GLENDALE–A groundbreaking ceremony Sunday at the St. Gregory the Illuminators Church grounds on Mountain Street–paved the way for the construction of a new Armenian Catholic Church–complete with traditional architectural features.
California Armenian Catholic church moved to its new headquarters on Mountain Street more than a year ago–with a pledge to erect an Armenian church in time for the 1700th anniversary of Armenia adoption of Christianity as a state religion.
Sunday’s ceremony paved the way for realizing that pledge–as a monument was mounted at the site of the new church.
The ceremony coincided with the Feast of St. Mary and the traditional blessing of grapes. A special Mass was said by Catholic church leader Father Raphael Minassian–who emphasized the importance of constructing a church with the traditional and historic Armenian features.
"There does not exist an Armenian altar which does not have a picture of St. Mary," explained father Minassian.
Joining father Minassian in the grape blessing ceremony were reverends Dajad Yardemian–Augustinos Sekulian–Nercess Sahagian and Krikor Shahinian.
This festive celebration was followed by the groundbreaking and mounting ceremony. Father Minassian blessed all parishioners who were present and said a special prayer for all those who had made the construction project a success.