Clergy attend funeral for brother in Christ


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 21, 2004


On Saturday, May 8, 2004, Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the
Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), delivered the
eulogy during the funeral of V. Rev. Fr. Varoujan Kabaradjian, the
long-time pastor at the St. James Church of Evanston, IL, who passed
away on April 30, 2004, after a prolonged illness.

During the service the Primate also performed the last anointing on Fr.
Kabaradjian, who was born in a suburb of Istanbul and came to Evanston
after studying in the seminary of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

Dozens of clergymen and parishioners from the Chicagoland area attended
funeral services, which were sung by a choir made up of singers from the
local parishes and led by Maestro Khoren Mekanejian, coordinator of
music ministry for the Diocese. His Eminence Archbishop Yeghishe
Gizirian, former Pontifical Legate and Primate of the Armenian Church of
Great Britain, celebrated the Divine Liturgy and presided over the wake
service the night before, on Friday evening, May 7, 2004.

“It was about a year ago when we celebrated Fr. Varoujan’s long and
illustrious ministry in the vineyard of our Lord,” the Primate said.
“At that time we did not expect that he would leave us so soon. Fr.
Varoujan, through his ministry, listened and followed the commandment of
our Lord Jesus Christ, ‘Go forth and make disciples of all nations.'”

Before coming to America in 1958, Fr. Kabaradjian held various positions
at the St. James Monastery in Jerusalem. From 1958 until his retirement
in 2003, he served the Armenian community of Evanston. In addition to
his duties as pastor of the St. James Parish, he served as a visiting
pastor to a number of churches in the Chicago and Southern Wisconsin

“Over the past five decades, countless individuals have been touched by
his wisdom and kindness,” the Primate said during his eulogy. “And
these people will always reserve a special place in their heart for
their beloved teacher, pastor, and friend. His pastoral care
invigorated the life of our Diocese and his example inspired others —
both clergy and laymen — to answer the call of discipleship.”

On January 1, 1998, the Evanston Police Department assigned Fr.
Kabaradjian as one of its four police chaplains. On March 26, 2001, the
mayor and police chief of Evanston honored Fr. Varoujan in the Evanston
City Hall for services rendered to the city. The city of Evanston first
honored him on July 26, 1983. From 1973 to 1977, he was the only
Armenian clergyman in Illinois.

Evanston Mayor Lorraine Morton and Chief of Police Frank Kaminski spoke
during the services for Fr. Kabaradjian, which were organized by Fr.
Nareg Keutelian, pastor of the St. John the Baptist Church of
Greenfield, WI.

“Fr. Varoujan was equally admired and respected by the authorities and
fellow citizens of Evanston, whom he served in so many capacities,” the
Primate said. “The awards and honors bestowed on Fr. Varoujan by the
city of Evanston are a credit to the esteem they held for him.

“Fr. Varoujan took the gifts he was given by the Almighty and returned
them to his church, his people, his community, and, ultimately, to God,”
the Primate added.

— 5/21/03

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

PHOTO CAPTION (1): The late Fr. Varoujan Kabaradjian, longtime pastor
of the St. James Church of Evanston, IL, was laid to rest on Saturday,
May 8, 2004.

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