Diocesan Vicar Very Rev. Haigazoun Najarian (at center) with Rev. Hagop Gevorgyan, Rev. Martiros Hakobyan, Rev. Hratch Sargsyan and Rev. Paren Galstyan.

Diocese Announces Four Clergy Appointments

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NEW YORK — Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), recently appointed four priests to serve parishes in Waukegan, Ill., Cheltenham, Penn., Cleveland, Ohio and St. Paul, Minn.

The four priests — Rev. Paren Galstyan, Rev. Hagop Gevorgyan, Rev. Martiros Hakobyan and Rev. Hratch Sargsyan — completed their studies in Armenia and were ordained there prior to their arrival in the US, with the blessings of Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, and at the invitation of the Primate.

They spent the last few years interning with clergy in the Eastern Diocese to learn more about the Armenian Church of America and to prepare to serve the local Armenian communities.

Rev. Paren Galstyan, who has been named interim pastor of St. George Armenian Church of Waukegan, is a native of Vedi, Armenia. He studied at the Vaskenian Theological Seminary in Sevan, the Gumri Theological Seminary, and the Gevorkyan Theological Seminary at the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin.

Following his graduation in 2006, he was ordained into the holy priesthood by Bishop Anooshavan Jamgochyan at the Holy See. He remained at Holy Echmiadzin, serving its chancellery until his departure for the US in 2007.

In the Eastern Diocese, Galstyan interned at St. James Armenian Church of Evanston, Ill. He assumed the position of interim pastor of the Waukegan community in November 2009, after the Primate announced the appointment during the parish’s 50th-anniversary celebration.

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He is married to Yn. Lusine Galstyan; they have two sons, Grigor and Aren.

Rev. Hagop Gevorgyan began serving as the pastor of Holy Trinity Armenian Church of Cheltenham on January 2. He is a graduate of the Vaskenian and Gevorkyan seminaries in Armenia. Gevorgyan also studied at the Oriental Churches Institute in Germany, and while still a deacon, he worked as the administrator of the storehouses of Holy Echmiadzin’s Treasury and Pontifical Residence.

He was ordained into the holy priesthood in December 2007 by Bishop Marcos Hovhannesian. In February 2008, Gevorgyan traveled to New York and began his internship at St. Gregory the Enlightener Armenian Church of White Plains, under the guidance of the Rev. Karekin Kasparian.

At the same time, he enrolled in English language courses at Concordia and Manhattanville colleges and completed the Clinical Pastoral Education Program at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, NY.

Gevorgyan and Yn. Anna Gevorgyan have one son, Narek.

Rev. Martiros Hakobyan will serve as the pastor of the St. Gregory of Narek Armenian Church of Cleveland. His appointment begins on January 2, 2010.

Hakobyan studied at the Gumri Theological Seminary and the Gevorkyan Theological Seminary and held several positions at the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin prior to his ordination into the holy priesthood by Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, Legate of the Eastern Diocese, in June 2007. He then served at Yerevan’s Holy Trinity Church while continuing his studies at the American University in Armenia.

Hakobyan came to the Eastern Diocese in January 2008. He interned at St. James Armenian Church of Watertown, Mass., under the leadership of the Rev. Arakel Aljalian. While in Massachusetts, he also studied at the New England School of English in Cambridge.

He and Yn. Hasmik Hakobyan have one son, Jirair.

Rev. Hratch Sargsyan has been assigned the pastorship of the St. Sahag Armenian Church of St. Paul, effective January 7.

Sargsyan studied at the Vaskenian Theological Seminary, where he also served as the assistant at the nearby Soorp Arakelotz Church, and later continued his studies at the Gevorkyan Theological Seminary. Parallel to his studies, he prepared radio broadcasts on religious topics, served as a deacon at Yerevan’s Holy Trinity Church, and was the general secretary at the Department of Interchurch and Ecumenical Relations at the Holy See. In addition, Sargsyan studied English at the American University in Yerevan.

He was ordained into the holy priesthood by Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, Legate of the Eastern Diocese, in June 2007. Following his ordination, Sargsyan became pastor of St. Hovhannes Church in Sisyan, Armenia.

Coming to the Eastern Diocese in 2008, Sargsyan interned at St. John Armenian Church of Greater Detroit, under the leadership of the Rev. Garabed Kochakian. In Detroit, he also completed the Clinical Pastoral Education Program at Sinai-Grace Hospital and studied English at Wayne State University.

Sargsyan and Yn. Naira Azatyan have two daughters, Tatev and Mane.

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