Young acolytes assume responsibility at oldest church

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 24, 2004


By Jake Goshert

Though tasked with tending to the oldest Armenian Church community in
America, Fr. Aved Terzian’s flock is a young, vital one.

“I have two of our Sunday School graduates waiting for me now,” Fr.
Terzian said the week before their graduation on Sunday, May 23, 2004.
“I’ve committed spending an hour with each one of them in private,
discussing where they are spiritually and what they’re going to be doing
in the future to serve the church.”

Already, many young people in the Church of Our Saviour in Worcester,
MA, are stepping up to answer Fr. Terzian’s call for service. On
Saturday, May 15, 2004, Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the
Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), ordained 13 young

They were: Michael Arakelian, Adam Bullock, Brody Gardner, Armen
Hagopian, Michael Migridichian, Michael Hadchickian, Robert Sivazlian,
Hovhannes Balian, Zaven Donoian, Brendon Haddon, Michael Kaishian, A.J.
Pottle, and Seth Yaylaian. (Another future acolyte, Nikolas Ovesian,
broke his leg earlier that day and was unable to take part in the

“It is so good to see so many eager young people, who want to take on a
position of responsibility in their church,” the Primate said.
“Already, at an early age, they are following the footsteps of the role
models around them, the men and women who give of their time and use
their unique skills to keep this old parish vibrant.”


Two of the men who have served as role models for the young acolytes
also continued on their journey of faith. During his two day trip, on
Sunday, May 16, the Primate ordained Henry Hagopian as a sub-deacon, and
Vasken Chagaian as a deacon.

“I am very fortunate to have six full deacons — a group of dedicated
men, who have family obligations and yet are in church every Sunday,”
Fr. Terzian said. “All these deacons are blessed with humility and
respect one another. They work so nicely with each other and with the
younger acolytes, who they help train.”

For Chagaian, who was born in Lebanon and attended the seminary of the
Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, serving the church is a joyful duty.

“You’re in touch with your heritage and the Armenian community,” he
said. “And you find time to do it. Even though I run my own business,
I make the time because it is my honor and privilege to serve on the
altar and to honor my roots.”

— 5/24/04

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

PHOTO CAPTION (1): Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese
of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), joined by Fr. Aved Terzian,
pastor of the Church of Our Saviour in Worcester, MA, ordains Vasken
Chagaian as a deacon.

PHOTO CAPTION (2): During a visit to Worcester, MA, on May 15 and 16,
2004, the Primate ordained 14 acolytes, one sub-deacon, and a deacon.

PHOTO CAPTION (3): On May 15, 2004, 14 young members of the Church of
Our Saviour in Worcester, MA, took on the responsibility of being
acolytes by being ordained.

PHOTO CAPTION (4): Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern
Diocese, ordains 14 young acolytes 14 acolytes at the Church of Our
Savior in Worcester, MA, on May 15, 2004.

# # #