Archbishop Anoushavan and the Religious and Lay Council have learned with great sorrow that Very Rev. Fr. Vahan Berberian, an elder member of the Congregation of the Great House of Cilicia , passed away on Saturday, February 26, 2022.
Fr. Vahan, whose lay name was Hovsep, was born in Derik (Syria) in 1945. He received his elemental education in the local Azadutyun Armenian School. In 1960, he was admitted to the Seminary of the Holy See of Cilicia. He was ordained deacon in 1964 and celibate priest on June 4, 1967, taking the name of Fr. Vahan. On Feb. 14, 1971, Bishop Karekin Sarkissian granted him the staff of Vartabed and on May 13, 1983, he was elevated to the rank of Dzayrakooyn Vartabed by His Holiness Catholicos Karekin II.
Fr. Vahan served in various capacities in the monastery of Antelias as well as teacher at the Seminary and the Catholicos’ crosier-bearer.
In 1973 he was appointed Pastor of the Armenian community of Caracas, Venezuela, a mission he carried out for 25 years. He continued his pastoral service at the Eastern Prelacy in 1998-2000. In 2000-2006, he was the Pastor of St. Gregory the Illuminator Church in Vancouver, Canada.
By directive of His Holiness Catholicos Aram I, in 2006 he was sent to Aleppo, Syria, as an assistant to the Prelate. He returned to the monnastery of Antelias in 2017.
The final consecration (extreme unction) took place during Divine Liturgy on Tuesday, March 1, at St. Gregory the Illuminator’s Cathedral in Antelias, presided by His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan. Upon the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, with the fathers of the Brotherhood as pallbearers, his body was carried to the Zarehian Memorial Mausoleum where it was laid to rest following the blessing of the land and the interment ceremony.
May God grant him eternal rest.