LOS ANGELES–Saturday–October 8 marked a historic day for the Western Prelacy as His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia–blessed the new building that will house the Western Prelacy headquarters. The ceremony began with His Holiness blessing a large cross that was then lifted with a crane and placed on top of the dome of the St. Dertad and St. Ashkhen Chapel in the new building in La Crescenta.
While construction is not yet fully completed–several hundred guests and clergy attended to witness the Pontiff’s blessing of the new structure–to usher in a new era of expanded spiritual leadership for the church in the western United States.
Many of the major benefactors who made the building possible were on hand to take part in the special occasion including Mrs. Ashken Pilavjian and Mr. and Mrs. John and Asdghig Bedrossian. Following the blessing and placement of the cross–the Catholicos led a procession of clergy and benefactors into the building to officially bless the alter inside and the overall building.
"This marks a historic day," said Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian–Prelate of the Western United States. The Archbishop thanked the benefactors who facilitated the construction of the building–as well as the tireless efforts of the Prelacy Executive Council–the Building Committee and others who have worked tirelessly to make the building a reality. "When our people work together for the common good of the community no resources are beyond the reach of those who take initiative," the Archbishop continued. The Archbishop also noted the presence of a representative from the Forest Lawn memorial park that also made a sizeable donation for the Prelacy building.
His Holiness declared that this is not just a building that will house the Prelacy’s offices–rather "the home of our faith and nation which will serve our church and people." The Catholicos also noted the integral role played by Archbishop Mardirossian and the various benefactors and committee members who drove the idea and realization of the structure. "May God bless and look over all those who will care for and work in this building and the Armenian American community who will support this effort," the Pontiff concluded.
The building is expected to be completed within a year at which time all Prelacy functions will be consolidated at this location from their temporary location in Encino.