Primate Visits St. John Community, Presides Over Lenten Vigil

Publish Date: 
Friday, March 8, 2013

On Thursday, February 28, his Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian visited the community of St. John Armenian Church of San Francisco. His first appointment was a lunch hosted by His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco. This meeting was held in a spirit of brotherly love and the two spiritual leaders and their clergy spoke about matters of mutual importance. Joining the Primate were Northern California Regional Vicar Rev. Fr. Datev Harutyunian, Rev. Fr. Mesrop Ash, and Dn. Mkrtich Ksachikyan.

His Eminence then visited NorCal Senior Services, an organization which services the elderly members of the Armenian Community in the Greater Bay Area. During his visit he spoke with the guests about the mystery of Great Lent, and offered his commendation to the staff and board members who manage the organization. Those present thanked His Eminence for his visitation, the first time at Primate of the Western Diocese has done so.

That evening the Primate conducted Lenten Vigil Services at St. John Armenian Church with the assistance of the Armenian Clergy of the Bay Area, those mentioned above as well as Rev. Fr. Hovel Ohanyan, and esteemed guest clergy from Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Over 60 faithful were in attendance for this deeply moving ceremony. They participated in the reading of St. Nerses Shnorhali's prayer, I Confess With Faith.
Following the completion of the vigil, the guests enjoyed a Lenten friendly dinner, which was prepared by volunteers of St. John parish. Fr. Mesrop, and thanked the members of the Parish Council and Ladies Society for their support and hard work, and acknowledged Mrs. Mari Gamitian for her contribution in organizing and preparing the evening's dinner. The Primate offered his sincere appreciation to all those who worked to organize his pastoral visitation.