On Sunday, December 18, Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), visited St. James Church of Watertown, MA, as the parish observed its 85th anniversary and held its annual Name Day celebration. The church is named for St. James, the Bishop of Nisibis, whose feast day fell on December 17 this year.
The Rev. Fr. Arakel Aljalian, parish pastor, celebrated the Divine Liturgy; Archbishop Barsamian delivered the sermon.
At a banquet following services, longtime parishioners Krikor and Nancy Kassabian were presented with the “Parishioners of the Year” award. Former Sunday School superintendent Marsha Alabachian received the parish’s “Service Award” for her decades of service to the Sunday School. The Kassabians and Ms. Alabachian also received the Diocese’s “St. Vartan Award.”
Krikor and Nancy met while working at the offices of the Baikar/Armenian Mirror-Spectator, and have been active at St. James Church, serving on various committees and taking part in the “Mr. & Mrs.” group.
Mrs. Kassabian noted that her father was present at the consecration of the St. James Church 85 years ago. She has served as Sunday School superintendent and held other leadership positions in the parish. She currently chairs both the local Women’s Guild and the Women’s Guild Central Council.
Also recognized last Sunday for their service to the St. James parish were outgoing parish council members Scott Kapilian and Garo Yavshayan.
The banquet program included remarks by friends and family members, a presentation from the Women’s Guild, and a video prepared by the Kassabians’ children. Gail Boroyan, parish council chair, served as master of ceremonies. The Rev. Fr. Arsen Barsamian also took part in the day’s events.