July 28, 2016
The Crossroads that was transmitted yesterday contained some layout errors with misplaced and repeated text. We are sending you a corrected version along with our apologies.
We wish you a good weekend.
Archbishop Oshagan is enroute to California where he will officiate at the funeral services for Archpriest Father Dr. Mesrob Tashjian, who died on Saturday, July 23.  The final consecration (Extreme Unction) will take place tomorrow, Friday, July 29, at 10 am during the Divine Liturgy at St. Mary’s Church in Glendale, California, with Archbishop Oshagan officiating. Interment will follow at Forest Lawn (Hollywood Hills) cemetery. He is survived by his Yeretzgin Carmine and sons Vatche and Hagop.

By order of Archbishop Oshagan, requiem services will be held for Der Mesrob in all churches of the Eastern Prelacy on Sunday, July 31.

Der Mesrob was born in Aleppo on May 15, 1924 and ordained to the priesthood on October 22, 1961 by Archbishop Hrant Khatchadourian. Der Hayr served on the Prelacy’s Executive and Religious Councils for many terms beginning in 1963, including many years as chairman of the Religious Council.

A prolific writer, he was a frequent contributor to the Prelacy’s monthly publication Outreach from its first issue in 1978 and into the 1990s with articles in both English and Armenian. He served as the beloved pastor of Sts. Vartanantz Church in Providence, Rhode Island from 1961 until his retirement in 1998. During this time Der Hayr pursued higher theological education at Providence College (Masters in 1972) and Boston University (doctorate in 1976). He was instrumental in the production of curricula and educational resources for the Prelacy’s Sunday Schools.
Rev. Fr. Mesrob Tashjian served on the Prelacy’s Religious and Executive Councils for many years. This archive photo of the Council was taken at the National Representative Assembly in May 1967 hosted by St. Gregory Church, Philadelphia. Standing, l. to r., Moushegh Haratunian, Rev. Fr. Datev Kaloustian, Puzant Granian, Gordon Derian, Rev. Fr. Mesrob Tashjian, Mihran Guzelian. Seated, l. to r., Rev. Fr. Torkom Hagopian, Very Rev. Fr. Smpad Lapajian, Archbishop Hrant Khatchadourian, Jack Chadrjian, Esq., and Yeghishe Melikian.
For a warm-hearted remembrance of Der Mesrob written by Tom Vartabedian titled Rev. Dr. Mesrob Tashjian Kept his “Kids” Together, click here. 
The more than two decades of visionary leadership of His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of the Great House of Cilicia, will be marked on Sunday, October 9. The celebratory day will begin with a Pontifical Divine Liturgy at Sts. Vartanantz Church in Ridgefield, New Jersey, celebrated by His Holiness. In the afternoon a special cultural program prepared specifically for this occasion will take place at the Marriott at Glenpointe in Teaneck, New Jersey, that will be followed with a banquet and anniversary celebration at the same venue. This event will be the one and only celebration honoring His Holiness within the Eastern Prelacy.

A special commemorative booklet is being prepared on this occasion that will chronicle the many accomplishments of His Holiness in different fields of his distinguished service to church and nation.

His Holiness was consecrated Catholicos of Cilicia on July 1, 1995. During the past twenty-one years under his leadership a new page in the history of the ancient Holy See of Cilicia has been filled with many accomplishments that include new initiatives for educational religious and cultural programs, strengthening the Diaspora and the Homeland, promoting and supporting ecumenism and interfaith relations, defending the Armenian Cause, and nurturing the physical and spiritual growth of the Cilician See.
Catholicos Aram speaking at the recent Youth Conference on Technology in Bikfaya, Lebanon. 
Bible readings for Sunday, July 31, Fifth Sunday of Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ, are Isaiah 62:1-11; 2 Timothy 2:15-19; John 6:39-47.

When he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. So many gathered around that there was no longer room for them, not even in front of the door; and he was speaking the word to them. Then some people came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this fellow speak in this way? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” At once Jesus perceived in his spirit that they were discussing these questions among themselves; and he said to them, “Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and take your mat and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic—“I say to you, stand up, take your mat and go to your home.” And he stood up, and immediately took the mat and went out before all of them; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” (Mark 2:1-12)

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

“Datev is not like any summer camp. It’s a place of education, worship, and fun...Not only do I feel closer to God, but I have made lasting relationship with fellow Datevatsis. Datev is like a second home for me. It is a place where I can grow in my faith, learn about my heritage and make memories that will last a lifetime,” said a 4th year student of the Institute Aleen Takvorian.

Education, worship, and fellowship—this has become a slogan for the students of St. Gregory of Datev Institute. Indeed, these three objectives (worship, education, and fellowship) shaped and governed the daily schedule of the thirty-eight students and 14 clergymen and lay leaders, who gathered at the St. Mary of Providence Center in Elverson, Pennsylvania, for the 30th annual summer program of the Prelacy’s St. Gregory of Datev Institute, from July 3-10, 2016, held under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan, the Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America.

Sponsored by the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC), and directed by Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian, pastor of St. Sarkis Church (Douglaston, New York), the Institute offers a unique Christian educational program for youth (ages 13-18) to enrich their knowledge of the Christian faith in a wholesome and nurturing environment, coupled with recreational activities and daily worship. Through lectures, interactive presentations, and panel discussions, the curriculum exposed the students to a range of important foundations of Armenian Christianity, from Bible and creeds, sacraments and sacred chants, personal and corporate prayer, Armenian culture and history, to contemporary moral and ethical issues.

The curriculum of the Institute is designed to be completed in four weeks (one week each summer). The students who complete the curriculum have the option to return for postgraduate classes. The classes for the five levels take place concurrently.

This year the Institute graduated five students, those who have completed four weeklong programs: Natalie Avedissian, Karina Bayrakdarian, Arev Ebrimian, Armen Eghian, and Aleen Takvorian.

The weeklong Program concluded on Sunday, July 10, with the celebration of Soorp Badarak at St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by His Grace Bishop Anoushavan, the Vicar General, followed by a luncheon hosted by the Artemis Chapter of the Armenian Relief Society (ARS).

To read the complete article about Datev’s 30th summer program click here.
Although it is summer time and school is on vacation, plans are in progress for the 2016-2017 term of the Prelacy’s Siamanto Academy. The Academy, under the direction of the Armenian National Education Committee, presents classes on Armenian history, culture, and current issues. Classes take place at the Hovnanian School in New Milford, New Jersey, every second Saturday of the month beginning September 10. For information: ANEC@armenianprelacy.org or 212-689-7231.
The hallways of Sts. Vartanantz Church in Providence, Rhode Island, were filled with the joyous sounds of campers enjoying the second annual youth summer Bible camp from July 18 to 22. The theme for the week was “God’s precious promises.” Campers enjoyed five days of fellowship as they began each morning with prayers and then rotated between Bible studies, arts and crafts, singing and music and many other activities that went along with the theme of the camp. On Wednesday, the campers went on a field trip to a working farm and then enjoyed an afternoon of activities along the Rhode Island seashore. The camp concluded on Friday afternoon with a heartwarming hantes of hymns (sharagans), songs and recitations for their families and friends.
The students and staff of Sts. Vartanantz Church Bible Camp.
In 2015 the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC) released a series of four full-color handouts, “Let’s Chat,” written in Armenian (both in Armenian and Latin script) and English, intended as an aide for the teaching of Armenian as a second language. The premise of the texts was to bring together some of the core vocabulary needed for an elementary conversation, fleshed out with appropriate short dialogues. The series was very well-received by the schools under the jurisdiction of ANEC and quickly out-of-print.
Encouraged by the success of this endeavor, ANEC undertook the preparation of a 24-page booklet along the same premises, incorporating and updating the material of the handouts, and including new material under the following titles: “Meet and Greet,” “Mood,” “What’s Going On,” “Greetings,” “Congratulations,” “Courtesy,” “Who and Where,” “Numbers,” “Age,” “Time,” “Days of the Week,” “Seasons of the Year,” “Months,” “Time Information,” “Questions,” “Expressions,” “Weather,” “Comprehension,” “Directions,” “Location,” “Home,” “Parts of the Body,” “Colors,” “Travel.”
“While ‘Let’s Chat’ is primarily classroom material, it can also be used as a phrase book,” Dr. Vartan Matiossian, ANEC Executive Director, remarked. “We have tried to offer material that is both linguistically accurate and visually enticing for the learner. Although the main target is an Armenian as a second language class, the booklet can be also helpful in other environments.”
Let’s Chat” has been published thanks to a generous donation from Dr. Aram and Mrs. Seta Semerdjian. ANEC is currently working in the preparation of a follow-up, as well as on an introductory text on Armenian history.
Copies of “Let’s Chat” may be ordered through the Armenian Prelacy bookstore by contacting the Bookstore by email (books@armenianprelacy.org) or phone (212-689-7810). The price is $10 plus shipping and handling.

His Holiness Catholicos Aram received Emmanuel Bonne, the French Ambassador to Lebanon, at his office at St. Mary’s Monastery in Bikfaya. The ambassador was accompanied by the embassy’s political officer.

During the meeting they discussed the Lebanese presidential elections, issues related to security in Lebanon, the conflict in Syria, and the presence of Christians in the Middle East. Following the discussion, His Holiness condemned the July 14th lorry attack. He thanked France for recognizing the Armenian Genocide and said that the steadfast friendship between the two people has been a great comfort to the Armenian people. At the conclusion of the meeting they visited the monuments commemorating the 1915 Armenian Genocide.
A high-level delegation from the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) met with His Holiness Aram I on July 21 at St. Mary’s Monastery in Bikfaya, Lebanon. After a presentation of the relief activities of the CRS in the Middle East, the Catholicos thanked the representatives for CRS’ commitment to support the education and medico-social programs of the churches. The Catholicos spoke about the hardships being experienced by Armenians in Syria and described their needs.
His Holiness visited the Birds’ Nest compound in Byblos, Lebanon, on the occasion of the first anniversary of the inauguration of the Armenian Genocide Orphans “Aram Bezikian” Museum. Accompanying His Holiness were Very Rev. Fr. Housig Mardirossian, Ecumenical Officer and Director of Communications, and Very Rev. Fr. Bedros Manuelian, Director of the Audio Visual Department.

After the Catholicos was welcomed by members of the Board, he met with the director of the school who briefed him on the activities and the future plans of the orphanage. His Holiness visited the Orphans Museum where he was received by the staff and presented with the first annual activity report.

His Holiness thanked everyone and said, “The Orphanage and the Orphans’ Museum at Birds’Nest are two institutions that remind us of the history and journey of our church and people since the Genocide. Thousands of orphans who survived the atrocities were sheltered and educated at Birds’ Nest and they went on to build their lives all over the world. Today, the Birds’ Nest provides home to orphans, to poor children and children from broken families. The institution needs the support of all Armenians so that it may continue its vocation by responding to the changing needs of our deprived children.”

Referring to the Armenian Genocide Orphans’ “Aram Bezikiian” Museum, His Holiness said, “The museum is one of the significant achievements of the 100th anniversary commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. Sponsored by Alecco and Ani Bezikian, it is an existential and eloquent reminder of our history to the world and our future generations. The museum has already registered 7,000 visitors. In cooperation with the Museum’s sponsors, the Catholicosate of Cilicia will continue to develop programs and activities to make the Museum a living message against denial.”

Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
Death of Jean Jaures (July 31, 1914)
The pro-Armenian movement in Europe at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century had French politician Jean Jaures as one of its most remarkable figures.
Jaures, born in Castres (Tarn) on September 3, 1859, was the son of an unsuccessful businessman and farmer. He was a brilliant student, and after being graduated from the famous Lycée Louis-le-Grand of Paris, he was admitted first at the École normale supérieure in 1878. He obtained a degree (agrégation) in philosophy (1881) and taught for two years at a lyceum, before lecturing at the University of Toulouse. In 1885 he was elected deputy from Tarn on the ticket of the Republican Party. In the late 1880s he veered towards socialism.
After losing in the elections of 1889, he returned to Toulouse, where he was actively involved in municipal affairs and helped found the medical school of the University. He also prepared two theses for his doctorate in philosophy; one was about the first expressions of German socialism in the writings of important theologians and philosophers Martin Luther, Immanuel Kant, Johann Fichte, and Georg Hegel. He became a highly influential historian of the French Revolution after the publication of his book Histoire socialiste (1901). His articles and speeches were collected in several other books.
In 1893 Jaures returned to the National Assembly as socialist deputy for Tarn and retained his seat until his death, except for the period 1898-1902.
After the summer of 1894, when the Hamidian massacres started, the young socialist deputy would become a central name in the condemnation of Ottoman policies. He first published an article in January 1895 in the periodical La Petite République. His intervention in the parliamentary debate on the Armenian massacres, on November 3, 1896, however, left a deep mark on public awareness.
Jaures spoke after the interventions of conservative deputies. He took everyone by surprise, because nobody expected him to enter the fray of foreign policy. His vibrant and implacable speech had considerable impact on public opinion. He directly charged the French government for its four year-long obsequious policy towards the Ottoman Empire. As historian Raymond Kevorkian has noted, his 90 minute-long speech marked the actual beginning of the pro-Armenian movement in France. The Parisian newspapers, which were generously subsidized by Ottoman agents, changed their pro-Turkish tune afterwards. Jaures solemn discourse established that justice had no boundaries and that democratic moral was bound to fight against tyranny. He would intervene on behalf of Armenians several other times. He would show the same civic courage in his defense of Alfred Dreyfus during the infamous Dreyfus Affair.
After Jaures returned to the National Assembly in 1902, three socialist parties merged in 1902 to form the social-democratic French Socialist Party, which would become the United Socialist Party in 1905 with the incorporation of the revolutionary socialists. In 1904 he founded the daily L’Humanité, which he edited until his death (it would become the organ of the French Communist Party after 1920). He also became a member of the editorial board of Pro Armenia, a French periodical published to defend the Armenian cause (1900-1908, 1912-1914).
Jaures hailed the Ottoman Revolution, believing that the coming to power of the Young Turks would regenerate the empire. After the massacres of Adana, however, he maintained his trust that the revolutionary regime would end the Armenian persecution. He placed the solidarity of progressive movements above the imperatives of humanity and protection of minorities, historian Vincent Duclert has written. As a result, he opposed any military intervention in Cilicia during the parliamentary debate of May 1909 and asked for diplomatic action in Constantinople.

Jaures, as a committed antimilitarist, tried to use diplomatic means to prevent a general European war. On July 28, 1914, exactly a month after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, and his wife in Sarajevo by a Serbian nationalist, Austria declared the war on Serbia and mobilized its troops. This obliged Russia and France to mobilize, according to the secret treaty of 1892. World War I was on its way. Jaures addressed the Chamber of Deputies in an impassioned speech, pleading for social justice and peace. Shortly thereafter, on the night of July 31, 1914, while dining in a restaurant he was assassinated by French nationalist Raoul Villain. His remains were transferred to the Paris Panthéon in November 1924.
Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site (www.armenianprelacy.org).


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The July 20 issue of The Wall Street Journal included a great story about Tom Vartabedian and his class on obituary writing at a senior center in Haverhill, Massachusetts. More specifically, it is about writing your own obituary. Tom is a retired newspaperman who is busier than ever with all of his activities, including keeping Crossroads up-to-date and current with news from his part of the world. The story, written by James R. Hagerty, describes the class taught by Tom to a group of seniors. As noted in the article, Tom was recently diagnosed with stage-four gastrointestinal cancer. Medical treatments have not slowed him down at all as far as his extra-curricular activities are concerned. He continues to write regularly for all of the Armenian American newspapers, as well as for Crossroads. He is always on the look-out for a good human interest story. And somehow he finds so many!

The tables are turned with this Wall Street Journal article; Tom is the one being questioned rather than the one asking the questions. To read the Journal article click here.
LISTEN TO THE PODCAST With Father Nareg Terterian
This weeks podcast features:
  John Megerian of Megerian Rugs reflects on his meeting with Pope Francis
•    How old is God?
•    Thoughts on the Youth Conference in Lebanon with Nevair Oranjian and Tro Panosian
•    And more…
Hit The Image Below To Listen


SIAMANTO ACADEMY—Meets every second Saturday of the month at the Hovnanian School, 817 River Road, New Milford, New Jersey. For information: anec@armenianprelacy.org or 212-689-7810. NEW TERM BEGINS SEPTEMBER 10.

July 30—Armenian American Night, Harry Chapin Lakeside Theater, Eisenhower Park, East Meadow, New York. Armenian entertainment at its best. Sponsored by Nassau County Department of Parks, Recreation and Museums. For information: 516-761-0042 or 516-572-0355.

August 4—Armenians for Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian reception, 7-9 pm, Holiday Inn, Tewksbury, off Route 133. Fundraiser to re-elect candidate as sheriff of Middlesex County. Persons can donate securely on-line at https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/mvarmenian.

August 14—Annual Picnic, Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey, at the Wild Duck Pond, Ridgewood, New Jersey, following the Badarak.

August 14—St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan, Annual Church Picnic at Kensington Park, 4570 Huron River Parkway, Milford, Michigan 48380. Lunch beginning at 12 noon includes delicious kebabs and refreshments. Blessing of the Grapes at 3 pm. Armenian music, picnic games, kids area, and much more, rain or shine. For information: Church office (313) 336-6200.

August 14—Sts. Vartanantz Church, Providence, Rhode Island, Annual Picnic under auspices of Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, at Camp Haiastan, Franklin, Massachusetts starting at 12 noon. Shish, losh, and chicken kebob dinners served all day. Armenian pastries and choreg available. Frenchies popcorn and apples. Blessing of the Grapes and Madagh at 3:30 pm. Music by Mike Gregian and Ensemble with guest Joe Zeitounian. All New England churches and communities are invited to attend. Rain or shine. For information: church office (401) 831-6399.

August 21—Annual Church Picnic and Blessing of Grapes, Soorp Asdvadzadzin Church, 315 Church Street, Whitinsville, Massachusetts, under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan, with the participation of pastors of the New England area churches. Full menu of shish kebob, chicken kebab, losh kebab, keyma, desserts, and choreg sale all beginning at 12 noon. Dance to the live music of John Berberian Ensemble; rain or shine. Information: der.mikaeldk@gmail.com or 508-234-3677.

August 22—St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan, 41st Annual Golf and Tennis Classic at Tam-O-Shanter Country Club. Golf and dinner $250. Dinner only $125. For information: Church office (313) 336-6200.

September 11—Picnic Festival sponsored by St. Gregory Church, of Merrimack Valley, noon to 5:30 pm, 158 Main Street, North Andover, Massachusetts. Music by Leon Janikian, John Berberian, Jason Naroian, and John Arzigian. Celebrating Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Shish, losh, chicken kebab, vegetarian dinners, take-out; family games and activities. Information: www.saintgregory.org or 978-685-5038.

October 6—Shadoyan Fashion Show “Exclusive Collection” of Evening Gowns and “Reincarnation” Armenian National Costumes. Sponsored by ARS Eastern USA. Details to follow.

October 9—Eastern Prelacy celebrates the 20th anniversary of election and consecration of His Holiness Aram I. Pontifical Divine Liturgy at Sts. Vartanantz Church, 461 Bergen Boulevard, Ridgefield, New Jersey, with participation of regional parishes. Special cultural program prepared specifically for this occasion at the Marriott at Glenpointe, Teaneck, New Jersey, followed with a banquet and anniversary celebration. This event will be the singular celebration honoring His Holiness within the Eastern Prelacy.

October 22—Armenian Friends of America presents Hye Kef 5, a 5-hour dance, 7 pm to midnight with buffet; Andover Windham, 123 Old River Road, featuring musicians Onnik and Ara Dinkjian, Johnny Berberian, Mal Barsamian, Jason Naroian and Paul Mooradian, with proceeds benefiting area Armenian churches. Advance tickets before September 1, $55, call either John Arzigian (603) 560-3826; Sharke Der Apkarian, (978) 808-0598; Lucy Sirmaian, (978) 683-9121, or Peter Gulezian, (978) 375-1616.

October 23—Opening reception of joint photograph exhibit titled, “East Meets West,” compiled by Tom Vartabedian and Sona (Dulgarian) Gevorkian, featuring eclectic pictures of Armenia and Artsakh, 2-5 pm, at Armenian Museum of America (AMA), 65 Main Street, Watertown, Massachusetts, co-sponsored by Project SAVE Armenian Photograph Archives. Exhibit will be displayed through November.

November 4, 5, 6—Annual Bazaar and Food Festival of Sts. Vartanantz Church, 461 Bergen Boulevard, Ridgefield, New Jersey. Live entertainment Friday and Saturday; children’s activities; vendors; homemade Manti, Kufte, Sou Buereg, Choreg, and more. Traditional Khavourma dinner on Sunday. Extensive Messe and dessert menu for your Thanksgiving table available for take-out.

November 12 and 13—Armenian Fest 2016, Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Church, Providence, Rhode Island, presents Armenian Food Festival at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet, Broad Street, Cranston, Rhode Island. Chicken, losh, and shish kebab and kufta dinners. Armenian delicacies, dancing to live music, arts and crafts, flea market, gift baskets, children’s corner, country store, jewelry, hourly raffles. Armenian Dance Group will perform on Saturday and Sunday at 5 pm. Armenian food and pastry available all day. Saturday, noon to 9 pm; Sunday, noon to 8 pm. For information: www.armenianfestri.com/food or church office, (401) 831-6399.

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