Very Rev. Fr. Vazken Karayan
Holy Cross Armenian Church
Very Rev. Fr. Vazken Karayan was born in Istanbul, Turkey. He studied at the Seminary of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, graduating in 1982. It was in Jerusalem that Fr. Karayan was ordained a Vartabed by Archbishop Karekin Kazanjian.
Following his ordination, Fr. Vazken was appointed the dean of the seminary of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem by the then-Patriarch, Archbishop Yeghishe Derderian.
When Fr. Vazken came to serve the Armenian communities of the United States, he enrolled at the General Theological Seminary in New York City, where he earned a Master of Divinity degree.
He has completed programs in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at the Eger Lutheran Nursing Home on Staten Island, NY, and in advanced pastoral education as assistant chaplain at the New York Hospital and at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Medical Center.
Fr. Vazken has served the Diocese in varying capacities, most notably as visiting pastor of the St. Stephanos Church of Elberon, NJ. He worked as a research fellow in the Diocese's Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center, and also traveled extensively throughout the Diocese to celebrate the Divine Liturgy and perform the holy offices.
In July 1991, Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese, appointed Fr. Vazken pastor of the Church of the Holy Martyrs in Bayside, NY. It was a community he had served previously as a visiting pastor. From March through September 1993, he served as pastor of the St. John Church in Southfield, MI.
Fr. Vazken began his tenure as pastor of the Holy Cross Church in Union City, NJ, in November 1993, where he continues to serve today. There he established an ACYOA Juniors chapter, re-initiated the Holy Cross Sunday School, and has taught regularly in the parish Armenian school. The parish building has also been enhanced.
In addition to his pastoral duties in Union City, Fr. Vazken has occasionally represented the Primate and the Diocese in ecumenical and other activities in the region.