Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), traveled to St. David Church in Boca Raton, FL, on January 13-15, to meet with parishioners and church organizations, and to honor the 10th ordination anniversary of pastor Rev. Fr. Paren Galstyan.
The Primate dined with young adults and families while listening to their thoughts on parish life. He also met with the St. David ACYOA and blessed its newly elected officers.
Meeting wigth the St. David Women’s Guild, he discussed establishing a new ministry for the women in the parish. The Primate also accompanied Fr. Galstyan on visits to three homebound parishioners, and had dinner with the parish council.
Arpi Nakashian of the Eastern Diocese’s Creative Ministries department participated in the parish organization meetings.
During the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, Archbishop Barsamian ordained five altar servers: Grigor Galstyan, Aren Galstyan, and Hamlet Panosyan as acolytes; Varujan Avedian and Garen Kalender as sub-deacons.
On Fr. Galstyan’s priestly ordination anniversary, the Primate presented Fr. Galstyan with a special lanchakhatch (cross necklace), in recognition of the pastor’s 10th ordination anniversary. A banquet to honor the milestone was held following services.
Banquet chair Dr. Rosemary Mencia thanked Fr. Galstyan for his leadership of the St. David Church. Soloist Maria Vasilevskaya offered a musical interlude with her performance of “Gomidas.” Marta Batmasian was mistress of ceremonies for the event.
Clergy present included Rev. Fr. Nersess Jebejian, Rev. Fr. Vartan Joulfayan, and Rev. Fr. Mampre Kouzouian.
Fr. Galstyan thanked the crowd for sharing the celebration of his anniversary. Archbishop Barsamian praised Fr. Galstyan efforts in the parish, and prayed for him to attain his spiritual goals. “Since arriving in our Diocese, Der Paren has been a champion of guiding our people, both young and old, to a deeper appreciation of their faith” said the Primate.
Fr. Galstyan was born in Vedi, in the region of Ararat, Armenia. He studied at the seminaries in Sevan (1996-1997) and Gyumri (1997-2000). Through 2006, he was a student at the Gevorkian Seminary of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, being ordained to the diaconate by Archbishop Nerses Bozabalyan.
On December 3, 2006, he was ordained into the holy order of priesthood by Bishop Anooshavan Jamgochyan. He thereafter worked at the Chancellery of the Mother See.
In July 2007, with the blessing of His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, he was assigned to serve in the Eastern Diocese. He served as interim pastor and pastor of St. George Church of Waukegan, IL, and as pastor of Holy Resurrection Church of South Milwaukee, WI, prior to assuming the pastorship at St. David Church in 2014. He is married to Yn. Lusine Simonyan, and they have two sons, Grigor and Aren.