Our Pastors

Der Kapriel Nazarian

Der Kapriel Nazarian was born to loving parents Charles and Gloria Nazarian in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1959. The oldest of three children, he has a sister, Christine Nazarian White, and a brother, Michael Nazarian. His maternal great-grandmother emigrated from Tadem, Kharpet, to the United States in 1905 as a young survivor of the massacres of 1895, and his paternal grandmother emigrated from Baybert/Papert, Erzurum, to the United States in 1929, after surviving the 1915 massacres and living in Marseille, France. Both women had a significant impact on Der Kapriel’s life.

At age 4, he started attending Sunday school at Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church in Providence and at a young age he became an active member of the AYF Juniors. As an adult he has served on the Board of Trustees, chaired property and fundraising committees and was deeply involved with the Men’s Club of the church. He realized his calling, however, not in the midst of all this involvement but in the time spent in the Bible study group led by Der Gomidas. After confiding in and being guided by Der Gomidas, he shared his calling with His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan. Kindly and gently, Archbishop Oshagan began to guide him on his journey to the priesthood.

Der Kapriel received a Master of Arts degree in Theology from Providence College in 2010. In the early spring of 2011, he and Der Mikael Der Khosrofian met for the first time and began their course of almost three years of part-time studies in America. In January, 2014, they traveled to the Holy See of Cilicia in Antelias, Lebanon, and completed three months of full time instruction. Upon returning to the United States, they continued their training on a full-time basis.

After seven years of teaching Sunday School, Der Kapriel began to serve on the altar of Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church during Great Lent in 2011. On May 5, 2013, he was ordained as an acolyte and sub-deacon by His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan. Then, on July 27, 2014, he was ordained as a deacon by His Grace Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian. On October 4, 2014, he was ordained into the holy priesthood by His Eminence, Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan.

In 1981, he married Debra Ann Bellucci, who has loving supported his calling and is an active part of the church community. In 1990, they were blessed with the birth of their son, Robert. Now a graduate student at Princeton University, he attended Sunday school from a young age and currently serves on the altar as a sub-deacon.


Retired Archpriest Reverend Father Gomidas Baghsarian

Rev. Fr. Gomidas Baghsarian was born in Jerusalem on July 29, 1943, to Vahan and Armenouhi Baghsarian. In accordance with his mother’s wishes, who passed away three months after Der Hayr was born, he was dedicated to the Lord and baptized at Soorp Hagop Church in the Armenian Convent and was given the Baptismal name of Hagop Apraham Baghsarian. Fr. Gomidas attended Tarkmanchatz Varjaran at the Armenian Convent from 1947 to January 1957. He emigrated to the United States in January 1957 and resided in Newark New Jersey, where he
continued his education. He later received his Master of Arts Degree in Theology from Providence College. Der Hayr married our Yeretzgeen Joanna Gallas on April 27, 1968, and settled in Bergen County, New Jersey with his wife and their children Athena and Armen.

Der Hayr was ordained to The Holy Order of The Diaconate at Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church in Ridgefield, New Jersey by His Eminence Archbishop Mesrob Ashjian on December 24, 1989. He attended the Datev Institute from 1987 to 1990 and was in the first graduating class of the Datev Institute on July 8, 1990. He later became one of the Institute’s instructors for several years.Fr. Gomidas received his calling to the Priesthood at the age of 38. However, he pondered, prayed, and studied the scriptures for seven more years before sharing with His Eminence Archbishop Mesrob Ashjian about his calling. The Civil War in Lebanon prevented Der Hayr from attending the Seminary in Antelias, Lebanon. Therefore, he prepared for the Priesthood at the Prelacy in New York and studied under His Grace Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian from September 1988 until August 1990. He was ordained to the Holy Order of The Priesthood on September 9, 1990, by His Eminence Archbishop Mesrob Ashjian. After completing his forty-day fasting at the Prelacy, he was appointed as Pastor of St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church in North Andover on October, 1990 where he served for nine years until September 25,
1999. Fr. Gomidas was elected to the Religious Council of the Prelacy in May 1997. He served two years as Secretary of the Council and four years as Advisor. Der Hayr received his Encyclical for the privilege to wear a Lanchakhatch (Pectoral Cross) on October 31, 1995, and the Encyclical for the privilege to wear a Dzghgapilon (Floral Cape) on July 2005. Fr. Gomidas was appointed as the Pastor of Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church in Providence, Rhode Island on October 3, 1999, by His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan

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