ACYO Genocide Convoy April 24, 2012

On April 24th 2012, Armenians of the Coachella Valley as well as members of St. Garbed’s ACYO (Armenian Church Youth Organization) planned, and carried out a peaceful Armenian Genocide convoy/protest.  The members put flags, signs, and their Armenian spirit all over their cars and drove from our Church, to El Paseo and then all the way down to Downtown Palm Springs.

The attention we received was just what we had anticipated to get, plus so much more. The feeling we all got as we were driving was a spirit that you cannot explain. It was happiness, sadness, and excitement all put together.

Our Church and youth organization has put together in previous years many different activities to promote awareness, but this year we wanted to do something different.  As we were stopped at red lights people rolled down there windows and asked us what the protest was about, and in Palm Springs we received peace signs and applause by other and also by many visiting Armenians.  We made two trips around Downtown Palm Springs and headed back to Church were we held a requiem service led by Rev.  Father Krikor Zakaryan.

As Armenians and one of the oldest cultures we should do everything in our power to never let anyone burry the fact, that 1.5 million innocent Armenian men, women, and children were slaughtered at the hands of the Ottoman Turks.  May God bless the souls of those who have fallen. Their memories will always live on. Armenians are still here and we will never let the world forget.

APRIL 24th, 1915 NEVER AGAIN!!!


Article from Ani Markarian, St. Garabed ACYO

2012 Parish Council of St. Garabed Armenian Apostolic Church

We would like to inform our members, parishioners and friends that the 2011 Annual Assembly of St. Garabed Armenian Apostolic Church elected the new officers of the Parish Council for the year 2012. After the Assembly’s elections the new officers were approved by the Primate, His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian. On Thursday, February 23, the Parish Council held a special meeting where an election of the positions on the Parish Council took place. The positions on the 2012 Parish Council are as follows:

Parish Council Chair – Varoujan Mkrtchian

Parish Council Vice-Chair – George Kirkjan

Treasurer – Jacci Tutunjian

Assistant Treasurer – Gary Funtas

Recording Secretary – Stephen Afetian

Fundraising – Dr. Dickran Torian

Correspondance – Ani Markarian

We congratulate the members of 2012 Parish Council and wish them strenght and wisdom to administratively lead St. Garabed Armenian Apostolic Church towards her prosperity.


A NEW CHURCH WAS BORN. The Consecration of St. Garabed Armenian Apostolic Church of the Desert

Coachella Valley Armenians for years attended church services by going to Los Angeles or San Diego or using a dining hall building in Rancho Mirage. But as this wasn’t the ideal way of worshiping they put in motion plans to build their own church in the Coachella Valley. That was more than 10 years ago.

On Saturday that endeavor, St. Garabed Armenian Apostolic Church, 38-905 Monterey Ave., in Rancho Mirage, was consecrated and officially opened as a church. “Everyone is in a state of happiness; that’s the best I can describe it,” said Palm Desert resident Armand Arabian, 77, who attended the consecration ceremony. “It’s a dream come true.”

With a clear evening sky as a backdrop, people entered the 3,000-square-foot building that’s 56 feet tall and symmetrical on its front side. More than 150 people observed the ceremony from inside, and two dozen others sat outside and watched on a pair of televisions. Wearing suits and dresses, attendees stood silently, some smiling and others crying.

Their attention was on Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, head of the Los Angeles-based Western Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church of North America.

Tasked with anointing the church, he maneuvered around the crowd during the 45-minute ceremony to crosses at each corner of the church while a choir sang. On each cross, Derderian dabbed a bit of muron, a special holy oil produced every seven years in Armenia. By the time the archbishop was done and the ceremony ended, local Armenians officially had a church.

“I don’t think there could be any day compared to this,” said the Rev. Krikor Zakaryan. “This will happen now and never again.” The church has been a long time coming for its congregation, whose members worshipped out their adjacent parish hall for six years.

Rancho Mirage leaders approved a conditional-use permit for the project in 1999 and modifications in 2001, but the building permit expired in April 2005 due to inactivity. Plans were resubmitted and the project was approved in April 2009 on the condition that church officials blocking access from Vista Dunes and install a driveway on Monterey.

The final design resembled St. Hripsine, a seventhcentury stone church in Etchmidzin, Armenia.

Article and photos: Desert Sun