Father Moushegh’s 40th Anniversary of Priesthood Celebration
January 29th, 2012
Sunday, January 29, 2012 was a memorable and moving day for our beloved Pastor, Archpriest Fr. Moushegh Tashjian, his family, relatives, friends and hundreds of St. Mary parishioners who attended the church services and the banquet that followed in the Fesjian Hall, in honor and tribute to Archpriest Fr. Moushegh’s 40th Anniversary of Ordination and Consecration into Priesthood and 20th Anniversary as Pastor of St. Mary Armenian Church.
The services were presided by His Eminence Arch. Hovnan Derderian, Primate, former Primate His Eminence Arch. Vatche Hovsepian and Very Rev. Fr. Baret Yeretzian. The Khatchadourian Choir sang the hymns of the badarak, directed by Dn. Stepan Gozumian and Dn. Rupen Ozsogomonian, organist. Deacons and acolytes served on the altar, which was beautifully decorated for the occasion with colorful flowers.
Towards the end of the Liturgy, a special Encyclical of His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians was carried into the sanctuary and to the Holy Altar by Very Rev. Fr. Baret Yeretzian, while the choir sang the uplifting hymn “Hrashapar”. Standing by the Primate on the Altar, Fr. Yeretzian read the encyclical to Archpriest Fr. Moushegh, in gratitude for his four decades of services, starting from his ordination in Jerusalem to serving four parishes in the Western Diocese: Hollywood, San Francisco, Pasadena and Costa Mesa, congratulating him with greetings and blessings. Afterwards, Archbishop Derderian gave an eloquent sermon, praising Fr. Moushegh for his dedicated services and achievements in all four parishes he served. He added, he had only admiration for Fr. Moushegh since he first met him over 32 years ago, while he was the Pastor of St. John Church in San Francisco and in appreciation presented him a colorful framed picture of the Nativity of Christ as a gift.
The second part of the exciting testimonial event began with a large banquet of 250 guests in the Fesjian Hall, which was beautifully decorated for the occasion. Dr. Kris Mirzayan, Vice Chairman of the Parish Council acted as the Master of Ceremonies and invited the Primate for the invocation. The dinner and the delicious mezzas were served by Salpi’s Catering. Parish Council Chairman Hovsep Bergciyan, Antranik O. Zorayan, Suren Toumanian, Rose Kaskavalciyan, Claudette Mekalian, Dr. Richard Kasper, Fr. Baret Yeretzian, Arch. Vatche Hovsepian (who gave Fr. Moushegh a beautiful and ornate pectoral cross) and Arch. Hovnan Derderian all saluted Fr. Moushegh for his devotion and services, leadership as true Pastor, gentle and kind nature and friendliness.
A video of pictures on large screen, prepared by Puzant Zorayan showed Fr. Moushegh’s life from childhood in Beirut to Seminary years, ordination as deacon and priest in Jerusalem, scenes from all four parishes served in California, and finally some family pictures.
Vartan Tashjian, Fr. Moushegh’s brother, a renowned educator and painter/artist from Cyprus sent Armenian/English greetings for the auspicious occasion via YouTube. Everyone was impressed by his eloquent English and Armenian messages. Tavit Tashjian, a young pianist and a nephew of Fr. Moushegh, performed classical selections. A 28-page color booklet was also printed.
During a cake cutting ceremony, everyone joined in singing “For he is a jolly good fellow”. Before closing, Fr. Moushegh, with gratitude and humility, thanked everyone for their blessings, greetings, attendance and generous gifts. He thanked his family, most especially his Yn. Sylva, children, mother, brothers, sister, the Catholicos of All Armenians, the Primate and former Primate, the Parish Council and the Committee and volunteers, for organizing the event. He also thanked his relatives, friends and all the parishioners who sent their congratulations and well wishes and invited all to join the church and make St. Mary an even stronger parish.
With the benediction of Arch. Hovnan Derderian, the historic and joyful anniversaries in the life of Archpriest Fr. Moushegh Tashjian ended with the reciting of the Lord’s Prayer.
Vartan Tashjian’s Video Message in English and Armenian
Third Annual St. Mary Armenian Church Festival 2011
October 9th proved to be the day for the Third Annual St. Mary Food Festival! After a week of terrible weather, the temperature was pleasant, the sun was shining, and the people were smiling. More than 1,200 church members, community members, friends, and family joined together under a 4000 sq. ft. tent, for fellowship and to experience the delightful sights and sounds of the festival, taste the delicious homemade food and enjoy the outstanding music and entertainment.
Participants indulged in such traditional Armenian delicacies as lamb shish kebab, chicken kebab, luleh kebab, shawerma plates and sandwiches, yalanchi, lahmajoun, rice pilaf, hummus, and cheese beoreg. And what could taste better with a cup of Armenian coffee than a delectable homemade pastry made by our hard working church women, such as baklava, choreg, kadayif, kurabia, and for the kids chocolate chip cookies & brownies! We
even had Balboa Ice Cream bars. Children took great pleasure in face painting, carnival games, bounce house, slide and playing with their friends. Our Zvartnots Children’s Choir and Dance group entertained the crowd with traditional Armenian songs and dances. Music was provided by Tom Bozigian and his band. His folkloric dance music even inspired St. Mary’s Adult Dance Class, under the direction of Simon the instructor, to demonstrate Armenian line dances.Vendor booths featured our own Cultural Booth with books, CDs, DVDs, and artifacts; others included a variety of beautiful jewelry, clothing, fruits and nuts. We also held a 50-50 Raffle. Kotayk Armenian Lager Beer was a big seller, as was our take – out booth, where festival goers could take some of the foods home with them.
Attendance surpassed the previous year’s record . Many of the foods sold out, like the lamb and chicken kebab, and hummus. Everyone experienced the hospitality and friendliness that we Armenians are known for. Everyone was made to feel at home and “part of the family”.Under the direction of Fr. Moushegh Tashjian, the festival was organized by Chairman Brian Der Matoian and committee members Yn Sylva Tashjian, Suren and Izzy Toumanian, Wayne and Debbie Simonian, Hovsep Bergciyan, Claudette Mekalian, Annette Singhal, Nina Yousefian, Rose Kaskavalciyan, Hagop Barin, Anita
Karakesisoglu, Gevork Martirosian, Kris Mirzayan, Tony Markarian, Armenak Balian, Michael Hollis, Gevork Martirossian, Saro Semercian, Rosie Gharadaghian, Christeen Amloian, and Ara Calibasi.
The festival was made possible in part by generous donations and sponsorships, and many hours of volunteer service before and during the festival itself.
We hope to see you there next year!
Large Pilgrimage Attend St. Mary’s Feast in Costa Mesa
Costa Mesa, CA.: Hundreds, including 4 bus-loads of pilgrims from Glendale and L.A. area attended worship at St. Mary Armenian Church in Costa Mesa. On
Saturday, August 13, 2011 the eve of the Feast of Assumption of Holy Mother
of God (Verapokhoum), over 260 pilgrims arrived from Glendale and L.A. area
by four motorcoaches and private cars, to attend a one-hour prayer service,
which included traditional evening services, prayers and hymns dedicated to
holy Mother of God and congregation singing of Der Vogormia (Lord have
Mercy) and Hayr Mer. Several visiting deacons also took part in the services. The Pastor of St. Mary Armenian Church, Archpriest Fr. Moushegh Tashjian welcomed the pilgrims and thanked Mr. Nahabed Melkonian and the Jerusalem Armenian Tarkmanchats School Alumni for organizing the annual pilgrimage. “Tonight the walls of this house of worship have trembled with your powerful prayers. Never in our church history so many pious faithful have entered this church together in such a brief time, and never so many hundreds of candles have been offered and illuminated St. Mary Church”, said Fr. Moushegh. St. Mary Ladies Society and the Madagh Committee welcomed the guests with refreshments of Madagh meat sandwiches, choreg, dessert, grapes and strawberries in the Fesjian Hall, where a short program of speeches, recitation of psalms, songs and prayers ensued. All the pilgrims received favors as gifts, compliments of Peter & Henrietta Bodourian, church members. The pilgrims, some of whom first time visitors, departed at 11:00 p.m. , expressing their thanks and gratitude for such a genuine and heartwarming
welcome by St. Mary parishioners.
On Sunday, August 14, Feast of Assumption of Holy Mother of God, Grape/Madagh Blessing and Name Day services were presided by Archpriest Fr. Moushegh Tashjian, Pastor who also conducted the Badarak assisted by church deacons and acolytes serving the Holy Altar. During the services, Fr. Moushegh delivered the sermon and blessed the grapes and Madagh which was shared with the faithful in the church. The Hovsepian Choir sang the hymns of the badarak and the variables of the day, directed by Dn. Rupen Ozsogomonyan.
Over 400 pounds of lamb meat was cooked over the weekend and 1,000 sandwiches
prepared by dozens of volunteers. After the services, a love meal was served in the Fesjian Hall, which included Madagh meat, rice and bulgur pilaf, Madagh sandwiches, salad, grapes and dessert. Of course, this being the annual fundraising day, congregation members, benefactors, supporters and church committees showered the church with outpouring donations and gifts. Albert Vartanian entertained the guests with beautiful inspiring music on the duduk, accordion and flute. A total of $100,000 was raised, of which $25,000 was donated by the Ladies Society. We thank committee chairman Mr. Armenak Balian for chairing this year’s Madagh Committee.