On My Grandfather’s Shoulders

Tsoleen Sarian and Rev. Manasseh Shnorhokian, March 1981

The following was submitted in response to a call for photographs to be featured online with Stepan Piligian’s column “The Answer is in the Mirror: Parents and Grandparents.”

This is me with my grandfather, Reverend Manasseh Shnorhokian, a Christian gentleman with a deep love for God and the Armenian people.

He founded the children’s magazine Badenagan Artsakank and served as editor of Chanaser while he taught history and later became principal of Beirut’s Armenian Evangelical Central High School.

My grandparents immigrated to the US in 1980 so that he could serve as pastor of The Church of the Martyrs in Worcester and then as interim Minister at the Evangelical Church of Montreal, Canada, and of Calvary Armenian Congregational Church of San Francisco. He retired from pastoral work in 1990 but continued to work on a part-time basis at the AMAA Library and Research Center publishing pamphlets and booklets on topics dealing with Armenian Evangelical history and Armenian national issues.

He was so proud of me for studying history and being active in many Armenian organizations.

Tsoleen Sarian

Tsoleen Sarian

Tsoleen Sarian lives and works in Armenia. Previous leadership roles include ANCA Eastern Region, Homenetmen Boston, AGBU YP Boston, Armenian Memorial Church and the Friends of Armenian Heritage Park. She holds a master’s degree in nonprofit management from Northeastern University.


  1. So wonderful that you had this time with him. My maternal grandfather new your grandfather. My grandparents left for the motherland and my mom never saw them again. Such a wonderful tribute to our past. Tsoleen, your grandfather would be so proud.

  2. What a memorable picture with your grandfather, Tsoleen. He was a teacher of mine in the Armenian Evangelical College in Beirut. For a few generations of us growing up in Lebanon he remains unforgettable so does the Badanegan ArtsaKank he edited.

  3. I missed Rev. Manasse, happy to see this photo, he was my mother’s first cousin ( Alice Shnorhokian) .He was a great man. Are you Arpy Sarian ‘s daughter I love her very much? Tsoleen you are so lovely.

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