Rev. Fr. Karekin Bedourian Bestowed Pectoral Cross


On Sunday, September 18, 2016, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, presided over Divine Liturgy at Forty Martyrs Church in Orange County, during which, by the ordinance of His Holiness, he bestowed upon Parish Pastor, Rev. Fr. Karekin Bedourian, the privilege of wearing a pectoral cross in commendation of his dedicated service. The ceremony was held during Divine Liturgy, which was celebrated by Fr. Karekin. In attendance were Executive Council Chair Mr. Vahe Hovaguimian and his wife, members of Forty Martyrs and Holy Martyrs Churches, Kessab Educational Association Board members, sponsors, and a large number of faithful.

During the service, Archpriest Fr. Hrant Yeretzian brought forth the Pontifical Encyclical of His Holiness as the choir sang “Oorakh Ler.” His Eminence read the encyclical and thereafter placed the cross around Fr. Karekin’s neck, after which he delivered the sermon.

The Prelate greeted the parish family and congratulated them on the special day as they witnessed their parish pastor being honored for his seven years of commendable service. His Eminence spoke about the sacred calling of the priesthood and its great responsibilities, stating, “The duties of a parish priest go far and beyond Sunday services. A good priest is first and foremost a good shepherd, serving as ambassador of the church to the community, leading and inspiring by example. He is a teacher and counselor, always ready to care for the needs of his faithful with, and an administrator, dedicated to the strengthening of his parish.” The Prelate reflected on his ten years of service at the parish, congratulated Fr. Karekin and his family, and expressed confidence that he will continue to serve with faith, love, humility, diligence, and with only the best interests of his congregation at heart.

His Eminence then turned to the day’s Gospel reading from Mark 10:1-12 on the sanctity of marriage. The Prelate highlighted the true purpose and sacredness of marriage and emphasized the importance of healthy families. Citing the words of our Lord Jesus Christ from the day’s Gospel reading, that “a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh,” the Prelate stressed that when two individuals become one they are no longer looking after their own interests but rather for the interests of each other and of their children. “Today, more than ever, our families need to be nurtured with love, goodness, mutual respect, understanding, as well as devotion to our faith and observance of our national values and traditions. Most importantly, we must have God as the center of our families,” stressed the Prelate, and prayed for God to bless and protect our families, to strengthen familial bonds and unity, and to bring comfort to those families mourning the loss of loved ones.

Fr. Karekin expressed his gratitude to His Holiness Catholicos Aram I and the Prelate for the honor, and thanked the Religious and Executive Councils and parish servers for their encouragement and collaboration.

During the requiem service, prayers were offered for the souls of all departed loved ones. The Prelate conveyed his condolences in particular to the Gemayel family, long-time supporters of Forty Martyrs Church and the Prelacy, on the 40th day of the loss of their son.

A lunch reception hosted by the parish Ladies Guild followed at “Gugasian” Hall. Board of Trustees member Mr. Hagop Badolian served as the Master of Ceremonies. The program included recitations, songs, and musical performances by Vacation Bible School participants and Sunday School students. Remarks were delivered by Board of Trustees Chair Mr. Mano Dishoian and Kessab Educational Association Chair Mrs. Esther Tognozzi, who presented a memento of the association’s emblem to the parish pastor. Fr. Karekin once again thanked the Prelate, and the guests for their attendance.

The Prelate delivered the closing message, once again congratulating Fr. Karekin and encouraging the community to work together in unity and harmony for the advancement of the parish.
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The luncheon came to a close with the benediction and “Cilicia.”

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