TUJUNGA — For the Armenian-American community of Crescenta Valley, the long-awaited consecration of their church was held on Saturday, August 20, 2016. The Diocesan Primate Archbishop Hovnan Derderian presided over the ceremony with the participation of Diocesan clergy, Deacons, Choir and hundreds of faithful in attendance.

Among the participating clergy were H.E. Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian, the Vicar General of the Western Diocese the Very Rev. Fr. Pakrad Dz. V. Berjekian, the Very Rev. Fr. Dajad Dz. V. Yardemian, Archpriest Fr. Dr. Zaven Arzoumanian, Archpriest Fr. Arshag Khatchadourian, Archpriest Fr. Manoug Markarian, Archpriest Fr. Mampre Kesabyan, the Rev. Fr. Vazken Movsesian, the Rev. Fr. Haroutioun Tachejian, the Rev. Fr. Zareh Mansuryan and the Rev. Fr. Khajag Shahbazyan.

During the final preparations the Pastor of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Crescenta Valley the Rev. Fr. Avedis Abovian sustained a serious injury thus being unable to take part in the ceremonial rite.

Also in attendance were Diocesan Council Chairman Joseph Kanimian, Esq., Diocesan Council members Barkev Hamalian, Derik Ghookasian with his spouse and Vahe Skenderian with his spouse and Diocesan Grand Benefactors Dr. and Mrs. Aramayis and Natella Paronyan. Among the dignitaries in attendance were Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Krekorian, Glendale City Councilmember Ara Najarian, Glendale City Councilmember Mr. Vartan Gharpetian with his spouse, California State Assemblymember Patty Lopez accompanied by field representative Ricardo Benitez and the principal of Mountain View Elementary School Mr. Richard Guillen with his spouse.

The Grand Benefactor of the church is philanthropist and founding President of the Union of Armenians in Russia Mr. Ara Abrahamyan.

The Godfathers are Supreme Spiritual Council Member Dn. Dr. Varoujan Altebarmakian with his wife Lena, Dr. and Mrs. Simon and Lena Simonian, Mr. and Mrs. Karnig and Anahid Derian, Mr. and Mrs. Ara and Betty Ghazarosian,

Mr. and Mrs. Jack and Maro Kalaydjian, Mr. Armen and Rita Baranian, Mr. and Mrs. Antranik and Virginia Zorayan, Mr. and Mrs. Aret Demiral, Iraqi Armenian Family Association chaired by Mr. Khatchig Janoyan, the Ladies Society of the Parish, the Parish ACYO, the Sunday School, the Saturday School, the Choir, the Art School and the Deacons.

With the participation of the clergy and the choir, the Primate consecrated the 16 cross-stones in the names of the Apostles and Saints and then consecrated the bema, the baptismal font and lastly the Holy Altar, naming the Church “Holy Apostles.”

Following the consecration, the Primate and the clergy led a procession to the courtyard of the Holy Apostles Armenian Church where His Eminence consecrated a cross-stone dedicated by Mr. Ara Abrahamyan in memory of his mother Paytsar Abrahamyan.

In his homily the Primate referred to the newly consecrated church as the “New Bride” of the Western Diocese. Archbishop Derderian also reflected on the evolution of the community from being a mission parish to a full-fledged parish with its own facilities. He fondly remembered the vast contributions of a devout parishioner the late Maral Sarafyan in whose memory the altar was dedicated by benefactors Dr. and Mrs. Altebarmakian.

In conclusion, Archbishop Derderian expressed his wholehearted gratitude to all with faithful without exception for their steadfast support and unwavering dedication in making the consecration a reality. He commended the pastoral leadership and guidance of the Rev. Fr. Avedis Abovian who has served the flock of Christ with unrelenting dedication and enduring affection.

A special reception was held in the hall of the church following the consecration ceremony.

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