January 22, 2015

This year Armenians worldwide are commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide that many believed to be the death-knell of the Armenian people. The narrative of the resilience of the Armenian people, the strength of the survivors through their faithfulness to their Lord is truly a miraculous story.

Special events are scheduled in Washington, D.C., May 7 to 9, 2015, that include an ecumenical prayer service, a Pontifical Divine Liturgy, memorial concert, and a banquet that will honor organizations and individuals who came to the aid of Armenian survivors. The Catholicoi, His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, and His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, will be present to preside over the events. Armenians from all over the United States are expected to participate in solidarity and unity. In New York, commemorative events organized by the joint committee will take place on April 24, 25, and 26, including the annual gathering at Times Square.

This week we are again distributing the following letter that was issued by the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee (Eastern Region). We urge you to read and make your donation to support the work of the Centennial Committee.
The Centennial is almost upon us...

Though over 1.5 million lives were lost to history 100 years ago, we as a people will never forget each and every man, woman and child who perished in the Armenian Genocide of 1915.  We are launching an ambitious campaign to honor the history of those who came before us and register their existence and suffering in the world’s collective memory. Please help us on this historic anniversary by considering a donation to help restore history.

You can make an online donation in any amount at https://www.crowdrise.com/AGCCAER

Your contributions will fuel a campaign spanning public relations, digital, print and broadcast media relations in addition to rapid response countering anti-Armenian press. The digital media plan will unite us all in a collective memorial to those whose identities were washed away by history. It will be composed of millions of river stones that take the shape of the Euphrates River – each stone will be engraved with one name – one for each and every one of us who takes a pledge to never forget the forgotten genocide.

We will implement an online movement to get as many people as possible to take this pledge. Massive city billboards will show famous Armenian-Americans “missing” until the genocide is universally recognized and other non-Armenian celebrities lending their name to stop genocides wherever they occur.  We will push the media to tell the truth about the Armenian Genocide and its consequences, enlisting our supporters in the human rights and religious communities to stand with us on this Centennial.

Our message? When one genocide is denied, so is every genocide.

This is our chance to raise awareness of our people on a scale never before attempted. Our community is truly united behind this singular effort.  In an unprecedented measure our entire United States Armenian community has come together to have our voice heard once and for all.

The campaign is big and ambitious.  We are confident it will succeed.  But only with your help.

If you prefer to donate by check, please make the check payable to any of the following institutions:
•Diocese of the Armenian Church
•Prelacy of the Armenian Church

Please note “East Coast Centennial Committee” in the check memo and mail to:

Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee of America, Eastern Region
c/o AGBU
55 East 59th Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10022

Together we can tell the world our story and ensure it’s never forgotten.

Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern)
Prelacy of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern)
Armenian Catholic Eparchy of United States & Canada
Armenian Evangelical Union of North America
Armenian Missionary Association of America
Armenia Fund USA, Inc.
Armenian Assembly of America
Armenian Democratic Liberal Party
Armenian General Benevolent Union
Armenian National Committee of America
Armenian Relief Society
Armenian Revolutionary Federation
Knights & Daughters of Vartan
Social Democratic Hunchakian Party
Armenian Bar Association
Armenian Network of America, Inc.
Armenian Youth Federation, Eastern Region
AGBU Young Professionals
Armenian Church Youth Organization

A Pilgrimage to experience the Blessing of the Holy Oil (Muronorhnek) in Antelias, Lebanon, is being organized with two options: Option A, to Lebanon only (July 12-21); Option B, to Lebanon, Armenia and Artsakh (July 12-28). Space is limited; reservations must be made by February 12. Check details below:

Bishop Anoushavan will travel to North Andover, Massachusetts, where on Sunday he will celebrate the Divine Liturgy and deliver the sermon at St. Gregory Church, and preside over the parish’s 45th anniversary celebration following the Liturgy.


A new book by Herand M. Markarian, The Martyred Armenian Writers 1915-1922, will be presented tomorrow evening, Friday, January 23, at The Armenian Center, 69-23 47th Avenue, Woodside, New York. The anthology features the works of thirteen Armenian martyred writers. The event is hosted by St. Illuminator’s Cathedral and the Hamazkayin of New York. Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Vicar of the Eastern Prelacy, will offer comments about the book in Armenian, with English comments offered by Dr. George Dermksian, Iris Chekenian, and Shant Mardirossian, chairman of the Near East Foundation. See the calendar below for more details.

Bible readings for Sunday, January 25, Second Sunday after Nativity (Eve of the Fast of the Catechumens): Isaiah 61:10-62:9; 2 Timothy 2:15-26; John 6:15-21.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth. Avoid profane chatter, for it will lead people into more and more impiety, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have swerved from the truth by claiming that the resurrection has already taken place. They are upsetting the faith of some. But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who calls on the name of the Lord turn away from wickedness.”

In a large house there are utensils not only of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for special use, some for ordinary. All who cleanse themselves of the things I have mentioned will become special utensils, dedicated and useful to the owner of the house, ready for every good work. Shun youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with stupid and senseless controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone, an apt teacher, patient, correcting opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth, and that they may escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will. (2 Timothy 2:15-26)

For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.


There are no Bible readings according to the Armenian Liturgical calendar four days next week, Monday to Thursday, January 26 to January 29.

These four days without designated readings coincide with the Fast of the Catechumens, which begins Monday and ends on Friday. There is only one Bible reading for Friday, January 30, the entire Book of Jonah. This period is traditionally a time for reflection and repentance, and a time for the clergy and laity to witness their faith to the un-baptized who are preparing for baptism. The Fast of the Catechumens, which is unique to the Armenian Church, leads to the Church’s remembrance of the prophet Jonah, whose “entombment” in the belly of the whale represents the three-day burial of Jesus, and Jonah’s release represents the resurrection of our Lord.

This Sunday, January 25, is the Paregentan (Mardi Gras) of the Fast of the Catechumens. A catechumen is someone who is receiving instruction in the fundamentals of the faith while preparing for baptism. This occurs three weeks before Poun Paregentan (Eve of Great Lent) and ten weeks before Easter. The Fast of the Catechumens is five days of strict fast (dzom). Traditionally, the Catechumens were instructed for several hours daily and required to stand through every church service, separate from the baptized congregation. This continued until Easter when the catechumens were baptized and anointed and received their first communion.


Today, Thursday, January 22, the Armenian Church remembers Vahan Goghtnatzi. As a young child he and other children of Armenian nobility were taken to Damascus for education. When they reached adulthood, the Arab overlords granted them permission to return to Armenia. Vahan promised his overlord he would return. Vahan married and established himself over his father’s lands; however the Arab overlords demanded his return. After fleeing from place to place, Vahan surrendered and expressed his desire to remain in Armenia and practice his Christian religion. He was imprisoned and martyred. It is believed that the melody and words of the sharagan (hymn) dedicated to Vahan (Zarmanali e ints) were written by his sister.

Your sighs and cries of repentance are more pleasant to me than songs or music. O blessed lord Vahan, God chosen one. Arousing all the powers of my soul, it even more urges me to compose in your honor not a sad elegy, but a hymn that is spiritual, joyful, of praise which calls others to walk in your footsteps. O blessed lord Vahan, servant of Christ.
(From the sharagan dedicated to Vahan of Goghten, from the Liturgical Canons of the Armenian Church)


This Saturday, January 24, we commemorate the 150 Fathers of the Council of Constantinople, the second Ecumenical Council convened by Emperor Theodosius in 381. The Council of Constantinople is one of the three ecumenical councils recognized by the Armenian Church. The 150 bishops attending confirmed the work of the First Council at Nicaea, and added five articles to the Nicene Creed regarding the Holy Spirit, the Church, Baptism, and Resurrection.


A candlelight vigil took place on Tuesday in memory of Hrant Dink, the editor and journalist who was assassinated eight years ago in Istanbul. The vigil took place at the Turkish Consulate in New York City. The vigil was sponsored by the New York ARF Armen Garo Gomideh.

Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, pastor of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, and Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian, pastor of St. Sarkis Church, led the singing of  Hayr Mer, Der Voghormya, and Giligia. Ms. Taleen Babayan spoke on behalf of the participants.
The eighth anniversary of the assassination of Hrant Dink was marked with a vigil in front of the Turkish Consulate in New York.

The Cultural Committee of St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York, hosted a lecture last Sunday entitled “The Near East Relief Historical Society: Remembering the Past, Investing in the Future.”  The guest speaker was Molly Sullivan, Esq., the Director and Curator of the Near East Relief Historical Society, an educational initiative of the Near East Foundation.

The Near East Foundation is the successor to The American Committee for Syrian and Armenian Relief which was formed in 1915 in response to the massive humanitarian crisis precipitated by the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, and it was one of the organizations at the forefront of humanitarian relief efforts.  From 1915-1930, the Near East Relief (NER) raised over $110 million and saved the lives of over one million Armenian, Assyrian, and Greek refugees, including over 130,000 orphans.  Ms. Sullivan discussed the massive humanitarian relief efforts undertaken by Near East Relief during this time and the current work of the Near East Foundation in combating poverty in conflict and post-conflict areas in the Middle East and Africa.

In the aftermath of the genocide, Near East Relief highlighted the plight of Armenian refugees in posters and billboards throughout the country, encouraging ordinary Americans to sponsor an orphan or assist in any way possible.  From Sunday schools to lemonade stands, Americans answered the call and contributed generously to the campaign.  Ms. Sullivan is currently creating an interactive Online Museum which is dedicated to preserving the incredible history of the Near East Relief. She is also creating a downloadable panel exhibition made up of key pieces from the NER collection as well as educational materials that can be distributed to schools. Ms. Sullivan is in the process of planning several events that celebrate the legacy of the NER while commemorating the countless lives affected by the Armenian Genocide. For more information about the Near East Foundation, visit their website: www.neareast.org.
(Reported by Anahid Ugurlayan)
Molly Sullivan speaking about the life-saving work of the Near East Relief 100 years ago and the work of the Near East Foundation today.
Bishop Anoushavan, Der Nareg,  and the lecturer surrounded by the parishioners of St. Sarkis Church.
Students in front of the Armenian khatchkar displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Sunday school students from St. Illuminator’s Cathedral braved the inclement weather to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York last Sunday. Earlier that day the students studied the history, purpose, and unique design elements of khatchkars (stone crosses). They assembled a khatchkar puzzle, noting its shape and carving details. They then discussed why Armenians made these unique stone crosses. They examined different khatchkars from the ninth to the fifteenth century, noting common design elements. They made a list of these elements and plan to use them to design their own khatchkars.

During their tour of the museum, the students visited the South Gallery where they saw a display of the art of the early church. In the section on middle Byzantine centuries they studied two massive Armenian khatchkars on loan to the Met by the Museum of History in Yerevan. They excitedly pointed out the elements they learned about and quickly recognized it as an Armenian khatchkar. They also visited Dikran Kelekian’s collection of Coptic art and noted similarities and differences between the Christian iconography and design elements.

Finally they made a group decision on the last gallery they had time to explore. They chose ancient Egypt and used their maps to find their way to the area. Here they were interested in the hieroglyphics and mummies that were on display. The group was in awe of the size and detail of the artwork.

After a quick snack at the cafe, the children met their parents in the building’s main gallery and shared with them all the exciting things they saw and expressed the wish to return and explore even more.
Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
Death of Yeghishe Tadeosian (January 22, 1936)

Yeghishe Tadeosian was a talented painter of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. He was born on September 12, 1870 in Vagharshapat. He studied in the Ter Hakobian pension of Tiflis from 1879-1881 and then at the Lazarian Lyceum of Moscow (1881-1885). Afterwards he entered the School of Fine Arts, Sculpture, and Architecture of Moscow, where he was a student of Russian influential painters Vladimir Makovsky (1846-1920) and Vasily Polenov (1844-1927).

Y. Tadeosian, Komitas, 1936.
After graduation in 1894, Tadeosian returned to Armenia and taught for a year at the Kevorkian Seminary of Holy Etchmiadzin. In 1896 he returned to Moscow and participated in the 24th salon of the Peredvizhniki (“The Wanderers”), a group of realist painters to which his teachers Makovsky and Polenov were affiliated. The budding artist won two prizes in 1898 at the competition of the Society of Artists of Moscow for his paintings “Midday Meal” and “Preaching to the Right Believers.” He traveled to Palestine with his mentor Polenov in 1898 and, later, almost every day traveled through the Middle East and Europe (until 1914), Russia, and Armenia, which became the source for his art.

The painter settled in Tiflis in 1901 and was a member of the literary and artistic group “Ikar,” founded in 1907. He participated in the exhibitions of the “classical period” of the avant-garde group Mir isskustva (“World of Art”), and its successor, the Union of Russian Artists, until 1910. He collaborated with the foundation of the Union of Armenian Artists in Tiflis (1916) and was elected as its chairman.

Tadeosian organized the exhibition of the Union of Armenian Artists in Yerevan (1921) and two years later, he was one of the founders and first professors of the Academy of Fine Arts of Georgia. In 1935 he was bestowed the title of Emeritus Worker of Art of Soviet Armenia.

Tadeosian's tombstone at the Komitas Pantheon in Yerevan.
In his works of the 1890s and 1900s, Tadeosian showed some trends close to impressionism, although he remained essentially a realist painter. He tried many varieties of plastic art, including mosaic, small sculptures, and stage decoration. He was a master of portrait and landscape. He also touched the subject of the Armenian massacres, as well as traditions and historical past.

He passed away on January 22, 1936 in Tiflis. His body was later moved to Yerevan, where a street bears his name, and was buried in the Pantheon, the cemetery of cultural and political figures situated near Gomidas Park. His tombstone offers a unique piece of trivia: for some reason, the name of the painter has been written as «Եղիշէ Թադէոսեան» (Yeghishe Tadeosian), in Classical Armenian spelling, even though his name should have been «Եղիշե Թադեւոսյան» (Yeghishe Tadevosyan) in Soviet Armenian spelling. One may only wonder how this happened and how the writing escaped the attention of Soviet Armenian censors.

Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” can be read on the Prelacy’s web site (www.armenianprelacy.org).
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Armenian Prelacy
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Thank you for your help
January 23—A Centennial Commemoration: Book presentation, “The Martyred Armenian Writers 1915-1922, by Herand M. Markarian, sponsored by St. Illuminator’s Cathedral and Hamazkayin of New York, under auspices of Archbishop Oshagan. Participants include: Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Dr. George Dermksian, Iris Chekenian, and Shant Mardirossian. Master of Ceremonies: Zarmine Boghosian. Readings by Veh-Harach Bezdikian, Natalie Gabrielian, Yeraz Markarian Meschian, Aida Zilelian-Silak. The Armenian Center, 69-23 47th Avenue, Woodside, New York at 8:05 pm.

January 25—45th anniversary of St. Gregory Church, North Andover, Massachusetts, Divine Liturgy and celebration presided by Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian. Contact Sossy Jeknavorian (sossyj@comcast.net) for tickets to anniversary celebration; $40 adults; $10 children. Advance reservations required.

February 5—Avak luncheon, sponsored by St. Gregory Church, 158 Main Street, North Andover, Massachusetts. Speaker: Ruth Thomasian, executive director Project SAVE Archives, “Preserving Your Precious Photographs.” Guests may bring photos for discussion on persons, places, and situations.

February 5—“Code Name ‘Haiko’: Discovering the Last Unknown Participant in Talaat Pasha’s Liquidation,” a lecture by Dr. Vartan Matiossian, director of the Armenian National Education Committee, 7 pm in the Guild Hall of the Armenian Diocese, 630 Second Avenue, New York, sponsored by the Zohrab Information Center. For information: zohrabcenter@armeniandiocese.org or 212-686-0710.

February 6—Hamazkayin of New York presents a Bilingual lecture by Khatchig Mouradian, “From Der Zor to Kobani (Arabpunar): Turkey, Kurds, and Armenians,” Armenian Center, 69-23 47th Avenue, Woodside, New York, at 8 pm. Donation: $10.

February 7—Armenian Relief Society, NJ Shakeh Chapter presents “The Sound of Music” (in Armenian), performed by the Bedros Atamian Theatrical Group of Hamazkayin Sanahin Chapter, Montreal, Canada. Director and playwright, Lena Khacherian, at Fort Lee High School, 3000 Lemoine Avenue, Fort Lee, New Jersey. Tickets: $50, $35, $25. Contact: Ani Keshishian 201-417-0204; Anik Kechichian 201-394-4408; Lena Tarakjian 201-592-7991.

February 28-March 1—Armenian Relief Society Youth Connect Program, at New York University, “Looking Beyond the Centennial.” Featuring: Khatchig Mouradian, ARS Youth Connect Program Director; Speakers, Scout Tufankjian, Photojournalist and Eric Nazarian, Filmmaker. For Armenian college students, 18-25 years old. Deadline for registration (required) January 30. Space is limited. $25 registration fee includes meals and the evening dinner. Overnight accommodation available for out-of-town students. For more information: arseastus@gmail.com or 617-926-3801.

March 1—One Nation, One Culture: A Cultural Evening of Song & Dance dedicated to the Armenian Genocide 100th Anniversary, Felician College, 262 South Main Street, Lodi, New Jersey at 4 pm. Organized by the New Jersey chapter of Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society, with co-sponsorship of AGBU Ararat NY, Homenetmen Regional Executive, Armenian Relief Society of Eastern USA, and Tekeyan Cultural Association of Greater New York.

March 5—Official opening of Exhibit on Armenian textiles, “Stitching to Survive: Handwork of Armenian Women,” 6-8 pm, at the United Nations, New York. Reception to follow. Organized by the Armenian Relief Society, Inc., and the Permanent Mission of Armenia to the UN.

March 6—Conference, “Rebuilding a Nation: The Armenian Woman’s Century of Resistance and Empowerment,” 10 am-4 pm, at Salvation Army Auditorium, 221 East 52nd Street, New York City. Organized by the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee of the Armenian Relief Society, Inc.

March 7—Cultural program in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, sponsored by the Armenian Relief Society of Eastern USA, under auspices of Archbishop Oshagan, Prelate. At 7 pm at Waterside Restaurant & Catering, 7800 River Road, North Bergen, New Jersey. Donation: $100. For information: Knar Kiledjian 201-233-1566; Lena Orangian 516-724-3005 or by email to zavag@aol.com.

March 13-15—“Responsibility 2015,” International conference for Armenian Genocide’s centennial at Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York, featuring prominent historians, policymakers, authors, and artists. Organized by the ARF Eastern US Centennial Committee, under the auspices of the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee of America, Eastern Region. www.responsibility2015.com for information.

March 20—Musical Armenia, presented by Eastern Prelacy and Prelacy Ladies Guild, Weill Recital Hall, 8 pm, Carnegie Hall, New York City. Featured artists Patil Harboyan, piano and Heather Tuach, cello, will present a program dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide that will include works of Armenian composers Atamian, Babajanian, Gomidas, Khatchaturian, Saradjian, Stepanian, and Talalyan. Tickets are $25 and will be on sale after December 20th at the box office and the Prelacy, 212-689-7810.

March 13-15—International conference, “Responsibility 2015” marking the Armenian Genocide’s centennial, at Marriott Marquis Hotel, New York City. Organized by the ARF Eastern United States Centennial Committee, under the auspices of the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee of America, Eastern Region. For information visit the web site (www.responsibility2015.com).

April 25—Connecticut Armenian Genocide Commemoration Day at the Connecticut State Capitol. Keynote speaker: Noted author Chris Bohjalian.

April 26—Centennial commemoration of Genocide. Joint united Divine Liturgy in New York City (site to be announced), presided by Archbishop Khajag Barsamian and Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan. To be followed by Times Square gathering “100 Years to Remember.”

May 7, 8, 9—National Armenian Genocide Centennial Commemoration in Washington, DC, organized under the patronage of the Diocese and the Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Presided by His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, and His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of the Great House of Cilicia. May 7, Ecumenical Service at the National Cathedral, 7 pm; May 8, A Journey Through Armenian Music at the Music Center at Strathmore, 7:30 pm; May 8 & 9, Exhibits, Films, and Events at various venues; May 9, Divine Liturgy at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, 10 am; May 9, A Time to Give Thanks, banquet, 6 pm (location to be announced).

May 10 to June 4—Pontifical Visit of His Holiness Aram I to the Eastern Prelacy.
June 3-6—National Representative Assembly hosted by St. Stephen’s Church, Watertown, Massachusetts.

July 18—Blessing of the Holy Muron (Oil) by His Holiness Aram I, at the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia in Antelias, Lebanon. For details click here.

October 5-9—Clergy gathering of Eastern, Western, and Canadian Prelacies.
Web pages of the parishes can be accessed through the Prelacy’s web site.

To ensure the timely arrival of Crossroads in your electronic mailbox, add email@armenianprelacy.org to your address book.

Items in Crossroads can be reproduced without permission. Please credit Crossroads as the source.

Parishes of the Eastern Prelacy are invited to send information about their major events to be included in the calendar. Send to: info@armenianprelacy.org
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