On Sunday November 20, 2011, His Eminence Bishop Bagrat Galstanian and His Excellency Armen Yeganian, Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to Canada, visited St. Vartan Armenian Church of Mississauga, on the occasion of the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the parish, and also in commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Armenia and the 20th anniversary of the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh. On this special occasion, Rev. Fr. Archpriest Sarkis Gyulian was present also.
Holy Divine Liturgy was celebrated by the parish priest Rev. Fr. Myron Sarkissian. Following the Divine Liturgy, a requiem memorial service was held in memory of the Armenian and Canadian soldiers, with respect of the passing of the recent Remembrance Day Observance.. In his sermon, Fr. Myron asked the people to be thankful even in times of difficulty, because difficulties help us to strengthen our faith and trust God. After the sermon the chairman of the parish council Mr. Vasken Altounian gave a summary of the parish activities during last months. He thanked all the supporters, and special thank and an appreciation plaque and an Armenian cross was given to Mr. And Mrs. Mardig and Lilian Sevadjian for their many years of dedication and support to the parish. On this special occasion Rev. Fr. Myron thanked the founding fathers of the parish and announced the new plaque with the names of the founding members. The founding and the first parish council members were; Mr. Tatyos Arslan, Dr. Berdj Artinian, Mr. Yetvart Balian, Mr. Hratch Bedrossian, Mr. Vahe Davidkhanian, Dr. Gaspar Israelian and Berdj Shalvardjian. Dr. Artinian, Mr. Davidkhanian and Mr. Bedrossian were present to receive the plaque. Fr. Myron also thanked His Excellency Armen Yagnian for his visit. This was the first first visit of an Armenian Ambassador to St. Vartan parish of Mississauga. A small token to mark this occasion was presented to the Ambassador.
The Ambassador in his greetings thanked for the opportunity of this invitation, and also congratulated 20th Anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Armenia, and the independence of Nagorno Karabakh, and the parish.
After the words of greeting, a procession including the new members of the Junior ACYOC, the deacons and the acolytes, with the singing of the hymn of “Ourakh ler sourp yegeghetzi” (Rejoice Holy Church) approached the altar bringing with them two “Khatchvars” (Church flag banner) and the flags of the Republic of Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh. His Eminence Bishop Bagrat anointed the “khatchvars” and blessed the flags, asking God to protect our fatherland Armenia and the free Republic of Artsakh.
The two “khatchvars” were donated by V. Rev. Fr. Hayrig Hovhannissian and Deacon Van Vanes.
His Grace, Bishop Bagrat Galstanyan thanked the Founders of the church for their vision which guided them to found St. Vartan twenty years ago. He thanked Der Myron for his service to the community. He also thanked the parish council as well as all the volunteers serving St. Vartan. Then he addressed his message to the youth and the children around him encouraging them to be good stewards of the church in the future while remembering that their parents support the church and the community for their children. He ended his message by congratulating the Parish on the 20th anniversary of the founding of the church and encouraged them to endeavor to find a permanent home for St. Vartan.