Very Rev. Fr. Aren Sarkis Jebejian was born on January 24, 1966, to Fr. Nersess and Yn. Aurora Jebejian in Detroit, MI. and given the baptismal name of Aren Sarkis. At the age of four, following his father’s ordination to the priesthood, the Jebejians moved to Springfield, MA.
Aren grew up and went to school in Longmeadow, MA. In 1983 his family moved to Florida, where he attended St. Thomas University in Miami, a private Augustinian School. Aren served on the editorial board of the University’s newspaper and worked as a resident assistant. While at college he was one of 30 students who spent a semester studying in El Escorial, Spain in 1986.
After graduating, Aren studied at The Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin from 1989 to 1990, where he was ordained as a deacon by Archbishop Nersess Bozabalian on June 24, 1990. Dn. Aren returned to the United States and graduated in 1994 from St. Nersess and St. Vladimir’s Seminaries with a Masters degree in Divinity. He has also completed a three-month clinical pastoral education internship at Jean’s Hospital in Philadelphia, PA; and studied classical Armenian and liturgics in Jerusalem from 1994-1995.
He served as a steward at the 1991 Central Committee Meeting of the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland; at the WCC Faith and Order Meeting in Santiago de Compostella, Spain, in 1992; and as a youth representative at the WCC Central Committee Meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1994.
In January of 1996, Dn. Aren was charged with working to revive the ACYOA Seniors. During his two-year tenure working in the Diocesan Department of Youth Ministry, he oversaw the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the ACYOA and worked to revitalize the Seniors, Juniors and the ACYOA Armenian Studies Program.
On January 1st of 1998, Dn. Aren was assigned to the St. Gregory the Illuminator Parish of Chicago, IL, as its deacon-in-charge. He serves on the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago and was a founding member of the Chicago Ecumenical Millennium Committee (now Ecumenism Metro Chicago). Since 1991, Dn. Aren has been a member of the National Oriental Orthodox Roman Catholic Dialogue.
In September 1999, Dn. Aren served as a delegate from the Eastern Diocese to the National Ecclesiastical Assembly in Armenia, in order to elect the 132nd Catholicos of All Armenians, His Holiness Karekin II.
Dn Aren was ordained a Celibate Priest April 24 and 25, 2004, by Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Diocesan Primate at St. Vartan Cathedral in New York City. He subsequently served his forty-day period of seclusion at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin where he received his Monastic Cowl and took his oath in the Mother See.
Fr. Aren celebrated his first (antranig) Divine Liturgy on the Main Altar in Holy Etchmiadzin on June 6, 1994.