Rev. Fr. Arsen Barsamian
Rev. Fr. Arsen Barsamian was born as Steven Barsamian in South Milwaukee, Wis. He was awarded a music scholarship and studied at the University of Wisconsin. He studied music theory and composition for three years but then decided to follow his calling to the priesthood in 1953.
From 1953-1955, he studied at the Theological Seminary of the Catholicate of Cilicia in Antelias, Lebanon, and from 1955-1956, at the Seminary of the St. James Armenian Patriarchate in Jerusalem. Upon his return to the United States, he studied at the following schools from 1956-1959: Kendall College, Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, and Garrett Biblical Seminary. During this period, he assisted at the St. James Armenian Church of Evanston, IL, and St. Gregory Armenian Church of Chicago, IL.
On March 13, 1960, Fr. Arsen was ordained to the holy priesthood by the Primate, Archbishop Sion Manoogian, in St Mesrob Armenian Church of Racine, Wis. From 1960-1964, he served as a visiting priest to the following parishes: St. Shoghagat Armenian Church, East St. Louis, IL; St. Gregory the Illuminator Church, Chicago, IL; and St. John the Baptist Church, Milwaukee, WI.
In 1974, he was assigned as the first full-time pastor at St. John the Baptist Church of Milwaukee, WI. In 1967, upon instruction of the Primate, Bishop Torkom Manoogian, he served as pastor at the St. James Armenian Church of Richmond, VA.
Since 1989, Fr. Barsamian has served as the associate pastor at St. James Armenian Church of Watertown, MA.
Fr. Barsamian is married to the late Vartenie Mqrditichian, and they have been blessed with three children, Loosaper Anjel, Steven Asadour, and Raphael Shnork.