June 23, 2016
Pope Francis’s visit to Armenia will begin tomorrow, June 24, with official welcoming ceremony at the Zvartnots International Airport in Yerevan before the Pope goes on to the Holy See of Etchmiadzin, where a welcoming ceremony will be offered in the Mother Cathedral.

The Pope’s three-day visit will include a meeting with President Serzh Sarkisian, community leaders, and representatives of diplomatic missions. His first day will conclude with a meeting at the Holy See of Etchmiadzin, with His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians. 

On Saturday His Holiness will visit Tsitsernakaberd, the Armenian Genocide Memorial and Museum. Pope Francis and His Holiness Karekin II will visit the city of Gyumri, where a Divine Liturgy will be offered in Vartanantz Square. The Pope will also visit Our Lady of Armenia Convent of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception in Gyumri, the Seven Wounds Saint Mary Church of the Diocese of Shirak of the Armenian Apostolic Church, and the Holy Martyrs Armenian Catholic Cathedral. In the evening, an outdoor Ecumenical Service and Peace Prayer will take place in Yerevan in Republic Square.

On Sunday, at the Holy See of Etchmiadzin, Pope Francis will meet with Armenian Catholic bishops, and then participate in a Divine Liturgy and an Ecumenical dinner, along with His Holiness Karekin II, the Archbishops and Bishops of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Armenian Catholic Archbishops and Bishops and the Papal delegation. The spiritual leaders will offer their prayers at the Khor Virap Monastery, after which Pope Francis will return to the  Vatican.

Pope Francis issued a video message addressed to the people of Armenia ahead of his visit. The Pontiff said in part, “With the help of God, I am coming to you to undertake what the motto of my journey is—‘The visit to the first Christian nation.’” And I am coming as a pilgrim in this Jubilee year to embrace the ancient wisdom of your nation and plunge into the source of your faith, as solid as your famous rocky crosses carved in stone….”

You can follow the entire visit via Vatican Radio’s video broadcasts.

You can view the Pope’s pre-visit message by clicking below.
Archbishop Oshagan recently announced that the Eastern Prelacy will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the election and consecration of His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia, on Sunday, October 9. The day will begin with a Pontifical Divine Liturgy at Sts. Vartanantz Church in Ridgefield, New Jersey. 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. Archbishop Oshagan noted that although His Holiness’s 20th anniversary was last year, he chose to postpone any celebrations until this year in order to focus solely on the worldwide 100th anniversary commemorations of the Armenian Genocide.  

His Holiness was elected and consecrated in July 1995. During the past twenty 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, finding ways to strengthen the Armenian identity in the Diaspora, promoting and supporting ecumenism and interfaith relations, supporting the Armenian Cause, and launching many new construction projects.

This Monday, June 27, the Eastern Prelacy will honor Professor Peter Balakian, whose latest work Ozone Journal was awarded the 2016 Pulitzer for Poetry.  Archbishop Oshagan will preside over the event and Dr. Herand Markarian, the evening’s MC will guide the program. The event will begin at 7 pm, at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral (Pashalian Hall), 221 East 27th Street, New York City. Khachig Tololyan, professor of English and Comparative Literature at Wesleyan University, will introduce the honoree’s work, including his most recent Ozone Journal that won the Pulitzer. Professor Balakian will read from his works. Reception will follow the presentation. Signed copies of Ozone Journal will be available. 
The Catholicosate of the Holy See of Cilicia will hold a seminar for young adults at the Soorp Asdvadzadzin (Holy Theotokos) Monastery in Bikfaya, Lebanon, from July 14-16, 2016. Each diocese under the jurisdiction of the Catholicosate of Cilicia will send two representatives. We are happy to announce that two young adults will represent the Eastern Prelacy—Nevair Oranjian from St. Sarkis Armenian Church of Douglaston, New York, and Tro Panosian from St. Illuminator’s Cathedral of the Armenian Apostolic Church in New York City. 

The purpose of the Seminar is to create a forum for the youth to share ideas and evaluate activities from their respective communities, as well as to strategize future programs.  The participants will also engage in a host of issues and challenges that they face in our world today.
On Sunday, June 19, His Grace Bishop Anoushavan, Vicar General, and Dn. Shant Kazanjian, Director of the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC) met with Nevair and Tro at the Cathedral to discuss issues related to the seminar. Bishop Anoushavan blessed them and wished them a safe and fruitful trip. 
Bishop Anoushavan, Dn. Shant, and Der Mesrob with the two representatives who will represent the Eastern Prelacy at the seminar in Bikfaya, Lebanon.
Bible readings for Sunday, June 26, Sixth Sunday after Pentecost, (Eve of the Fast of Transfiguration), are: Isaiah 3:1-11; Romans 11:13-24; Matthew 14:13-21.

Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” Jesus said to them, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” They replied, “We have nothing here but fives loaves and two fish.” And he said, “Bring them here to me.” Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children. (Matthew 14:13-21)

For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.
Elisha raises son of the woman of Shunem, by Benjamin West, 1765
Today (June 23), the Armenian Church celebrates the Feast of Elisha the Prophet, whose life and works are recorded in 1 and 2 Kings. Elisha (“God is Salvation”) was a disciple of the Prophet Elijah, who at God’s command anointed Elisha to be his successor much like Jesus later did in call his disciples in Galilee. Elisha performs miracles, healing the sick and reviving the dead. His message to his followers was that they should return to traditional religious practices and acknowledge God’s sovereignty over all aspects of life. When he healed the sick it was to demonstrate God’s power over life and death: when he helped in battle, it was to demonstrate God’s power over nations.

On Saturday, June 25, the Armenian Church celebrates the Feast of the Twelve Apostles of Christ and Saint Paul, who is considered the “thirteenth apostle.”

Jesus selected twelve apostles to carry on His work and instructed them to preach and to baptize converts all over the world (Mt. 28:19-20). He gave the title “apostle” to the twelve (Luke 6:13; Mark 3:14). The word apostle derives from the Greek word apostellein (arakyal in Armenian). The apostles dedicated their lives to spreading the Word and fulfilling the sacred mission entrusted to them. Their mission was not just to transmit the message but to put it into practice.

Paul was initially an enemy of Christians and persecuted them. He had a vision on the road to Damascus and became a fervent Christian convert and was subsequently responsible in large measure for the rapid spread of the new religion. Most of the New Testament (aside from the four Gospels) is from the writings of Paul.

The Armenian Church has its roots in the apostolic ministry and succession (Thaddeus and Bartholomew) and is therefore known as “apostolic,” (arakelagan). The apostles and immediate successors (including the Armenian Church) defended the Orthodox faith and kept it pure.

Jesus washing His discples feet by Del Parson
This Sunday, the sixth Sunday after Pentecost, is the Paregentan of the Fast of the Transfiguration—the five-day (Monday to Friday) period of fasting prior to the Feast of the Transfiguration (Aylagerboutyan / Vartavar) that we will celebrate next Sunday, July 3.

St. Gregory of Datev Summer Institute at St. Mary of Providence Center, Elverson, Pennsylvania, will begin next week, Sunday July 3, under the sponsorship of the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC). The summer program offers a unique weeklong Christian educational program for youth. 

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Eastern Prelacy’s St. Gregory of Datev program that has touched the lives of hundreds of Armenian teenagers during the past three decades. We need your help to continue our mission fostering the Armenian Christian growth and development of our youth. Any size donation helps.

The Eastern Prelacy’s annual weeklong Datev program, organized by the Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC), has grown extensively since its beginnings in 1987. The four-year program offers young Armenians an enriching curriculum that mixes theory with practice, under the auspices of the Prelate, His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan.

Why Datev?
• To instill and nurture the Armenian Christian faith and identity in our youth.
• To encourage Armenian youth to become more involved in the life of the Church.
• To discuss youth-related issues with Armenian clergy6 and teachers.
• To provide a forum for our youth to expand their knowledge of Armenian culture through language, poetry, music, song and dance.

Rooted in the Armenian Christian faith and culture, the Institute is a four-year (one week each summer) faith-based program for youth ages 13 to 18. Those who complete the four year program may return for postgraduate classes. Classes for the five levels of study take place concurrently. The daily schedule reflects the Institute’s three main objectives: Education, worship, and fellowship. And the program includes worship services, Bible study, group discussions, lectures, and recreational activities. Your donation will help us embrace the next chapter of our journey with a renewed vision and commitment to bring our youth closer to God and the Armenian Church.

Your tax-deductible donations may be made on line (click here) or if you prefer you may send your donation to the Armenian Prelacy, 138 East 39th Street, New York, NY 10016. Checks should be payable to the Armenian Apostolic Church of America; please indicate “Datev” in the memo area.
Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
You Put Gloves On, But Not Pants
The reader is probably acquainted with the old English proverb: “A cat in gloves catches no mice.” The oldest written reference is from the sixteenth century (A gloued catte can catche no myse), but perhaps it was an adaptation from French, where the proverb was already around in the fourteenth century, with the literal translation “A gloved cat will never mouse well.”

The proverb exists, of course, in other languages, as well as in Armenian. However, there is a difference between the English and the Armenian version. The latter says:

Ձեռնոց դնող կատուն մուկ չի բռներ
(Tsernots tnogh gadoon moog chi purner)
The glove wearing cat catches no mice
Remember that while you put a piece of clothing on you in English, you do not do that in Armenian. “He puts pants on” = An dapad guh hakni (Ան տաբատ կը հագնի). It is wrong to say An dapad guh tuneh, a literal translation from English. 
However, in the case of accessories, both languages work in the same way:
I put my gloves on = Ես ձեռնոցներս դրի (Yes tsernotsnerus tuhri
He is putting her hat on = Ան իր գլխարկը կը դնէ (An ir kulkharguh guh tuhneh)
She will put the ring on = Ան մատանին պիտի դնէ (An madanin bidi tuhneh)
Nevertheless, while in English you wear an accessory (gloves, hat, ring...), you carry it in Armenian. For instance, we say madani guhrel (մատանի կրել / “to carry (a) ring”) or kulkharg guhrel (գլխարկ կրել / “to carry (a) hat) and not madani haknil or kulkharg haknil. Be careful, fashion lovers!

 Previous entries in “The Armenian Language Corner” are on the Prelacy’s web site (www.armenianprelacy.org).
Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
The Council of Shahapivan (June 24, 444 A.D.)
Following its participation in the first three Ecumenical Councils (Nicaea, Constantinople, and Ephesus) between 325 and 431, the Armenian Church would convene many national councils, where the clergy would gather to take decisions over the internal order and structure of the Church, and internal issues, and to give a response to various other questions. Throughout history, these councils have functioned as the mouthpiece of the Church, giving her official viewpoints on various matters.

After three councils in the city of Ashtishat (352, 354, 435), a council was convened by Catholicos Hovsep I in the township of Shahapivan (province of Ayrarat) in 444, soon after the deaths of Catholicos Sahak and Mesrop Mashtots (439-440). It was attended by forty bishops, monks, priests, deacons, high-ranking and low-ranking noblemen, and peasants, “who were zealous of laws and sainthood.” Among the latter were Governor Vasak Siuni and General Commander Vartan Mamikonian. The purpose of the council was to put an end to activities endangering the newly-established Church.

The preface to the canons of the council notes that it was called to complete and to confirm the apostolic and Nicaean canons, which many ecclesiastics had violated, to re-establish the internal order and moral norms of the Armenian Church, and to respond to sects and various offenders.

Despite its canonical nature, the resolutions of the council of Shahapivan were the only ones in the history of the Armenian Church that established punishment for offenses and went beyond the canons to become a legal codification. Only one of the twenty canons was of advisory nature. Six of them in their entirety, and four of them partially referred to ecclesiastics, establishing canonical and criminal punishments for canonical violations and offenses. The remaining thirteen (nine entirely and four partially) were also of similar nature, but addressed the breaches caused by princes and peasants. The latter were made distinctions in the type of punishment: princes were sentenced to advice, fine, and penitence, while peasants received corporal punishment (beating). However, there were differences in the amounts of fines for princes and peasants, with the latter paying half or less than half. The fines were destined to churches, asylums, and other places, and in certain cases they were partially distributed among the poor. The canons recognized the equality of men and women before the law.

Strict canons were established against the heretical sect of the Messalians, whose teachings established that prayer was the only way to attain perfection, excluding the Church and the sacraments. In the case of families that followed the sect, the adults were confined to leper colonies, and the children were delivered to the Church, which took care of their religious education.

The council of Shahapivan was an important milestone in the consolidation of the Armenian Church and the formation of juridical thought in Armenia. Its canons became part of the codification of religious law.

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: Armenian Apostolic Church of America
(Memo: Syrian Armenian Relief)

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

This week’s podcast features:
• Opening Prayer
• “Among Other Things” with Veh and Der Nareg
• Interview with Marilyn West Honda, “The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”

Click on image above to link to the Podcast.
June 25—Armenian Food Fair, sponsored by St. Gregory Church of Merrimack Valley, 158 Main Street, North Andover, Massachusetts, 11 am to 7 pm; losh and chicken kebab, kheyma, vegetarian plate, pastries, dine in or take out. Information: Sossy Jeknavorian (978-256-2538) or Ann Apovian (978-521-2245).

June 26—Ladies Guild of St. Asdvadzadzin Church sponsors “Church, Mezza & Booktalk.” Lecture at 12:30 pm by Marian Mesrobian MacCurdy, author of “Sacred Justice—the Voices and Legacy of the Armenian Operation Nemesis.” For information: Priscilla Altoonian at hyemom23@aol.com. 

June 27—Book Presentation and Reception in honor of Pulitzer Prize winner Professor Peter Balakian, at John Pashalian Hall, Saint Illuminator Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street at 7 pm. Professor Balakian’s work will be presented by Professor Khachig Tololyan. Reception will follow presentation. Signed copies of “Ozone Journal” will be available.

July 3-10—St. Gregory of Datev Summer Institute at St. Mary of Providence Center, Elverson, Pennsylvania. Sponsored by the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC), the summer program offers a unique weeklong Christian educational program for youth. 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 16—Sts. Vartanantz Church Ladies Guild and ARS Ani Chapter, “A Hye Summer Night 10 Dinner Dance,” featuring Hachig Kazarian, clarinet; John Berberian, oud; Ken Kalajian, guitar; Jason Naroian, dumbeg; Khatchig Jingirian, vocals. Alpine Country Club, 251 Pippin Orchard Road, Cranston, Rhode Island. Dinner buffet $55 per person; dance only $30; students $30. For tickets/information: Joyce Bagdasarian (401) 434-4467; Joyce Yeremian (401) 354-8770.

Sunday, July 31—St. Stephen's Church (Watertown, MA) Annual Church Picnic under the auspices of H.E. Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate.  Picnic will take place at Camp Haiastan, 722 Summer Street, Franklin, MA 02038. Lunch beginning at 12:00 Noon, includes delicious kebabs and refreshments. Blessing of the Grapes and Madagh at 3:00 pm. Live Armenian Music. The Greater Boston Community and neighboring New England communities are invited to attend. Rain or shine. For more information contact the church office at (617) 924-7562.

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

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

October 9—SAVE THE DATE. Special event celebrating the 20th anniversary of the enthronement of His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia. Details will follow.

October 22—SAVE THE DATE. 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.

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.
Web pages of the parishes can be accessed through the Prelacy’s web site.
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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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