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The Prelate Presides Over The Divine Liturgy At St. Gregory The Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church Of San Francisco

By May 31, 2024June 18th, 2024No Comments


On Thursday, May 23, 2024, H.E. Archbishop Kegham Khacherian, Prelate of the Western Prelacy of the United States, and Very Reverend Father Zareh Sarkissian embarked on a journey to San Francisco. Upon reaching their destination, they were welcomed by Mr. Rostom Aintablian, esteemed member of the Central Executive of the Catholicosate of the Holy See of Cilicia & delegate of the Church.

On May 24, 2024, H.E. Archbishop Kegham Khacherian presided over the graduation ceremony at Ovsanna Misserlian Preschool, where he delivered a heartfelt paternal message to the attendees. Very Rev. Fr. Saboundjian, Mr. Garbis Bezdjian, member of the Executive Council, and Mr. Aintablian accompanied the Prelate. During his address, H.E. Archbishop Khacherian emphasized that the Armenian school serves as a second home for Armenian children, where Armenian educators assume a dual role as both teachers and nurturing mothers to their students. Drawing attention to a photograph depicting Mount Ararat and Khor Virab displayed on the stage, H.E. Archbishop Khacherian underscored the Armenian school’s role in guiding the new generations towards their Armenian Christian faith and Armenian roots. Furthermore, the prelate expressed his deep appreciation to Armenian parents for their trust in the Armenian school’s mission, particularly in the Western United States.

On May 26, 2024, H.E. Archbishop Khacherian presided over a Divine Liturgy at St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church in San Francisco. The Prelate extended his best wishes in honor of the upcoming Armenian Independence Day, blessed the Armenian tricolor flag, and delivered a sermon. Rev. Father Artsakh Badoyan, the newly appointed priest of St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church in San Francisco, celebrated Divine Liturgy. The altar was served by the deacons and scribes. In attendance were Mr. Bezdjian, Executive Council member, a large number of the members of the community, benefactors, and parishioners.

On behalf of the extensive community of the St. Gregory the Illuminator church, Very Rev. Father Smpad Saboundjian, the church’s pastor, greeted H.E. Archbishop Kegham Khacherian, expressed his well wishes to safely and peacefully lead the congregation with courage, strength, and grace.

H.E. Archbishop Kegham Khacherian had selected a passage from the letter of Apostle Paul to the Corinthians, stating, “The only important things are faith, hope, and love and the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13). H.E. Archbishop Khacherian shared that the significance of faith, hope, and love are essential virtues within the Christian church, forming the fundamental principles of our Christian faith. “Faith alone is described as a powerful emotion that allows individuals to connect with a higher power beyond the confines of everyday life. Hope serves as a driving force to remain grounded in the present while looking towards the future, as supreme hope and the giver of hope is God himself. Love is recognized as the origin of all and the matron of the commandments, virtue from which all others, including faith, hope, righteousness, and peace,” stated Archbishop Kegham Khacherian.

H.E. Archbishop Kegham Khacherian extended his congratulations on the independence of Armenia and commended the unwavering patriotism, faith, and resilience exhibited by generations of Armenians in safeguarding their homeland against the Turkish state’s genocidal history and attacks. He called on Armenians worldwide to confront contemporary challenges with solidarity and unity. In conclusion, H.E. Archbishop Khacherian emphasized that patriotism stands as a paramount national value for Armenians.

H.E. Archbishop Khacherian announced the appointment of Rev. Fr. Artsakh Badoyan as the new pastor of St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic church of San Francisco expressing his well wishes for success in his calling to serve in a familiar environment close to his heart, for the glory of God and for the Armenian Church. H.E. Archbishop Khacherian also commended the service of Very Rev. Fr. Smpad Saboundjian to the church and community,and wished him new successes. Additionally, H.E. Archbishop Khacherian congratulated His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia, on his naming day and wished him good health and a long tenure as Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia.

At the conclusion of his address, the Prelate praised the San Francisco parish community and the extensive congregation of St. Gregory the Illuminator church. He underscored the significance of May 28 and the passing of patriotic values to succeeding generations, highlighting the youth as the beacon of hope and the cornerstone of our nation’s future.

Congratulations were extended in commemoration of Armenian Independence Day, where the tricolor Armenian flag was blessed and a memorial ceremony was conducted to pay tribute to the pioneers of Armenia’s initial republic and to honor the spirits of the courageous freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives in decisive battles such as Sardarabad, Bash Abaran, Gharakilisa, and Artsakh.

Following the Divine Liturgy, a reception was organized at the Khachaturian Armenian Community Center Hall in honor of H.E. Archbishop Kegham Khacherian. The San Francisco community extended a warm welcome to Archbishop Khacherian, providing him the opportunity to engage with them and graciously receive their congratulations and heartfelt well-wishes.

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