Rev. Fr. Untzag Nalbandian
Armenian Church of the Holy Ascension
Fr. Untzag Nalbandian was born on October 26, 1954, in Beirut, Lebanon, and baptized with the name Vatche. His parents were survivors of the 1915 Armenian Genocide. His father, Hovhanness, was from Kharpert and was the cousin of Dr. Pergrouhi Svajian. His mother, Siranoush (Najarian), was from Dikranagerd.
Fr. Untzag studied at the Armenian General Benevolent Union's Melkonian Educational Institute in Nicosia, Cyprus, from 1967 to 1971. He continued his studies at the Seminary of Holy Etchmiadzin from 1971 to 1974. Upon his graduation he served one year in the Monastery and took Armenological courses at Yerevan State University (1974-1975). He was ordained a deacon in December 1972 in the Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin by Archbishop Housig Santourian.
On August 1, 1976, Fr. Untzag married Setta Demirjian in Beirut, Lebanon, and they moved to Paris, France, where he served as a deacon in the Armenian churches of Paris and its suburbs (1976-1978).
In April 1978, upon the invitation of Archbishop Torkom Manoogian, Fr. Untzag and his family moved to the United States, where he was assigned to St. Sarkis Church in Niagara Falls, NY, as deacon-in-charge. At the same time, he attended Niagara University, graduating in 1980 with a Masters degree in counseling. He was ordained a priest on September 24, 1978, at St. Sarkis Church by Archbishop Torkom Manoogian, then-Primate of the Diocese.
In 1980, Fr. Untzag was assigned to serve as pastor at St. John's Church in Greenfield, WI, where he stayed until January 1984, when he was assigned to the Church of the Holy Ascension in Trumbull, CT.
From 1991 to 1993, Fr. Untzag continued his education at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT, graduating with a Masters degree in religious studies.
Since June of 1999, he has served as the director of programs and ministries for Eastern Diocese, while continuing as pastor of the Church of the Holy Ascension.
Fr. Untzag and Yn. Setta are blessed with three children, Hovig, Maral, and Ani.