Rev. Fr. Samuel Rith-Najarian
St. Sarkis Armenian Church
Rev. Fr. Samuel Rith-Najarian was born in Philadelphia, PA, and baptized as Benjamin. He is the son of Drs. Janet and Stephen Rith-Najarian. He grew up in Bemidji, MN.
While an undergraduate student at St. John's University in Collegeville, MN, tFr. Samuel was inspired by the university's monastic setting and the Benedictine monks of St. John's Abbey. In 2002, when a new Armenian sanctuary was consecrated in St. Paul, MN, the Rith-Najarian family began attending services at St. Sahag Church.
Following his graduation from St. John's University in May 2005, where he studied the natural sciences and theology, Fr. Samuel continued his studies at St. Nersess Armenian Seminary. He also earned a Master of divinity degree from St. John's University School of Theology.
Upon the completion of his studies in May 2010, he married Danielle DerAsadourian. Together the couple traveled to the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, where Fr. Samuel continued to prepare for the priesthood and Danielle taught at the Sts. Tarkmanchatz Armenian School.
Benjamin has also spent time abroad in Armenia and Damascus, Syria, and he has interned at St. Leon Church of Fair Lawn, NJ, under the direction of the Rev. Fr. Diran Bohajian. He was ordained to the diaconate at St. Leon Church in September 2011. In August 2013, he was assigned as deacon-in-charge at St. Sarkis Church in Charlotte, N.C.
On December 6 and 7, 2013, Fr. Samuel was ordained to the holy priesthood of the Armenian Church by Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern Diocese, at St. Sarkis Church.