From May 10-21, 2012 Diocesan Youth Director Rev. Fr. Avedis Abovian visited Armenia in order to familiarize himself firsthand with the missions being accomplished by the Western Diocese. Fr. Avedis offered shared his insight in areas which needed reorganization and restructuring. We are pleased to inform that as a result of the Youth Director’s visit, the missions will become more organized and more fruitful.

Etchmiadzin Children’s Fund (ECF)
The Etchmiadzin Children’s Fund (ECF) is one of the dearest missions at the Western Diocese. The program sponsors close to 400 underprivileged children in Armenia. Thanks to the generosity of the Diocesan faithful, these children receive the proper shelter, nourishment and care.

Christian Youth Mission to Armenia (CYMA)
The Christian Youth Mission to Armenia (CYMA) is one of the youth-involved missions in the Western Diocese. The program involves prepping the youth for a month-long pilgrimage to Armenia. The youth not only visit religious and historic sites but also serve in their capacities as builders for needy communities. The CYMA mission has partnered with Armenia’s branch of Fuller Housing Center in efforts to further assist in building projects for families in dire need of shelter.

“House of Hope – Mer Hooys”
On June 30, 2012, the Honorable Judge Adrienne Krikorian, founder of Mer Hooys – House of Hope and a group of pilgrims participated in the official opening ceremony of the “Mer Hooys – House of Hope” building in Armenia. The building will house close to 50 Armenian teenage girls between the ages 13-16 from disadvantaged backgrounds.
House of Hope-Mer Hooys, Inc is a California non-profit tax-exempt organization. Mer Hooys has the support of his Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, and the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America. Mer Hooys is dedicated to reaching young women from disadvantaged lifestyles who do not have the means to otherwise acquire job skill development and training, advanced education, life and social skill development, psychological and spiritual counseling and mentorship.

Sister Church Program
The Sister Church Program was founded on the basis to provide financial support to the churches in Armenia. Nearly all Parishes of the Western Diocese are engaged in the Sister Church Program. The financial support provided by the Diocesan Parishes makes it possible for the realization of religious missions and programs in Sister Churches of Armenia. (pictured – St. John, San Francisco and St. John (Hovhannes) in Sisian, Armenia)

International Student Program
A new initiative involving the partnership of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and Woodbury University will make it possible twelve students from Armenia to study abroad for a period of one year. The program will be launched this year.

Armenian Students to Visit Armenian Summer Camp
Initiated by Diocesan Primate Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, four students from Armenia who have demonstrated academic excellence will take part in this year’s Armenian Summer Camp Program. The participation of these four students will surely have a positive impact on all campers.

Harichavank Seminary
The Monastery of Harich or Harichavank is 7th century Armenian monastery located near the village of Harich in the Shirak Province of the Republic of Armenia. Harichavank known as one of the most famous monastic centers in Armenia and it was especially renowned for its school and scriptorium. Archaeological excavations of 1966 indicate that Harich was in existence during the 2nd century BC, and was one of the more well known fortress towns in Armenia.
Thanks to the generosity of Diocesan Benefactors Gerald and Patricia Turpanjian, the dilapidated the Harichavank monastery and the adjacent theological seminary, once in dire need of renovation, is presently under complete renovation. At the request of the benefactors directed to His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, the seminary will be named Turpanjian Theological Seminary – Harichavank.

Church ProgramConstruction of the Church in the City of Berd
Because of the oppressive Communist rule, many cities and villages in Armenia were left without a place of worship. The city of Berd in the province of Tavoush was one of the cities greatly impacted as two of its churches were left in ruins. We are happy to announce that the construction of the church sponsored by the late Diocesan benefactor John Stevens has commenced. May the renovated church become the source of spiritual reawakening for our fellow brothers and sisters in the City of Berd.

Humanitarian Mission
The Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America has been blessed with the generosity of her benefactors, who have demonstrated their commitment to the Armenian Holy Apostolic Church through numerous sponsorship programs.
We are happy to inform that a Diocesan benefactor couple (who have expressed their wish to remain anonymous) has graciously agreed sponsor the cost of living of four orphans in Gyumri, Armenia for a period two years. Such kind deeds leave a lasting impact in the hearts of not only the beneficiaries but also our community.

Deacons’ Pilgrimage
Under the auspices of His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, in 2013, the Western Diocese will organize a pilgrimage Armenia designed especially for the Deacons of the Western Diocese. The deacons will visit monasteries where they will live and pray with monks and seminarians. The pilgrims will renew their covenant of service to Christ, our Lord, and upon their return, will instill in the hearts of the Diocesan faithful the sanctity of our Christian Faith and the rich heritage of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

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