Dear Parishioners and Friends,
A little less than a year ago, by the grace of God we celebrated together the tenth anniversary of my ordination to the Holy Priesthood of the Armenian Apostolic Church, which took place on February 16 & 17, 2008 at St. Stephen's Armenian Apostolic Church in Watertown, Mass.
Our Prelate at the time, His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan (who consecrated me as a priest), joined us on January 28 of last year to lead the dual celebration of our church's 48th anniversary and the anniversary of my ordination that I mentioned above.
The touching tributes and outpouring of grace on that date were very meaningful to me and my family and they will not soon be forgotten. Furthermore, the generous gift of a beautiful new set of liturgical vestments, which the beloved faithful of this parish had made especially for me, was both surprising and moving. The Board of Trustees, Ladies' Guild, Men's Club and some anonymous donors must be made mention of for providing the funds to create this sacred piece of embroidered artwork.
The main parts of the vestment were made masterfully by our very own talented parishioner Mrs. Seta Ohannessian, the entire set was recently completed with the crown and collar made by Archpriest Fr. Vazken Bekiarian. Now that the entire set has been completed, blessed and worn to celebrate the Holy Divine Liturgy, it is my desire to let you know that I was truly touched to have been the recipient of such kind-heartedness and generosity, in this gracious outpouring of your appreciation for my ten years of service as a priest and five years as the pastor of Saint Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church of Merrimack Valley.
Therefore, I wanted to take this opportunity to express my supreme gratitude not only for this gift, but for the all the ways, both great and small, that you have helped me and my family during my tenure as your pastor. Yeretsgin Alice, Nishan & Hovhaness join me in offering our sincerest thanks to you, our parishioners, for this special occasion and for this special gift. We look forward to continuing our service to God and to our beloved Merrimack Valley Armenian community for many years to come. May the grace of God the Father, the love of our Lord Jesus Christ and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Fr. Stephan Baljian, Pastor