Obituary: Rev. Paree Metjian

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WYNNEWOOD, Penn. — The Eastern Diocese mourns the passing of the Rev. Paree Metjian, who died on Friday, January 28, in his home. He was 73.

In his pastoral service to parishes in Greenfield, NY, Fair Lawn, NJ and Wynnewood, Penn. — and prior to that, his service as a deacon in Worcester and Houston — Metjian devoted his whole heart to making Christ the central focus of parish life. His interest in strengthening the family led him to earn a doctoral degree in family counseling.

Metjian was born on January 24, 1938, in Beirut, Lebanon, to Hagop and Haigouhi Metjian, and given the baptismal name Dickran. He received his primary education in Beirut, and in 1953 was accepted to the Armenian Theological Seminary in Jerusalem.

Arriving in the United States in 1961, he attended the Episcopal Divinity School in Philadelphia, where he earned a master’s degree in Sacred Theology in 1964. He served as assistant to the pastor at the Armenian Church of Our Saviour, in Worcester, Mass., until 1969. During that time, he continued his education at Assumption College, earning a masters in guidance and psychology. At the Worcester parish he was in charge of the ACYO juniors and seniors and the Sunday School.

Metjian’s special ministry to young people broadened further during his next assignment. Sent to Houston, Texas, to serve as deacon-in-residence at the St. George Armenian Church, he also counseled runaway children as the Family Guidance Coordinator for a Catholic agency with the Harris Country Juvenile Probation Department.

Before his ordination, he married Angel Arpajian, from his hometown, on November 15, 1969.

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On June 6, 1970, Diocesan Primate Archbishop Torkom Manoogian ordained Dickran Metjian to the holy priesthood of the Armenian Church. He was given the priestly name “Paree.”

For his first pastorship, Metjian and his wife went to the St. John Armenian Church of Greenfield, Wis. He became active in promoting cultural and social activities parish-wide, and strengthening the Sunday School. He also directed the Midwest Hye-Camp for five years.

His next pastoral assignment was the St. Leon Armenian Church of Fair Lawn, NJ, where he promoted the Bible school, organized the Senior Citizens Center, led youth retreats, was active in Acolyte’s Corp and oversaw the dedication of the parish community center. During this period, he was instrumental in initiating St. Vartan Camp, and served as its director from 1980 to 1992.

In 1985, he became pastor of the St. Sahag and St. Mesrob Armenian Church of Wynnewood, where he initiated many youth-oriented projects, retreats and remained intensely active in summer camp.

In 1991, he earned a doctorate in marriage and family from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He promoted pre-marital counseling sessions to engaged couples and marriage enrichment for married couples.

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