NORTH ANDOVER, Mass.—There were several highlights from the 46th anniversary commemoration of St. Gregory Church of North Andover on Jan. 31 .
The day opened with the ordination of four young boys as acolytes. Performing the rituals of the church bestowed by Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan were Richard Shahtanian, Robert Mahlebjian, James Kochakian, and Alexander Movsessian.
The four ordinates were given gifts and books by Der Stephan Baljian and commended for their diligence over the past six months. Witnessing the grand event were members of the Sundayand Armenian Schools, where the boys are enrolled.
A warm smile reflected upon the prelate as he told the crowd that this— introducing children to the inner workings of the church—was his favorite part of the job.
“May you all become role models in encouraging other youth to play an active role,” he said.
Following lunch in Jaffarian Hall, four other momentous occasions took place.
Chake Boloian was presented a Distinguished Service Award for 46 years of diligent membership to the church choir. Boloian was joined by members of her family after being introduced by son John, a trustee.
A bequest of $85,000 was announced in memory of the late Harry and Rose Narzakian and their parents. They were vital cogs to both the church and community over their lifetime. Other generous gifts were also made to the ARS, ARF, and AYF Camp Haiastan. The sum joins another bequest made by Cora Der Koorkanian in memory of her late husband, George.
Attorney Gregory Arabian’s gift of $67,000 enabled the church to construct a long-awaited lift for the handicapped. That was done in memory of his parents, Sirarpi and Haroutiune. Arabian is well known to military circles as a consummate historian and document specialist who has researched and published more than 200 accounts of Armenian-American men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces from Massachusetts.
Also recognized at the candle-lighting ceremony was trustee Joseph Almasian for his invaluable service to the church.
Chairwoman Christine Kourkounian reviewed the positive developments of the church, including a sizable rise in membership. Der Stephan applauded the growth and accomplishments of his congregation, predicting even better years ahead.
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