Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), visited the Church of the Holy Resurrection on Sunday, September 20, as the parish honored its pastor the Rev. Fr. Kapriel Mouradjian on the 10th anniversary of his ordination to the holy priesthood, and marked the 35th anniversary of the consecration of its current sanctuary in New Britain.
Fr. Mouradjian celebrated the Divine Liturgy. Also taking part in services was the Rev. Fr. Karekin Kasparian, pastor emeritus of St. Gregory the Enlightener Church of White Plains, NY, who served as the sponsoring priest at Fr. Mouradjian’s ordination in 2005.
In a sermon on the power of miracles, Archbishop Barsamian spoke about the survival of the Armenian people in the aftermath of the Armenian Genocide. He went on to discuss the significance of the canonization of the Holy Martyrs of 1915, which took place at Holy Etchmiadzin earlier this year.
“Think about how the stories of the martyrs—involving personal sacrifice, so that others might live and remember their example—has born so much fruit, generated so much inspiration, among our churches,” the Primate said. “The martyrs are witnesses to an enduring faith in Christ: their example can inspire us in our own times of trouble.”
He remarked that the establishment of Holy Resurrection Church is a testament to the enduring legacy of our forefathers. “For 35 years, you have carried forward that vision here in this sanctuary in New Britain,” he said. “And it is my prayer that you will continue to pass down our Armenian faith and heritage to new generations of faithful.”
Archbishop Barsamian congratulated Fr. Mouradjian on his milestone and presented him with a pectoral cross.
At a banquet following services, musical selections were performed by David and Matthew Marottolo. Nicholas Kallajian sang the “Star Spangled Banner,” and Adrienne Damian and Yn. Patricia Buttero led the faithful in the Armenian national anthem. Harry Mazadoorian served as master of ceremonies.
Remarks were made by parish council chair Gary Hovhanessian, Harry Hougas, John Maljanian, Yn. Patricia Buttero, and Guy Simonian, who shared their memories of the efforts to build the current sanctuary more than 35 years ago.
On behalf of the altar servers, sub-deacon Matthew Cannata spoke about the contributions of Fr. Mouradjian. Mr. Mazadoorian read a proclamation from New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart issued on the occasion of Fr. Mouradjian’s ordination anniversary.
New Britain Community Mental Health Affiliates’ President Raymond Gorman spoke about Fr. Mouradjian’s service to the greater New Britain community.
Fr. Karekin Kasparian shared his memories of mentoring Fr. Mouradjian at St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, and later when he was appointed to serve as a deacon in White Plains.
Fr. Mouradjian said he was inspired to become a priest by his parish priest in Providence, the late Rev. Fr. Haik Donikian.
“Growing up in Providence, church was our life, and he was like a father figure to me,” Fr. Mouradjian said, “And I saw firsthand how to balance pastoral life and family life.”
Later in life, he said he received encouragement from the Very Rev. Fr. Vazken Karayan. After a 15-year career in investment banking, he decided to enroll at St. Nersess Seminary to prepare for the priesthood.
He served as a pastoral assistant at the Church of Our Saviour in Worcester, MA, and then as a deacon at the St. Gregory the Enlightener Church of White Plains, NY, under the supervision of Fr. Karekin Kasparian.
In 2003, he was appointed deacon-in-charge at the Church of the Holy Resurrection in New Britain. He was ordained to the holy priesthood on July 17, 2005.
“It has been rewarding to serve as a parish pastor,” Fr. Mouradjian said. “It’s an honor to preserve our centuries-old Armenian Church traditions: continuing the legacy of the clergy who came before me, and bringing those positive church experiences to a new generation of Armenian Church parishioners.”