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(SAN DIEGO) – The Knights of Vartan, Gomidas Tahlij #43 of San Diego has donated a commissioned painting of St. Vartan and Ghevont Yeretz for the side altar of St. Sarkis Armenian Church, San Diego.

The painting by Armenian artist Tigran Hovumyan was dedicated and blessed by His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese, and parish priest Very Rev. Father Pakrad Dz. V Berjekian, on Sunday, February 5, 2023, as part of St. Sarkis’ First Anniversary Celebration.

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Consecration of Cross at the Armenian Apostolic Church At Hye Pointe

Boston –June 20, 2019.  A brand-new Armenian Church in Massachusetts’ Merrimack Valley now has a brand-new Armenian cross to adorn its steeple. The cross was consecrated on Thursday, June 20, the gift of the Boston, Massachusetts based Knights of Vartan Ararat Tahlij No. 1 and its Arpie Otyag No. 9. Many of the lodge and Otyag members were on hand with their families as Bishop Daniel Findikyan consecrated the large gold cross which now stands proudly atop the Haverhill, Massachusetts area church. This was Bishop Findikyan’s first visit to the church since recently being elected Primate of the Armenian Church of America’s Eastern Diocese. Also participating in the consecration service were Armenian Church Pastors from across Massachusetts as well as the Dean of the Saint Nersess Armenian Seminary in New York.

Naghkin Avak Sbarabed Nighogos Atinizian (left) & Sbarabed Argishti Chaparian of Ararat Tahlij No. 1 in Boston (R)

During the early evening service, the cross was held upright by Past Grand Commander Nigoghos Atinizian and Commander Argishti Chaparian of Ararat Tahlij No. 1. In his remarks following the service, Commander Chaparian described how, as plans were announced to construct an Armenian Church in Haverhill, Ararat Lodge formed a committee to investigate the plans to determine how best it could help. Commander Chaparian said that once construction on the church began, lodge members saw a once in a lifetime opportunity to make a significant contribution to the new structure. The Commander sited the many personal sacrifices made by members during the fundraising process, including time away from their families and jobs. Ararat Lodge, along with its Arpie Otyag, raised the fifty-thousand dollars needed to cover the cost of the cross that now stands atop the church which overlooks Merrimack Valley.

It was Commander Chaparian who, after thanking the Knights and Daughters for their support and sacrifice, presented the fifty-thousand-dollar check to the Hye Point Church’s Pastor, Reverend Father Vart Gyozalyan. Father Vart, as he is lovingly known by friends and parishioners, thanked Ararat Tahlij No. 1 as well as Arpie Otyag No. 9 for their generosity and their continued dedication to the Armenian Church.

Those sentiments toward The Ararat Lodge and Arpie Otyag were echoed by Bishop Findikyan. During a dinner and reception that followed the consecration ceremony, the Primate reminded the guests that the cross is a unifying symbol of the Armenian church. He said that even as Jesus hung on the cross during his crucifixion, his arms were outstretched, as if to draw those who were near him even closer. He said the cross is a symbol that Christ wants us all to come together in his name.

Among the scores that came together for the consecration service and dinner were parishioners of the Armenian Apostolic Church at Hye Pointe, Saint Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church in North Andover, Massachusetts and other surrounding churches, Knights and Daughters from Ararat Tahlij and Arpie Otyag in Boston as well as Knights from Arakadz Tahlij No. 35 in North Andover. Following the dinner, the guests were treated to a performance by the talented Erebuni Dance Ensemble.


Text and Photos by David Medzorian, Ararat Tahlij No. 1, Boston, Massachusetts