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Honoring Fr. Karekin Kasparian on his 50th Anniversary of Ordination

Honoring Fr. Karekin Kasparian on his 50th Anniversary of Ordination

Last month, family, friends, and clergy gathered at St. Nersess Seminary to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Fr. Karekin Kasparian’s ordination to the priesthood. Bishop Mesrop Parsamyan, Primate of the Eastern Diocese, presided.

In addition to his ministry, Fr. Karekin has given over 60 years of service to the seminary. Over these many decades, he has served as assistant dean, dean, summer conference founder and director, faculty member, and as a board member since the seminary’s very beginning.

“Der Karekin’s role in the establishment and development of St. Nersess Seminary is unparalleled. On a personal level, he had a great influence on my vocational development. If it was not for him and my pastor of blessed memory, Fr. Haik Donikian, I probably would not be a priest today. I am grateful to them both,” remarked Fr. Mardiros Chevian, dean.

“May 18, the anniversary of my birth, wedding and ordination, was made even more meaningful by the wonderful celebration at St. Nersess!” shared Der Karekin. “I was honored by the presence of Bishop Mesrop, who presided over the service, and I was humbled by the blessings from Vehapar and his decision to bestow on me the Saint Ghevont Yerets medal. I am thankful to God for my long, healthy years of service to St. Gregory Armenian Church, St Nersess Seminary, and our Diocese.”

Der Karekin received a Letter of Pontifical Blessing and Appreciation from His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians (see below). This new medal to honor priests, in the name of Saint Ghevont Yerets, was granted to Fr. Karekin. He is the first priest to receive it in the United States.

“We also recognize the unwavering support of Yeretzgin Dawn, whose partnership and love have been instrumental in Der Hayr’s journey. Together with their daughters, Meline and Lori, the Kasparian family exemplifies unity and strength in their service to the Lord,” shared Mesrop Srpazan.

A festive dinner followed the ceremony where guests had an opportunity to congratulate Der Karekin and speak on his behalf.

In lieu of gifts on this special occasion, the “Fr. Karekin Kasparian Summer Programs Scholarship Fund” has been established in his honor. Donations are still being accepted and can be made online. Please add the Fr. Karekin Kasparian Summer Program Scholarship Fund in the memo.


No. 1244                                                                                                   20 March, 2024

A LETTER OF PONTIFICAL BLESSING & APPRECIATION

TO OUR BELOVED SON & DEAR CHILD OF THE

MOTHER SEE OF HOLY ETCHMIADZIN

The Reverend Fr. Karekin Archpriest Kasparian

White Plains, New York, U.S.A.

Dear Der Hayr:

From the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin we convey our Pontifical blessing and good wishes to you, and congratulate you on the 50th anniversary of your priestly ordination.

We have known you personally and are aware of your fruitful service in the vineyard of our Apostolic Holy Church. Today we are happy to acknowledge that for half a century, with singular devotion, you have continuously put forth your talents for the glory of our church and for the edification of spiritual life among our faithful people in the United States.

Your accomplishments are laudable, particularly in the life of Westchester’s St. Gregory the Enlightener Church. Your early labors brought together faithful Armenians from the region to rally around forming the St. James Parish. Through your good service, words and deeds, you earned the love, respect, and trust of the faithful under your spiritual care, strengthening their patriotic sentiments and creating excitement and interest in church-centered activities. You thereby built a strong foundation for the community’s future building and splendor.

At last, having achieved the dream of building a new sanctuary, you accepted the responsible calling of pastor, establishing a Parish Council, Youth and Women’s unions, and other community organizations under the auspices of the church.

As Catholicos, we are deeply grateful that in concert with your pastoral labors you have always devoted your leadership and support to St. Nersess Seminary, by contributing to its mission of preparing a new generation of clergy.

With great appreciation for your good work for the edification of our church, and responding with love to the request of His Grace Bishop Mesrop Parsamyan, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, with this Pontifical Encyclical we hereby bestow upon you our Apostolic Holy Church’s lofty honor in the name of

SAINT GHEVONT YERETS

From the depth of our heart, we extend our good wishes to you, Der Hayr. We pray that the Almighty Lord with His daily blessing will support and strengthen you, along with the faithful members of your family, granting all of you health, long life, joy, and every good thing.

Be alive in the Lord, strengthened by the Holy Spirit

and always blessed among us. Amen.

With blessings,

Karekin II

Catholicos of All Armenians

This Encyclical was issued on the 20th day of March

In the Year of Our Lord 2024, and the Armenian Calendrical Year 1473

At the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.

Number 1244