St. Mary Armenian Church, Costa Mesa
Established: 1985 as Armenian Church of Newport Beach.
First Badarak: April 14, 1985
Celebrant: Arch. Vatche Hovsepian, Primate with the participation of Khatchadourian
Choir directed by Dn. Stepan Gozumian. 500 faithful attended. First
Parish Council was appointed by the Primate. Paul Hachigian, Chairman.
Ladies Society established, Rose Kaskavalciyan as Chairman.
Location: St. James Episcopal Church of Newport Beach (Lido Marina Village).
2nd location: St. Michael & All Saints Episcopal Church in Corona Del Mar until
Visiting Priests: from 1985-1992
Church property: purchased in March 1989, address 130-148 E. 22nd Street, Costa Mesa
at the cost of $1,248,000. Owner remained tenant about 3 years. In 1991
church remodeled, a pink marble Armenian altar erected, church halls
Founding Pastor: Fr. MousheghTashjian assigned as Pastor in April 1992 to the
Consecration: June 13 & 14, 1992. Church consecrated in the name of St. Mary Armenian Church per wishes of Godfather Mr. & Mrs. Civan & Pina
Celebrant: Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian, Primate assisted by the Pastor and
Diocesan clergy. Godfather: Mr. & Mrs. Civan & Pinna Kalfayan.
1991: Memorial Building Fund established, Mr. Antranik O. Zorayan Chairman
and Dr. Vahram Biricik Treasurer.
1992: The hall was dedicated in honor of Mr. & Mrs. Suren Fesjian of New York
in appreciation for their large contribution.
Oct. 1997: A traditional Armenian style Belltower was constructed and dedicated,
benefactor Zephyr Stuart.
1997: Fr. Moushegh’s 25th Anniversary of ordination was celebrated at the Irvine
Marriott attended by 550 guests. Arch. Vatche Hovsepian, Primate
Oct. 1998: The small hall was dedicated and named in honor of Arch. Vatche
Hovsepian, Primate for his pivotal role in establishing St. Mary Parish.
2000: Celebrated 1700th Anniversary of Proclamation of Christianity in
Armenia, at the Robert B. MooreTheater of Orange Coast College.
Over 900 attended.
2001: An Armenian Khachkar was dedicated to the 1700th Anniversary of
Proclamation of Christianity in Armenia, next to church belltower by
2005: 6-unit apartment building adjacent to church parking lot purchased for
June 2, 2005: Pontifical visit & Hrashapar service of His Holiness Karekin II,
Catholicos of All Armenians.
June 10, 2007:The 80th Anniversary of the Western Diocese, the 15th Anniversary of St.
Mary’s Consecration and 15th Anniversary of St. Mary’s ACYO were
celebrated. Arch. Hovnan Derderian, Primate presided at the Hilton
Costa Mesa. Consul General of the Republic of Armenia Mr. Armen
Liloyan was the Guest of Honor.
2008: St. Mary Church purchased a second (a house) property for $640,000
near the church.
High Honors: The following St. Mary Parishioners have received Encyclicals and
Medals from Catholicos of All Armenians: Civan Kalfayan, Antranik
O. Zorayan, Nshan Derderian, Aram Bassenian, Dr. Roger Ohanesian –
St. Gregory the Illuminator Medal.
Paul Hachigian, Dr. Vahram Biricik, Rose Kaskavalciyan, Peter
Bodourian, Ara Karakesisoglu and Dn. Yervant Gulsatarian – St. Nerses
The Graceful Medal.
Sanctuary Additions: 18 stained-glass Holy pictures of saints and bible events related to
Jesus’ life at 3 different periods were installed.
Memorial plaques were installed in the vestibule by the Memorial
Fresca was painted behind the Main Altar of Archangels Gabriel
An electronic bell chime was installed in the belltower, donated
by Alma Cherian
New pews were installed donated by parishioners. New church carpet was donated by Mike Derderian.
New church doors were installed.
New organ was donated by the late Mrs. Zephyr Stuart.
Three large holy pictures of
a) Madonna & Child
b) Crowning of St. Mary and
c) Crucifixion of our Lord (painted in Holy Etchmiadzin by Levon Zakian) were added in the Sanctuary.
The first two were permanently installed above the candle niches.
Diocesan Assembly: May 1993
ACYO Convention: Nov. 25-27, 1994
ACYO Convention: Nov. 23-25, 2001
Diocesan Assembly: May 2006
Church organizations established:
1991: Memorial Building Fund chaired by Antranik O. Zorayan, Treasurer Dr. Vahram
1992: ACYO established by Fr. Moushegh.
1992: Church Choir named Hovsepian Choir in honor of Arch. Vatche Hovsepian.
Church bulletin Zankag established by Fr. Moushegh
AGBU Saturday Armenian School established at St. Mary Church.
1992: Cultural Committee established
1997: Zvartnots Children’s Choir & Dance Ensemble established
2000: Trust Fund established
2001: Mommy & Me established
2006: Mr. & Mrs. Club established