GLENDALE–St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church marked its removal from the Historic Monument List with a celebration and Thanksgiving prayer last Wednesday–to commend community organizations and members that supported the effort and made the community’s voice heard.
The Holy Family Catholic Church and the First Baptist Church–which were also categorized in the list–also cooperated with St. Mary’s in the process.
The Prelacy Executive Council and Prelate Bishop Moushegh Mardirossian sponsored the event which was organized by St. Mary’s Board of Trustees. The program began with a Thanskgiving Prayer officiated by Rev. Razmig Khatchadourian–the parish priest of St. Mary’s and other clergy–following which Father John Shea of the Holy Family Catholic Church and Prelate Mardirossian each addressed the gathered.
In his remarks the Prelate praised the Glendale City Council–the Mayor and the city’s religious community for understanding the imperative of the matter.
"We cannot but express our profound thanks and gratitude to the honorable members of the Glendale City Council for their wise and courageous stand on this crucial issue and for resolving it in the best interests of our respective communities in particular and the City of Glendale–in general," said Prelate Mardirossian in his remarks.
"I assure you that–as the spiritual leaders of our respective communities and guardians of their faith–as law-abiding citizens–we would continue to preserve–abide by and strictly observe our city’s laws and traditions of our faiths with Divine guidance and to the best of our abilities with the prime aim and concern of educating and instructing our new generation in the best traditions and spirit of our great country and Christian faith–fully conscious of their moral and patriotic duties as law-abiding citizens," added Mardirossian.
The prayer was followed by a reception at St. Mary’s Armenak Der-Berdrossian hall where more than 200 community members gathered to celebrate this momentous occasion.
The church’s listing in the historic monument preservation list inhibited church administration and parishioners from making structural changes to the church edifice–a matter which greatly affected St. Mary’s since it would not have been able to convert the building to conform to Armenian church architecture standards.
During a hearing in March–the Glendale City Council voted to delist St. Mary’s and the other churches from the preservation category.
St. Mary’s Board of Trustees chairman Dr. Hagop Der-Megerdichian welcomed the community and expressed the board’s gratitude for the community’s efforts in realizing this very important step.
Along with representatives of the Prelacy Executive Council and religious leaders–including member of the Catholicosate Central Executive Council Arsen Danielian–Esq.–in attendance at the event were Brian Seanger representing Congressman Jim Rogan; Mannik Khachatrian representing State Senator Adam Schiff–Sunday Sarkisian representing State Assemblyman Scott Wildman; Margaret Phillips representing State Assemblyman Jack Scott; Jennifer Weston representing Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich; Larry Zarian–Mayor of the City of Glendale; Glendale City Councilmembers Sheldon Baker and Eileen Givens; former Glendale City Councilmembers and champions of St. Mary’s church issues–Mary Ann Plumley and Rick Reyes; Glendale City Attorney Scott Howard and Chuck Fenton–President of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce.