St. Garabed Armenian Apostolic Church of the Desert held its 9th annual Armenian Cultural Festival on the weekend of November 19th and 20th. This was a wonderful way to start the busy Thanksgiving week. More than 2,000 people attended this year, making the Festival a great success!

Because of the overwhelming response from the community who come to enjoy our food each year, we added a second food line this year.  As a result, we were able to serve everyone the many varieties of our delicious Armenian foods, without a wait.  Many commented on how the second food line improved their  Festival experience this year. Continue reading “ARMENIAN CULTURAL FESTIVAL 2016”

Armenian Genocide Martyrs Day

The Armenians of the Desert in Coachella Valley, California marked the 101st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide Sunday, April 24, 2016. This year’s highlight was the celebration of the sainthood of the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide. On Sunday morning, approximately 100 Armenians attended the Holy Divine Liturgy at St. Garabed Armenian Apostolic Church of the Desert.  Father Krikor held a unique ceremony in which he consecrated the Icon of the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide (The original of which was unveiled during the Canonization service at Holy  Etchmiadzin). Father Krikor spoke of the role of the Armenian Church throughout the centuries until today, and stressed on the importance of learning and upholding the values taught by the Church.  He encouraged everyone to learn the Armenian history and to sustain the link between the past and the present. Continue reading “Armenian Genocide Martyrs Day”

Mardi Gras ~ Casino Night

St. Garabed’s Mardi Gras themed Casino Night was a huge success! Approximately 60 people attended and enjoyed the fundraiser put on by this year’s Parish Council on Saturday night, February 6th. The Parish Council would like to thank all those who attended and the many sponsors who donated towards the event. The Church was able to raise approximately $1,400.

Our social hall was decorated spectacularly! Foil curtains surrounded the room that was decorated with beautiful centerpieces of feathers, masks and Mardi Gras beads. The all night buffet included Louisiana and New Orleans themed foods for all to enjoy. Shrimp skewers, beef, pork and chicken were some of the main courses, along with potatoes, dirty rice, and salads. Traditional Kings Cakes were included on the dessert table, along with key lime cheesecakes, ambrosia salads, and macaroons.

Guests enjoyed playing the various casino games with their $500 play money received with their entrance ticket. There were several big winners having fun on the craps tables, blackjack and poker tables. Many great prizes were awarded at the end of the night, which included a poker chip set, card shuffler, Armenian wines, and gift certificates to a couple of wonderful Italian restaurants on El Paseo.

Magician, Rob, amazed and entertained the guest throughout the night with his wonderful card magic. Personally signed playing cards were revealed in the most surprising locations during each trick. It was truly magic!

The evening also included some wonderful Jazz music played by a 4-piece live band. Needless to say, the evening included some wonderful entertainment for all who attended. Everyone had a great time celebrating Mardi Gras! The celebration of Poon Paregentan was the perfect way to feast before Lent.

Women’s Prayer Day at The Diocesan Headquarters

Ladies Society Central Council once again joyously hosted Women’s Prayer Day on February 10th, 2016.  Presided by the Diocesan Primate, Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, this year’s theme was “The Praying Community”.

The guest homilist was Fr. Zacharia Saribekyan of St. Apkar church of Scottsdale, Arizona; and the prayer service included numerous priests and archpriests within the Western Diocese Churches.  Fr. Zacharia’s inspiring message of compassion, non-judgmental approach towards others, not to be neglectful toward others, and help and care for fellow people builds better relationships and thus better community. He spoke of the importance to pray to God through mere conversation with Him and to remain silent so that we can hear His holy message to us.

Prayer service was concluded with Women’s Appreciation Day.  Archbishop Hovnan Derderian and Chairlady Lena Simonian marked this occasion with a certificate of appreciation to each Ladies Society member who has served for over 15 years.  There were over 60 honorees from churches of the Western Diocese including as far as from Yettem to Rancho Mirage.  Archbishop Derderian thanked them for their service and unwavering dedication to their respective churches, family, and communities.

Festivities concluded with a beautiful luncheon and musical performances for over 170 guests.