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Trumbull Parish Celebrates Pastor’s New ook

At the Armenian Church of the Holy Ascension in Trumbull, Conn., more than 175 parishioners gathered on Friday evening, October 4, to honor their longtime pastor, the Rev. Fr. Untzag Nalbandian, on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of his ordination to the holy order of the priesthood and the recent publication of his new book, titled Fate, Faith, Fun.

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PRESS OFFICE
Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern)
630 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Contact: Chris Zakian
Tel: (212) 686-0710; Fax: (212) 779-3558
E-mail: chrisz@armeniandiocese.org
Website: www.armenianchurch-ed.net
October 11, 2013
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Trumbull Parish Celebrates Pastor’s New ook
At the Armenian Church of the Holy Ascension in Trumbull, Conn., more than 175 parishioners gathered on Friday evening, October 4, to honor their longtime pastor, the Rev. Fr. Untzag Nalbandian, on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of his ordination to the holy order of the priesthood and the recent publication of his new book, titled Fate, Faith, Fun.

Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), presided over the evening, which began with a procession of clergy and St. Nersess seminarians into the church sanctuary. The clergy and seminarians sang the hymn “Urakh Ler,” with Khoren Mekanejian, the Diocese’s Music Ministry coordinator, accompanying on the organ.
Parish council vice chair Scott Paklaian welcomed guests and introduced the evening program, which included speakers and a book dedication ceremony. Deborah Herbst, vice chair of the Trumbull Board of Education, and Elaine Hammers, chair of the city’s finance board, read the proclamation of the First Selectman of Trumbull, Timothy Herbst, congratulating Fr. Nalbandian and officially naming October 4 in his honor.
Mardy Azarian, who chaired the parish council in the early 1980s when Fr. Nalbandian first came to Holy Ascension Church, reflected on the early days of Fr. Nalbandian’s ministry there. A slideshow, compiled by Dorothy Bengoian, of Fr. Nalbandian’s early life and his accomplishments in Trumbull followed. Dn. Thomas Dabakian served as the master of ceremonies.
Marjorie Byiteck Salem, adjunct professor at Western Connecticut State University who was instrumental in guiding the development of Fate, Faith, Fun, introduced the book and congratulated Fr. Nalbandian on its publication.
The Rev. Fr. Karekin Kasparian, pastor of St. Gregory the Enlightener Church of White Plains, N.Y., spoke on behalf of the clergy, offering warm greetings and good wishes to his brother in Christ. Fr. Nalbandian’s daughter, Ani, spoke about her father’s love and dedication to his family, and expressed her joy at the release of his book.
The clergy then sang “Vork Zartaretsin,” a hymn traditionally sung on the Feast of the Holy Translators, which will be observed this month. Archbishop Barsamian, Fr. Nalbandian, and Yn. Setta Nalbandian took turns pouring wine on the book as part of the traditional kinetson ceremony.
Fr. Nalbandian expressed his gratitude to the guests for their support of his work. He reflected on his 35 years of service in the Armenian Church, noting how rewarding it has been to serve in the vineyard of the Lord for more than three decades. He has been the pastor of Holy Ascension Church since 1984. Prior to that, he served as a deacon in France and at St. Sarkis Church in Niagara Falls, N.Y., where he was ordained to the priesthood in 1978 by then-Primate Archbishop Torkom Manoogian. Before coming to Trumbull, Fr. Nalbandian served briefly as the pastor of St. John Church of Greenfield, Wis.
Archbishop Barsamian closed the evening with words of congratulation. “Der Untzag is a man of deep faith, and seems to have almost unlimited love for his people and heritage,” the Primate said.
“He is a studious priest of the Armenian Church, who has dedicated much time and energy to teaching, lecturing, writing, and musical recording. He has always been an effective communicator, often using some simple personal experience to illustrate a profound point. This new book is an excellent example of his teaching style.”
A reception followed in the church hall.
Via more than 100 vignettes, Fate, Faith, Fun follows Fr. Nalbandian’s life journey from Lebanon, to Cyprus, Armenia, France, and the United States. “I encountered many interesting people in my life,” Fr. Nalbandian said, “and I always said to myself that someday I would write down these stories.”
Topics range from Fr. Nalbandian’s recollections of his time in Soviet Armenia as a young seminarian to his reflection on the 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Conn. The volume also includes poems, articles, and speeches written in Armenian.    
Publication of the book was made possible thanks to the generosity of the Gullabi Gulbenkian Foundation and Edward and Carmen Gulbenkian. Pre-publication expenses were underwritten by James and June Pattinian Utecht. Other supporters include Dn. Thomas and Martha Dabakian, Alex and Virginia Dadourian, Dr. Sarkis and Marita Nazarian, the late Beatrice Piligian and family, Andrew Topalian, and Heather Tarpinian.
Dorothy Bengoian served as the English editor; Vatche Gazarian edited the Armenian text.
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Photos attached.
Photo 1: Archbishop Khajag Barsamian and Fr. Untzag Nalbandian pour wine on the book as part of the traditional kinetson ceremony
Photo 2: Fr. Untzag Nalbandian signs copies of his new book.

PublicRelations [publicrelations@armeniandiocese.org]

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