August 8, 2013
Archbishop Oshagan will preside at the Madagh offering and the Blessing of Grapes this Sunday, August 11, during the traditional picnic sponsored by Sts. Vartanantz Church, Providence, Rhode Island, that will take place at Camp Haiastan in Franklin, Massachusetts. New England area pastors will participate in the ceremonies.

Bishop Anoushavan will be at St. Gregory Church, Granite City, Illinois, this Sunday, August 11, where he will preside over the Divine Liturgy celebrated by Rev. Fr. Stephan Baljian, his final Liturgy as pastor of the Granite City parish. Following the Liturgy His Grace will preside over a Farewell Luncheon and Program in honor of Der Stephan and Yeretzgin Alice Baljian and family. A recital featuring Don Vizer, organist, will be presented at 2 pm in the church.

Last week six interns of the summer internship program at the Permanent Mission of Armenia to the United Nations visited the Prelacy where they engaged in a dialogue with the Prelate, Archbishop Oshagan. The interns were accompanied by Ambassador Garen Nazarian, Permanent Representative to the United Nations from the Republic of Armenia. The interns are gaining experience and insight in the world of diplomacy.
Interns visited the Prelacy offices last Thursday, August 1, where they were greeted by the Prelate, and Prelacy staff. The interns enjoyed their conversation with Archbishop Oshagan, who spoke to them and eagerly answered their questions. In the photograph are (left to right): Isabella Meraova, Talar Kosakian, Ambassador Garen Nazarian, Archbishop Oshagan, Armen Sahakigian, Meghri Avakian, and Anna Elchiyan.
Parishioners and friends of St. Stephen’s Church in Watertown, Massachusetts, gathered at Camp Haiastan last Sunday for the annual Madagh and Blessing of the Grapes presided by Archbishop Oshagan, during the parish’s annual summer picnic gathering.
Blessing of the Grapes ceremony at Camp Haiastan is led by Archbishop Oshagan with the assistance of,  from left, Archpriest Fr. Antranig Baljian, pastor of St. Stephen’s Church, Watertown, Archpriest Fr. Aram Stepanian, pastor of St. Asdvadzadzin Church in Whitinsville, and Archpriest Fr. Gomidas Baghsarian, pastor of Sts. Vartanantz Church, Providence, and deacons and altar servers.
Peter Koutoujian, a candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 2013 special election for the U.S. House of Representatives (fifth district, Massachusetts), speaks to the gathering.
The Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC) is sponsoring a seminar for teachers on Saturday, September 7, 2013, at the Prelacy headquarters in Manhattan. All schools and teachers are invited to participate. Several lectures and an open discussion are scheduled. For more information click here.

St. Illuminator Cathedral and the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC) is sponsoring a series of seminars, “A Brief Introduction to Modern Armenian Literature,” to be presented by Dr. Vartan Matiossian, ANEC Executive Director, beginning Thursday, September 5 and continuing every Thursday through to October 3, at the Cathedral’s  Pashalian Hall.  The seminars will comprise an introduction, and independent overviews of Western Armenian, Eastern Armenian, Diasporan, and Soviet and post-Soviet Armenian literature. For more information click here.
Bible readings for Sunday, August 11, Sixth Sunday of Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ, (Eve of the Fast of the Assumption) are Isaiah 7:1-9; 1 Corinthians 13:11-14:5; Mark 2:1-12.

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

Pursue love and strive for the spiritual gifts, and especially that you may prophesy. For those who speak in a tongue do not speak to other people but to God; for nobody understands them, since they are speaking mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, those who prophesy speak to other people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. Those who speak in a tongue build up themselves, but those who prophesy build up the church. Now I would like all of you to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. One who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up.
(1 Corinthians 13:11-14:5)

For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.
This Saturday, August 10, the Armenian Church commemorates the 200 Holy Fathers of the Council of Ephesus (431 AD). Ephesus, the third general ecumenical council, was convened by order of Emperor Theodosius II to settle the Nestorian heresy. A large number of high-ranking church leaders attended, headed by Patriarch Cyril of Alexandria. The principle decision of the Council was the condemnation of Nestorius. The Council excommunicated Nestorius and condemned the heresy, confirmed the Nicene Creed, and approved the title of Theotokos (God-bearer) for the Virgin Mary.

The Armenian Church accepted the canons and decisions of the council and designated a day in the liturgical calendar on the Saturday of the Paregentan of the Assumption. The Armenian Church recognizes the first three ecumenical councils: Nicaea (325); Constantinople (381); and Ephesus (431), with special days in the liturgical calendar for all three.

Ephesus is an ancient Greek city that later became the chief city of the Roman province of Asia at the crossroads of the coastal route between Smyrna and Cyzicus. The Temple of Ardemis in the city was one of the great wonders of the ancient world. St. Paul took Christianity to Ephesus (Acts 18:18-19). He stayed there for two years during his third missionary journey.

Ephesus is one of the seven churches of Asia mentioned in the Book of Revelation. In chapter 2, Jesus praises the people of Ephesus for their perseverance and hard work, however admonishes them for forgetting their first love; their Christianity had become a faithful ritual rather than a relationship of love to the Lord.

Ephesus, now located within Turkey in the province of Izmir, is a popular international tourist destination.

This Sunday, August 11, is the Paregentan, or Eve of the Fast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God. This is a five-day period of fasting (Monday to Friday) that precedes the Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother which is next Sunday, August 18. Paregentan, which means “good living,” is a day of enjoyment and feasting before the beginning of the fasting period.
Because of the situation in Syria and the region, many seminarians of the Holy See’s Seminary were not able to join their families this summer. Therefore, the administration of the Seminary instituted a new summer school program that started on July 1 and will continue to September 28. During the two six-week semesters, the seminarians will follow courses in Old and New Testament Studies, History of the Armenian Church, History of the Catholicosate of Cilicia, classical and western Armenian, Arabic, English, French, Art, vocal music, and piano.
Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
Signature of the Treaty of Sèvres (August 10, 1920)
The victory of the Allies in World War I imposed the signature of a series of treaties to end the war and legalize the defeat of the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria). The Peace Conference of Paris, which opened in January 1919, prepared a package of treaties. Four treaties were signed with Germany (Versailles, June 1919), Austria (Saint-Germain, September 1919), Bulgaria (Neuilly, November 1919), and Hungary (Trianon, June 1920). The fifth and last was with the Ottoman Empire.
Negotiations about the terms of the treaty with Turkey dragged on until mid-1920. They started at the Peace Conference, continued at the Conference of London (February 1920), and took definite shape only after the Prime Minister’s meeting at the San Remo Conference (April 1920). The delay was the result of the inability of the triumphant powers to come to an agreement, and in turn, this allowed the beginning and development of the Turkish national movement, which by the time of the signature of the Treaty of Sevres was seriously challenging the authority of the Ottoman government.
The treaty was signed in an exhibition room at the famous porcelain factory in Sèvres, outside Paris. It was signed by Great Britain, France, Italy, Japan, Belgium, Greece, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Armenia, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and Hejaz, on one side, and the Ottoman Empire on the other. Avetis Aharonian, as President of the Delegation of the Republic, signed on behalf of Armenia.
The treaty liquidated the Ottoman Empire. In Asia, Turkey renounced sovereignty over Mesopotamia (Iraq) and Palestine (including Jordan), which became British mandates; Syria (including Lebanon), which became a French mandate; and the kingdom of Hejaz (now Saudi Arabia). Turkey retained Anatolia but was to grant autonomy to Kurdistan. Armenia became a separate republic, and Smyrna (modern Izmir) and its environs were placed under Greek administration pending a plebiscite to determine its permanent status.
In Europe, Turkey ceded parts of Eastern Thrace and certain Aegean islands to Greece, and the Dodecanese and Rhodes to Italy, retaining only Constantinople (modern Istanbul) and its environs, including the Zone of the Straits (Dardanelles and Bosphorus), which was neutralized and internationalized.
Armenia was recognized de jure as an independent republic by Turkey. Both countries agreed to leave the delimitation of the borders in the provinces of Erzerum, Trabizond, Van, and Bitlis to the arbitral award of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, including his proposals for an outlet to the Black Sea for Armenia and the demilitarization of the border. (The award was presented to the Allied powers on November 22, 1920, and left to Armenia a territory of 90,000 square kilometers, which, including the actual territory of the independent republic, would become a total of 161,730 square kilometers.) The Armenian borders with Azerbaijan and Georgia would be resolved through direct negotiations among the sides. The Ottoman law of 1915 on abandoned property was declared illegal, while the Ottoman government ensured its cooperation to deliver war criminals, including people responsible for massacres, to military courts and to find and rescue people who had disappeared or been deprived of their liberty after November 1914.
The treaty was accepted by the government of Sultan Mehmed VI at Istanbul but was rejected by the rival nationalist government of Kemal Atatürk at Ankara. Atatürk's separate treaty with the USSR and his subsequent victory over Greece during the “war of independence” forced the Allies to negotiate a new treaty in 1923 (Treaty of Lausanne), where the Treaty of Sevres was superseded. Nevertheless, Wilson’s award became law of the land, while the U.S. Congress never ratified the Treaty of Lausanne.
The Treaty of Sevres, despite having never been put into practice, remains grounds for Armenian territorial reclamations.
Note: Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” can be read on the Prelacy’s web site (

The crisis in Syria continues to inflict great suffering on the population. The situation in Aleppo, a heavily Armenian populated city, is very serious. There is a shortage of basic needs including food, fuel, medical services, and medications.
Please help us continue our humanitarian aid of food, water, and medicine without interruption.
Make a donation to the Fund for Syrian Armenian Relief. Donations can be made on-line (see below) or can be mailed to the Armenian Prelacy, 138 East 39th Street, New York, NY 10016.


The Fund for Syrian Armenian Relief is a joint effort of: Armenian Apostolic Church of America (Eastern Prelacy); Armenian Catholic Eparchy; Armenian Evangelical Union of North America; Armenian Relief Society (Eastern USA, Inc.); Armenian Revolutionary Federation.
August 11—Farewell luncheon and Program for Der Stephan and Yeretzgin Alice Baljian and Family, following the Divine Liturgy. His Grace Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian will preside. A recital featuring Dan Vizer, organist, will begin at 2 pm in the church. Please come and wish Der Hayr and Yeretzgin well as they transition to their new parish. For information: Lynne Hagopian (618) 452-0192; Sue Spataro (618) 223-1502.
August 11—Sts. Vartanantz Church, Providence, Rhode Island, Annual Picnic at Camp Haiastan from noon to 6 pm. Blessing of Madagh and Grapes will take place at 3:30 pm with His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan presiding and with the participation of the pastors of the New England area churches. Enjoy delicious shish, losh, and chicken kebab dinners, Armenian pastry, and our famous choreg. Music by the Michael Gregian Ensemble. Our patrons may use the Lower Camp Pool, Basketball Courts, and Canoes from 1 to 4 pm. Activities for children. Come and enjoy a day with friends and family.

August 11—Annual Church Picnic and Blessing of Grapes at Holy Trinity Armenian Church, 635 Grove Street, Worcester, Massachusetts. Join us for a fun-filled day and enjoy delicious food, music by DJ Shaheen, backgammon tournament, children’s activities and more. Begins at noon. Blessing of Grapes at 2:45 pm. Admission is free. For more information: or 508-852-2414.

August 16, 17, 18—Armenian Fest and Blessing of the Grapes, All Saints Armenian Church, 1701 N. Greenwood, Glenview, Illinois. For information: 847-998-1989.

August 18—Annual Picnic of Soorp Asdvadzadzin Church, Whitinsville, Massachusetts, 12 noon on the church grounds, 315 Church Street, Whitinsville, immediately following the Divine Liturgy celebrated by Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian who will also officiate the Blessing of the Grapes ceremony with the participation of New England clergy. Delicious Armenian food, homemade baked goods. Listen and dance to traditional live Armenian music by the Mugrditchian Band. For information: 508-234-3677.

August 18—St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan, Blessing of the Grapes and Family Fun Picnic, at Lakeshore Park, 601 South Lake Drive, Novi, Michigan. Food, music, dancing, magic show, volleyball, soccer, tavlou tournament, mountain biking, swimming.

August 18—Sts. Vartanantz Church, New Jersey, Annual Picnic and Blessing of the Grapes, 1-5 pm at Saddle River County Parki, Wild Duck Pond area. Music, delicious Armenian food and desserts, arts and crafts and playground for children, cards, and tavloo, and more.

August 18—Assumption of the Holy Mother of God and Annual “Blessing of the Grapes” picnic following the Divine Liturgy at St. Gregory the Illuminator Church, Granite City, Illinois; 12 Noon-3:30 pm. Blessing of Grapes will take place at 11:45 am. Tasty shish kebab and chicken kebab dinners will be sold. Armenian breads and pastries along with other delicacies will be for sale. Armenian dancing and activities for children of all ages. Free admission.

September 5 to October 3—“A Brief Introduction to Modern Armenian Literature,” a series of five seminars presented on Thursdays, 7 pm to 8:30 pm, at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street, New York City. Sponsored by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC) and the Cathedral. Presented by Vartan Matiossian, Ph.D.

September 7—Teachers’ Seminar sponsored by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC) at the Prelacy offices, 138 E. 39th Street, New York City, from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm. Details will follow.

September 8—Picnic Festival, St. Gregory Church, 158 Main Street, North Andover, Massachusetts, 12:30 to 5:30 pm, featuring Armenian music by Leon Janikian, Jason Naroian, Joe Kouyoumjian, John Arzigian, along with Siroun Dance Group. Armenian food and pastries. For details

September 15—Book Presentation at Pashalian Hall, St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, New York, of “One Church One Nation” by Hrair Hawk Khatcherian.

September 21—St. Illuminator’s Cathedral’s “Huyser” Music Ensemble presents “The Sound of Freedom,” a celebration of independence, at the Frank Sinatra School of Arts, Tony Bennett Concert Hall, 35-12 35th Avenue, Astoria, New York, at 7:30 pm. Tickets $25—$35. For information: 212-689-5880.

October 5—Symposium “Armenian Women as Artists and Mothers,” 2-6 pm, sponsored by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC) at St. Illuminator Cathedral Pashalian Hall, 221 East 27th Street, New York City, in celebration of the Year of the Mother of the Armenian Family. Lecturers: Jennifer Manoukian (Columbia University), “Zabel Yessayan: Mother and Activist,”; Vartan Matiossian (ANEC), “Armen Ohanian: An Armenian Woman of the World,” and Melissa Bilal (Columbia University), “Lullabies and Tears: On Armenian Grandmothers and Granddaughters in Istanbul.”

October 19
—Armenian Friends of America presents “Hye Kef 5” featuring musicians Leon Janikian, Joe Kouyoumjian, Greg Takvorian, Ken Kalajian, Ron Raphaelian, and Jay Baronian, 7:30-12:30, Michael’s Function Hall, 12 Alpha Street, Haverhill, Massachusetts. Proceeds to benefit all Armenian churches in Merrimack Valley and New Hampshire. Tickets: $40 adults; $30 students; includes individually-served mezza platters. For information/reservations: John Arzigian 603-560-3826; Sandy Boroyan 978-251-8687; Scott Sahagian 617-699-3581; Peter Gulezian 978-375-1616.

October 27—90th anniversary celebration of St. Gregory Church, Philadelphia, under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan, Prelate. Immediately after the Divine Liturgy at the church’s Founders Hall, 8701 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19128.

November 1 & 2—St. Stephen’s Church, Watertown, Massachusetts, 57th Armenian Bazaar, 10 am to 9:30 pm, at Armenian Cultural & Educational Center, 47 Nichols Avenue, Watertown. Delicious meals (take-out available), Armenian pastries, Arts and Crafts, Books, Raffles, Attic Treasures, Auctions, and more. For information: 617-924-7562.

November 15-16-17—Annual Bazaar, Sts. Vartanantz Church, 461 Bergen Boulevard, Ridgefield, New Jersey.

November 17
—Banquet and Program celebrating the “Year of the Armenian Mother,” organized by the Eastern Prelacy, at Terrace in the Park, Flushing Meadows Park, New York. Watch for details.
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