Featured, Parish News, Prelacy News


Sunday, June 9, marked a historic day in the life of St. Stephen’s Church of Watertown, Massachusetts. After 38 prolific years of service to this parish and community, Archpriest Fr. Antranig Baljian formally passed the baton to Very Rev. Fr. Hrant Tahanian as Pastor. 

During the Divine Liturgy, the official announcement of the new pastor was made by Very Rev. Father Ardag Arabian, Chairman of the Religious Council of the Eastern Prelacy and Pastor of Holy Trinity Church of Worcester, Massachusetts. Fr. Ardag represented His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate, who is recovering following surgery.  

In heartfelt remarks, Fr. Ardag thanked Archpriest Fr. Antranig for his decades-long and exemplary service to St. Stephen’s Church and his parish. He then welcomed Very Rev. Hrant to our church and Prelacy family, wishing him much success in his role as he brings new perspectives and ideas to St. Stephen’s Church, which continues its mission of service and outreach together with spiritual enrichment and community building. 

During his sermon, Very Rev. Fr. Hrant Tahanian thanked His Holiness, the Prelate, and the Religious and Executive Councils of the Prelacy, which had given him the opportunity to become pastor of St. Stephen’s. He acknowledged and recognized the praiseful service of Archpriest Fr. Antranig Baljian, the Board of Trustees, auxiliary bodies, and sister organizations, hoping that they will continue together the mission of the church. Following Catholicos Aram I’s proclamation of 2024 as the Year of Human Resources, he encouraged all to commit themselves with renewed dedication to supporting our efforts for a strong local community and one that strengthens the homeland. He suggested that the renewed vision of the local community be guided by three principles: Unity, Prioritization, and Support of one another. In the spirit of the message embodied in Apostol Peter’s first epistle, Very Rev. Fr. Hrant underscored the imperative of love in the service of community life.

Generations of family members in attendance, clergy from the surrounding areas attended the luncheon that followed, offering greetings and warm wishes to both Fr. Antranig and Fr. Hrant.