WATERTOWN, Mass. — Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), visited St. James Armenian Church, on Sunday, December 13, as the parish honored two former pastors, Rev. Arsen Barsamian and Rev. Dajad Davidian, to mark the 50th anniversary of their ordinations into the holy priesthood. The day also marked the 78th anniversary of St. James Church.
Barsamian celebrated the Divine Liturgy, and Davidian delivered the day’s sermon. In the sanctuary, the Primate presented both clergymen with Pontifical Encyclicals on behalf of Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.
Archbishop Barsamian expressed his appreciation to Rev. Barsamian and Davidian for their dedication to the Armenian Church, and said he was glad that Karekin II, too, was honoring their years of service.
“Today is a day of celebration and a day of recommitment,” the Primate said. “We are here to say thank you to Father Arsen and Father Dajad. It is also an opportunity for us to commit ourselves to the task of ensuring that there will be other priests like them to continue the mission of the Armenian Church.”
In this “Year of Vocations,” the Primate encouraged parishioners to guide young people, especially young men, who are serving their church. “It is so instructive to hold up these two worthy examples of dedication to God,” Archbishop Barsamian said of the day’s honorees, “two distinct paths of service, united in their response to our Lord’s calling, leading them to the common destination of holiness.”
‘A Good Shepherd’
A native of South Milwaukee, Wis., Fr. Arsen Barsamian was preparing for a career in music when he felt the calling to become a priest. After three years of studying music theory and composition at the University of Wisconsin, he traveled to Lebanon to study theology at the seminary of the Great House of Cilicia in 1953. Later he continued his work at the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and completed coursework at several seminaries in the US.