Sts. Vartanantz Day Celebration in Providence brings the church community together


 On February 11th, the Sts. Vartananz Armenian Apostolic Church of Providence, RI, joyfully celebrated its name day under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian. The church was filled with our faithful parishioners as Srpazan Anoushavan Tanielian celebrated the Soorp Badarak and ordained Matthew Burke to the rank of Acolyte. Following Matthew’s ordination, Srpazan Anoushavan gave an inspirational message to the parishioners, engaging them to ponder how Jesus had sacrificed himself for the sin that our fore parents engaged in. He also provided a metaphor regarding God’s glory and the pricelessness of what He provides to us. He spoke about what would happen if you offered a child both a toy and a diamond.   If you asked the child to choose one or the other, the child would pick the toy, not understanding the value of the diamond. Srpazan was referring to how our forefathers were tricked into choosing sin. Because we are not omniscient, we do not value what God is offering, we must put God first in our lives to receive His glory, because the Lord has made this all transparent to us when he came and died for our sins. He closed by asking us that in celebration of Vartanantz day that we become spiritual warriors and use our gift of free will to follow Christ’s mission.

   Following Badarak, a celebratory banquet for Vartanantz Day was held in Aramian Auditorium.   Welcoming remarks were provided by Board chairman Levon Attarian, who also served as emcee for the afternoon. Keeping in line with His Holiness, Vehapar Aram I, proclaiming 2024 as “The Year of Human Resources Preparation”, Der Kapriel and the Board of Trustees selected Raffi Rachdouni as the honoree for this year. Raffi has been involved in church life since a very young age. Raffi plays a vital role at our summer Bible Camp, he is the music instructor for our Armenian School, and he is the musical instructor for the Eastern Prelacy’s Siamanto Program. Raffi is also the co-creator of the Mourad Armenian School Dzapeeg-Tateeg program.  He touches the lives of the youth of our community and the Prelacy, ranging from infants to high school students.  He is also involved in multiple affiliated organizations. He is married to Bethany (Sousa) Rachdouni and is a proud father of three sons, Marcos, Tomas, and Rafael. Raffi received the Vartanantz award along with a gift from Der Hayr and the Board of Trustees. He was then joined by Matthew Burke and both received certificates from Srpazan Anoushavan along with his kind words.  Both were also given citations by the Honorable Senator David Tikoian after he provided brief remarks. Raffi then took the podium and expressed his appreciation for receiving this honor and thanked all those involved in making this a memorable afternoon for him.

   Der Kapriel Nazarian provided his remarks, congratulating Matthew and his family for their dedication to serving our church and praising Raffi for his work, dedication, and being a great example for his peers. Srpazan Anoushavan Tanielian provided the closing remarks and blessed all those in attendance. To conclude the afternoon, all in attendance sang Giligia.

   Der Hayr and the Board of Trustees congratulate both Matthew Burke and Raffi Rachdouni and their respective families. We also thank both the Ladies’ Guild and the Men’s Club for preparing and serving a delicious dinner.  We look forward to continuing seeing everyone in church and at all our upcoming events this year.




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