Rev. Fr. Arsen Kassabian Appointed Pastor of St. Garabed Church of Las Vegas


H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, and the Religious and Executive Councils are pleased to announce that Rev. Fr. Arsen Kassabian has been appointed Pastor of St. Garabed Church of Las Vegas.  Fr. Arsen recenly arrived from Lebanon and has already begun his service at the parish alongside current pastor Archpriest Fr. Avedis Torossian.

On Friday, November 22nd, the Prelate visited Las Vegas where he conducted evening service at St. Garabed Church with the participation of both pastors.  In his address to the faithful, the Prelate reflected on the Parable of the Rich Fool from Luke 12:13, which is the reading for the first Sunday of Advent, stating that it is better for man to be rich spiritually than materially, and also about the season of Advent as a period of spiritual reflection and preparation.  Speaking on Thanksgiving, His Eminence stressed that we must offer thanks and gratitude to God for His blessings not only on this one day, but every day of the year.  The Prelate also called on the faithful to bring their participation to the Armenia Fund Telethon on Thanksgiving Day to help our brethren in Armenia, Artsakh, and Syria.  He then officially welcomed Fr. Arsen and his son Raffi, and conveyed his well wishes to Fr. Avedis, who has served the parish for four years.

A luncheon in honor of the Prelate and welcoming Fr. Arsen followed at “Koujakian” Hall of St. Garabed Cultural Center, hosted by the Parish Council and Ladies Auxiliary.  Remarks were delivered by Parish Council member Mr. Adroushan Armenian and Ladies Auxiliary Chair Mrs. Lila Darakjian.

In his message, the Prelate again congratulated Fr. Arsen and wished him success in his new assignment, and called on the community to rally behind their two pastors and work together in love and unity, combining their individual efforts for the collective good.

His Eminence then invited Fr. Arsen to address his new flock.  Fr. Arsen first expressed his thanks and gratitude to the Prelate for the opportunity to serve this parish and promised to give his utmost dedication to St. Garabed Church and community.  Fr. Avedis welcomed the new pastor, wished him success and expressed support to his mission.

The program concluded with the benediction by the Prelate.

On Sunday, November 24, Fr. Arsen celebrated his first Divine Liturgy St. Garabed Church and delivered his first sermon, the theme of which was the Parable of the Prodigal Son.  Speaking on his appointment as pastor of the community, Fr. Arsen greeted the faithful and invited them to work together in unison for the advancement of the parish.

Fr. Arsen Kassabian was born in Lebanon.  He received his primary education at the “Birds’ Nest” in Jbeil, Lebanon.  In 1982 he enrolled at the Catholicosate of Cilicia Seminary, from where he graduated in 1989.  On October 31, 1999 he was ordained into the priesthood and renamed Rev. Fr. Arsen by Archbishop Zareh Aznavorian of blessed memory at St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral in Antelias, Lebanon. He served at St. Nshan Church in Beirut until his move to the Eastern United States in 2001.  From 2001 to 2006 he served as pastor first at Holy Cross Church in Troy, New York, and then at St. Hagop Church in Racine, Wisconsin.  In 2006 he relocated back to Lebanon where he served as Pastor of Forty Martyrs Church in Bourj Hammoud until his appointment in Las Vegas. He is married to Jamile Shahin and they have three sons, Raffi, Vicken, and Sevag, all three of whom are acolytes.

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