July 9, 2015
The St. Gregory of Datev Institute held its 29th annual Summer Program for youth ages 13-18 at the St. Mary of Providence Center in Elverson, Pennsylvania, from June 28 to July 5, with the participation of 48 students from 12 communities.

Sponsored by the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC), the St. Gregory of Datev Institute graduated ten students this year—students who had completed four weeklong programs, one week each summer, in all receiving over 100 hours of instruction in the elements of the Christian faith. The 2015 graduates are: Deborah Agopian, Sevan Asadurian, Peter Baghdadlian, Roubina Bozoian, Ani Chobanian, Hagop Kahvejian, Anoosh Kouyoumdjian, Celina Seferian, Matthew Selverian, and Adam Torcomian.

The Intructors of the Institute were: His Grace Bishop Anoushavan, V. Rev. Fr. Sahag, Very Rev. Fr. Zareh, Fr. Khoren Habeshian, Fr. Gomidas Baghsarian, Fr. Sarkis Aktavoukian, Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian, Fr. Hovnan Bozoian, Fr. Stephan Baljian, Fr. Hrant Kevorkian. Dn. Shant Kazanjian, Dn. Vahan Kouyoumdjian, M.D., Dn. James Haddad, and Mrs. Maggie Kouyoumdjian.
Participants of the St. Gregory of Datev Institute Summer Program with Instructors and staff members.
2015 graduates of the St. Gregory of Datev Institute with Bishop Anoushavan, Vicar General, Fr. Nareg Terterian, director of the Summer Program, and Dn. Shant Kazanjian, Executive Director of AREC.
The 10th year of Summer Camp at St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York, began with much excitement with an enrollment of 81 campers and a devoted staff of more than twenty. Yesterday, July 8, His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan visited the Summer Camp where he was enthusiastically greeted by all of the campers, who performed some songs they learned. The Prelate told the campers that their performance was so touching that “it brought tears to my eyes hearing your angelic voices singing the Hayr Mer (Lord’s Prayer).”
The St. Sarkis campers and staff members with Archbishop Oshagan, Rev. Fr. Nareg, and Mr. Antranik Boudakian.
Mr. Antranik Boudakian, the godfather of the camp, is thanked for his support with a Certificate of Merit presented by Archbishop Oshagan.
St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School (SSAES), Watertown, Massachusetts, completed its 31st academic year in June with graduation ceremonies taking place on June 18 (kindergarten) and June 19 (elementary).

The Principal, Mrs. Houry Boyamian, thanked the faculty, the administrative staff, PTO, the parent volunteers, school board and committees, St. Stephen’s Church Board of Trustees, Rev. Fr. Archpriest Antranig Baljian, as well as all of the organizations and individuals that contribute to the advancement of the school.

The Kindergarten and Elementary Graduation programs were dedicated to the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide. The students presented the theme with poetry recitation, dance, and chorale songs.

Read the full press release here.
The graduates from the Elementary School.
The Kindergarten graduates.
Last Sunday, July 5, St. Stephen Church in Watertown, Massachusetts, conducted a blessing of the American flag in honor of the July Fourth holiday weekend. Archpriest Fr. Antranig Baljian blesses the flag with the participation of altar servers, deacons, and choir.
Bible readings for Sunday, July 12, Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ, (Aylakerputiunm / Vartavar) are Wisdom 7:25-8:4; Zechariah 14:16-21; 1 John 1:1-7; Matthew 16:13-17:13.

Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud over-shadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone.

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.” And the disciples asked him, “Why then, do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” He replied, “Elijah is indeed coming and will restore all things; but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they do not recognize him, but they did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man is about to suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them about John the Baptist. (Matthew 17:1-13)

For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.
This Saturday, July 11, the Armenian Church commemorates the Old Ark of the Covenant and the Feast of the New Holy Church. This combined commemoration takes place on the Saturday prior to the Feast of the Transfiguration. Celebrating the old and the new shows the perpetuity of the church. God revealed Himself to humankind gradually through Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and the prophets. The church existed from the beginning, and that is why the Old Testament is accepted as part of the Holy Scriptures and recognized as a preamble to the New Testament. The hymn designated for this day proclaims: “Who from the beginning established your church with wisdom, O, Father of Wisdom, who revealed to Moses upon Sinai.”
This Sunday, July 12, the Armenian Church observes one of its five major feasts, the Feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord Jesus Christ (Aylakerputiunm / Vartavar). This Feast is observed fourteen weeks after Easter, and therefore can fall between June 28 and August 1. It commemorates an episode in the New Testament recorded by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Peter, recalling Christ’s ascent up Mount Tabor with disciples John, James, and Peter.

The Transfiguration took place on the “holy mountain” (believed to be Mt. Tabor) where Jesus went with his three disciples. As He was praying, “His face shone like the sun and His garments became white as light.” The Patriarch Moses and Prophet Elijah appeared at His side. It was at this moment that His appearance was “transfigured” revealing himself as God to His disciples as a voice from above said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased. Listen to him.” Jesus urged his disciples to keep silent about what they saw, but the incident was recorded in the Gospels.

The pre-Christian festival, Vartavar (Festival of Roses), was joined with this new Christian holiday. Armenians would decorate the temple of the goddess of Asdghig (goddess of love, beauty, fertility, and water) with roses, release doves, and engage in water games on this pre-Christian holiday. St. Gregory the Illuminator combined Vartavar with Transfiguration. The fifth century historian Yeghishe wrote the prayer that is recited in church on this feast: “O Lord, bless the harvest of this year and defend from all the perils, and may Your right hand, O Lord, protect us for the whole year.”

Vartavar became a traditional day of pilgrimage to churches named in honor of St. John the Baptist. The most popular destination was the Monastery of Sourp Garabed of Moush, founded by Gregory the Illuminator in the province of Taron near Moush. (Garabed means Forerunner, referring to John the Baptist). The monastery was large and expansive and built like a fortress in the mountains. More than one thousand pilgrims could be accommodated. After 1915 the complex ceased to exist. The monastery was destroyed by the Turkish army, and the ravages of time, weather and scavengers completed its destruction. The once large and thriving Armenian monastery is now a mass of stone and rubble.

This Sunday is the name day for those named Vartkes, Vartavar, Vart, Vartouhi, Alvart, Sirvart, Nevart, Lousvart, Hyvart, Baidzar, Vartanoush, Vartiter, Varvar.

The Monday after each of the five major feasts of the Armenian Church is a Memorial Day—Remembrance of the Dead.
Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
Death of Yervant Ter-Minasian (July 12, 1974)
Yervant Ter-Minasian had a short and eventful ecclesiastic career (he left the Church at the age of 31), when he was already an important name in Armenian scholarship. He would still be active for the next six decades and leave a prolific legacy.

He was born in the village of Harich, now in the province of Shirak (Republic of Armenia), on November 19, 1879, into a family of priests. He graduated from the school of the local monastery in 1892 and entered the Kevorkian Seminary of Holy Etchmiadzin. After his graduation in 1900, Catholicos Mgrdich Khrimian sent him to Germany, where he studied theology and ancient languages at the universities of Berlin and Leipzig with famous theologian Adolf Harnack among other professors. He defended his dissertation in 1904 with a study of the relations between the Armenian and Syriac Churches, published in German in the same year, which became the cornerstone of this field.

Back in Etchmiadzin, Ter-Minasian was consecrated celibate priest (vartabed) in 1905 and taught at the Kevorkian Seminary, becoming also the director of the printing house of the Holy See. He published a revised version of his doctoral dissertation in Armenian (1908), as well as half a dozen books, including several textbooks, between 1906 and 1909. An ongoing polemics between conservative and liberal members of the congregation about reform in the Armenian Church ended with an article by the young vartabed, published in the monthly Ararat of the Catholicosate, being publicly burned by order of the locum tenens, Archbishop Kevork Surenian (later Catholicos Kevork V), in 1909. This polemics led him to leave the Church in February 1910. He would later marry and have five children. Nevertheless, his relations with the Holy See soon returned to normalcy. In 1944 he even declined an offer from Catholicos Kevork VI to return to the Church and become a bishop.

Ter-Minasian devoted himself to his pedagogical vocation. He taught in schools at Alexandropol (Gumri, 1910-1917) and Tiflis (1918-1919). In late 1919 he was entrusted by the government of the Republic of Armenia to become one of the organizers of the University of Yerevan, and was a professor there in 1920. After the fall of the independent republic, he became scientific secretary of the Scientific Institute of Etchmiadzin (1921-1922) and then principal of the school of second degree of Vagharshapat (1922-1928) and teacher until 1930.

Ter-Minasian’s past both as a former ecclesiastic and as researcher in ecclesiastic history was not politically correct in the Soviet regime. He took as many precautions as he could to avoid unpleasant surprises: after 1930, when he moved to Yerevan, he earned his living as one of the most authoritative experts of the German language in the country. Furthermore, he would be one of the foremost translators and editors of Marxist classics (Marx, Engels, Lenin) from German and Russian. He initially taught at the Pedagogical Technical School (1930-31) and the Agricultural Institute (1940-1947) as German teacher and chair of the foreign language department. He also taught at Yerevan State University with the same positions from 1943-1948.

In 1945 Ter-Minasian was invited by the Academy of Sciences to deliver a lecture on “The Armenian Literature of the Golden Age,” which was published as a booklet in 1946. The word vosgetar (ոսկեդար, “Golden Age”), commonly used to describe Armenian literature of the fifth century A.D., became a pretext for political attacks, and the almost seventy-year-old scholar was fired from his position at the university in 1948.

Two years later, he was able to take a part-time job as a teacher at the Institute of Foreign Languages, and in 1951 he got a position as senior researcher in the Institute of Linguistics of the Academy of Sciences. He became head of the section of dictionary writing in the same institute from 1955-1970.

Ter-Minasian left an important work in the field of bilingual dictionaries, but most importantly as a scholar of Armenian-Syriac relations, the origin of Christian sects, the doctrinal position of the Armenian Church in the 5th-7th centuries, and other related issues. He also prepared the critical edition of Yeghishe’s On Vartan and the War of the Armenians (the history of the war of Vartanantz), as well as its translation into Modern Armenian.

In his last years, Ter-Minasian wrote his memoirs, which remained unpublished until 2005. He passed away on July 12, 1974, at the age of 95.

Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site (www.armenianprelacy.org)
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Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
You Always Call Someone

Imagine the following dialogue in Armenian: “The boy is outside.” “Call him now!”  How would you write it down? 
- Dghan toorsn eh (Տղան դուրսն է) 
- Hima .... gancheh (Հիմա ... կանչէ՛)

The ellipsis is your problem. What word should go there?

Most people would say Hima iren/anor gancheh (Հիմա իրեն/անոր կանչէ՛). Yes, the words iren and anor mean “him” and “her” (we will speak about their difference another time), but in this case, the use of either one is basically wrong. Why?

Because ganchel (the same as “to call”) is a transitive verb that requires a direct object, and both iren and anor are used to indicate indirect objects. In Armenian, as in English, you call someone, you do not call to someone.

Our problem, therefore, would be solved by writing Hima dghan gancheh (Հիմա տղան կանչէ՛), instead of the grammatically incorrect form Hima dghayin gancheh (Հիմա տղային կանչէ՛). We do not want to repeat dghan, since our interlocutor already used it. Then, the correct pronoun would be zink (զինք), and the sentence above should be Hima zink gancheh (Հիմա զինք կանչէ՛).

Someone may argue: “What about zayn (զայն)?” Indeed, zayn is another pronoun that accompanies transitive verbs. For instance, you have been assigned a book report. Pointing out to the book, you would say: Bedk e zayn gartam (Պէտք է զայն կարդամ “I have to read it”).

It is true that in the early twentieth century, when Western Armenian was still in its phase of development, zayn was also applied, like zink, to people. However, in contemporary Western Armenian zayn is used only for objects (“it”), while zink is reserved for people (“him/her”).

In conclusion: 
a) You have to learn by heart a few Armenian verbs that require direct objects (which, unfortunately for the learner, are not exactly the same as in English), in the same way that you have learned that you call or love “someone,” and not “to someone.”

b) Most importantly, you have also to learn not to confuse a person with an object.

Previous entries in “The Armenian Language Corner” are on the Prelacy’s web site (www.armenianprelacy.org)
(Pastor of St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York)

Episode 45: The “tables are turned” this week: Rev. Fr. Nareg is interviewed by campers.
Click on the image above to link.
The Amiras: Lords of Ottoman Armenia
By Pascal Carmont
Translated from French by Marika Blandin

The Amiras were a powerful class of Armenian commercial, industrial, and professional elites in the Ottoman Empire during the 18th and 19th centuries. It is a fascinating era that has not been adequately studied. This interesting book takes away some of the mystery and sheds light on the role of the Amiras.
141 pages, soft cover, $22.00 (plus shipping and handling)

To order contact the Prelacy Bookstore by email (books@armenianprelacy.org) or telephone (212-689-7810).
July 11—St. Stephen’s Church Ladies Guild, Hartford-New Britain, Connecticut, “Elizabeth Park Brunch.” Come see the roses and 100 acres of formal gardens, and enjoy offsite brunch and meeting at Pond House in the park. For reservations contact Sue Shabazian or Suzanne Midinian. For information: church office, 860-229-8322.

July 12—“Summer Camp for our Orphans,” a short film will be presented by Archpriest Fr. Aram Stepanian before his departure to Armenia, at St. Stephen’s Church, Hartford-New Britain, Connecticut. Come and see the ministry in Armenia and how the children spend eight days in Dzaghgatzor, Armenia, at the summer camp.

July 11—60th anniversary of Ladies Guild of Sts. Vartanantz Church, Providence, Rhode Island, at Alpine Country Club, Cranston, Rhode Island, 6 pm, featuring Hachig Kazarian, John Berberian, Ken Kalajian, Jason Naroian. Dinner/Dance $50.00 per person; Dance only (8 pm) $25.00 per person. For information and reservations contact Joyce Bagdasarian, 401-434-4467.

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.

July 23—“Armenian Village People—A Country Kaleidoscope,” presented by Tom Vartabedian at the Buttonwoods Museum, sponsored by the Haverhill Historical Society, 240 Water Street, Haverhill, Massachusetts. Illustrated talk at 7 pm in conjunction with a month-long exhibit throughout July. Refreshments.

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 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.

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.

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 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.
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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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