The 25th (Silver) Anniversary of consecration of St. Mary Armenian Church was celebrated on June 24 and June 25, firstly, with a gala banquet on Saturday and the celebration of the Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning.
The day’s celebrant was the Diocesan Primate His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian. The Parish’s Founding Primate, His Eminence Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian was also in attendance attended.
The Gala Banquet, attended by 310 guests, was held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Newport Beach. Dignitaries who attended include Congressmen Dana Rohrabacker and Ed Royce, State Assemblymen Matthew Harper and Dr. Steven Choi, former Assemblywoman Young Kim, Mr. Garo Madenlian of ANCA and his committee, Superior Court Judge the Honorable Gassia Apkarian, Diocesan clergy Very Rev. Fr. Pakrad Dz. V. Berjekian, Vicar General, Archpriest Fr. Sarkis Petoyan, Archpriest Fr. Zenob Nalbandian, Rev. Fr. Vazken Movsesian and Rev. Fr. Haroutioun Tachejian.
Mark V. Asdourian, Esq. served as the Master of Ceremonies. Founding members, benefactors and many parishioners and friends attended and enjoyed the evening which began with cocktail and champagne reception, followed by scrumptious dinner.
Remarks were made by the Chairman of the 25th Anniversary Committee Tony Markarian, the Parish Priest Archpriest Fr. Moushegh Tashjian, the above mentioned government officials, Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian and the Diocesan Primate. In his remarks, the Primate expressed his gratitude to Pastor Archpriest Fr. Moushegh Tashjian and his Yn. Sylva for their tireless and devoted services during the past 25 years, as the couple received a standing ovation from the guests in attendance.
“On the auspicious occasion of the 25th anniversary of consecration of St. Mary Armenian Church, we convey our genuine wishes to the Pastor, members of the parish’s auxiliary bodies and the entire faithful who continue to serve with the utmost humility and grace. We are confident that through the collaborative efforts of the organizational structures, St. Mary Armenian Church will continue to carry on its God-pleasing missions,” said His Eminence in part.
The founding leaders, godfathers, benefactors, members and parishioners were recognized for their vision, efforts and contributions starting from day one.
A cake cutting ceremony was joined by founding leaders and godfathers. Singer Tavit Samuelian and his band entertained the guests till late evening. A color souvenir booklet was printed to commemorate the milestone and distributed to the guests in attendance.
On Sunday morning, the Primate celebrated the Divine Liturgy. The Pastor of the host parish Archpriest Fr. Moushegh Tashjian and the Rev. Fr. Vazken Movsesian served at the Holy Altar. Deacons, stole-bearers and Acolytes took part in the services.
Directed by Dn. Rupen Ozsogomonian, the Hovsepian Choir sang the hymns of the Divine Liturgy. At the conclusion of his sermon, the Primate acknowledged 17 parishioners for their services and bestowed upon them the Hye Spirit Award of the Western Diocese.
They honorees were: Dr. Kris Mirzayan, Dr. Levon Keleshian, Armenag Balian (deceased), Mark V. Asdourian, Tony Markarian, Wayne and Debbie Simonian, Gevork Martirosian, Hagop and Anush Barin, Tanya Hovanesian, Talar Karatas, Maral Megurian, Varto Torikian, Nina Yousefian, Vera Kabaklian and an anonymous parishioner. The Primate again expressed his thanks and appreciation to all who played an important role for the founding of St. Mary Parish and Archpriest Fr. Moushegh Tashjian for his exceptional and outstanding service.
Following the service, a Requiem Service was presided by Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian, in remembrance of the founding members, godfathers, benefactors and parishioners who had entered eternal rest.
A champagne reception was held following the service in Fesjian Hall with the Ladies Society serving a delicious brunch.