former pastors

Rev. Fr. Boghos Manoukian, 1957-1967

Fr. BoghosFather Boghos was born in Amassia, Armenia, on the 14th day of March, 1901 (baptismal name Bedros). He studied for the priesthood at the Armenian Seminary of Armash near Constantinople and had as instructors three eminent Prelates, two of whom later became Patriarchs of Constantinople and the third, Patriarch of Jerusalem. World War I having forcibly closed the Seminary and putting an abrupt end to his theological studies, Father Boghos went to France to study architecture.

He practiced architecture in Nice, France, until 1929 following which he came to United States and continued his work here. In 1935 he entered the service of the Federal government in Washington as architect, city planner and landscape architect, which service he left in 1943 and entered private practice. In 1938 he married Araxie Seferian of Washington; they has four children: Mariam (now Mrs. Nishanian), Haig, Peruz and Loucia. He had been very active in the Armenian communities in New York and Washington; he served on the parish council of the church in Washington, D.C., from which he later resigned to enter Holy Orders.

On February 12, 1956, he was ordained to the holy order of priest­hood as "Kahana" by His Grace, Archbishop Mampre Calfayan, who renamed him Father Boghos. Father Boghos, since his ordination, had served as Pastor of Holy Trinity Armenian Church in North Philadelphia and beginning on September 1, 1957, he served as the first Pastor of St. James Armenian Church of Richmond, until his retirement. Fr. Boghos went to be with the Lord on on August 4, 1969.

Rev. Fr. Arsen Barsamian, 1967-91

Rev. Fr. Arsen Barsamian was born as Steven Barsamian in South Milwaukee, WI. He was awarded a music scholarship and studied at the University of Wisconsin. He studied music theory and composition for three years, but then decided to follow his calling to the priesthood in 1953.

From 1953-1955, he studied at the Catholicate of Cilicia in Antelias, Lebanon, and from 1955-1956, at the St. James Armenian Patriarchate in Jerusalem. Upon his return to the United States he studied at the following schools from 1956-1959: Kendall College, Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, and Garrett Biblical Seminary. During this period, he assisted at the St. James Armenian Church of Evanston, IL, and St. Gregory Armenian Church of Chicago, IL.

On March 13, 1960, Fr. Arsen was ordained to the holy priesthood by the Primate, Archbishop Sion Manoogian, in St Mesrob Armenian Church of Racine, WI. From 1960-1964, he served as a visiting priest to the following parishes: St. Shoghagat Armenian Church, East St. Louis, IL; St. Gregory the Illuminator Church, Chicago, IL; and St. John the Baptist Church, Milwaukee, WI.

In 1974, he was assigned as the first full-time pastor at St. John the Baptist Church of Milwaukee. In 1967, upon instruction of the Primate, Bishop Torkom Mnoogian, he served as pastor at the St. James Armenian Church of Richmond, VA. As of 1989, Fr. Barsamian has served as the associate pastor at St. James Armenian Church of Watertown, MA.

Fr. Barsamian is married to Varteni Mikirditsian, and they are blessed with three children, Loosaper Anjel, Steven Asadour, and Raphael Shnork.

Very Rev. Fr. Oshagan Gulgulian, 1991-93

Very Rev. Fr. Oshagan Gulgulian was born in Beirut, Lebanon, on June 18, 1960 (baptismal name Kevork Artine). He received his early education at Vahan Tekeyan in Beirut, and at the Theological Seminary of the Great House of Cilicia. Later, he continued his education at the Theological Seminary at Holy Etchmiadzin, graduating in 1986. From June 1986 through April 1987, he served at the Catholicossate as a secretary.

On February 22, 1987, he was ordained as a celibate priest in Etchmiadzin by Archbishop Vazken Keshishian, Primate of the Canadian Diocese and was renamed Father Oshagan. From 1987-1988, Father Oshagan served as a parish priest in Vancouver, British Columbia. During that period, he received the rank of Vartabed in the Monastery of Holy Etchmiadzin, after presenting his thesis on “The Catholicate of Aghtamar.”

In 1989, he continued his education in Geneva, Switzerland, and at Columbia University in New York City. On January 1, 1990, he was assigned as the pastor of St. James Armenian Church of Richmond, VA, where he further continued his education at the Union Theological Seminary and Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

From early 1993 through March 1994, he was assigned as the Canon Sacristan of St. Vartan Cathedral, in New York City. In mid-1994, he assumed the pastorship of the St. John the Baptist Armenian Church of Miami, FL. He also served as the manager of the Armenian Philanthropic Academy and pastor of the Armenian churches of India.

Fr. Oshagan is now the pastor of Sts. Sahag and Mesrob Armenian Church of Wynnewood, PA.

Very Rev. Fr. Nareg Berberian, 1994-2000

Very Rev. Fr. Nareg Berberian was born in Beirut, Lebanon, on October 28, 1967. He studied at the Seminary of Holy Etchmiadzin from 1981-1988, with the last year spent as the secretary to Catholicos Vasken I. Fr. Nareg was ordained a deacon in 1986 in Etchmiadzin and graduated from the seminary in 1987.

In January 1988, Fr. Nareg began his studies at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York in conjunction with St. Nersess Armenian Seminary. He received a Master of Divinity degree on May 17, 1991. At the same time, he took private piano lessons at Concordia College in New York. While serving as an acting grand sacristan at St. Vartan Cathedral in New York City in 1991, Fr. Nareg earned a second master's degree in sacred theology from the General Theological Seminary in New York, with a focus on biblical studies.

On July 26, 1992, Fr. Nareg was ordained as a celibate priest at St. Vartan Cathedral by Archbishop Khajag Barsamian.

In 1992, Fr. Nareg was appointed as the assistant pastor at St. Kevork Armenian Church in Houston, TX. In 1994, Fr. Nareg was appointed as the pastor at St. James Church in Richmond, VA. The same year, Fr. Nareg was elevated to the rank of Vartabed by Archbishop Barsamian.

While in Virginia, Fr. Nareg furthered his studies at the Union Theological Seminary and in May 1998 received a Doctorate degree in Ministry. He focused on the role and the mission of the Armenian priesthood in the United States.

In 2000, he was chosen by Archbishop Barsamian to serve as the pastor of St. George Church in Hartford, CT, where he served until 2002, when he became pastor of St. David Armenian Church of Boca Raton, FL.

Rev. Fr. Hovsep Karapetyan, 2000-2007

Rev. Fr. Hovsep Karapetyan was born on August 2, 1972, in Etchmiadzin, Armenia (baptismal name Tigran). After graduating from high school, he attended the the Gevorkyan Theological Seminary at Holy Etchmiadzin from 1989 to 1991. He attended the Seminary at the Jerusalem Patriarchate from 1991 to 1996.

In 1992, Fr. Hovsep was ordained as a deacon by Archbishop Torkom Monoogian. In 1997, he was admitted to the St. Nersess and St. Vladimir seminaries in New York, from which he graduated in May 2000. In June of that year, he was assigned to be the deacon-in-charge of St. James Church of Richmond, VA. On February 22, 2004, Fr. Hovsep was ordained as a priest in Richmond, VA, by the Primate, Archbishop Khajag Barsamian. He has served as visiting pastor of the Armenian Church of Virginia's Tidewater region.

Fr. Karapetyan is currently the pastor of St. Mary Armenian Church of Washington, D.C.

Rev. Fr. Mesrob Hovsepyan, 2008-2014

Rev. Fr. Mesrob (former Deacon Vahe) Hovsepyan was born in Yerevan, Armenia in 1976. He is a graduate of both Vazkenian and Kevorkian Theological Seminaries (1993-1999). His thesis theme was “Martyrology of Saint Vahan of Gokhtn”.

On May 23, 1999 he was ordained as Deacon at the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin by His Eminence Archbishop Voskan Kalpakian.

Upon his graduation, Fr. Mesrob was appointed to work at the editorial office of “Echmiadzin” official monthly as a secretary. Meanwhile, he pursued classes in management and completed the “Management Skills for Seminarians” course organized by the American University of Armenia.

He served in the Armed Forces of Armenia as a Chaplain from 2001 to 2003. In 2004, by the invitation of Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, he came to the United States to further his education. After improving his English language skills at North Park University, Chicago, he was enrolled in various courses at St. Nersess Armenian, St. Vladimir’s Russian Orthodox and General Theological Seminaries. In the meantime, he was working with the Brooklyn Mission Parish teaching religion in the Sunday school.

In the summer of 2006 he completed a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education. Meanwhile he was appointed to St. Gregory the Enlightener church in White Plains, NY to do his pastoral internship.

From the fall of 2006 to the winter of 2007 he pursued his Master’s Program in Pastoral Studies at Fordham University in New York majoring in Pastoral Studies.

Fr. Mesrob was ordained to the holy order of priesthood on January 19-20, 2008, by Archbishop Khajag Barsamian at St. James Armenian Church of Richmond, VA and has served as the pastor of St. James until October of 2014. Fr. Hovsepyan is currently the pastor of St. Gregory the Enlightener Armenian Church of White Plains, NY.

Fr. Mesrob is happily married to Yn. Ruzanna Karapetyan and blessed with two children, Nareh and Sevak.

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