On September 16, 2007, a dinner was held in honor of Hayr Shnork Kasparian.
The Very Reverend Father Shnork Dz. V. Kasparian was born in Alexandria, Egypt, in May 1929 and given the baptismal name of Aram. He graduated with a London Chamber of Commerce Diploma from the British School. In 1959 he graduated from the Seminary of Jerusalem and was ordained a Deacon.
In 1961 he was ordained a Celibate Priest in Cairo by Archbishop Mampre Siroonian, Primate of Egypt. In 1962 Hayr Soorp was assigned to serve in Sao Paolo, Brazil, and was elevated to the rank of Vartabed by Archbishop Papken Abadian. In the following year, he was appointed Vicar General of Brazil and Uruguay. His Holiness Vazken I, Catholicos of All Armenians, in 1969 extended an invitation to Father Shnork to be the Dean of the Seminary in Etchmiadzin. (The current Catholicos of All Armenians, His Holiness Karekin II, was one of his students.)
In 1974 Hayr Soorp was elevated to Dzayrakooyn Vartabed (Supreme Doctor of the Church) by Archbishop Torkom Manoogian, the Primate of the Eastern Diocese at that time. In 1979 the Patriarch of Turkey, Archbishop Shnork Kaloostian, invited the multi-lingual Vartabed to be his personal assistant as well as his representative in foreign and ecumenical activities. In 1996 he was asked by the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Torkom Manoogian, to be in charge of the Seminary and teach several subjects; while there he was also mentor and spiritual director of the Deacons.
Father Shnork has also served as Pastor in Canada and in the United States (Worcester, Massachusetts, and two terms each in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in Belleville, Illinois, and in Providence, Rhode Island). While in Milwaukee, he found time to take courses in Christology, Sacramental Theology, Pastoral Counseling, Alcoholism and Linguistics (Hayr Soorp is fluent in nine languages). Since his retirement, Hayr Soorp has been the celebrant and preacher in several parishes in the Northeast and in Canada.
Hayr Soorp accepted the call and has devoted himself completely and humbly to His service whenever and wherever he was sent. May the Almighty bless him with more strength and ability so that he can continue to articulate and spread the Word and provide spiritual service for many more years. Godspeed, Hayr Soorp, as you relocate to Canada.