Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern)
630 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Contact: Karine Abalyan
Tel: (212) 686-0710; Fax: (212) 779-3558
E-mail: [email protected]

September 1, 2009



On Sunday, August 23, Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of
the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), presided over the celebration of
the 25th anniversary of the Rev. Fr. Tateos Abdalian's ordination to the

The event took place at Holy Trinity Armenian Church in Cambridge, Mass.,
where Fr. Abdalian was ordained in June 1984.

Fr. Abdalian celebrated the Divine Liturgy and was presented with a
Pontifical Encyclical congratulating him on his 25 years of service to the
Armenian Church.

"The feeling of love that Der Tateos brings to his ministry has grown
stronger with each passing year," the Primate said. "We have all felt, and
benefited from, his love. And today, as we observe this milestone in his
ministry, it is our chance to let Der Hayr know just how much we love him,
in return."

Following services, 150 people gathered for a reception in Fr. Abdalian's

"It was wonderful and humbling," said Fr. Abdalian. "It was a family affair
and that's what I wanted."

The celebration was organized by a committee from the Holy Trinity parish
led by its pastor, the Rev. Fr. Vasken Kouzouian. Also serving on the
committee were members of the St. James parish of Watertown-where Fr.
Abdalian was born and raised.

"The beautiful part was that the funds that were collected [during the
event] will benefit young people at the mission parishes, to send them on
scholarships to St. Nersess summer conferences. Two historical parishes came
together, and then the mission parishes directly benefited from it," Fr.
Kouzouian said.

He added that the day was preceded by acolyte ordinations held on Saturday
evening. "It was an overall beautiful picture," Fr. Kouzouian said.

Fr. Abdalian enrolled at St. Nersess and St. Vladimir's seminaries in 1977
after working in the bank sector and as the administrative director of St.
James Armenian Church of Watertown, Mass. He continued his studies at the
Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and at the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Seminary
in Boston, Mass.

He says that serving the Armenian people and helping them become closer to
God is what drew him to the priesthood.

"My reflections on the past have always centered on the people I had been
entrusted to minister, for as a priest, ministry is nothing unless it is
connected with people," Fr. Abdalian said.

When Fr. Abdalian was ordained in 1984, Fr. Kouzouian's father, the Rev. Fr.
Mampre Kouzouian, served as the sponsor.

Fr. Abdalian says his ordination is particularly memorable because his
father, who was under hospice care at the time, was able to witness this
milestone in his son's life.

"When I ask myself, 'What inspired Der Tateos to dedicate his life to the
ministry of God's flock?'" Archbishop Barsamian said, "the answer is clear:
It is a feeling of love, which issues from a pure heart, a good conscience,
and deep faith in the presence of Christ in his life."

Following his ordination, Fr. Abdalian was assigned to serve as the pastor
of the St. John the Baptist Church in Greenfield, Wis., where he worked with
the community to build a new sanctuary for the church.

After the 1988 earthquake in Armenia, Fr. Abdalian worked with the office of
the Wisconsin National Guard to organize relief efforts.

Fr. Abdalian has also served as pastor of the St. Peter Armenian Church in
Watervliet, N.Y., and the St. George Armenian Church in Hartford, Conn.

While in Hartford, Fr. Abdalian was an on-call chaplain at Hartford Hospital
and a member of the hospital's Pastor Services Advisory Committee. He was
also police chaplain with the Hartford Police Department and a member of the
department's Crisis Intervention Team.

His other involvement with the police force includes the establishment of
the police chaplain program at the Cheltenham Police Department, as well as
membership of their SWAT Intervention Team and the International Conference
of Police Chaplains.

In 1999, Fr. Abdalian became pastor of the Sts. Sahag and Mesrob Armenian
Church in Providence, R.I., and later served as pastor at the Holy Trinity
Armenian Church in Cheltenham, Pa.

Currently, Fr. Abdalian is the director of Mission Parishes at the Eastern
Diocese, where he oversees about 15 mission parish communities. He visits
each parish on a regular basis to celebrate the Divine Liturgy and organizes
programming for parishioners. He also produces a weekly electronic
publication for mission parishes titled "e-Tsayn."

In addition, Fr. Abdalian is involved in ecumenical activities. In 2006, he
spoke at a gathering in Washington, D.C., organized to raise awareness of
the genocide in Darfur. He is a member of the Oriental Orthodox/Roman
Catholic Dialogue and the Standing Committee of Oriental Orthodox Churches
in America.

Fr. Abdalian said his family has been very supportive during his years of
service to the Armenian Church. He is married to Yeretzgin Margaret
Meranian. They have a son, David, and a daughter, Alicia, and two

Reflecting on his ministry, Fr. Abdalian said, "I could ask: was I able to
bring someone closer to God; strengthen a faith; have one see the value and
joy of life measured by a word of thanks, a smile of appreciation, a humble
gesture? This is what a pastor has to do, and I certainly hope that in some
measure I've been able to do this."


Photos attached.

Photo 1: The Rev. Fr. Vasken Kouzouian reads the Pontifical Encyclical
presented to the Rev. Fr. Tateos Abdalian by the Primate, on the occasion of
the 25th anniversary of Fr. Abdalian's ordination.

Photo 2: Archbishop Khajag Barsamian presents the Rev. Fr. Tateos Abdalian
with the Pontifical Encyclical, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of
Fr. Abdalian's ordination.