For the second time this summer, a new priest has been welcomed into the ranks of the Armenian clergy, as Diocesan Primate Bishop Daniel Findikyan performed the sacrament of holy orders on the former Deacon Arman Galstyan.
The ordination service took place at the St. George Church of Harford, CT, during a special Divine Liturgy on Saturday, July 27. It was preceded by a Service of Calling on Friday evening, July 26.
Bishop Daniel gave the newly ordained priest the name “Voski,” after an ancient saint who holds a special significance for the Primate.
In his sermon at the ordination badarak, Bishop Daniel related the story of St. Voski: a diplomatic visitor to the kingdom of Armenia during the Apostolic Age, who met Christ’s apostle St. Thaddeus and became a convert to Christianity. Voski was the earliest priest of the Armenians to be remembered by name, and zealously evangelized the countryside prior to his martyrdom.
The Primate urged listeners to revive the passionate faith exhibited by St. Voski, whose name in Armenian means “gold.” “Our genuine faith is more precious than gold,” he said. “And today we have a new priest who is more precious than gold, and I have given him the name Voski.”
Click here to watch Bishop Daniel’s sermon.
Taking the Pastoral Staff
The new Rev. Fr. Voski Galstyan will formally take up duties as pastor of the St. George Church, where he has been serving as Deacon-in-Charge for the past several months. His tenure will begin after he undergoes the traditional 40-day period of seclusion for new clergy.
During the ordination ceremonies, the Rev. Fr. Gomidas Zohrabian stood as the sponsoring priest. Fr. Gomidas was Fr. Voski’s predecessor as pastor in Hartford, and currently leads the St. David Church in Boca Raton, FL.
Mr. and Mrs. Sarkis and Ruth Bedevian (from the St. Leon Church of Fair Lawn, NJ) were the godparents of the new priest.
The Hartford parishioners as well as clergy and faithful from the region gathered for the services and the celebratory banquet honoring Fr. Voski’s consecration.
A Lifelong Calling
Dn. Arman Galstyan was born in Yerevan, Armenia. He began his altar service as a teenager, and shortly thereafter enrolled at the Gevorkian Seminary of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. Freshly out of the seminary he worked at Yerevan’s Gandzasar Theological Center translating writings by Anania Narekatsi from classical to modern Armenian.
In 1997, at the invitation of then-Diocesan Primate Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, he moved to the U.S. to continue his education at Concordia College and St. Vladimir’s Seminary, and was ordained as a deacon in 2003. During the intervening time he served in St. Vartan Cathedral in New York, and also worked in the Diocesan Complex in the Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center and the Fund for Armenian Relief.
For a decade, he pursued a business career in Canada. But as Bishop Daniel affirmed in his ordination sermon, the former Dn. Arman felt his calling so strongly that he returned to St. Nersess Seminary in 2016 to complete his studies for the priesthood. After graduating in 2018 he served as a pastoral intern under the supervision of the Rev. Fr. Diran Bohajian at the St. Leon Church in Fair Lawn, NJ.
His ordination is the culmination of a lifelong calling to serve Christ, his church, and the Armenian people. Fr. Voski and his wife Yeretzgin Margarita have three children: Alexander, Emma, and Michael.
We pray that the Lord will bless this new laborer in the vineyard and strengthen his ministry.
Above: Diocesan Primate Bishop Daniel blesses the newly anointed Fr. Voski Galstyan. (Photo by Mark Harutunian)