Very Rev. Fr. Nareg Berberian was born in Beirut, Lebanon, on October 28, 1967. His baptismal name is Vasken Berberian, parents of Kevork and Nevart Berberian. He attended Vahan Tekeyan School in Beirut and graduated in 1981. He studied at the Seminary of Holy Etchmiadzin from 1981-1988, with the last year spent as the secretary to Catholicos Vasken I. Fr. Nareg was ordained a deacon in 1986 in Etchmiadzin by Archbishop Housig Santurian and graduated from the seminary in 1987. His graduating thesis was “The Commentary of Job,” by St. Gregory of Datev.
In January 1988, Fr. Nareg began his studies at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York in conjunction with St. Nersess Armenian Seminary. He received a Master of Divinity Degree on May 17, 1991 and a Diploma in Armenian Studies from St. Nersess Seminary. At the same time, he took private piano lessons at Concordia College in New York. While serving as an acting Grand Sacristan at St. Vartan Cathedral in New York City in 1991, Fr. Nareg earned a second Master’s Degree in Sacred Theology from the General Theological Seminary in New York, with a focus on biblical studies. His graduating thesis was “The Raising of Lazarus: Commentary.”
On July 26, 1992, Fr. Nareg was ordained as a celibate priest at St. Vartan Cathedral in New York by Archbishop Khajag Barsamian.
In 1992, Fr. Nareg was appointed as the assistant pastor at St. Kevork Armenian Church in Houston, TX. In 1994, Fr. Nareg was named the Pastor at St. James Church in Richmond, VA. The same year, Fr. Nareg was elevated to the Rank of Vartabed by Archbishop Barsamian at St. James in Virginia. While in Virginia, Fr. Nareg furthered his post-graduate studies at the Union Theological Seminary and in May 1998 and received a Doctor of Ministry Degree. He focused on the role and the mission of the Armenian priesthood in the United States.
Fr. Nareg has been a guest lecturer in various Armenian and non-Armenian communities and universities, including Rosemont College, Union Theological Seminary, Richmond Public TV, and the Seminary of Holy Etchmiadzin. He also was invited to speak about Armenia at the United States State Department in Washington, DC.
In 2000, His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, appointed Fr. Nareg as the General coordinator of a Clergy Conference, which convened in February 2001 with 52 Armenian clergy from all over the world who discussed theological and pastoral issues. In 2001, Karekin II appointed Fr. Nareg to the 1700th Anniversary Committee in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. The same year, he was chosen by Archbishop Barsamian to serve as the pastor of St. George Church in Hartford, CT, where he served until 2002, when he became pastor of St. David Armenian Church of Boca Raton, FL.
At St. David, Fr. Nareg initiated various religious and cultural programs, such as Deacons Training Program, Acolytes Program, ACYOA Jrs. and Srs., Junior Choir, Biblical Studies, Ecumenical Movement, Fundraising Programs, and Young Adults Program, revitalizing the community and creating much more cultural, religious, social, and education programs for the parishioners of St. David Armenian Church.
In 2013, His Holiness Karekin II, appointed Fr. Nareg to serve at the Diocese of the Armenian Church of Brazil. In 2014, Fr. Nareg was elected the Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of Brazil. In November 2014, he was ordained a bishop by His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, at the Cathedral of Mother See Holy Etchmiadzin. At the Diocese, His Grace has organized a Youth Program, Junior Choir, Christian Education Program, Liturgical Training Program and revitalized the Diocesan programs.