APRIL 10, 2015
Centennial commemorations of the Armenian Genocide are taking place throughout the world. The national observance in the United States includes special events that will take place over a three-day period (May 7, 8, 9) in Washington, DC, that includes an ecumenical prayer service, a Pontifical Divine Liturgy, a memorial concert, and an awards banquet honoring those who helped the 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.
The National Commemorative Committee announced last week that Paul Ignatius (Ignatiosian) will be one of the main speakers at the banquet that will take place on May 9 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Washington, DC. Mr. Ignatius has served in a number of important positions in government and industry including Secretary of the Navy and Assistant Secretary of Defense under President Lyndon B. Johnson; Assistant Secretary of the Army under President John F. Kennedy; and president of the Washington Post. Currently he is a trustee of the George C. Marshall Foundation, and a member of the Federal City Council and Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs. His ancestors are from Agin, near Kharpert. Main speakers also include Ambassador Edward Djerejian and journalist Lara Setrakian. Mr. Djeredjian served eight U.S. presidents from Presidents John F. Kennedy to William Clinton, and also served as ambassador to Syria and Israel. Ms. Setrakian covered the 2011 Egyptian Revolution for Bloomberg television. She is a reporter for ABC News and a freelancer for Bloomberg TV.
For Listing of Events in Washington, DC and New York City click here.
For more information about the national observances in Washington go to www.armeniangenocidecentennial.org

His Holiness Pope Francis will celebrate a special Mass this Sunday, April 12, in memory of the Armenian Martyrs of 1915, at the Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican, on the occasion of the centennial of the Armenian Genocide.
His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of the Great House of Cilicia, and the Armenian Catholic Patriarch His Beatitude Nerses Bedros XIX, will be present at the Mass, as will Armenia’s President Serge Sarkisian and other dignitaries of the Republic of Armenia. A large number of Armenians from the United States as well as from Europe are expected to travel to the Vatican to attend the Mass.

On the eve of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the martyrs will be canonized at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin in Armenia on Thursday, April 23, with His Holiness Karekin II and His Holiness Aram I presiding. At the symbolic hour of 19:15 (7:15 pm EDT), all the church bells throughout Armenia will ring one hundred times. Church bells will also toll in Armenian churches throughout the world as well as many other Christian denominations that are joining in honoring the newly canonized martyrs of 1915.

May 10—June 4, 2015
The theme of the Pontifical Visit of His Holiness Aram I, “Your Church. Your Nation. Engage,” was developed with the input of His Holiness who wished to concentrate on the concept of Faithfulness during his visit. Throughout the visit there will be many opportunities for Vehapar to interact with the faithful of all ages at services in our parishes, receptions, and to explore the topics of faithfulness, the Centennial of the Genocide, and the Canonization of the Martyrs of April 1915. Two seminars are planned specifically for young adults, (18-35 years). The first will take place in New York on May 16 and the second in Boston on May 30. Detailed information about the two conferences will be available next week.
Watch this space for weekly updates about the Pontifical Visit. Information about the pontifical visit as well as historical information is available on the Prelacy’s web page. To go there now click here.
The 29th annual summer program for youth ages 13-18 is scheduled to be held at the St. Mary of Providence Center in Elverson, Pennsylvania, from June 28—July 5, 2015. Sponsored by the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC), the summer program offers a unique weeklong Christian educational program for youth. It aims to instill and nurture the Armenian Christian faith and identity in our youth through a variety of educational activities, coupled with daily church services and communal recreational activities. For information and registration, please visit the Prelacy’s website at armenianprelacy.org/arec/datev or contact the AREC office at 212-689-7810 or arec@armenianprelacy.org.
Bible readings for Sunday, April 12, New Sunday are: (1) Luke 4:14-30; (2) Acts 5:31-6:7; James 3:1-12; John 1:1-17; (3) John 21:5-25; Matthew 27:50-61; (4) John 20:26-31.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’”) From his fullness we have all received grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:1-17)
For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.
Note: Beginning this Monday, April 13, and continuing until Pentecost (May 24) each day four Gospels are read in the following order: 1) Morning—Luke; 2) Midday—John; 3) Evening—Matthew; 4) Evening dismissal—Mark. By Pentecost the four gospels are read up to the passion narratives.
This Sunday, April 12, is New Sunday (Nor Giragi). Easter Sunday is followed by a period of fifty days (Hinoonk) during which there are no fasting days or saints days. This period from the Resurrection to Pentecost (Hogegaloost) is dedicated to the glorification of the Resurrection. Each of the seven Sundays of Hinoonk has a special name.
This Sunday, the first Sunday after Easter, is called New Sunday, since the first day of the week through Christ’s Resurrection became consecrated and Sunday became a dominical day. It is also called Second Easter (Grgnazadig), which literally means “Easter repeated,” because it is the eighth day of Easter and a day similar to Easter.
Today, you new peoples, with the heavenly and radiant angels let us sing to the renewer of the human race who died and arose for us, saying: May your resurrection be glorified.
Today, sons of Sion, born sons of God by grace in the font for the renewal for the tomb, saying: May your resurrection be glorified.
Children of faith, celebrating today the feast of Jerusalem on high, renew the garment of your souls and with the sons of light of the new Sion bless Christ the King, saying: May your resurrection be glorified.
(Prayer for New Sunday from the Liturgical Canons of the Armenian Church)
The services, prayers, and meditations of Holy Week at the Cathedral of Saint Gregory the Illuminator in Antelias, Lebanon, reminded the faithful of the Gospel values and enriched them spiritually.
The Maundy Thursday church services began in the morning g with a celebration of the Canon of Repentance followed by the Eucharist, commemorating the Last Supper. In the afternoon the faithful attended the service of the Washing of the Feet. In his sermon, His Holiness Aram spoke of love as the essence of the Christian faith. He told the congregation that God created the world and humanity, and, as an expression of that same love, He gave humanity the responsibility to safeguard His creation.
In his Easter sermon, His Holiness spoke about the Resurrection of Jesus as the triumph of Truth, the promise of eternal life, and the victory of light over darkness. He told the faithful that those who crucified Jesus were mistaken to think that through his death they would destroy the Truth. People who continue to be strengthened by the message of Christ’s Resurrection will always triumph over life’s temporal truths, dark thoughts, and destructive ways.
“Throughout our history we have survived persecutions by remaining steadfast to the message of the Resurrected Christ. One hundred years ago dark plans were put into action to destroy us. Today, however, we celebrate not only the Resurrection of Jesus but also the resurrection of our people, who have survived and thrived throughout the world,” His Holiness said.
The Catholicos also spoke about the situation in the Middle East and in Lebanon. He called upon the leaders of Muslim countries to safeguard the centuries-old values of mutual respect and understanding; he implored them to work against the destructive fundamentalist thoughts and acts prevalent in the region. Challenging the elected representatives of the Lebanese parliament he asked them to assume their responsibility and elect a president without yielding to outside pressure.

Dr. Heiner Bielefeldt, the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief met with His Holiness Aram last week at the Catholicosate in Antelias. Dr. Bielefeld is on an information gathering mission on religious tolerance in the Middle East for a report he will present to the United Nations Human Rights Council.
During their discussion, His Holiness spoke of the rich religious diversity in the region and stated that freedom of religion or belief and tolerance are essential components of democracy and must be safeguarded. The Catholicos spoke about the uniqueness of the Lebanese model of government as a family of communities in which every community practices its own faith according to its own principles, and members of each community participate in the democratic processes of the country as citizens.

His Holiness received Bishop Gabriel Gachia, the pontifical delegate in Lebanon, last week at the Catholicosate. Catholicos Aram presented an overview of the situation in the region and in Lebanon. They also discussed the forthcoming visit of the Catholicos to the Vatican where he will attend along with Catholicos Karekin II, the special Mass celebrated by His Holiness Pope Francis on April 12 commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
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Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
Beginning of the Adana Massacre (April 14, 1909)
The massacres of 1894-1896 organized by Abdul Hamid II had spared the Armenians of the region of Cilicia. The revolution of July 1908, headed by the Young Turks with the support of non-Turkish minorities of the Ottoman Empire (including Armenians), forced the Sultan to restore the Constitution of 1876. The principles of equality and freedom proclaimed by the Ottoman Revolution created hope for the Armenians that their political and social situation would improve. The Adana massacre in April 1909 crushed those hopes.
A military revolt by supporters of the Sultan staged a counterrevolution on April 13, 1909 and Constantinople was briefly seized. The leaders of the Young Turks were initially forced to find refuge elsewhere, some of them among Armenians. The next day, the massacre started in Adana. False rumors of an Armenian insurrection, fueled by the instigation of Muslim clergy and the publications of the newspaper Ittidal (organ of the Young Turks), and the organization by notables, the gendarmerie, and highly-placed officials, including the vali of Adana, Jevat Bey, drove the development of the events. The plundering of Armenian shops in the first day was followed by the attack on the Armenian quarter of Shabanieh in the second day, led by the Turkish gendarmerie and mob, which had been armed with weapons from the official deposit, with the Armenians trying a desperate defense. The attack and the massacre came to a stop on April 16, while the surrounding Armenian villages and farms had been practically wiped out.
Armenian quarter of Adana before the massacre and looting.
Armenian quarter of Adana after  the massacre and looting.
Ittidal and Jevat Bey (who was dismissed on April 18, but continued in his position for two weeks) spread false news of Armenian provocations that had created the Turkish attack. Meanwhile, the “liberation army” from the European section of the empire had marched onto Constantinople and put an end to the counterrevolution. A battalion was dispatched to Cilicia, which arrived on April 25. Turkish provocations created a new repression, this time by the “liberation army,” and further Armenian massacres were enacted from April 25-27 in Adana, which was half-razed, and the surrounding area. The Armenians of two cities, Hajen and Dort-Yol, were able to fend off the Turkish attacks from April 14-28.
While reactionary elements were suspected of instigating the massacres to discredit the Young Turks, the latter were also implicated in both waves of killings. The number of casualties was variously counted. An official committee established in July 1909 gave a number of 4,196 Christians and 1,487 Muslims, with a total estimate of 15,000, including unregistered people. The government reevaluated the numbers in August, which became 5,243 Christians and 1,186 Muslims. The new vali made another investigation and came to a more accurate number of 19,400 Christians (including 655 Evangelical Armenians, 210 Catholic Armenians, 418 Jacobite Syrians, 163 Chaldeans, and 99 Greeks) and 620 Muslims for the vilayet of Adana. According to the British journalist Ferriman, an investigative committee sent by the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople came to a figure of 21,361 Christians killed (18,839 Armenians, 1,250 Greeks, 850 Syrians, and 422 Chaldeans) only for the vilayet of Adana. There were several thousands of dead in the following months, due to wounds, epidemics, and other reasons.
The material losses were considerable. Only in the vilayet of Adana, according to the government committee, 4,823 houses, farms, schools, churches, factories, agricultural enterprises, inns, mills, and shops were entirely destroyed, of which just 386 belonged to Muslims. The value of the losses was estimated to be 5.6 million Ottoman liras.
The investigation opened by the government failed to prosecute and to indict, and dashed Armenian expectations of liberal reforms. As Armenian novelist and commentator Yervant Sermakeshkhanlian (Yerukhan, 1871-1915) wrote in November 1909, “The last crimes that have filled with blood the soil of Armenia, alas, are called not to be the last ones, as long as a superior example does not terrorize the implacable and indefatigable criminals, who are still roaming unpunished.”  The Adana massacre became a rehearsal for the Young Turks to measure the depth of Turkish animosity in the Ottoman Empire toward Christian minorities. Yerukhan’s words were prophetic. He would be among the first victims of the next crime: the Medz Yeghern of 1915-1916.
Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site (www.armenianprelacy.org)
(Pastor of St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York)
This week’s podcast: Interview with Rachel Nadjarian and much more.

PLEASE NOTE: Coverage of Holy Week and Easter at our parishes will be sent as a special edition of Crossroads on Monday, April 13.
April 1-30—Photography exhibit by Tom Vartabedian commemorating the Centennial at Haverhill (Massachusetts) Public Library, 99 Main Street, showing images of the country and its people, including scenes of the eternal flame at Tzizernagapert. The exhibit is next to the Children’s Room in the upstairs gallery.

April 11—Concert by the Armenian Society Areni Choir, conducted by Armine Vardanyan, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, 6 pm, at The Queens Theater in the Park, 14 United Nations Avenue South, Flushing Meadows Park, Corona. Also featuring renowned guest singers and musicians, as well as the Antranig Dance Ensemble. For tickets ($40 and $50): 732-982-7364.

April 12—“A Tribute to Survival,” concert, sponsored by the Armenian Martyrs’ Memorial Committee of Rhode Island, featuring The Armenian Chorale of Rhode Island, directed by Maestro Konstantin Petrossian, accompanied by Mari Panosian and symphony orchestra. Guest artists: Gohar Manjelikian, Joanne Mouradjian, Kate Norigian, Debra Takian Pjojian, Elizabeth Souin, Vagharshag Ohanian. Musical instrumental selections by David Ayriyan on Kemancha and David Gevorkian on Duduk. The Sayat Nova Dance Company of Boston, directed by Apo Ashjian will perform. Park Theatre, 848 Park Avenue, Cranston, Rhode Island, at 3 pm. Free admission and parking. Valet parking available. For information: www.ammri.org.

April 13—“Armenian History through Music,” presented by the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee of Greater Detroit and The Cohn Haddow Center for Judaic Studies at Wayne State University, 10:45 am to 12:45 pm, at Wayne State’s Community Arts Auditorium, 450 Reuther Mall, Detroit, MI, 48202. Light refreshments provided. For information: Lara Nercessian (248) 761-9215, or lnercessian@hotmail.com, www.agc-mi.com.

April 21—The Armenian Poetry Project Presents, “Commemorating the Centenary of the Armenian Genocide: A Reading in Remembrance,” Holy Cross Church, 580 West 187th Street, New York City, 7 pm. For information: Lola Koundakjian, armenianpoetryproject@gmail.com.

April 23—Canonization of the Armenian Martyrs of 1915 in Holy Etchmiadzin, Armenia.

April 24—Centennial Memorial Dinner, sponsored by Providence ARF, hosted by the Armenian Cultural Association of America, Inc., Omni Providence Hotel, One West Exchange Street, Providence, Rhode Island. Cocktails 6 pm; dinner 7 pm. Emcee: Honorable Scott Avedisian, Mayor of Warwick; guest speaker, Marian Mesrobian MacCurdy, author of “Sacred Justice: The Voices and Legacy of the Armenian Operation Nemesis.” $50 per person. Reserve by email: acaa.prov.ri@gmail.com or by phone: Raffi Rachdouni 401-226-2305; Paula Burke 401-282-0459.

April 25—Connecticut Armenian Genocide Commemoration Day at the Connecticut State Capitol at 11 am. Keynote speaker: Noted author Chris Bohjalian.

April 25—Armenian Genocide Centennial commemoration sponsored by the Armenian National Committee of Merrimack Valley (Massachusetts), 10 am at Lowell City Hall, following a procession from John Street, led by the Armenian American Veterans. Participants are asked to gather at 9:30 am. Luncheon buffet to follow with the showing of a film.  

April 26—Centennial commemoration of Genocide. Joint united Divine Liturgy at St. Vartan Cathedral, New York City. Celebrant, Archbishop Khajag Barsamian; homilist, Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan. To be followed by Times Square gathering “100 Years to Remember.”

April 27—“Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide,” by Drew University Center for Holocaust/Genocide Study in Madison, New Jersey at 7 pm. Testimony of Andranik Vartanian (1900-2007), presented by his daughter Susan Vartanian Barba; “Undoing Denial: The Armenian Genocide and Art” presented by Neery E. Melkonian; Concert by the Armenian folk group, Zulal, an a cappella trio will present Armenian village folk melodies. Free and open to the public. RSVP encouraged: (973) 408-3600 or ctrholst@drew.edu.

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, 5:30 pm, Marriott Marquis.

May 10 to June 4—Pontifical Visit of His Holiness Aram I to the Eastern Prelacy.

May 12—“Anatolia, Land of Armenians Until the 1915 Armenian Genocide,” presentation by Margaret Tellalian-Kyrkostas, executive director of the Anthropology Museum of the People of New York and the Armenian Cultural Educational Resource Center Gallery at Queens College, 7 pm in the Lapham Meeting Room at the Port Washington Public Library.

June 3-6—National Representative Assembly hosted by St. Stephen’s Church, Watertown, Massachusetts.

June 18—Annual Cigar Night and Dinner, Men’s Club of St. Gregory Church of Merrimack Valley, North Andover, Massachusetts. Drawing of Super Raffle of 2015 Mercedes Benz-CLA 250 will take place. Raffle tickets can be purchased online (saintgregory.org/organizations/mens-club).

June 28-July 5—29th annual St. Gregory of Datev Institute Summer Program for youth ages 13-18 at the St. Mary of Providence Center in Elverson, Pennsylvania, sponsored by the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC). For information and registration, please visit the Prelacy’s website at armenianprelacy.org/arec/datev or contact the AREC office at 212-689-7810 or arec@armenianprelacy.org.

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.

November 15—90th Anniversary Banquet, St. Stephen’s Church, 167 Tremont Street, New Britain, Connecticut. Watch for details.
Web pages of the parishes can be accessed through the Prelacy’s web site.
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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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