By Dr. Lynn Cetin
BAYSIDE, N.Y. — On Saturday evening, October 22, the Armenian Church of the Holy Martyrs in Bayside, New York, held an elegant banquet in celebration of Fr. Abraham Malkhasyan’s 10th anniversary as its pastor.
The sold-out event of 200 was a joyful gathering of clergy, parishioners, and friends in celebration of Fr. Abraham’s “first decade of ministry” at Holy Martyrs and other recent milestone events in his life. In 2020, Fr. Abraham successfully defended his dissertation and received his Doctor of Ministry Degree from the prestigious Fordham University. He completed his degree while working full time at Holy Martyrs. In 2020, Fr. Abraham also celebrated his ten year ordination anniversary, for which he received a pectoral cross from Bishop Daniel Findikyan. Both achievements were not celebrated prior due to the covid pandemic. The evening of October 22 was a wonderful party to celebrate Fr. Abraham, the Malkhasyan family, and the entire Holy Martyrs community.
The celebratory banquet, catered entirely in-house by the Anniversary Committee, was co-chaired by Dr. Lynn Cetin and Tamar Kayserian. It was an evening of delicious and abundant food, many smiles, wonderful memories, and an outpouring of love for the Malkhasyan Family. The church auditorium was decorated in blue, silver and white, and transformed into a beautiful banquet hall complete with banquet chairs and china, a surprise to all! Diocesan Vicar Very Rev. Fr. Simeon Odabashian, Garo Sekdorian, former Parish Council chair who “found” Fr. Abraham in Florida over ten years ago, and Gregory Saraydarian, current Parish Council chair, spoke words of congratulations at the start of the night. Cetin, Anniversary Committee co-chair, served as the master of ceremonies and intertwined facts, words of gratitude, anecdotes, and humor throughout the evening.
“Der Hayr, as we spend the next few hours in celebration, we want you to realize that you have become part of the fabric of this amazing and challenging parish,” said Cetin. “You are now the second longest serving pastor of Holy Martyrs (after Fr. Vartan Megherian of blessed memory). Your humility, patience and messages of love have made your ministry endure and thrive in a parish that is hard to please. We are so multifaceted here, but you have managed to rise above and embrace us all. Tonight, we honor you with our love and gratitude. Please sit back and enjoy the celebration that is so well-deserved!”
The evening of celebration highlighted the parish’s achievements over the last decade under Fr. Abraham’s leadership with a wonderful photo and video montage which included congratulatory messages from all the parish’s schools and auxiliaries.