Prelate Visits Colorado Parish to Mark 30th Anniversary

Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian with the Board of Trustees, Ladies Auxiliary, and parishioners of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Colorado after Divine Liturgy

LA CRESCENTA—On November 16 and 17, the Armenian Apostolic Church of Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region celebrated the 30th anniversary of its organization, with Divine Liturgy celebrated by Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian and community events.

By the invitation of the Board of Trustees, the Prelate, accompanied by Rev. Fr. Vazken Atmajian and Deacon Shahe Jierian arrived in Denver on Saturday and was greeted at the airport by Board of Trustees Chair Vahe Berejiklian.

In the evening, a reception in honor of the Prelate was held at the home of Kaloust and Arous Christianian. It was a memorable evening for the parish community as they enjoyed the presence and encouraging words of the Prelate. Given that we are approaching the Christmas season, His Eminence conducted the traditional blessing of the home service and also blessed the guests in attendance, through which he extended his blessings to the community. A surprise performance of song and music was presented by the Christianian grandchildren.

On Sunday morning, the community gathered at St. Gabriel the Archangel Episcopal Church for Divine Liturgy. Fr. Vazken and Deacon Shahe assisted at the altar. The Church Rector, Fr. Chris Ditzenberger, attended the service.

Prelate Archbishop Mardirossian (right) presenting Church Rector Rev. Chris Ditzenberger with a gift

To start his sermon, the Prelate first greeted the Church Rector and commended the Board of Trustees, the members, volunteers, and visiting clergy who work together to keep the parish community active. He stated that “though you are far from us physically, know that you are always in our hearts and thoughts, and it is our wish to see this parish grow, become more organized, and be the best that it can be with a strong and active group of parishioners and regular services to draw the community closer to one another.” Given that the day was the eve of Advent, the fifty day period until the Birth and Theophany of our Lord, the Prelate reflected on the true meaning of Advent as a spiritual journey, a time of prayer and reformation of our hearts and spiritual preparation to welcome Christ’s coming. Turning to the day’s Gospel reading from Luke 9:44-50, His Eminence spoke on the message of humility and service imparted to us by the reading. The Almighty humbled Himself and submitted to death on the Cross out of His great love for us, said the Prelate, and He calls us to humble ourselves and join Him in service for others. As children of God and of one family, we are called to respect and love and encourage each other, to love each other in the same way that He loves us, humbly and sacrificially.

As the eve of Advent also signals the approach of Thanksgiving and the Christmas season, the Prelate stressed that this time of year is a time of love and joy, but also of charity, a time to remember the less fortunate. “As Armenians, we have an added responsibility to help our less fortunate brothers and sisters in Armenia, Artsakh, and in Syria,” said His Eminence, calling on the faithful to lend a helping hand and make the Christmas season a joyous one for as many people as possible by contributing to the upcoming Armenia Fund Telethon, which this year will benefit construction of the Vardenis-Martakert highway and with ten percent of the proceeds raised in the Western United States allocated to the Syrian-Armenian community.

Speaking on Thanksgiving, the Prelate reminded the faithful to always give thanks to God for all our blessings, stating that our lives may not be perfect, but we all have countless reasons to be thankful for. Let us express our gratitude to God not just with words but with actions, by sharing our blessings with others and spreading the love and mercy of Christ through charity, concluded the Prelate.

Following the collective confession, the parishioners approached the altar to receive Holy Communion from the Prelate. The service concluded with the requiem service, after which guests took a group photo with His Eminence.

Cutting the 30th anniversary cake

Guests were then invited to a luncheon hosted by the Board of Trustees.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees and parishioners, Berejiklian conveyed gratitude to the Prelate for his and the Prelacy’s thirty years of support to the community. The Prelate commended the Board of Trustees and Ladies Guild for their dedicated service, and expressed joy that in conjunction with the Board of Trustees and with the purpose of further organizing the parish, Divine Liturgy would from now on be celebrated on a monthly basis. His Eminence also praised the choir for their beautiful singing of the Liturgy, led by Anoush Peterson and accompanied by Lilian Krikorian on the organ, and presented a memento to Church Rector, Fr. Chris Ditzenberger, in thanks and appreciation for his support. The Prelate also presented mementos to all in attendance.

The 30th anniversary cake, prepared by a member of the community, was cut and served, and the luncheon came to a close with the Cilician and Armenian national anthems and the benediction by the Prelate. Guests departed renewed and invigorated in spirit, having lived a memorable and joyous weekend.

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