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.

Key Events:

            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

                        Zvartnots organization.


            2005:   6-unit apartment building adjacent to church parking lot purchased for

                        1.2 million.

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

                                    Building Committee.

                                    Fresca was painted behind the Main Altar of Archangels Gabriel

                                    and Michael.

                                    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

Copyright © Saint Mary Armenian Church   148 22nd Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92627    Tel: (949) 650-8367   Contact: