LA CRESCENTA–The Feast of St. Dertad and St. Ashkhen was celebrated on June 30 at the Prelacy’s Chapel bearing the name of the first Christian king and queen of the Armenian nation. In attendance were Vice-Consul of the Consulate of Armenia Haroutioun Kojoyan, Chapel benefactor Ashkhen Pilavjian, Prelacy sponsors, Central Executive Council member Khajag Dikijian, Executive Council representatives, and hundreds of parishioners.
Prior to the start of his sermon, Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian welcomed the parishioners to the first Holy Mass taking place at the Prelacy Chapel. In his sermon the Prelate spoke of the history of the Feast, referencing the initial hostility between St. Gregory the Illuminator and King Dertad, the suffering of St. Gregory, and the subsequent conversion to Christianity of King Dertad and his benevolence towards Armenia and its people. “Let this feast be a celebration of the Armenian family; let our families remain loyal to our Christian traditions and let our faith be guide us and illuminate our path,” concluded the Prelate.
At the end of Mass the Prelate and clergy members headed to the “Dikran and Zarouhie Der Ghazarian” Hall to conclude the services. During this time the Prelate announced that on this joyous occasion, Ashkhen Pilavjian pledged $25,000 to the Prelacy. A reception organized by the Ladies Auxiliary Guild followed.