TRUMBULL, CT — The Feast of the Ascension (Hampartzoum) was commemorated on Thursday, May 16, with a special Badarak celebrated at the Armenian Church of the Holy Ascension in Trumbull, Connecticut, the only Diocesan Parish named for the Holy Ascension,

The Badarak celebrated by Fr. Mesrob Hovsepyan of St. Gregory the Enlightener of White Plains, NY, was presided by the new Primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church, the Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Vartabed Findikyan.

Hayr Soorp Findikyan expressed his happiness to be among brother clergy on such a holy occasion, as one of his first acts as Diocesan Primate. The day marked the accent of our Lord Jesus Christ to heaven on the 40th day after His resurrection.

Holy Ascension parish priest, Archpriest Fr. Untzag Nalbandian, hosted the occasion. Priests participating were: the Very Rev. Fr. Simeon Apegha Odabashian, Diocesan Vicar; the Very Rev. Fr. Mesrob Dz. Vartabed Parsamyan, Diocesan Ministries Director; Archpriest Fr. Karekin Kasparian, Pastor Emeritus, St. Gregory the Enlightener of White Plains; Fr. Diran Bohajian, St. Leon of Fair Lawn, NJ; Fr. Daniel Karadjian, St. Stepanos of Elberon, NJ; Fr. Gomidas Zohrabian, St. George of Hartford, CT; Fr. Kapriel Mouradjian, Holy Resurrection of New Britain, CT; Fr. Arakel Vardazarian, St. Mary of Livingston, NJ; Fr. Abraham Malkhasyan, Holy Martyrs of Bayside, NY; Deacon Thomas Dabakian, Holy Ascension of Trumbull, CT; and Deacon Arman Galstyan, Seminarian, St. Nersess.

Parish’s 90th Anniversary of Establishment
The Armenian Church of the Holy Ascension of Trumbull is the only Armenian Church in America consecrated in the name of our Lord’s Ascension. The parish has a rich history dating back to the naming of an interim Board of Trustees in 1928 and the purchase of the Methodist Church on Barnum Avenue in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

The church was consecrated in the name of Soorp Hampartzoum (Holy Ascension) by the new Primate Bishop Ghevont Tourian on Sunday, June 14, 1931, two weeks after his arrival to the U.S., and the assumption of his post. He was assisted by Abp. Tirayre Der Hovannesian, the former Primate; Fr. Hovsep Dz. Vrt. Garabedian and Fr. Untzag Kazanjian in the consecration service.

This year the parish also celebrates its 40th anniversary of the move to Trumbull, with purchase of the Berean Baptist Church on Huntington Turnpike in 1978. It celebrated its first Badarak on February 24, 1978. The consecration of the sanctuary by Abp. Torkom Manoogian was held on May 27, 1984, with the participation of Fr. Levon Arakelian and Fr. Untzag Nalbandian, the former and new parish priest, respectively.

Dedicated Service – 40th Anniversary of Ordination
Archpriest Fr. Untzag, ordained to the priesthood in 1978, is the eleventh priest serving Holy Ascension parish, assigned in January of 1984. During his tenure he has enhanced the sanctuary with the addition of side altars, a baptismal font,  commissioned the paintings of 20 religious icons and  replaced the Protestant style steeple with an Armenian motif belfry (zankagadoon). The Agahigian-Shirinian Hall and the Hairabedian-Mardigian Library and Conference Room were dedicated. The Church grounds were beautified with a Khachkar Monument, in memory of the Martyrs and Survivors of the 1915 Armenian Genocide, and an Armenian Alphabet Khachkar Monument. Der Hayr and Yeretzgin Setta have served the Holy Ascension parish and its parishioners with love and dedication for 34 years.
By Deacon Allan Yeghia Jendian

Photo Caption:
Seated, left to right, Archpriest Fr. Karekin Kasparian, Celebrant Fr. Mesrob Hovsepyan, Fr. Mesrob Dz. Vrt. Parsamyan, Primate Fr. Daniel Vrt. Findikian, Vicar Fr. Simeon Apegha Odabashian, and Host Archpriest Fr. Untzag Nalbandian.
Standing, left to right, Deacon Thomas Dabakian, Fr. Diran Bohajian, Fr. Kapriel Mouradjian, Fr. Daniel Karadjian, Fr. Arakel Vardazarian, Fr. Abraham Malkhasyan, Fr. Gomidas Zohrabian and Seminarian Deacon Arman Galstyan.

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