St. Gregory Church in Indian Orchard celebrates 90th anniversary

A faithful crowd gathered to celebrate St. Gregory Church’s 90th anniversary

Saint Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church celebrated its 90th anniversary on Sunday, April 14 in Indian Orchard, Massachusetts. The event was a momentous occasion filled with reverence, gratitude and joy.

The day began with a special Badarak, presided over by His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America. His sermon emphasized the importance of maintaining an open conversation with God, touching the hearts of all in attendance. 

Master of ceremonies Stepan Piligian, a descendant of a founding member, guided the proceedings, ensuring a smooth and meaningful celebration. 

Members of the head table look on during Archpriest Fr. Antranig Baljian’s comments

Chairperson of the Board of Trustees Tanya Garibian delivered a warm welcome address, expressing gratitude to the community for its unwavering support throughout the years. During her speech, she also honored three individuals, Leo Vartanian, Harry Setian and Arax Charkoudian, for their lifelong dedication to the church. 

A highlight of the celebration was a touching video presentation showcasing historic pictures dating back 90 years. This presentation served as a reminder of the blessings and accomplishments of the founding members, further highlighting the significant role the church has played in the community over the past nine decades. It has been more than just a place of worship; it has been the center of community life, witnessing numerous wedding ceremonies, baptisms, Father’s Day picnics, church bazaars, Christmas parties and the nurturing of strong Christian values through its Sunday School program. 

Honoree Leo Vartanian seated beside his wife Elizabeth with Rita and Aram Fereshetian behind them

As part of the luncheon, guests received a commemorative booklet curated by Karoun Charkoudian. This booklet included congratulatory letters, recognized generous donors and presented an illustrated timeline of the church’s significant events throughout its history. 

The cutting of the anniversary cake by Arax Charkoudian, one of the oldest members of the church, and Tamar Sarkeesian, one of the youngest attendees, symbolized the connection between past and present generations, highlighting the church’s enduring legacy. 

Arax Charkoudian (l) is assisted in cutting the cake by young attendee Tamar Sarkeesian

The celebration was further enhanced by a lighthearted and humorous presentation from Dottie Bengoian Ouligian, bringing joy and laughter to all present. 

Guest speakers Eddie Garibian and Archpriest Fr. Antranig Baljian shared heartfelt speeches, reflecting on their experiences within the Saint Gregory community and the profound impact the church has had on their lives. Rev. Fr. Bedros Shetilian, the pastor, expressed gratitude to community members for their hard work and dedication, encouraging them to continue serving the church as a central part of their lives. 

Archbishop Tanielian also delivered a message of hope and congratulated the community on this significant milestone. 

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The entire day celebrated the rich history of the church and the enduring faith of the community. 

For more information, photos and videos of the event, individuals are encouraged to visit the Saint Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church’s website at

Guest Contributor

Guest Contributor

Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles or press releases written and submitted by members of the community.

1 Comment

  1. The Orchard rules !
    Congratulations to Der Hayr, Ed, Tanya, Leo, Harry, Arax and the Orchard family.
    Another well done by Steve.

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