"It was exciting for the faithful of the Bay Area, especially the youth, to hear Fr. Mardiros' powerful message of vocation in the Armenian Church. It was a poignant reminder that the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide is an opportunity to recommit ourselves to our Christian calling, and consider devotion at the highest level," commented Fr. Mesrop Ash.
On April 10-12, Fr. Mardiros returned to the Western Diocese and traveled to Fresno, CA and the Central Valley to make similar presentations to clergy and parishioners in that region. Fr. Mardiros traveled to St. Gregory Armenian Church in Fowler with Fr. Yessai Bedros, parish priest of St. Paul Armenian Church in Fresno, who served as his host during his visit. There, Fr. Mardiros made a presentation to the clergy and altar servers during a breakfast given by parish priest Fr. Yeghia Hairabedian. He also traveled to Fresno to meet with the St. Paul Armenian Saturday School students, continued to St. Mary Armenian Church in Yettem where he was greeted by Fr. Zaven Markosyan, the parish priest, and then addressed the parish's women's group. This was followed by a visit to the Western Diocese Summer Camp where Fr. Mardiros spoke with ACYO members who were on a retreat. Many miles were covered in whirl-wind tour of the Central Valley.
On Sunday morning, Fr. Mardiros was the guest celebrant and homilist at St. Paul in Fresno. In addition to the parish priest Fr. Yessai Bedros, St. Nersess graduate Fr. Kevork Arakelian and Fr. Vartan Kasparian were in attendance. Following the Divine Liturgy and a light lunch for the parishioners, Fr. Mardiros offered a PowerPoint presentation on the work of St. Nersess and its new campus.
“It was my pleasure to meet with Fr. Mardiros,” remarked Fr. Yessai. “It was a very fruitful visit by Fr. Mardiros, establishing a connection with the Central Valley churches to one of the most important missions of our church...the spiritual training and enlightenment of our people. I want to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to Fr. Mardiros, and we look forward to seeing him again in our church,” said Fr. Yessai.