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Western Prelacy Of The Armenian Apostolic Church Of America

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The year 2007 is the 35th anniversary of the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America which was established in 1973. Previously, the churches and the schools in North America functioned under one entity; The Armenian Prelacy (East, West and Canada). The Prelacy was headquartered in New York. In the early 70’s, the Armenian community in California and the western United States in general experienced rapid growth making it difficult for the Prelacy in New York to follow and oversee the activities of the churches and the schools on a day-to-day basis, therefore, the establishment of an independent Prelacy in each region was necessary.

The Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church is under the jurisdiction of the Catholicosate of the Holy See of the Great House of Cilicia, which was established in the coastal city of Antelias, Lebanon after the Armenian Genocide and the persecutions of the Armenians from their homeland in Armenia and Cilicia in 1915.

The Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church has its By-Laws that govern the churches and the schools of the Prelacy. The Prelate is the head of the structure and presides over the Religious and Executive Councils. Representatives of parishes form the Representatives Assembly, which convenes at least once a year to plan and execute the activities of the Prelacy, as well as the Councils and the committees functioning under its auspices. The main mission of the Prelacy is to preserve the traditions and the cultural values of the Armenian Church and provide spiritual, religious and cultural services to the Armenian Community.

Four high-ranking clergymen have served as Prelates since the establishment of the Western Prelacy, including: Archbishop Sempad Lapajian (the first Prelate who help found the Prelacy and served form 1973 to 1977); Archbishop Yeprem Tabakian (1977-1985); Archbishop Datev Sarkissian (1985-1995); and Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian (since 1995).

The first headquarters of the Western Prelacy was in Hollywood working from a small office on Santa Monica Boulevard. Later on, as the activities of the Prelacy grew and spread to new areas and western states, the Prelacy moved to a new office in Hollywood on Russell Street. Presently, the Prelacy has acquired a new office building in La Crescenta, Calif., which will house all of the functioning committees and organizations under the auspices of the Prelacy.

There are eleven churches and over a dozen schools (high schools, elementary schools and pre-schools) that function under the auspices and guidance of the Western Prelacy. The Mother Church of the Western Prelacy is St. Garabed Church in Hollywood, Los Angeles. The oldest of the churches is the Holy Trinity Church in Fresno, which was founded in 1900 and is the first Armenian Apostolic Church in the Western United States. The second oldest church of our Prelacy is the Holy Cross Church in Montebello, founded over 80 years ago. The other churches are: St. Gregory (San Francisco), Holy Martyrs (in Encino), St. Mary’s (in Glendale), Forty Martyrs (in Orange County), St. Sarkis (in Pasadena), Armenian Apostolic Church of Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Region, Armenian Apostolic Church of Corona, Riverside County, the Armenian Apostolic Church of the Crescenta Valley, and the Armenian Apostolic Church of Las Vegas.

The Prelacy’s region in California extends from San Francisco to Fresno, Los Angeles and Orange County. The Prelacy also provides services and spiritual assistance to the Armenian communities in other states in the western United States, including: Utah, Oregon, Colorado, Arizona and Nevada.

The Armenian Apostolic Church is the Church of the Armenian people. The Armenian Community is involved in all of the day-to-day religious, educational and spiritual activities of the Prelacy, churches and schools. The community generously provides the financial and other means that allow the Prelacy to function. Being a non-profit organization, the Prelacy depends completely on benevolent donations of the philanthropists and members of the community.

6252 Honolulu Ave. La Crescenta, CA. 91214, USA Phone: 818.248.7737/8 - Fax: 818.248.7745 info @ WesternPrelacy.org

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