St. Mary Armenian Church of Yettem’s Majarian Hall was bustling on Saturday night May 27, 2023, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the ordination of Archpriest Reverend Father Vartan Kasparian to the sacred priesthood. Approximately 180 clergy, relatives and friends attended from Washington State in the north to the southern parts of California. Father Vartan’s actual ordination took place on September 8-9th 1973, here in Yettem.

The evening began at 5:00 PM with a full table of traditional Armenian meza and various wines that were all donated by parishioners. At 6 PM, the program began with welcomes and introductions from Parish Council Chairman/emcee Myron Sheklian and St. Mary Yettem Parish Priest Reverend Father Mashdots Keshishian. Joining Father Vartan, Yn. Danna and daughter Katherine at the head tables included relatives and friends. Attending Armenian clergy and their wives included: Archpriest Reverend Father Kevork Arakelian and Yn. Sandra, Archpriest Reverend Father Sarkis Petoyan and Yn. Talin, Reverend Father Vasken Movsessian and Yn. Susan, Reverend Father Mashdots Keshishian and Yn. Maral. Also, retired Anglican Priest Reverend Father Richard James a good friend of Father Vartan sat at the clergy table.

A full course catered meal with an abundant dessert table was offered to attendees. The evening’s program included musical selections by parishioner Annie Davidian and a twelve-minute video about Father Vartan’s life as a parish priest. Rev. Father Movsessian represented His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian and carried a message and a gift from the Primate. Archpriest Rev. Father Petoyan also expressed the regrets of the Primate and delivered a powerful message. An original piece of framed art of Yettem’s St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church was presented to Der Vartan as a remembrance of this special day on behalf of those attending.

Archpriest Rev. Father Kevork Arakelian started off a round of congratulatory remarks that was followed by Father Vartan’s and Yn Danna’s recollections and words of thanks. Archpriest Rev. Fr. Arakelian closed the evening with prayer and led the entire group in the singing of Hayr Mer. 

Sunday Services:

Morning Service at 9:30 AM

Divine Liturgy at 10:15 AM

14395 Ave 384  Yettem, California  93670     (559) 528-6892



General Committee Members: Rev. Father Mashdots Keshishian, Lori Abajian, Annie Davidian, Margie L. Davidian, Sandy Kalfayan, Lisa Krause, Mari Louise Menendian, Janice McWilliams, George Ouzounian, Shirley Ouzounian, Julie Poochigian, Debbie Sheklian, Myron Sheklian, Judy Skaff, Renee Yahnian, Janel Zerounian

Decorating Committee: Lori Abajian, Sandy Kalfayan, Janice McWilliams, Debbie Sheklian, Judy Skaff, Janel Zerounian

Meza Committee: Margie Davidian, John Kalfayan, Sandy Kalfayan, Mari Louise Menendian, Shirley Ouzounian, Debbie Sheklian, Sandra Vartanian 

Caterer: Brenda Isaac 

Invitations: Sonya Barton, Debbie Sheklian, Myron Sheklian 

Program Design: Myron Sheklian

Program Printing: Charles (Buck) & Lori Sarabian

Historical Information/Pictures/Videos:

Myron Sheklian

Lucille Margosian, Karon Penny 

Musical Selections: Annie Davidian 

Photographer: David Menendian

Memorial Wall 

A new column of 4 blocks is available The price is $250 per name.

A special thanks to our official banquet photographer David Menendian who captured these great pictures!

Ways and Means Armenian Food Festival

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Banquet Words of Thanks

The banquet to honor Father Vartan could not have been as successful (and reasonably priced) without the cooperation and generosity of so many people. See the lists below that acknowledge these great people:

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Sunday School

Sunday School Classes are held on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month


To view services, go to our webpage at and click on the tab "Live Church Camera. On that page, click the link to view the services. A picture of the church will come on followed by a video box. You may have to click the play button in the center of the screen to begin the video stream. To fill the screen, move your cursor to the bottom right corner and click the double arrow. This system allows users to view services on any device including Windows=based machines, Macs, Linux, Chromebooks, Androids, Smart TVs, game units and smart phones.

Celebrating Father Vartan's 50th Anniversary of

Ordination to the Sacred Order of Priesthood

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St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church of Yettem

Keepsake Guest Book: Lucille Margosian

Table Assignment and Guest Cards: Janel Zerounian

Table Favors: Carl Abajian, Lori Abajian, Richard Yahnian

Orchids: Janice McWilliams, Margie L. Davidian

Wine: Renee Yahnian, Julie Poochigian, Richard Tamouzian, Debbie Tamouzian

Basterma: David Krause, Lisa Krause

Olives: Laurie Menendian

String Cheese: Marilyn Zerounian

Tourshee: John Kalfayan, Sandy Kalfayan

Lavash Crackers & Hummus: Mari Louise Menendian

See’s Candy: Douglas Penny

Congratulatory Cakes: David Krause, Lisa Krause