July 30, 2015
Armenian pilgrims from all over the world traveled to Lebanon this month to witness the ancient ceremony of the Blessing of the Muron, by His Holiness Aram I at the Catholicosate in Antelias.  Many took advantage of the opportunity to visit historic sites in Lebanon before returning home. Bishop Anoushavan, Vicar of the Prelacy, led a group of Pilgrims from the United States. The following article written by Ms. Anais Bayrakdarian, beautifully captures some of the group’s experiences.

Pilgrims in Lebanon: Connecting with Faith and Heritage
By Anais Bayrakdarian

The bus screeched to a halt for the umpteenth time that morning, sending the occupants in all different directions. Outside, cars honked, people shouted, and heat waves danced in the distance, the burning rays of a blazing Middle Eastern summer sun adding to the discomfort and irritability of the morning grind.

But inside the bus, despite the traffic and various bumps and jolts, there was a jovial atmosphere. Prayer, music, and laughter reigned. These pilgrims had traveled to Lebanon in July to witness the Muronorhnek (Blessing of Holy Oil) and to visit sacred and historic sites in the area. In the front seat of the bus Karnik sat laughing, a cigarette dangling precariously from the corner of his mouth, held in place it seemed only by his large moustache. Bishop Anoushavan, the leader of the group, gently tapped his fingers in rhythm to the music, as Pedro, our expert driver, navigated through the congestion. Araxie, here to see her third consecutive Muronorhnek, clapped along as others like Nanor and Anie belted out Haygagan Hoghe at the top of their lungs. In the rear of the bus, the teenagers rolled their eyes (but discreetly sang along) as they watched their fellow pilgrims enjoy themselves so early in the morning, singing the same songs for what to them seemed like the hundredth time…. To continue reading click here.
The pilgrims at the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia, Antelias, Lebanon.

Sts. Vartanantz Church in Providence, Rhode Island, completed its week of Summer Bible Camp for children ages four to twelve with 37 children enrolled. Under a general theme of “God’s Awesome Creation,” the children participated in age-appropriate activities and studies as well as field trips to the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut and Roger Williams Park in Providence.
The campers with their teachers and leaders.
The campers enjoy a trip to the Aquarium in Mystic, Connecticut.
Difficult to believe, but as the saying goes, “Seeing is believing!”

Eight-year-old Grigor Musaelian is well on his way of becoming an extraordinary scholar of the Bible. Reading the Bible has been his special passion for some time. And not just reading, but comprehending and even identifying the connections between the Old and New Testaments. His favorite book in the Bible is also one of the most difficult to read and comprehend—the Book of Revelation.

Last Sunday, during the Fellowship Hour after the Divine Liturgy at New York’s St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, Grigor amazed Bishop Anoushavan and parishioners with his knowledge of the Bible. Grigor is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Garen and Marina Musaelian. His older sister, Lucine, is an accomplished musician and will perform in the “Bach and Before” concert on the bass viola da gamba that will take place at the Cathedral on Saturday, August 8.
Parishioners gather around eight-year-old Grigor Musaelian as he offers his thoughts about the Bible.
The young scholar with, from left, Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Dn. Shant Kazanjian, Marina Musaelian, and Dn. Vahan Kouyoumdjian.
Bible readings for Sunday, August 2, Fourth Sunday of Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ, are Isaiah 58:13-59:7; 1 Timothy 4:12-5:10; John 3:13-21.

No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

“For God so loved th3e world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.” (John 3:13-21)

For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.
On Saturday, August 1, the Armenian Church remembers the Holy Fathers Athanasius, Cyril, and Gregory the Theologian.

St. Athanasius is known as the “Champion of Orthodoxy,” and the “Father of Orthodoxy.” He served as Bishop of Alexandria for 45 years. He attended the Council of Nicaea where he was regarded as a theological expert. His biography of St. Antony helped the ascetic movement in Egypt and introduced knowledge of monasticism.

Cyril of Alexandria was a brilliant theologian and like Athanasius is highly esteemed in the Armenian Church. He presided over the third ecumenical council (Ephesus) and wrote treatises on the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation, commentaries on the Gospels of John and Luke, and many letters and sermons.

St. Gregory the Theologian, also known as Gregory of Nazianzus, is considered to be one of the four great doctors of the Church during the fourth century, along with Basil the Great, John Chrysostom, and Athanasius the Great. He was an accomplished and eloquent writer and speaker; some of his sermons and poetry have survived.
Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
Death of Hamo Ohanjanian
(July 31, 1947)
Ohanjanian was a prominent member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation in the first half of the twentieth century and also served as Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia.

He was born in Akhalkalak (Javakhk, nowadays Georgia) in 1873. After his elementary studies in his birthplace, he moved to Tiflis, where he graduated from the Russian lyceum. He entered medical school in Moscow (1892), where he joined the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, and because of his participation in student agitation, he was left out of the university. He returned to Tiflis, and in 1899 he continued his studies in Lausanne (Switzerland), which he finished in 1902. He returned to Tiflis in 1902, where he became a leading figure of the party, and in 1905 was elected a member of the Eastern Bureau of the A.R.F. He would coordinate the popular action that opposed the confiscation of the properties of the Armenian Church in 1903 and he established relations with Russian and Georgian revolutionaries during the revolutionary movements of Russia in 1905-1907. He played an important role in the crucial A.R.F. Fourth General Assembly (Vienna, 1907), where he helped preserve the unity of the party by stopping extreme-left and extreme-right wing dissension.

In 1908 the Czarist government launched a persecution against revolutionary parties, including the A.R.F. Ohanjanian, together with 160 party members, was arrested. He was sentenced to hard labor in Siberia during the infamous “Trial of the Tashnagtsutiun” in 1912. Roubina Areshian, one of the organizers of the failed attempt against Sultan Abdul Hamid in 1905, followed him there and married him.

In 1915 Ohanjanian was set free thanks to the intercession of Catholicos Kevork V and Caucasus viceroy Ilarion Vorontsov-Dashkov. He returned to Tiflis and assisted the volunteer battalions as a physician, as well as the refugees from Western Armenia.

After the Russian Revolution of 1917, he departed to Petrograd and Kharkov to exhort Armenians to bring their help to the refugees. In May 1918 he participated in the battle of Gharakilise, where his elder son (born from his first marriage to Olga Vavileva) was killed.

After the birth of Armenia, Ohanjanian became a member of the Delegation of the Republic presided by Avetis Aharonian to participate in the Peace Conference in Europe. He remained in the West until the beginning of 1920. In October 1919 he was elected member of the A.R.F. Bureau during its Ninth General Assembly held in Yerevan.

He returned to the Armenian capital in January 1920 as Minister of Foreign Affairs in the cabinet of Alexander Khatisian. Following the failed Bolshevik uprising of May 1, 1920, Khatisian resigned, and Ohanjanian was charged with forming a new government on May 5, 1920. It was called the Bureau-Government, because all of its members were members of the A.R.F. Bureau.

Ohanjanian’s premiership coincided with the most crucial period of the Republic of Armenia, which would practically lead to its demise. The Treaty of Sevres was signed on August 10, 1920, but the following Armeno-Turkish war, started in September, ended with the defeat of the Armenian army. Ohanjanian resigned on November 23, 1920. Simon Vratzian would become the fourth and last prime minister, and ten days later the Soviet regime was established.

Ohanjanian, with other A.R.F. leaders, was imprisoned in January 1921 during the wave of terror that followed the Sovietization. The prisoners were saved by the popular rebellion of February 1921. After the end of the rebellion in April 1921, Ohanjanian moved to Zangezur and then to Iran. In the end, he settled in Egypt, where he would live until his death.

Besides his political activities as a party member, Ohanjanian, well-aware of the importance of language and culture for the preservation and development of the Armenian identity in the Diaspora, became a founding member of the Hamazkayin Cultural Association in 1928 and its chairman for the next 18 years. He also provided important support for the establishment of the Armenian Lyceum of Beirut in 1930.

The former prime minister of the Republic of Armenia passed away on July 31, 1947 in Cairo, where he was buried.

Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site (www.armenianprelacy.org)
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Armenian Prelacy
138 E. 39th Street
New York, NY 10016
Checks payable to: Fund for Syrian Armenian Relief

Thank you for your help
(Pastor of St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York)

This week’s Podcast: Sacrament of Marriage.
Interview with Sarkis Balkhian
…and more.

Click the image above to link
If you read the full story of the first item in this week’s Crossroads, you probably want to know more about the Ottoman Antoura Orphanage and the attempted Turkification of the orphaned children of the genocide. This is a memoir by an Armenian orphan at Antoura; it is one of few, if any, first-hand accounts of this orphanage available in English. We featured it in our April 22nd issue of Crossroads and repeat it this week for those who may have missed it.
A Memoir of the Armenian Genocide
By Karnig Panian
(translated by Simon Beugekian)

This is a personal story of survival that is memorable and touching. While telling the story of one orphan, it tells the story of hundreds of orphans in the Ottoman orphanage at Antoura who went through a policy of “Turkification.” In his Foreword to this volume, Vartan Gregorian describes it as “an indispensable tool for awakening our consciences, restoring our collective sense of decency, and forging our solidarity with all those who have suffered the horrors of genocide.” A recent reviewer described Goodbye, Antoura as a “literary gem.”

191 pages, hard cover, $25.00 plus shipping & handling

To order contact the Prelacy Bookstore by email (books@armenianprelacy.org) or by telephone (212-689-7810).
There are three notable anniversaries in our American life:

1. The 240th anniversary of the United States Postal System: On July 26, 1775, the U.S. postal system was established by the Second Continental Congress, with Benjamin Franklin as its first postmaster general. Today there are more than 40,000 post offices and the service delivers 212 billion pieces of mail each year. Email is great; but there’s nothing like a real letter, thoughtfully written and lovingly mailed!

2. The 80th anniversary of the passage of the Social Security Act. In the depths of the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Congress established the Social Security Act of 1935, a program that eased poverty for the elderly, retirees, disabled, widows, orphans, and the unemployed.

3. The 50th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid. Fifty years ago, on July 30, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson and Congress created Medicare and Medicaid that remade America’s health care. The dramatic increase of longevity is largely attributed to these two programs. The vitriolic debates at the time are nearly forgotten, but they were as contentious, if not more, as the recent debates about the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare).
August 2—Annual Picnic, St. Stephen’s Church of Greater Boston, under the auspices of Archbishop Oshagan, at Camp Haiastan, Franklin, Massachusetts. Lunch beginning at 12 noon. Delicious kebabs and refreshments. Blessing of Grapes and Madagh at 3 pm. Live Armenian music. Rain or Shine. For information: 617-924-7562.

August 3—Annual Dave Papazian Memorial Golf Tournament at Highfields Country Club, Grafton, Massachusetts. Proceeds to benefit Soorp Asdvadzazin Church, Whitinsville, Massachusetts. For details: Hagop Antranigian, 508-473-7695.

August 9—Annual Church Picnic and Blessing of the Grapes, Holy Trinity 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 including bouncy house and more. Begins at noon. Admission is free. For more information holytrinityaac@gmail.com or 508-852-2414. 

August 9—“Pizza, Popcorn, and a Movie,” St. Stephen’s Church Hall, New Britain, Connecticut, hosted by Ladies Guild. Lunch and movie, $10.

August 9—Sts. Vartanantz Church, Providence, Rhode Island, Annual Picnic at Camp Haiastan from 12 noon to 6 pm, rain or shine. The blessing of madagh and grapes will take place at 3:30 pm under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan, with the participation of pastors of the New England area churches. Full menu of shish, losh, and chicken dinners. Armenian pastry and choreg. Music by Michael Gregian Ensemble with special guest Joe Zeytoonian on the oud. All welcome.

August 16—Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey, Annual Picnic at the Wild Duck Pond, Ridgewood, New Jersey, following the Badarak.

August 16—Annual Picnic and Blessing of Grapes, Soorp Asdvadzazin Church, 315 Church Street, Whitinsville, Massachusetts, under the auspices of Arhbishop Oshagan. Lunch served beginning at noon. Shish kebab, chicken keba, losh kebab, desserts, choreg sale. Live music, Siroonig dancers, rain or shine. For information: der.mikaeldk@gmail.com or 508-234-3677.

August 27-30—Hamazkayin ArtLinks 2015, educational workshops for 21 to 30 age group. Speakers and workshop leaders include: Eric Bogosian, Eric Nazarian, Aline Ohanesian, Scout Tufenkjian; program director Khatchig Mouradian. Participation fee of $150 includes all workshops, three nights of lodging, and meals. For information: artlinks@hamazkayin.com.

August 29—Teachers’ Seminar, organized by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC), 10 am to 3:30 pm, Hovnanian Hall, Prelacy office, 138 E. 39th Street, New York City.

September 12—Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey, Nareg Saturday School opening and registration.

September 13—St. Stephen’s Church, New Britain and Hartford, Annual Church Picnic at Winding Trails in Farmington. Family and Friends Day; Bring a Friend. New spectacular venue for our picnic this year. Lots of sporting activities for the children and young adults and Holiday Boutique “Trinkets and Treasures.” Pavilion next to hall with lots of room in case of inclement weather. Armenian food and live music.

September 13—Picnic Festival, sponsored by St. Gregory Church of Merrimack Valley, 158 Main Street, North Andover, Massachusetts, Noon to 5 pm. Shish, losh, chicken kebab, vegetarian dinners. Featuring Siroun Dance Group, dancing to music of John Berberian, Leon Janikian, Jason Naroian, and John Arzigian. Family games and activities. For information www.saintgregory.org or 978-685-5038.

October 5-9—Clergy gathering of Eastern, Western, and Canadian Prelacies.

October 18—Presentation of the Album “Retrospective” by well-known Canadian photographer Kaloust Babian, at Pashalian Hall, St. Illuminator Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street, New York City, at 1 pm. Organized by St. Illuminator’s Cathedral and Hamazkayin of New York.

October 24—Concert dedicated to the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide featuring singers Nune Yesayan and Sibil, with participation of the Hamazkayin NJ Nayiri Dance Ensemble and Arekag Chorus, 7:30 pm at BergenPac, 30 North Van Brunt Street, Englewood, New Jersey. Tickets: $85, $65. $45. For information: Ani Mouradian 973-224-2741.

October 25—Breakfast in the church hall ($10) after the Liturgy, St. Stephen’s Church, New Britain, Connecticut, sponsored by the Ladies Guild.

October 28—Near East Foundation’s Centennial Gala Celebration, 6:30 pm, Cipriani, 25 Broadway, New York. Save the date.

November 1—Arminstring Ensemble, St. Illuminator Cathedral’s John Pashalian Hall.

November 15—“Remembering the Past, Embracing the Future, 1925-2015,” St. Stephen’s Church, New Britain, Connecticut, 90th Anniversary celebration. His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan, Prelate, will celebrate the Divine Liturgy and preside over the banquet at Farmington Club, 162 Town Farm Road, Farmington, Connecticut. Details to follow.

December 5—Soorp Asdvadzadzin Church Annual Bazaar, 315 Church Street, Whitinsville, Massachusetts, 10 am to 4:30 pm. Dinners served from 11:30 am. Details to follow.

December 6—ARS Holiday Dinner, St. Stephen’s Church Hall, New Britain, Connecticut, after church services. Save the date. Details to follow.

December 20—“Soup, Sandwiches, and Bingo,” St. Stephen’s Church Hall, New Britain, Connecticut, following church services, sponsored by Ladies Guild.
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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