His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia, received Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, pastor of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, in an audience at Vehapar’s summer residence at the monastery of the Holy Virgin in Bikfaya, Lebanon, on Thursday, July 29. On behalf of St. Illuminator’s and with the blessing of Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy, Der Mesrob presented Vehapar with a $10,000 donation to the Bird’s Nest Armenian Orphanage and a $5,000 donation to the Zarehian Armenian Theological Seminary of the Catholicosate of Cilicia, in loving memory of Archpriest Moushegh Der Kaloustian. The generous gifts were made possible by Der Moushegh’s family and the support of parishioners.
Der Moushegh was a beloved figure of the Eastern Prelacy who served as pastor of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral for 30 years until his retirement in 1996, after which he continued to serve the Eastern Prelacy as an outreach priest including an additional seven years of service as pastor of St. Illuminator’s. Previously, Der Moushegh served as pastor of St. Hagop Armenian Church in Racine, Wisconsin, and Holy Trinity Armenian Church in Worcester, Massachusetts. He began his service to the Prelacy in 1959.
Der Moushegh was a personality. Ever gregarious and witty, he was a magnet who attracted people, young and old, Armenian and non-Armenian alike. The neighborhood children along the Cathedral’s 27th Street affectionately called him “Father Mike.” Der Moushegh passed away on May 24, 2019.
Der Mesrob also presented Vehapar with a donation of $10,000, on behalf of St. Illuminator’s and with the blessing of Anoushavan Srpazan, to aid needy families in Lebanon.