(L-R): Rev. Fr. Vertanes Kalayjian, Armenian Assembly of America Board Members Annie Totah and Aram Gavoor, and Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny at the Assembly’s 2013 D.C. Holiday Reception & Briefing at the Armenian Embassy.
Reverend Father Vertanes Kalayjian and Armenian Assembly of America Board of Trustees Co-Chair Van Krikorian speaking at the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) hearing on “The Situation of Christian Armenians in Turkey” on April 12, 2005.
The Armenian Assembly of America shared the following statement in loving memory of Reverend Father Vertanes Kalayjian:
Reverend Father Vertanes Kalayjian was a dedicated and passionate leader. His joyful manner was contagious and his contributions were never ending. Reverend Father Kalayjian represented the best of the Armenian nation here in Washington, D.C. He served the community and the church with honor and distinction.
The Armenian Assembly of America was fortunate to count him among our trusted advisors during his time as pastor of St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church, and after in his retirement. It was Reverend Father Kalayjian’s leadership that harnessed much-needed grassroots community involvement and action that was integral to the Assembly’s work, especially during the Assembly’s early years. His advice and counsel over the decades were invaluable and his contributions immeasurable. We worked together, collaborated with each other, and even testified side by side on Capitol Hill before the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) and its hearing on “The Situation of Christian Armenians in Turkey.” Reverend Father Kalayjian stood up for the Armenian population in Turkey, the unrecognized status of the Armenian Patriarchate there, and squarely confronted Turkey’s campaign of genocide denial. Reverend Father Kalayjian served as a catalyst and inspiration to us all.
He was there for us when we needed him most. We will be forever indebted to him, and may he rest in peace always.