WATERTOWN — On Sunday, December 17, Diocesan Primate Archbishop Khajag Barsamian visited St. James Armenian Church to observe its 86th anniversary and annual Name Day celebration. The Primate presided over the Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon of the day.
Afterwards, a banquet to celebrate the Feast of St. James the Bishop of Nisibis (for whom the Watertown church is named) brought together a large crowd to honor several parishioners —including long-serving parish pastor Rev. Arakel Aljalian, who was honored by the Primate with the floral stole.
Also taking part in the day was the parish’s former pastor Rev. Dajad Davidian and assistant pastor, Fr. Arsen Barsamian.
Lifelong parishioner Michael Yapchaian — a leader of the Armenian Church in America on many levels — was presented with the “Parishioner of the Year” award, while Nishan and Margrit Atinizian received the Eastern Diocese’s St. Vartan Award for their decades of service. Outgoing parish council members Edward Kazanjian and Linda Sahagian were recognized for their service.
The banquet also occasioned the formal announcement that St. James had received approval from the Watertown Council to purchase the East Branch Library building next door to the church.