Ouzounian 70 Years Anniversary of Ordination as a Priest
by Magdy Batty
Many of us migrated to Australia in the
60’s, and made Melbourne our home. For our worship we joined
the Armenian Orthodox, the Maronite, the Melkite and Roman
So you can imagine, It was a great joy
when Fr Sarkis Ouzounian appeared in Melbourne in 1977 for
the first Time.
Later, he came to Melbourne on the 3rd
Sunday of every month and celebrated mass for us. It was a 2
day difficult drive. At his suggestion we formed and
incorporated the ACBS or The Armenian Catholic Benevolent
In December 1980 it was our good
fortune that Fr Serge moved permanently to Melbourne and
this was our gain.
He was appointed by the Catholic
Archdiocese as a Chaplain for the Armenians and the
francophone people in Melbourne.
With Fr Sarkis’ patience, with his
dedication and with his untiring efforts we learned to be
proud Armenians. He reminded us that we are sons of martyrs.
He taught us to sing the hymns in Armenian. This is quite an
achievement seen that the majority of us don’t speak
Armenian. In summary, he helped us to renew our love and be
faithful to the Armenian rite.
Christmas 1992 saw us realise our dream
and an important objective by celebrating our first mass in
our own church in Ferntree Gully. We all know of Fr Serge’s
dedication to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate
Heart of Mary, so it was no surprise when Fr Serge named it
the church of The Holiest Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
The church was consecrated in 1997 by
the late Patriarch Kasparian and Fr Serge was elevated to a
Unfortunately Mgr Serge fell ill in
October 1999 and retired in Justin Villa.
During Pope John Paul 2nd
visit to Melbourne in 1986, The Pope celebrated mass at the
MCG, the biggest sporting arena. Fr Serge with his choir led
the chanting of Sourp Sourp Eucharistic hymn to the delight
of 85,000 people who were there.
When we moved into Ferntree Gully Fr
Serge was contented in his humble and very modest place of
residence, celebrated mass the same way, with hymns sung,
sermon prepared, whether 8 or 80 people were in attendance.
Welcoming everyone, never sounding a sour note to anyone.
I’ve got to tell you about an important
Church Council Meeting we held in September 1990 when we
found the property at Ferntree Gully. By that time we have
done our research, seen the Bank.
The meeting started at 6PM in the
evening. We were still considering donations, Contributions
and whether we can afford the purchase and the repayments.
Obviously we had reservations and lacked courage. Attending
were a teacher, office managers, finance people, business
people. Deliberations and discussions went on and on after 4
hours, FR Serge who was quiet all that time, stood up and
said “buy the church and God will provide”. We all agreed.
Here is a man who committed to love,
love of God and love of his church and where there is love,
there success, riches and happiness follow.
Monsignor Serge, we were blessed to
have you as our pastor for 30 years, you were part of our
lives and part of our families. We Loved and respected you
and we still do.
The whole Melbourne community, the
Armenian Catholics, the Armenian Apostolics, the Mauricius,
the people from Olinda and the Dandenongs, join with the
Sydney community to wish you health and long life.
Congratulation on your 70 years
anniversary of your ordination and happy 93rd