On the weekend of Aug 26 & 27, 2017, the St. Stepanos Armenian Church celebrated the 30th Anniversary of its consecration while also celebrating its 60th year as an organized parish of the Diocese. The festivities began on Saturday, at the Oyster Point Hotel in Red Bank, NJ, under the auspices of our Primate Archbishop Khajag Barsamian. Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan and Rev. Fr. Diran Bohajian, former pastor, accompanied Archbishop Barsamian to the banquet.
Special guests and dignitaries included Armenia’s Permanent Ambassador to the UN, his Excellency Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, US Congressman Frank Pallone, NJ State Senator Jennifer Beck, Monmouth County Freeholder Serena Dimaso, Esq, and Mayor of Long Branch Adam Schneider. Rev. Fr. Daniel Karadjian spoke of his duties as parish priest and expressed his appreciation to everyone who has made him and Yeretsgin part of this parish family.
Many proclamations were presented to the parish and the honoree of the evening, Mrs. Sirvart Hovnanian. Mrs. Hovnanian, who along with Mr. Kevork Hovnanian, planned and completely subsidized construction of the current edifice of this parish in 1986-1987. Archbishop Barsamian presented Mrs. Hovnanian with the St. Nerses Shnorhali Medal and encyclical from HH Karekin II of Echmiadzin. Armenian school students sang the American and Armenian national anthems and also performed an Armenian dance routine. A professionally made slideshow was shown to attendees, which described the origins, growth, and prosperity of this parish. A commemorative booklet memorializing the work and dedication of parishioners was distributed to attendees.
The weekend continued on Sunday with the celebration of Divine Liturgy by Archbishop Barsamian and an ordination to the Diaconate. A beloved servant of God, Sub Deacon Maurice Lahham was ordained after completing many years of tireless and dedicated service to this parish. Dn. Maurice has served this community in many capacities, including altar server, organist, and substitute choir master. A luncheon was held in Hovnanian Hall honoring the Anniversary of the parish and ordination of Dn. Maurice.