First row, left to right: The Very Rev. Fr. Mesrop Parsamyan, Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, Archbishop Nathan Hovhannisian, Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian, Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Rev. Mampre A. Kouzouian, Very Rev. Simeon Odabashian; Back row, left to right: Rev. Arakel Aljalian, Rev. Krikor Sabounjian, Rev. Aved Terzian, Rev. Mardiros Chevian, Rev. Sevak Gabrielyan, Rev. Vasken A. Kouzouian, Fr. Athanasios Nenes (representing Metropolitan Methodios), Rev. Avedis Boynerian, Rev. Khachatur Kesablyan, Rev. Fr. Vart Gyozalyan

Rev. Kouzouian’s 60th Anniversary Raises more than $221,000 to Benefit Homeless in Armenia and Muratsan Chemotherapy Clinic

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By Seta A. Buchter

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — On Friday, May 11, under the auspices of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), clergy, family, guests, parishioners and friends came together to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the ordination to the priesthood of Rev. Fr. Mampre A. Kouzouian in the Charles and Nevart Talanian Cultural Hall of Holy Trinity Armenian Church of Greater Boston. Among the 260 guests were four archbishops: Archbishop Nathan Hovhannisian, representing Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian, former Primate, Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Western), who was Fr. Mampre’s presenter at his ordination and best man at his wedding; Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, former Primate, Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern); and Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, Diocesan Legate and Ecumenical Director; as well as clergy from the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern) and the Greater Boston area.

At Fr. Mampre’s request, funds raised from gifts on this occasion were earmarked to support two causes, the children at the Muratsan Chemotherapy Clinic of Yerevan State Medical University, a pediatric oncology clinic that treats children from all over Armenia, as well as homeless individuals and families in the Vagharshapat region surrounding Holy Echmiadzin. Of the $221,000 raised, $25,000 was designated to underwrite most of the banquet costs. On May 30, a check in the amount of $182,975.67 was sent to the Diocese for forwarding to Catholicos Karekin II, for distribution for the intended purposes. As additional gifts are received, they will be forwarded to the Diocese for Holy Echmiadzin.

James M. Kalustian served as Master of Ceremonies during the Banquet and with humor and anecdotes, introduced a Program that celebrated Kouzouian’s dedicated years of service and commitment to the Armenian Church and her people. Daniel K. Dorian, Jr., Parish Council Chair, in his Celebratory Toast, spoke of his own family’s long association with the honoree, dating back to St. Mary’s Armenian Church in Irvington NJ, which was Kouzouian’s first pastoral assignment, to Holy Trinity Armenian Church, which was his last. On behalf of the Holy Trinity Parish, Dorian, along with Parish Council Vice Chair Gregory A. Kolligian, Jr., presented him with a framed picture of Holy Trinity’s Sanctuary dome.

All present raised their glasses to toast Kouzouian – “the epitome of a true clergyman, a priest who loves his Church and her people with his whole being; a true servant of the Lord; and a friend to all.” The Invocation was offered by Hovhannisian.

The program consisted of musical selections by Sammy Andonian, cellist; Joyce Arpie Kouzouian; and Yeghishe Manucharyan and Victoria Avetisyan; and a Poem, “Armenia,” by Paruyr Sevak, recited by Adelaida Balagyozian, Anna Margaryan and Amalia Petrosyan.

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Nubar Kupelian, a classmate of Kouzouian at the Seminary of Antilias, offered the first tribute of the evening, followed by remarks by Rev. Vasken A. Kouzouian, pastor of Holy Trinity Church and son of the honoree. In his remarks, the younger Kouzouian stated that “this evening, we honor our longest serving pastor here at Holy Trinity, and a priest who gave his life, in every way imaginable, for the good of the people placed in his care and for the glory of God. Over the years of his service to the Armenian Church and people, he has been ‘a Rock of Faith,’ a steady presence and a constant shoulder for many of our lives.”

Vasken Kouzouian spoke of the many accomplishments of his father during the latter’s 60 years of devoted service, while being “the rock” of his greatest ministry, raising a family, along with his late wife, Yn. Nuvart Kouzouian, who journeyed every step of the way with her husband.

Hovsepian spoke of Kouzouian’s dedication to his parishioners, the Diocese and the entire Armenian Church stressing his deep involvement in the Ecumenical movement.

Kouzouian, in his remarks, thanked Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, who had planned to personally attend the Celebration but found it necessary to remain in Armenia, for the love and blessings he sent. He also thanked all those present.

Barsamian spoke affectionately about Kouzouian’s service, wisdom, dedication and leadership to the Diocese and the worldwide Armenian Church.

Hovhannisian read a message from Karekin II and placed around Fr. Mampre’s neck the Vartabedagan Khatch/cross that the Catholicos had sent in appreciation of Fr. Mampre’s 60 years of service.

The Very Rev. Simeon Odabashian, Diocesan Vicar, read the letter from the Primate, the Very Rev. Daniel Findikyan, who stated that “Der Mampre Kouzouian is one of our visible examples of those foundational values and virtues, upon which the coming generation can build with confidence and conviction, for the advancement of our people, and for the glory of God.”

First row, left to right: Oscar Derderian III, Rev. Mampre A. Kouzouian, Alina Kouzouian; Second row, left to right: Susan K. Derderian, Esq., Yn. Arpi Kouzouian; Third row, left to right: Joyce Arpie Kouzouian, Rev. Vasken A. Kouzouian

The Very Rev. Mesrop Parsamyan, Diocesan Director of Ministries, read the letter of Berj Setrakian, President of the AGBU.

The evening came to a close with the Benediction offered by Aykazian.

Donations are still being accepted for the homeless and the cancer-stricken children at the Muratsan Chemotherapy Clinic and may be made by contacting the Holy Trinity Church Office at office@htaac.org.

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