The local church consecration will take place October 15-17, with new crosses raised in a special ceremony

The San Diego New Armenian Church Dedication Weekend will be held October 15-17, at the church’s site at 13925 El Camino Real, San Diego, 92130. The Blessing and Raising of the Crosses, which took place on September 17, was the first event to kick off the church’s dedication, according to a press release.

According to the very Rev. Pakrad Dz V Berjekian, “The sacred tradition of the blessing and the lifting up of the crosses follows the Biblical example of what Moses did according to the instructions of God, who commanded him to consecrate the tabernacle and all that he contains. The Cross is consecrated and raised to the top of the dome of the sanctuary, first of all because Christ has conquered the world (John 16:33). We also believe that the cross at the top of the dome is the meeting point between heaven and earth.

The Semerdjian, Kellejian and Mikaelian families donated the two raised crosses in memory of the Very Rev. Shahe AK and Yeretzkin Alice Semerdjian.

This event leads to San Diego Dedication Weekend October 15-17. The ceremonies will be presided over by His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America, and the Very Rev. Pakrad Dz V Berjekian, parish priest.

The benefactors for the financing of the two crosses are the children and the spouses of the Rev. Shahe and Yn Alice Semerdjian, the first visiting priest in San Diego. They are Dr Gregory and Zari Semerdjian, Steven and Nanette Mikaelian, Mary and Joe Kellejian, Peggy and Dick Semerdjian, pictured with the parish priest, the Right Reverend Fr. Dz. V. Berjekian and His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian (Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America and Mexico)

(Robert McKenzie)

The opening ceremony will take place on Friday, October 15 at 4 p.m., followed by a refreshment. The dedication ceremony will take place on Saturday, October 16 at 1 p.m., also followed by a light reception. And the first mass (“Badarak”) that will be celebrated in the church will be on Sunday October 17 at 10 am, followed by an Armenian lunch at $ 30 / person. Comfortable clothing and shoes are recommended for all weekend participants.

A banquet to celebrate the consecration and a ceremony of recognition will be held on Saturday evening, October 16, starting at 6 p.m. This event will take place at the San Diego Marriott Del Mar, 11966 El Camino Real, San Diego, 92130. Seating is limited.

Recognition of past and present church leaders, donors and volunteers will take place at the banquet and three ceremonies throughout the weekend, including the unveiling of the new church name, which takes place during Saturday’s dedication ceremony.

Nora Balikian and Lisa Kradjian, Consecration Co-Chairs, commented on this landmark event. “The new church campus has been in the works for over 14 years. We thank everyone who made this a reality, and we look forward to a new chapter for our Armenian community in San Diego with this unique weekend.

Reservations and prepayment for the banquet are required and due October 1. All San î –Diego County Covid protocols will be observed and masks are strongly encouraged.

For more information or for RSVPS or sponsorships, contact Consecration Co-Chair Nora Balikian (858) 342-0500, [email protected] or Banquet Co-Chair, Viviane Hagopian (619) 884-8983, vivianehagopian2014 @ gmail. com.

To donate or purchase tickets / tables, please mail Armenian Church in San Diego, PO Box 1719, Vista, CA 92085 or visit

When completed, the campus will feature a shrine designed to resemble Saint-Hripsime in Etchmiadzin, an elegant social hall, a youth center and gymnasium, an educational and cultural building with classrooms, the press release said.

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