Local Hospitals Celebrate Armenian Christmas

Dignity Health – Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center and Adventist Health Glendale each celebrated Armenian Christmas with dignitaries and community members. Those who attended were eager to celebrate a host of events relating to the birth of Jesus Christ.

Dignity Health – Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center (GMHHC) welcomed clergy from St. Mary’s Church to commemorate Armenian Christmas with the traditional Blessing of the Water. In attendance (from left to right) were Deacon Raffi Keshishian; Bradley Grote, GMHHC COO; Dan Murphy, GMHHC CPO; Nga Nguyen, GMHHC Director, Human Resources; Jill Welton, GMHHC President; Rev. Fr. Movses Shannakian; Very Rev. Fr. Zareh Sarkissian; Timothy Ernst, Glendale Fire Chief; Jim Zolnowski, GMHHC CNO; Laura Reyes, GMHHC VP, Business Development; Rev. Cassie McCarty, GMHHC Director, Mission Integration; Dr. Vivian Eckchian, GUSD Superintendent; Councilmember Ara Najarian; and Mayor Ardy Kassakhian.


On Jan. 5, Adventist Health Glendale celebrated Armenian Christmas with the hospital’s physicians, administration and associates. Ardy Kassakhian, the mayor of Glendale, joined the special ceremony that celebrated the baptism of Jesus Christ and the Epiphany, the revelation of Jesus as God’s son. The blessing of holy water and gata bread, a tradition in the Armenian culture for over 1700 years, was conducted by His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, primate of Western Diocese Armenian Church of North America.
“This meaningful service was the perfect start to the new year and a beautiful reminder of Jesus’ revelation, baptism and, most importantly, His love for each of us,” shared Alice Issai, president of Adventist Health Glendale.