MONTEBELLO–Over 600 community members–benefactors–organization representatives–and religious leaders–gathered at the Montebello Baghramian Hall on Saturday January 6 to celebrate Christmas in what has become an annual dinner. The evening was organized was organized by the Ladies Auxiliary Committee of the Prelacy and included a cultural program. Among Prelate Bishop Mousegh Mardirossian’s invitees were Armenia’s new Consul General Valeri Mkrtoumian–Consul Norair Ghaloumian–and Lebanese Consul Dr. John Maacaron–ARF Bureau member Viken Hovsepian–ARF Western Region Central Committee representative Vicken Yacoubian and several others.who spoke on the strengthening of ties between Armenia–Artsakh and the Diaspora.
The evening was opened with the singing of Christmas choral songs led by the Prelate Bishop–followed with the blessing of tables by Smpad Arc. Lapajian and a few words from the committee’s President Silva Sayabalian. The master of ceremonies for the evening was pastor of the St. Mary’s Church in Glendale–Reverend Father Vazken Atmajian.
Those present had the chance to listen to Catolicos Aram I’s message videotaped from Antelias–Lebanon. Musicians on piano and violin entertained the guests while the traditional Christmas meal was served–and poet Jack Hagopian recited two poems dedicated to Christmas.
The evening’s closing remarks were made by the Mardirossian who thanked the consulates,Catholicos Aram I and Catholicos Karekin II–prominent community members–benefactors and those present. He also emphasized the importance of the 1,700th anniversary of the adoption of Christianity which will unite all Armenia’s everywhere.
Christmas gifts to the prelacy were received by John and Asdghig Bedrosian–who donated $35,000–Richard and Tina Carolan–who donated $25,000 and Asadoor and Diana Sarafian who donated $10,000.