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Press Release – 1/26/12
8.8K Walk for the Strength and Stability of the Family – Glendale to Burbank
February 13, 2012 on the Day of the Lord’s Presentation (Diaruntarch)
To Heal the Pain and Grow in Love
In an effort to bring awareness and end the problem of domestic violence, the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church is organizing a candlelight march and vigil on Monday, February 13, 2012. Under the auspices of Diocesan Primate, Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, a task force was organized last Fall to actively address domestic violence issues within the community.  The task force operates under the leadership of Fr. Vazken Movsesian, who runs various outreach programs through the “In His Shoes” mission at St. Peter Armenian Church in Glendale.
“The Armenian Church must be seen as a compassionate and safe haven for the abused,” said Archbishop Derderian.  “At the same time, the Church must educate the community about responsible living, with dignity and respect for all. Spouses have obligations and responsibilities to each other and to their children. These responsibilities are ordained by God.”
The first activity of the Domestic Violence Task Force is a walk which takes place on the feast of the Dedication of Jesus Christ (Diaruntarch) on February 13. Walkers will assemble at the St. Peter Armenian Church, 632 W. Stocker St., Glendale, CA, at 4:00PM and walk to the St. Leon Cathedral, 3325 N. Glenoaks Blvd., Burbank.  They will walk under the banner “Violence Hurts; Love Conquers” to bring attention to the problem of domestic violence that often goes unreported because of cultural stigmas.
At the St. Leon Cathedral, a special dedication service begins at 6:30. The scriptural theme of the evening (Luke 2:22) reflects about the Holy Family, Joseph, Mary and the Christ Child. Fr. Vazken Movsesian explains, “It’s about responsibility to the family. In very basic terms, Joseph’s wife Mary tells him that she’s pregnant and that he is not the child’s father. Yet, Joseph feels the responsibility to his wife and his adopted Son, taking care of both, fully and completely. Is there a better example than this, for husbands and fathers?”
One of the goals of the Domestic Violence Task Force has been to give spiritual direction to families. The Armenian Church has always been there for Her children, during their happy and sad times. “The Church is the caring, loving and compassionate representative of Christ on earth,” says Fr. Vazken, “And so, the Church has a very special and unique approach toward building family unity. Our Task Force is working on awareness, help and healing, because violence hurts, and only love can heal.”
The Archbishop will receive the walkers and the congregation at the St. Leon Cathedral. There he will offer his message and a very special blessing to the Armenian couples and families. This is an evening for families to come together and grow in Love and Spirit. Archbishop Derderian, invites all of the faithful to join in the walk and/or attend the special service that evening at the St. Leon Cathedral. It will be an unforgettable opportunity to heal the pain, to grow in love.
Following the services, those interested in helping and participating in the work of the Domestic Violence Task Force may sign up for volunteer positions on phone lines and working with families through the various programs established through this effort.
In brief:
  • 4PM – Walk begins at St. Peter, Glendale 632 W. Stocker. Walkers will be given identifying bandanas and water. The walk is 8.8K (5.5 miles) – flat surface/city streets. The route is Glenoaks Blvd. at Concord to the St. Leon Cathedral at 3325 N. Glenoaks. Follow “In His Shoes” on Twitter to join the walkers at different points along the route.
  • 6:30PM – Service at the St. Leon Armenian Cathedral, 3325 N. Glenoaks, Burbank. Evening service of the Armenian Church by the Diocesan clergy, Archbishop Hovnan Derderian presiding.
  • 7:00PM – Special message to the walkers and the blessing of the families in the church.
  • 7:30PM – Outdoor activity and sign ups in the courtyard of the Cathedral.
  • Following the service/activities – return transportation to St. Peter, Glendale will be provided.
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