Three-Day Pastoral Visit to Las Vegas

On Friday, October 1, 2021, H.G. Bishop Torkom Donoyan, Prelate, departed on a three-day pastoral visit to Las Vegas where he was welcomed by St. Garabed Church parish pastor Rev. Fr. Artsakh Badoyan and community representatives. In the evening the Prelate met with benefactors and delegate Mr. and Mrs. Alex and Arda Yemenidjian and commended their generous support to Armenia, the Armenian Church, the Western Prelacy, and in particular their recent $10 million dollar donation to the TUMO center.

On Saturday, October 2nd, the Prelate visited the ARS Las Vegas “Shushi” chapter Verjine Koujakian Saturday School where he conducted the opening prayer and spoke to the young students about Armenian Culture Month, the feast of the Holy Translators, and the educational works of St. Mesrob Mashdots. Afterwards, the Prelate met with the school administration and staff during which he commended their service.

In the evening, the Prelate presided over a dinner organized by St. Garabed Church. Among those in attendance were the parish pastor, Board of Trustees members, and delegates Adroushan Armenian and Arda Yemenidjian. During the dinner, the attendees discussed spiritual, educational, and organizational projects to be carried out within the next year to benefit the flourishing of the Church.

DIVINE LITURGY & UNVEILING OF THE ARMENIAN ALPHABET

On Sunday, October 3rd, the Prelate celebrated Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon at St. Garabed Church. In his message, the Prelate emphasized the importance of relying and depending on God alone rather than on fleeting worldly values especially in difficult times, for God promises to help all those who turn to Him. He was assisted at the altar by parish pastor Rev. Fr. Artsakh Badoyan, Rev. Fr. Movses Shannakian from Glendale, and deacons.
Following the service, a ceremony was held in the Church courtyard during which the parish pastor welcomed the Prelate to Las Vegas to conduct the unveiling of the Armenian alphabet and invited him to deliver his message. The Prelate greeted the guests and spoke on the importance of the feast of the Holy Translators, stating “who would have thought that the Armenian alphabet invented by the ingenious St. Mesrob would one day stand as a monument thousands of miles away from Armenia at St. Garabed Church in Las Vegas?” He added that St. Garabed Church has become an oasis for the Armenian community in the desert of Las Vegas and what a blessing it is to celebrate Armenian culture within the community. Thereafter, he unveiled the Armenian alphabet created in large, bronze letters by artist Ara Cholakian, thus fulfilling the vision and wish of the late Board of Trustees Chairman Garabed Bedirian.

VISIT TO UNLV

In the afternoon, by the invitation of Honorary Consul of the Republic of Armenia in Las Vegas Adroushan Armenian, the Prelate attended an event at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Armenia which was organized by the Armenian Students’ Association. In attendance were the Consul General of Armenia in Los Angeles Ambassador Armen Baibourtian, H.E. Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate, clergy, and guests. Remarks were delivered by representatives of the Republic of Armenia and clergy leaders, all of whom stressed the importance of collective efforts for the prosperity of Armenia and the Armenian nation, the faithfulness of our people toward our national values and the value of working in unison. Following official remarks, ANCA Las Vegas member Lena Hovanessian was honored for her efforts in including the Armenian Genocide in the Nevada state educational curriculum.

The event included musical, song, and dance performances by talented young Armenians and concluded with the benediction by clergy leaders.

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