California.

    During the meeting they discussed the importance for both communities to cultivate a strong relationship in faith and service. The Bishop expressed interest in inviting the Armenian Church to join in interfaith activities in San Francisco. Both Fr. Hovel and Fr. Mesrop updated the Bishop about events concerning the Centennial Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide and invited he and his flock to participate. They also conveyed the greetings of Abp. Hovnan Derderian, primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church.

  • On January 29, Fr. Hovel Ohanyan, parish priest of St. Vartan Oakland, and Fr. Mesrop Ash of St. John San Francisco participated in meeting and prayer service of the Eastern Churches of the Bay Area (ECoBA), hosted by Our Lady of Lebanon Catholic Church in Millbrae. Ten clergy from different denominations joined in the Vesper Service and enjoyed a meal. In the spirit of brotherly love and respect they discussed issues effecting the Christian communities Near and Middle East, and how our parishes can help support them. Fr. Hovel and Fr. Mesrop updated the clergy regarding Centennial commemorations of the Armenian Genocide and invited the clergy and their faithful to participate. The next meeting of ECoBA is planned to be hosted by the Armenian Church.

  • Alfred and Marguerite Hovsepian School marked its 30th anniversary with a gala banquet on Saturday, January 24, 2015 at the Geragos Hall. Hundreds of friends, supporters, parents, and teachers attended the celebratory banquet.

    His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian attended the gala and delivered his message. The Primate noted the vital role of the A&M Hovsepian School in preserving the Armenian identity. “The Armenian School in the Diaspora is a testament of the resurrection of the Armenian nation. Hovsepian School prides itself in academic excellence and molds the leaders of tomorrow. Graduates have led successful lives and have become beacons of light for their communities as exemplary citizens of this great nation. It has been a priority for the school to uphold the Christian values which we hold in reverence so that God’s love may reign in our communities and essentially the world.”

    The gala celebration included a silent auction, performances by Hovsepian School students and live entertainment by famous Armenian musicians.  

    Proceeds from the event were directed at bringing a comprehensive music program with partnerships with local conservatories and the purchase of musical instruments to benefit all students from preschool to 8th grade.

    St. Gregory Armenian School dates back three decades. With 56 students ranging from Pre-K through Grade 4, St. Gregory Armenian School opened its doors within the Aghajanian Complex on September 12, 1984. Through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred and Marguerite Hovsepian, the school was named in honor of the benefactors.

    Today, with the support of Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, and the spiritual guidance of Fr. Sarkis Petoyan, St. Gregory A and M Hovsepian School is nearing its enrollment capacity. With 220 students, supportive parents, highly-qualified faculty and administration, the progressive school consistently breaks new grounds. The school aims to provide its students the opportunities to explore, engage and enlighten.

  • February 1 – St. Sarkis Armenian Church of Santa Clarita (Celebrant and Homilist)


    February 4 – Children’s Hospital – Los Angeles


    February 6 – Fr. Manoug Markarian’s Jubilee Celebration Banquet


    February 7 – Diocesan Council Meeting


    February 8 – St. Andrew Armenian Church of Cupertino – Celebrant and Homilist - Ordination


    February 10 – Feast of St. Ghevont the Priest and His Companions (Ghevontiantz)

    First Clergy Conference of 2015 (with the participation of the Primate and the clergy of the Canadian Diocese of the Armenian Church and a representative of the Eastern Diocese)


    February 11 – Visitations to Armenian Schools (Hovsepian, Dickranian & Mesrobian Schools)


    February 12 – Visitations to AGBU Vatche and Tamar Manoukian School in Pasadena

    Evening: Visitation to AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School in Canoga Park


    February 13 – St. Leon Armenian Cathedral (Feast of the Presentation of the Lord to the Temple) Dyarnuntarach


    February 14 – Armenia Fund Meeting


    February 15 – St. Peter Armenian Church of Van Nuys – Dedication of the new property


    February 17 – LSCC Ladies Appreciation and Women’s Prayer Day

    Evening: First Vigil – St. Leon Armenian Cathedral


    February 18 – March 3 - Pan-ACYO meetings (Romania, Germany, Italy, Moscow, London)

    Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin (Supreme Spiritual Council Meeting)

    Visit to Turpanjian Seminary of Harichavank 

  • Following the service and the ordination rite, a banquet was held at the Nazareth and Sima Kalaydjian Hall in honor of the newly-ordained Diocesan Priest the Rev. Fr. Yeghishe Ksachikyan.

    The Master of Ceremonies Archpriest Fr. Shnork Demirjian welcomed the guests and then invited His Grace Bishop Sion Adamyan to deliver the Invocation. During the banquet, guests watched a video presentation of the life of Rev. Fr. Yeghishe Ksachikyan.

    Chairman Dr. Vahram Biricik delivered a heartfelt message on behalf of the Stewardship Committee. He thanked the Diocesan Primate for his continued support and pastoral guidance throughout the years. Dr. Biricik also reflected on the success of the Stewardship Program through which six young clergymen have been ordained and have taken on the roles as Pastors within their respective communities.

    In his remarks, Mr. Antranik Zorayan, Diocesan Council Chairman and Godfather of the ordained priest, congratulated Father Yeghishe, his Yeretzgin Datev and the members of the Ksachikyan family. “Father Yeghishe, much will be expected of you and you should realize that many challenges lie ahead. However, with your exceptional qualities and the graces of the Holy Spirit, we have confidence that you will overcome all challenges and will become an exemplary clergyman of the Armenian Apostolic Church,” said Mr. Zorayan. He also thanked the Primate for his visionary leadership in molding the future clergy of the Armenian Apostolic Church through the Stewardship Program. “Under the outstanding leadership of Dr. Vahram Biricik, the Stewardship Program is now one of the dearest missions of our Diocese. We congratulate the Stewardship Committee members for the superb job of educating and preparing the next wave of priests.”  

    Parish Council Chairman of St. James Armenian Church of Sacramento Dn. Rod Jorjorian was invited to address the guests. On behalf the Sacramento Parish, Dn. Jorjorian congratulated Father Yeghishe and introduced the parishioners who had accompanied him in taking part in the ordination rite. He shared his vision of revitalizing the parish through collective service. Deacon Jorjorian thanked the Primate for his keen interest in the life of the Parish and the Armenian-American community of Sacramento at large.

    Addressing Father Yeghishe, Archpriest Fr. Shnork Demirjian offered words of encouragement and wisdom to the newly-ordained priest. “Dear Fr. Yeghishe, you have the support of the Diocesan Primate as well as your fellow Brothers in Christ. In your pastoral life, be guided by the divine love of Christ, our God and rest assured that we, as clergymen will be praying for you,” said Fr. Demirjian.

    In his first message as Priest, Father Yeghishe thanked the Primate for his pastoral love and guidance, to Archpriest Fr. Shnork Demirjian for his mentorship, to the Stewardship Committee for their generosity, to his Yeretzgin Datev and his family for their love and support throughout his journey to the Priesthood. Father Ksachikyan thanked all of the guests for sharing the joy on the day of his ordination.

    The program concluded with the Primate’s closing remarks. His Eminence congratulated Father Yeghishe for joining the ranks of the fine Diocesan clergy and thanked Dr. Vahram Biricik and the members of the Stewardship Committee as they witnessed the fruit of their labor. Archbishop Derderian introduced former Diocesan Council Chair and present Cathedral Construction Committee Chair Mr. Armen Hampar, Diocesan Benefactors and Ordination Godfathers Mr. and Mrs. Antranik and Virginia Zorayan, former Diocesan Council Chair Joseph Kanimian, Esq., Chairman of the Ambassadors of Faith Arsen Danielian, Esq. and Deacon Levon Altiparmakian, Administrator of St. Nersess Armenian Theological Seminary in New York. The Primate awarded a pectoral cross to Father Yeghishe wishing him years of prosperous ministry filled with God’s divine blessings.

    His Eminence then invited all Diocesan clergy and Mr. Antranik Zorayan to the front and presented an icon depicting the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin to Mr. Zorayan as Godfather of the Ordination. In unison, the clergy sang “Kovea Yerousaghem,” a liturgical hymn dedicated to the Glorious Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The banquet concluded with the Primate’s closing prayer.

  • A museum dedicated to the 19th – 20th century Armenian clergyman and composer Komitas was officially opened Thursday in Yerevan’s Komitas Park. The new facility brings together the Komitas collections previously housed at the Yeghishe Charents Literature and Art Museum and the Art Institute of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences. His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia; Armenia’s President Serge Sargsyan, and Nagorno-Karabagh President Bako Sahakyan were among those taking part in the opening ceremony on January 29.

    Among the items on display are photographs, instruments, documents, and publications belonging to the great Armenian composer and musicologist. The center also houses a performance space and offers resources for scholars.

    The Komitas Museum and Institute is located in Yerevan’s Komitas Park—the burial site of Armenian artists and writers, including Komitas, Aram Khachaturian, William Saroyan, and Martiros Saryan. It’s comprised of two structures: one originally designed as a movie theater by architect Koryun Hakobyan in the Soviet period, the other created by Arthur Meschian in 2014.

  • The ordination and consecration rite of Deacon Mkrtich Ksachikyan into the Priesthood was held at St. Leon Armenian Cathedral on Sunday, January 25 during the celebration of the Divine Liturgy.

    For the second time in four months, the spiritual center of the Western Diocese became the haven for another memorable sacramental rite. The day’s celebrant and homilist was the Diocesan Primate Archbishop Hovnan Derderian who was assisted at the Holy Altar by Rev. Fr. Avedis Abovian, Rev. Fr. Mesrop Ash, Rev. Fr. Khajag Shahbazyan and more than 20 deacons, sub-deacons and acolytes.

    Participating in the service were His Grace Bishop Sion Adamyan, Primate of the Armavir Diocese in Armenia, the Very Rev. Fr. Dajad Dz. V. Yardemian, Archpriest Fr. Dr. Zaven Arzoumanian, Archpriest Fr. Sipan Mekhsian, Rev. Fr. Khajag Shahbazyan, Pastor of the Host Parish and Rev. Fr. Serovbe Alanjian.

    Also present at the ordination service were Mr. and Mrs. Antranik and Virginia Zorayan, Diocesan Benefactors and Godfathers of Rev. Fr. Yeghishe Ksachikyan; former Diocesan Council Chair Mr. Armen Hampar with his wife Nora and former Diocesan Council Chair the Honorable Judge Adrienne Krikorian and Godfathers and Benefactors of the Western Diocese.

    Accompanied by Mr. Gegham Ashjyan on the organ, the liturgical hymns were masterfully performed by the Khachadourian Joint Choir under the conductorship of Dn. Stepan Gozumian. According to the Book of Rites pertaining to the Ordination of a Priest (Tzernatrooyan Mashdots), Deacon Ksachikyan was presented to Archbishop Hovnan Derderian by Archpriest Fr. Shnork Demirjian, the deacon’s spiritual mentor. Kneeling before the Primate, Archbishop Derderian once again reassured Deacon Ksachikyan’s Orthodox Faith. With a prayer, the Primate placed his hands on the head of Deacon Ksachikyan and ordained the Deacon. As the clergy sang the liturgical hymn (sharagan) “Asdvadzayin oo yergnavor shenorh…” Deacon Ksachikyan, facing the congregation with his arms raised in the air, renounced all worldly passions.

    The culmination of the ceremony took place prior to the Kiss of Peace, as the Primate robed Dn. Mkrtich in Priestly vestments, anointed the forehead, the left and right hand of the priest and announced Dn. Mkrtich’s new name – Fr. Yeghishe. Holding his hands open, Fr. Yeghishe received the chalice and paten from the Primate. According to tradition, the newly-ordained Fr. Yeghishe blessed the people by saying “Khaghaghootyoon amenetsoon” (Peace unto all).  

    Archbishop Derderian also blessed Datev, the Yerezgin of the newly-ordained priest encouraging her to become a pillar of strength for Father Yeghishe and to uphold the sacred values of a Christian family.

    Addressing the congregation, the Primate spoke about the Father Yeghishe’s service in the Armenian Apostolic Church as an Acolyte and Deacon (2006), who since 2001 had served at St. Peter Armenian Church in Van Nuys.

    His Eminence also reflected on the educational background of the newly-ordained priest from his years in UCLA (Bachelor’s Degree) to his years at St. Nersess Armenian Theological Seminary (Master of Divinity). In 2011, he traveled to Armenia to further his education at Gevorgyan Theological Seminary and in 2012, he was appointed to serve at St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Church in Yerevan by His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians. In 2013, he was appointed as the Diocesan Youth Director by the Primate.

    In his remarks, the Primate congratulated the Rev. Fr. Yeghishe Ksachikyan, his Yeretzgin Datev, the Ksachikyan family on the blessed occasion. His Eminence expressed his heartfelt gratitude to Mr. and Mrs. Antranik Zorayan, the Godfathers of the Ordination and to the members of the Stewardship Committee under the resolute leadership of Committee Chairman Dr. Vahram Biricik for their years of dedicated service of preparing new generations of fine clergymen.

    Reflecting on the Sacred Order of the Priesthood, the Primate said “The Sacrament of Priesthood originates from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Priest, as a servant of the Church, must lead a Christ-like life in order to mold the souls of the faithful with the divine love and wisdom of the Son of God in order to bring them spiritually closer to the All Merciful. The Priest is the vessel entrusted to strengthen the bond between God and man. He is one who remains in constant prayer, reaches out to all – old and young, to families, to Armenian Schools, to the needy. We rest assured that these noble qualities rest in Rev. Fr. Yeghishe Ksachikyan. As a humble priest, he will be a fine addition to the clergy of the Western Diocese. May the Almighty God grant him wisdom and courage in order that he may serve the flock of Christ with honor, humility and grace.” said His Eminence in part.

    Archbishop Hovnan Derderian also announced that the newly-ordained Father Yeghishe Ksachikyan will celebrate his First Divine Liturgy (Antranig Badarak) at St. Leon Armenian Cathedral on Sunday, March 1. Shortly thereafter, Father Ksachikyan will be appointed as Pastor of St. James Armenian Church of Sacramento where on Palm Sunday March 29th, he will celebrate the Divine Liturgy as Parish Priest.

    At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, Fr. Yeghishe stood at the center of the chancel and silently read Holy Scriptures. The faithful greeted and congratulated him by kissing his freshly-anointed hands.  

    The ordination of Father Yeghishe brought the total number of priests ordained and consecrated by Archbishop Derderian thus far to 32.

  • The Zorayan Museum Committee cordially invites you to its first major event dedicated to the Centennial Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. For two days, starting February 18 at 7 p.m. Dr. Rouben Adalian’s collection of rare original archival documents related to the Armenian Genocide will be on display at the Zorayan Museum of the Western Diocese (3325 N. Glenoaks Blvd. Burbank, CA 91504). Dr. Adalian is the Director of the Armenian National Institute in Washington D.C.

    The evening’s keynote speaker and presenter will be Dr. Adalian, himself.

    Admission is free and open to the public. Faithful are strongly encouraged to attend.

  • With hundreds in attendance, the Calling Service of Deacon Mkrtich Ksachikyan was held at St. Peter Armenian Church of Van Nuys on January 23, 2015 at 7p.m. The ceremonial event was officiated by the Diocesan Primate Archbishop Hovnan Derderian with the participation of Archpriest Fr. Zaven Arzoumanian, Archpriest Fr. Shnork Demirjian, Archpriest Fr. Hovsep Hagopian, Archpriest Fr. Manoug Markarian, Rev. Fr. Zareh Mansuryan and Rev. Fr. Nerses Hayrapetyan.

    Deacon Ksachikyan’s wife Datev, his parents Mr. and Mrs. Hovhannes Ksachikyan and relatives of the Ksachikyan family joined the hundreds of faithful in attendance to witness the spiritually uplifting ceremony.

    Archpriest Fr. Shnork Demirjian introduced the Priesthood-Candidate to the Diocesan Primate who approached Archbishop Derderian kneeling.

    The liturgical hymns of the Divine Liturgy were beautifully performed by the Khachadourian as Deacon Ksachikyan was presented to Archbishop Derderian with high recommendations on his spiritual, moral and intellectual maturity.

    The Primate, in turn, according to the Book of Rites (Mashdots), reasserted the worthiness of Dn. Ksachikyan to the calling of the Priesthood as vouched by his presenters. Deacon Ksachikyan rejected and renounced all heretic beliefs and vowed to uphold the Orthodox Faith and to preserve the sacred Orthodox doctrine of the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church.

    In his sermon, the Primate reflected on the Calling Service. “For the Priesthood Candidate, the Calling Service enlightens the path to God. While on the spiritual journey, he is led by the Holy Spirit through which the divinity of Christ is revealed. Strengthened by the Holy Spirit, the candidate takes a sacred oath to become a servant of God and Christ’s Holy Church.”

    “Led by divine and heavenly graces, this evening Deacon Mkrtich Ksachikyan opens his heart, soul and mind before the Almighty to become an ordained and consecrated priest, a servant at the Holy Altar and a devout clergyman of the Armenian Apostolic Church. We pray to the All Merciful to lead this gracious young man toward the Sacred Order of the Priesthood. His ordination and consecration will surely enlighten our hearts and souls. May the Almighty God protect the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church and her clergy,” added Archbishop Derderian.

    A reception was held at the Karagozian Hall of the Parish following the Calling Service.