The Very Rev. Fr. Oshagan Gulgulian
The Very Rev. Fr. Oshagan Gulgulian performed his first Divine Liturgy as our Pastor on Sunday, June 28, 2009. Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Fr. Gulgulian received his early education at the Vahan Tekeyan School in Beirut. He was a student at the Theological Seminary of the Great House of Cilicia and later continued his education at the Theological Seminary of Holy Etchmiadzin, graduating in 1986. From June 1986 through April 1987, Fr. Gulgulian served as the Catholicosate’s secretary. Fr. Gulgulian was ordained into the Holy Order of the Priesthood in Etchmiadzin by Archbishop Vazken Keshishian, then Primate of the Canadian Diocese. During 1987-1988, he served as a parish priest in Vancouver, British Columbia.
In 1988, Fr. Gulgulian received the rank of Vartabed in the Monastery of Oshagan after presenting his thesis on The Catholicate of Aghtamar. In 1989, Fr. Gulgulian continued his education in Geneva, Switzerland and at Columbia University in New York City. During 1990-1993, Fr. Gulgulian served the parish of St. James Armenian Church in Richmond, Virginia, as its Pastor. He continued his education at the Union Theological Seminary and Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. During his tenure in Richmond, Fr. Gulgulian reorganized the local ACYOA and the Women’s Guild and also became an active member of the Choir Association of the Armenian Church of America and its Central Council. During his pastorship in Richmond, Fr. Gulgulian served on several local religious and ecumenical committees and worked with Medical Outreach, an organization which successfully brought children from Armenia to the United States for open-heart surgery.
In 1993, Fr. Gulgulian was appointed as Canon Sacrist of St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral in New York City. In 1994, he was appointed Pastor of St. John the Baptist Armenian Church in Miami, Florida. He helped to revitalize the older, established parish, which was renting facilities for its church services until it found a permanent building. During this time, he embarked on a new venture aimed at building a new church in South Florida, actively involved in both fund raising efforts and also in purchasing land in a nearby county and collaborating with an architect to construct a church building and cultural center. The result of all that effort is the present parish of St. Mary Armenian Church in Hollywood, Florida.
In 1997, Fr. Gulgulian served as Pastor of Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Church in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. Aggressively involved in many community activities, he served as a member and officer of the ecumenical circle in that community and was influential in organizing and directing major fundraising events for major church renovations.
In 2001, Fr. Gulgulian was appointed to the 1700th Anniversary Committee in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin by His Holiness, Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians. In 2002, Fr. Gulgulian assisted the Development Office at the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern) in New York City and served as a visiting pastor throughout the Diocese. In April of 2003, he received a Master of Divinity Degree in Pastoral Ministry and a Religious Teaching Certificate from the Trinity Theological Seminary in Newburgh, Indiana. Later that year, Fr. Gulgulian was assigned as the Pastor of Holy Nazareth Armenian Church in Calcutta, India and in 2005, he assumed the responsibility of Manager of the Armenian Philanthropic Academy, in addition to his appointment as Pastor of all the Armenian Churches in India. He stayed in this position until May 2009, when he returned to the Eastern Diocese and was assigned as our new Pastor.