2017 Pastor’s Report- Fr. Shnork Souin

It gives me great joy to welcome you for this year‘s annual assembly. I can’t tell you how good it feels to be out of the hospital and back with my parish family. Because I have spent the past five months in a hospital I have not had an opportunity to prepare a report as I normally would for an annual assembly. This year I am requesting a bye and thankful for your indulgence in this matter. It has been a tumultuous year for me personally as I had major surgery and spent almost 5 months between hospitals and rehabilitation. It is so good to be home and to have returned to church on the Sunday of Good Living Poon Paregentan.

I’m getting stronger every day and I look forward to resuming to my full schedule of pastoral activities.

While in the hospital, except for while I was in an induced coma for over one month, I maintained regular contact with Fran in the office and with Joyce. I also communicated with parish council members and also made many calls to most of our elderly parishioners. I called newlyweds and those who have been given the great gift of parenthood over the past year or two. In addition to this I also communicated with many parishioners either through phone calls for social ministry. I was able to update our parishioners through Facebook, in the church Lighthouse bulletin when there were important milestones that were being met in my recovery. For those who are not aware, I have been battling with a genetic disease called cardiomyopathy for the past nine years. This is a progressive disease and typically leads to end stage heart failure. I reached that point in around July and in August and was hospitalized for three days then finally on the feast of the Holy Cross on September 17 was hospitalized where they eventually removed 50 pounds of retained water then after being transferred to Tufts University hospital the advanced heart failure team installed two ventricular assist devices on my heart. The surgeries took quite a toll on me and on my family. They had quite a scare and lived through a difficult time full of uncertainty. he likely reason for the challenges was the deteriorated condition of my body and organs.

I am now feeling much better than I have over the past four years and I’m on a heart transplant list. My conditioning is getting better every day after a long bed stay. My kidneys and liver have miraculously fully recovered, and I am hopeful and prayerful that when the call comes as a gift from Almighty God, I will be physically prepared to undergo the next surgery and continue a new life with a new heart to the glory of God.

I want to thank Joyce Avedisian for going out of her way not only as Parish Council Chairman filling in the void that Was left by my absence and also being an incredible support in the office and administration. In addition to her many acts of selfless sacrifice she has also been an incredible friend and support to me and my family. The parish council has worked tirelessly and all members have contributed in immeasurable ways in making the year all that it was.

It was a good year in that we had a very successful bazaar, Golf Outing and picnic, three of our greatest fundraisers. We also had, thanks to the leadership of Marc Janigian and a dedicated crew of hard workers, an outstanding banner year in hall rentals and Memorial meals. We can’t say enough in thanking Marc Janigian for the tireless an outstanding job that he does on behalf of our church in securing rentals and overseeing the Memorial meals at funerals. He also chaired the very successful Bazaar as well as the golf outing. Laurie Onanian Once again did a terrific job in creating a very successful Bazaar booklet this year.

We were able to purchase the property across the street from the church adjacent our parking lot which was razed and gives us full ownership of the properties on Jefferson Street. I want to thank Joyce and the parish council for seeing this through.

YOUTH

The ACYOA had a good year and held a couple of very successful events and sent Co-chairpersons Christina Parnagian and Greta Janigian to the leadership conference. We also had a number of members attend St. Nersess summer conferences deacon’s training as well as going to serve as counselors at St. Vartan Camp. We had a number of young campers attending St. Vartan Camp and we hope that these numbers continue to grow.

Unfortunately due to my continuing illness and the cancellation of four of our campers I had to cancel our summer camp at Husenig Grove. I am hopeful to resume it next summer by God’s will.

I’m so happy to announce that three new people have taken leadership for the ACYOA juniors. They are Sonya Taraian Linda Salas and Ellen Ferrara. Steve Megurdichian continues to add incredible support in making this one of the most important valuable ministries of our church.

The Armenian school has continued to grow and has been putting on wonderful functions and activities for the whole parish and have become involved in the bazaar and various other church events. This has been a wonderful boon to our parish and it’s great to have an injection of new life into our youth ministry.

Our Nazeli dance group and junior choir had a good year and we even traveled to the nursing home in Jamaica Plains where a wonderful performance was put on for the residents under the direction of Maestro Konstantin and Janna Petrossian and with the direction of Narine Lemme and Narine Amroyan. The junior choir saying during the Badarak on a couple of occasions throughout the year also.

In April I participated in the annual youth day where I did a class for a group of the older children.

EXTRA PAROCHIAL ACTIVITIES

I visited a number of Orthodox parishes in Rhode Island Throughout the year. I attended most Rhode Island orthodox clergy fellowship meetings and hosted the annual retreat at HuSenik Grove.

I was invited to preach at St. Mary Church in put Tuckett Rhode Island during one of their inter Orthodox Lenten services.

I attended the Regional clergy Lenten retreat in Hartford, the annual clergy conference as well as, the diocesan assembly in Florida, Hosted by St. Hagop church.

I was able to attend a number of functions hosted by the nights of Vartan including their men’s pizza nights at the evangelical church a number of services and events at Saints Vartanants church as well as the annual Husenig Grove picnic.

SCHEDULE

Events for 2017

January

5 Armenian Christmas Eve

6 Armenian Christmas

8 Women’s Guild Luncheon after church

15 Hantess for Armenian School after church

February

12 Soup & Salad Luncheon Women’s Guild

19 Sunday School Luncheon in Egavian

26 Parish Assembly

March

4 Concert

10 Lenten Service & Fellowship

13 Focus Group

15 Bible Study

25 Focus Group

26 Soup & Salad Luncheon

31 Lenten Service & Fellowship

April

5 Bible Study

7 Lenten Service & Fellowship

9 Palm Sunday Dinner

10 Mary House Meal Kitchen

13 Holy Thursday Services

14 Holy Friday Services

15 Easter Eve Sub Shop

16 Easter Sunday

18 Youth Day

21 Movie Night

30 Wedding

May

1 Diocesan Assembly

7 Sunday School closing, Movie

12 Sports Banquet

14 Women’s Guild Cake Sale Mother’s Day

June

3 CC Talent Show

7 Knight of Vartan Graduates Night

11 Armenian School Hantess

14 Movie – Maestro

22 Clergy Retreat at Husenig

25 Blood Drive & Breakfast

26 Golf Tournament & Mary House Meal Kitchen

30 Concert Maestro

August

19 Picnic

20 Assembly (written in but don’t know what it is)

23 Camp (don’t know if it was cancelled)

September

5 Armenian School Open House

10 Sunday School Opening Day & Picnic

13 Movie – Maestro

October

1 Srpazan Visit & Dinner

6 Women’s Guild Dinner Dance

11 Movie – Maestro

22 Spiritual Music Festival

29 Seminarians vosot and Flu Shots

November

4 & 5 Bazaar

8 Knight of the Year Dinner

15 Movie cultural Comm.

19 Parish Council Fellowship

20 Mary House Meal Kitchen

25 ACYOA Dance

December

9 Christmas Concert

17 Armenian School Christmas Party

24 Christmas Eve Day Morning & Evening Services

SACRAMENTS

Weddings – 4

Funerals – 20

Baptisms – 15

I was pleased to be able to attend a number of our soup kitchens at the Mary house under the direction of Joyce Avedisian. I’m so thankful to her and the many volunteers both old and young to come on a regular basis to help at this most important outreach ministry.

LITURGICAL AND EDUCATIONAL

in 2017 we held our regular Lenten services but contacted them on Friday evenings and follow them by a potluck Lenten dinner. This was a very well attended program and we look forward to re-initiating it for next year. I conducted Bible studies for Lent Wednesday nights and hope to initiate The program next year.

My hope and prayer would be that greater numbers of people would make the time to study God’s word. This is a great time fellowship and meditation to get closer to God and to better understand his will for us. Bible studies in the not too distant future.

SUNDAY SCHOOL

Our Sunday school continue to grow in numbers and they have increased their social ministry along with enhancing the educational. I was pleased that the Sunday school join forces with the Armenian school and making the Christmas party in 2017 a great success. We hope that this tradition continues and grows in the future. Sunday school is capably led by the CEAB.

Armenian school conducted Saturday mornings and Tuesday evenings continue to grow in 2017 and it’s such a joy to see so many new children being incorporated into life of our church. Armen school conducted a number of fundraising programs which were very successful along with their annual contest and their outings. The Armenian school is led by Shushan Hagopian Hagopian, Lilit Amroyan and Mariam Saripekian.

CULTURAL COMMITTEE

This year we hosted a film festival which has continued into 2018. This has been a successful new endeavor attended by many people.

Hosted Orthodox Church Music Festival

Annual schedule of events

Directed by Maestro Petrossian

CEAB

Directed by Martha Jamgochian

The committee has identified two people to join the committee this year.

ONCD

ONCD continues to meet regularly and has had many workshops where we continue to utilize the input of parishioners from various demographics in order to improve our loving relationships in our parish.

SENIORS

The seniors continued to meet on Monday mornings. I always enjoy my frequent visits with the seniors and I am deeply saddened when our numbers dwindle and I’m always prayerful that new people will come and join our group. I pray that God bless them and keep them healthy and that our precious ministry continues to thrive under the direction of our chairperson Rose Masoian.

ORDINATIONS

Our altar servers have worked extremely hard and I’ve participated in most liturgical services throughout the year. Young man who are studying attended St. Nersess summer conferences and came to many classes and even med not only with me but with V. Rev. Father Odabashian and pass the requirements for ordination to the sub diaconate.

Imagine my disappointment in September when I was unable to be present at the visit of our primate Archbishop Barsamian where he ordained young acolytes as well as two young men to the sub diaconate. Fortunately I was able to watch the proceedings through Internet technology and witness to the ordinations especially the granting of stoles to Sdns. Aren Antranig And Anthony Maldonado. The occasion also saw Dn. Hagop Ghajanian receive the prestigious St.Vartan aWard by the primate. I want to thank Davit Gevorkian and Charles Kalagian for providing the artistic portion of the program

I want to thank Joyce Avedisian for putting the program together and Zita Butler for overseeing the wonderful meal and preparations for the event. I want to especially thank my good friend and the Vicar of our Diocese V. Rev.Simeon Odabashian for being a who pinch-hit in my absence and oversaw all the liturgical arrangements for the day. Fr. Odabashian has been a wonderful friend and went out of his way to help oversee the liturgical needs of the church during my absence. In addition to making himself available to celebrate the divine liturgy, he was able to arrange for visits from the following clergy who I personally thank, V. Rev. Fr’s. Aren Jebejian, AnaniaDzaturyan, and Rev. Fr’s. Mampre Kouzouian, and Dajad Davitian. We were also blessed by a visit by father Mardiros Chevian and

PUBLICATIONS

While there is a great effort to publish our auto’s newsletter on a quarterly basis there’s been some talk in making improvements. There is some discussion started in the parish council to prepare the Paros in color and more professional print production.

We are so pleased that by the efforts especially of Mher Saribekyan we have relaunched a church Website. In addition to enhancements to our communications, I have started a personal Blog where I am able to publish articles thoughts and meditations for not only our procedures but for the education of all.

I want to thank you all for your many kind letters cards calls and visits throughout my illness. I am also overwhelmed by the outpouring of financial support that many if you have given in this difficult time of need for us. Please accept my thanks and thanks for my family for your contributions towards the Father Souin Fund. Your love your support and especially your prayers were so meaningful and provide a great strength to me in these most difficult times. I pray that God return the favor to each and everyone of you and may you all be blessed.

In closing, I want to personally thank Len Arzoomanian for his tireless efforts in compiling and having published the Paros, with the editorial support of David Griego, throughout the year as well as the great efforts he puts in during the preparation of this annual report.

I want to offer special prayer of blessing to Sdn.. Tim Aznavourian who is the top student at Saint Vladimir’s Seminary and a seminarian at St. Nersess seminary. It is so good to have him visit us on various occasions throughout the year. We are hopeful and expectant to see him complete his studies and enter by God’s call into the holy priesthood of the Armenian Church.

I congratulate our parish council, our nominating committee as well as our auditing and budget committees for an outstanding job in putting this year’s assembly together.

We are very saddened to lose an institution of our parish and one very beloved christian or who will never be forgotten and will always remain in our prayers. Shake Arslanian passed away after an illness and her loss will be felt for many years into the future. May God illuminate her soul.

I want to thank Fran for her tireless support and efforts in keeping the office and it ministration in order throughout the year as usual. I want to specially thank God for a very loving and supportive family my patient and always optimistic wife Julie and my four wonderful children Nicholas Susan Conner and Elizabeth. I am especially thankful for you our parishioners and members who make every sacrifice to keep our Church a Holy and faithful Family where together as one we offer worship, glory and honor to Almighty God, the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit now and always not to the age of ages, Amen

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Published by

Fr. Shnork Souin

Priest of the Armenian Orthodox Church

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