St. Thomas Armenian Church is proud to announce that Deacon Vicken Demirjian is this year’s recipient of the St. Thomas Award for faithful and devoted service to God and his church. This award is representative of his exemplary character and committment to the church and will be presented to him at the 51st Anniversary Palm Sunday Banquet on March 20, 2016.
An invaluable member of the church and community, Vicken has been serving on the altar for more than 25 years. However, his love and devotion of the Armenian Apostolic faith began long before those 25 years. His parents, Sirvart and Nerses Demirjian, have been examples of stewardship in the church from the earliest days of his childhood. Whether they are teaching, chairing events, shopping and preparing food, or serving on the Parish Council, we all know Mr. and Mrs. Demirjian to be pillars of the St. Thomas community.
They have instilled in their son Vicken the same love of the Armenian faith and heritage, as well as the desire to volunteer selflessly. We have all come to know Vicken as a sincere, conscientious, thoughtful and knowledgeable gentleman who also exemplifies true friendship. He works with his heart and with faith in God, and he rarely expects recognition for all ways in which he humbly gives of his time and effort.
Born in 1981, Vicken was baptized in St. Thomas Armenian Church. He grew up in New Milford where he also attended the Hovnanian School. Simultaneously, he attended the St. Thomas Kirikian Armenian School and the Sunday School. Vicken graduated from both schools in 1994 and 1997, respectively. He went on to continue his Armenian studies at the Khrimian Lyceum, at the Eastern Diocese, from 1995 to 1997. Vicken played basketball through the Armenian Churches Sports Association in all the divisions – the junior, senior, and men’s. He was a member, and then chairperson, of the St. Thomas chapter of the ACYOA (Armenian Church Youth Organization of America). He completed the ACYOA Armenia Service Program in Armenia, at Camp Siranoush in Yeghegnadzor, in 2004. Vicken continued his studies at Bergen Catholic High School, and then pursued a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Minor degree in Pre-Law and Paralegal Studies which he received from Montclair State University in New Jersey.
Vicken met V. Rev. Fr. Papken Dz. V. Anoushian at an event at the Diocese when he was a young student. There, he had been asked to read some scriptures from the Bible; and his gift became apparent. It was with Fr. Papken who, when he became the pastor of St. Thomas Armenian Church, encouraged Vicken to serve on the altar. As time went on, Vicken was elevated to Tbir, and then to Sub-Deacon in 1999. On Palm Sunday of 2001, April 13, he was ordained to the Deaconite by His Eminence, Archbishop of the Diocese of the Armenian Church, with sponsorship from V. Rev. Fr. Papken Dz. V. Anoushian. Today, Vicken is one of the examples to the next generation of altar servers as they strive to serve the Armenian church and strengthen their faith.
Through all of Vicken’s experiences, education, and faithful service to St. Thomas Church and the Armenian community, his volunteerism is something to be commended. Vicken is one of the kindest, most selfless, and reliable people one can have the pleasure of knowing. He is depended upon at several church events throughout the year and in many ways. Like a true renaissance-man, Vicken can be seen setting up speaker and video systems equipment in preparation for “A Night at the Opera,” Taline concerts, New Year’s Eve parties, and other special events. On Saturday mornings, he can be seen volunteering his time at the Kirikian Armenian School. He helps his mother Sirvart at the St. Thomas bookstore. He has helped set up halls for countless bazaars and dinner-dances. His wonderful photography has graced our church’s bulletin and website. In addition to his faithful and loyal presence at morning services, the Divine Liturgy, requiems, weddings, special services, and all of the services of Holy week, Vicken never falters in helping someone in need.
We congratulate Vicken Demirjian as he receives the St. Thomas Award for his strong faith and outstanding service to St. Thomas. May God continue to bless him and his family, and always give him strength to continue his efforts of preserving the Armenian culture, traditions, and faith in the Armenian Church.
Material contributed by Madlen E. Setian