Avaks attend baptism

Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern)
630 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Contact: Jake Goshert, Coordinator of Information Services
Tel: (212) 686-0710 Ext. 60; Fax: (212) 779-3558
E-mail: [email protected]

May 20, 2004


There were a few unusual aspects to the baptism at St. Vartan Cathedral
on May 13, 2004. First off, it wasn’t a child being baptized, it was a
24-year-old named Sergey Grigoryan. Secondly, since he is a pastry chef
who works on the weekends, he had to get baptized on a Thursday. And
that meant that along with his family, the St. Vartan Cathedral Avaks —
who normally meet on Thursdays — were in attendance for the

Grigoryan was born in Russia and came to America in his teens. His
mother is Jewish, his father is Armenian. He decided to receive baptism
after years of reflection and more recently discussions with Fr.
Mardiros Chevian, dean of St. Vartan Cathedral.

“It was just my free will,” said an emotional Grigoryan, who took on the
additional Armenian name of Sarkis. “It feels good; very good.”

After the baptism, Grigoryan and his family were congratulated by the
Avak members who attended. With hugs and kisses, they welcomed their
newest grandson into the church.

“This is a great chance to join two generations of Armenian faithful,”
Fr. Chevian said. “Through this unusual Thursday baptism, we were able
to welcome a new member to our church family, and the Avaks were witness
to the fact that our faith does live on.”

— 5/20/04

E-mail photos available on request. Photos also viewable on the Eastern
Diocese’s website,

PHOTO CAPTION (1): Members of the St. Vartan Cathedral Avaks group
attended the baptism of Sergey Grigoryan on Thursday, May 13, 2004, at
the cathedral in New York City.

PHOTO CAPTION (2): An immigrant from Russia, Sergey “Sarkis” Grigoryan
decided to be baptized at St. Vartan Cathedral on Thursday, May 13,
2004, in front of his family and the members of the Avaks, his newly
adopted church family.

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