Sunday, December 8:
Former Primate Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian presided over the church services and delivered the spiritual message. He spoke of the Parable of the Talents. God has bestowed each one of us talents, gifts which we ought to invest for the sake of our lives, families, communities, churches, nation and eventually for our eternal happiness in heaven. Nelson Mandella was a true leader of his country who used his talents well for his country and people and the world paid tribute to him for his sacrifices to bring freedom, democracy and equality for his people.
The Trust Fund sponsored fund-raising lunch at the Bayside Restaurant in Newport Beach, hosted graciously by Mr. & Mrs. Jerry & Marion Palanjian. Close to 70 guests attended. This was the second fund-raising event following a similar function held in late January, to help raise funds for the future expansion and a new hall for St. Mary Church. Arch. Vatche Hovsepian and Fr. Moushegh Tashjian, Pastor urged the guests to open their hearts and contribute generously. Vice-Chairman of the Trust Fund Mr. Antranik O. Zorayan spoke on behalf of the Board and thanked everyone for their attendance and support. Mr. Brian Der Matoian, also a Board member, touched upon the construction aspect of the project. The new 400-seat hall is estimated to cost about $3.5 million. The Trust Fund has made substantial progress since the approval of the project by St. Mary Parish in 2011. With the guidance and generosity of Aram Bassenian and his architectural firm, preliminary site plans have been drawn and are being readied for submittal to the Costa Mesa building department. We are pleased to report that with the two fund-raisers, the Trust Fund has received numerous donations and pledges for the project. When added to existing church funds, the Trust Fund has raised $1.2 million.
The Trust Fund needs your support as we seek to raise the balance of the funds necessary so that we can break ground. With your financial assistance and the commitments that we have been blessed to receive to date, we can turn the beautiful plans that have been drawn into a reality that will be the spiritual and cultural center for Orange County Armenians for generations to come.
Sunday, December 15:
On Sunday, Dec. 15 Archpriest Fr. Vazken Movsesian, the Pastor of St. Peter the Apostle Church in Glendale, CA and the Chairman of the Armenian Genocide Centennial Commemoration of the Western Diocese, visited St. Mary parish and celebrated the Divine Liturgy and delivered a powerful sermon to the parishioners attending church. In his sermon, Fr. Movsesian said, in two years the Armenian people all over the world will commemorate the very tragic event in our history, the martyrdom of 1.5 million Armenians killed by the Turkish government. However, he said we are no longer lamenting this sad chapter in history, instead we are celebrating “Resurrection and Life”. The Turkish government decided to annihilate all Armenians but one to keep him in a museum. But we are alive, we are resurrected!
Fr. Vazken spoke of one priest’s martyrdom among 1200 clergy who suffered the same fate of their people during the Genocide. Fr. Haroutiun’s life and martyrdom is described in a book published by Teotig in the early 1900’s. He, along 500 of his parishioners, suffered untold tortures and subsequent martyrdom for being Christian. They died so that we could live! We are alive! Herein is the miracle of the Resurrection and Life!