ACYOA Juniors gathered over Memorial Day weekend at St. James Church of Watertown, MA, for the 41st annual Hye M’rtsoom program. The parish hosted 211 participants from 14 parishes across the Diocese for a weekend of worship, sports, and fellowship.
The Rev. Fr. Arakel Aljalian, pastor of St. James Church; Yn. Natasha Aljalian; and St. James youth minister Maria Derderian worked alongside dedicated community members to ensure the success of the weekend. Events were held at the St. James Church’s Charles Mosesian Cultural and Youth Center, and participants were housed with local families. Jennifer Morris, the Diocese’s director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, was present throughout the weekend
On Saturday morning after morning service, the participants gathered in the gym and heard an inspiring message by Houry Gebeshian, a native of Massachusetts and the first female Armenian gymnast to represent Armenia in the upcoming summer Olympics.
Halfway through the sports, participants gathered in the kitchen to make more than 300 sandwiches for Pine Street Inn, a Boston shelter that serves the area’s homeless population. Once the sports concluded for the day, participants headed home for dinner with their host family and then back to St. James for an evening dance and activities.
On Sunday, May 29, Fr. Aljalian celebrated the Divine Liturgy and the Very Rev. Fr. Simeon Odabashian, Diocesan Vicar, delivered a sermon on the weekend’s theme, “Stronger Together.” He emphasized the importance of working together as an Armenian Christian community.
On Sunday evening, participants gathered at St. James Church for dinner and an awards ceremony and enjoyed dancing to Armenian and American music.
Monday morning, everyone gathered for a farewell breakfast before heading back to their parish communities.
ACYOA Central Council Awards
The Archbishop Tiran Nersoyan Service Award was given to Danielle Jae of St. Mary, Livingston, NJ, as an ACYOA Junior who has served the Armenian Church with the same humility and compassion as the late founder of the ACYOA.
The Archbishop Tiran Nersoyan Leadership Award was given to Taline Bedonian of St. Gregory the Enlightener, White Plains, NY as an ACYOA Junior who has taken on leadership roles within her ACYOA chapter and has approached those roles with Christian love, understanding, and patience.
The Archbishop Tiran Nersoyan Vision Award was given to Tanner Asadourian of Holy Martyrs, Bayside, NY, as an ACYOA Junior who has established programs that incorporate one or more of the five circles of the cross (education, worship, service, witness and fellowship), and who has made a lasting impression on his ACYOA chapter.
The ACYOA Junior Chapter “A” Award was given to the St. Mary Livingston, NJ, chapter for its work as an ACYOA Junior organization that has done its best to create an atmosphere conducive to Christian love, education, and service.
Individual Sports Awards
2nd Place – Shahe DerTorossian – St. James, Watertown, MA
1st Place – Katiana Sarkissian St. Gregory, White Plains, NY
2nd Place – Nicholas Dadekian – St. Leon, Fair Lawn, NJ
1st Place – Stephen Sirounian – Holy Martyrs, Bayside, NY
2nd Place – Tanner Asadorian – Holy Martyrs, Bayside, NY
1st Place – Adam Pidedjian – Holy Martyrs, Bayside, NY
2nd Place – Kevork Atinizian – Holy Trinity, Cambridge, MA
1st Place – Greg Grigoryan (Providence)
2nd Place – Sophia Naroian – Our Saviour, Worcester, MA
1st Place – Adrena Seferian – St. James, Watertown, MA
2nd Place – Armen Michaelian – Holy Trinity, Cambridge, MA
1st Place – Armen Kasparian – St. Leon – Fair Lawn, NJ
2nd Place – Holy Trinity – Cambridge, MA
1st Place – St. Leon – Fair Lawn, NJ
2nd Place – St. Leon, Fair Lawn, NJ
1st Place – St. James, Watertown, MA
2nd Place – Holy Resurrection, New Britain, CT
1st Place – St. Leon, Fair Lawn, NJ
Boys – Ryan Terdjanian – Holy Resurrection, New Britain, CT
Girls – Maddie Kachikian – St. Leon, Fair Lawn, NJ
Overall Champion – St. Leon, Fair Lawn, NJ