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Holy Translators Church Marks 10 Years / Sts. Vartanantz Church Celebrates Milestone, Honors Parishioners

The Church of the Holy Translators of Framingham, Mass., marked its 10th anniversary on October 5 and 6. Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), visited the parish on this occasion and presided over the celebration.

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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 18, 2013
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HOLY TRANSLATORS CHURCH MARKS 10 YEARS
The Church of the Holy Translators of Framingham, Mass., marked its 10th anniversary on October 5 and 6. Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), visited the parish on this occasion and presided over the celebration.
On Saturday, October 5, the parish hosted a dinner-dance at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Natick, Mass. The evening opened with a youth performance by the Zangakner Ensemble of Boston. Remarks were made by parish council chair Robin Palombo, parish pastor the Rev. Fr. Krikor Sabounjian, and Archbishop Barsamian.

“I fondly recall consecrating Holy Translators, and it is hard to believe that glorious day took place a decade ago,” Archbishop Barsamian said. “But you can be proud that for the past 10 years and more, the spirit of living the Gospel has been exemplified by the people of this parish. In the most basic sense, to live the Gospel is to recognize that there is a role for each of us to play in Christ’s mission. We take up his mission as believers who have accepted Christ into our hearts, and having done so, we become aware that Christ strengthens and nourishes us from within.”
The Church of the Holy Translators began as a mission parish in April 1998. Parishioners purchased the present building in 2001, and the church was consecrated in October 2003.
Guests enjoyed a slideshow highlighting the church’s decade of accomplishments and an evening of Armenian music by the Richie Berberian Ensemble.
On Sunday, October 6, Fr. Sabounjian celebrated the Divine Liturgy, with Archbishop Barsamian presiding. The Primate ordained parishioners Raffi Barsamian, Lucas Ferraro, Neil Ferraro, Sevan Hacopian, Noah Toumayan-Miller, Cole Semonian, and Lincoln Zaleski to the rank of acolyte. Neil Ferraro and Lincoln Zaleski were then elevated to the sub-diaconate.
The congregation then took part in a special service of veneration of the St. Vartan the Brave relic—a piece of stone encrusted with the blood of Armenia’s 5th-century warrior saint, and encased in a beautiful silver cross. The Primate brought the relic to Framingham from St. Vartan Cathedral in New York City, where it was first unveiled on the occasion of the cathedral’s 45th anniversary in September. The relic is a gift of His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.
Also that afternoon, Archbishop Barsamian blessed the parish’s new altar vessel, which was donated by Anoush Balian in memory of her late husband. A fellowship hour followed services.
“We often hear about other churches in our Diocese marking their 50th or 75th anniversaries. How humbling it is that our church is only 10 years old, but that in these 10 years we have been able to accomplish so much,” Fr. Sabounjian said. “It is thanks to the vision and dedication of a small group of people that we were able to establish a permanent house of worship in Framingham, and we look forward to seeing our community grow in faith in the coming decades.”
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Photos attached.
Photo 1: Archbishop Khajag Barsamian ordains altar servers.
Photo 2: Archbishop Khajag Barsamian and Rev. Fr. Krikor Sabounjian with altar servers.
PublicRelations [publicrelations@armeniandiocese.org]
Sts. Vartanantz Church Celebrates Milestone, Honors Parishioners

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 18, 2013
___________________
STS. VARTANANTZ CHURCH CELEBRATES MILESTONE, HONORS PARISHIONERS
Sts. Vartanantz Church of Chelmsford, Mass., marked its 35th anniversary with services and a program last weekend, and welcomed Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), who joined the community in its celebration.

On Saturday evening, October 12, Archbishop Barsamian met with the parish pastor, the Rev. Fr. Khachatur Kesablyan, and members of the parish council and parish delegates. He spoke about the historic bishops synod, which convened at Holy Etchmiadzin last month, and he also highlighted Diocesan programs. Parish leaders shared with the Primate updates on local programs, and a discussion ensued on parish life.

On Sunday, October 13, Archbishop Barsamian celebrated the Divine Liturgy and gave a sermon  on the importance of the cross as a symbol of victory and hope. “The Armenian nation is a cross-bearing nation—we are a khachagir people,” Archbishop Barsamian said. “We have been the followers of Christ for two millennia, and today our children and grandchildren must carry forward our faith and heritage in the twenty-first century.”
Following the Divine Liturgy, Archbishop Barsamian ordained five altar servers. Jeremy Oldham was ordained to the sub-diaconate; David Arakelian, Gregory Chekmeyan, Benjamin Clark, and Dominic Sampson were ordained to the rank of acolyte. The young men have been working with Fr. Kesablyan to master their new responsibilities.
Archbishop Barsamian then led the congregation in a special service of veneration of the St. Vartan the Brave relic—a piece of stone encrusted with the blood of Armenia’s 5th-century warrior saint, and encased in a beautiful silver cross. The Primate had brought the relic to Chelmsford from St. Vartan Cathedral in New York City, where it was first unveiled on the occasion of the cathedral’s 45th anniversary in September. The relic is a gift of His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.
Later that afternoon, some 180 people gathered in the church’s Kazanjian Ballroom to mark the church’s 35th anniversary. Diocesan Council chair James Kalustian gave a toast congratulating the Chelfsford community on its achievements and wishing them continued growth in the future.
Matt Hanson, chair of the Chelmsford Board of Selectmen, presented the parish with a proclamation honoring the day’s milestone. Richard Juknavorian served as master of ceremonies. Remarks were made by parish council chair Bruce Kayajanian and Sandra Boroyan. The afternoon also included musical performances by parishioners.
“For the past 35 years, our church has attended to the spiritual needs of our church family, providing an inspirational place of worship, religious education for our children, a place to celebrate, nurture, and experience our Armenian Christian heritage, and a haven to bring hope and comfort to parishioners who seek relief from the many trials and tribulations of everyday life,” Fr. Kesablyan said. “I am truly inspired by and proud of our parish.”
The original Sts. Vartanantz Church was consecrated in 1916, in Lowell, Mass. As the community grew in the decades following World War II, plans were made to relocate the parish to a larger house of worship. Under the leadership of its former pastor, the late Very Rev. Fr. Ghevont Samoorian, the parish purchased a property in Chelmsford, and in 1978 the present church was consecrated.  
Also during Sunday’s banquet, the parish honored longtime members Patricia Amboian and George Simonian with the “St. Vartan Award.”
Mrs. Amboian has taught the parish Sunday School, chaired the parish council, and assisted with other church organizations. She currently serves on the Women’s Guild and is a member of the church choir.
Mr. Simonian is a veteran of the Korean War and a longtime public school educator. At Sts. Vartanantz Church, he chaired the parish council, led the church’s building memorial committee, and launched its endowment fund.
“Both Pat and George, through their model of love, faith, and devotion, have been inspirations not only to our parishioners but also to me personally,” Fr. Kesablyan said.
Archbishop Barsamian closed the program with a message and benediction. He expressed his gratitude to Mrs. Amboian and Mr. Simonian for their dedication, and thanked the entire parish for their commitment to the mission of the Armenian Church.
“Throughout our history, the Armenian people have been building churches wherever they went. They have been raising up beautiful houses of worship where they have gathered to rejoice, to pray, and to strengthen their faith. And Sts. Vartanantz Church is no exception,” Archbishop Barsamian said.
“The spirit of the living Gospel has been exemplified by the people of this parish, through your service on the altar, your efforts in parish organizations, your outreach to the community, and your ministry to each other. As you embark on the next chapter of your history, I pray that you continue on this journey and inspire others to join you in your service.”
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Photos attached.
Photo 1: Archbishop Khajag Barsamian ordains acolytes at Sts. Vartanantz Church.
Photo 2: (from left) George Simonian, Patricia Amboian, and Rev. Fr. Khachatur Kesablyan.
Photo 3: Jeremy Oldham is ordained to the sub-diaconate.

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