March 10, 2016
This Saturday, March 12, on the Feast of Saint Gregory the Illuminator’s Descent into the Pit, a special Pilgrimage Divine Liturgy will be celebrated by His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral in New York City, beginning at 10:30 am. During the Liturgy His Eminence will consecrate the icons of the Armenian Holy Martyrs of the 1915 Genocide that were commissioned by the Prelacy and will adorn the walls of all Prelacy churches. The Blessing of Madagh will follow the Divine Liturgy.

The regional Board of Trustees Workshop for the Prelacy parishes in the Midwest took place last Saturday, March 5, at All Saints Church in Glenview, Illinois. His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan presided and several members of the Religious and Executive Councils participated.

Under a general theme of “Serve to Preserve,” the event first focused on the Prelacy Mission and then went into detail about the many programs and resources that the Prelacy provides to the parishes. These include the Armenian Religious Education Council, Datev Institute, Armenian National Education Committee, Siamanto Academy, Technology, Charitable Programs, Publications, and Special Events.
Archbishop Oshagan with the participants in the Board of Trustees Workshop hosted by All Saints Church, Glenview, Illinois.
Archbishop Oshagan opened the workshop with a message about the “Year of Service.”
Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian speaks about the mission and purpose of a parish.
Last Saturday, the Catholicosate of Cilicia organized a roundtable discussion on “Technology and Church.” The event was organized and attended by young people and proved to be instructional and informative. The roundtable first outlined the current technology being utilized and then explored additional and new initiatives to make the most advantageous use of current technological advancements.

Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian, pastor of St. Sarkis Church in Douglaston, New York, was asked to participate with a report on how our churches use technology. Der Hayr prepared a video which was viewed at the roundtable.

For more information (in Armenian) about the roundtable click here.

To watch Der Nareg’s presentation click play below.
A scene from the Roundtable discussion on technology organized by the Catholicosate.
Bishop Anoushavan, Vicar of the Prelacy, presented the newly published “My Prayer Book,” at Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey, last Friday evening’s Lenten Hsgoom service. Newly published by the Prelacy, the 140-page pocket-size book is a compilation of prayers by Archbishop Zareh Aznavorian, of blessed memory. Following the presentation, guests enjoyed a buffet of Lenten foods.

The Prayer Book is available through the Prelacy Bookstore ( or 212-689-7810).
A scene from the Lenten Hsgoom service.
Bishop Anoushavan presents the newly-published “My Prayer Book,” at Sts. Vartanantz Church, New Jersey.
Bible readings for Sunday, March 13, Sixth Sunday of Great Lent, Sunday of Advent are: Isaiah 66:1-24; Colossians 2:8-3:17; Matthew 22:34-23:39.

When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. Teacher, which commandments in the law is the greatest? He said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them this question: What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he? They said to him, The son of David. He said to them, How is it then that David by the Spirit calls him Lord, saying, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet? If David thus calls him Lord, how can he be his son? No one was able to give him an answer, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them. They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. They love to have the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, and to be greeted with respect in the market places, and to have people call them rabbi. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students. And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father, the one in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted. (Matthew 22:34-23:12)

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

This Sunday, March 13, is the sixth and final Sunday of Great Lent, known as Sunday of Advent (Galstyan Kiraki). On Advent Sunday we are asked to ponder the mystery of the first coming of Christ and especially his second coming which is a fundamental tenet of our Christian faith, and which is mentioned in the prayers read this Sunday. Christ came to the world for the salvation of humanity. We are told to be ready at all times because He will come again for the judgment of sinners, and when the righteous will become worthy of entering the Kingdom of God. “Then people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. He will send out his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.” (Mark 13:26-27)

Advent Sunday has its own special hymn, which proclaims that the apostles knew the mystery of the advent of Christ. The story of the expulsion from paradise is repeated and an appeal is made to Christ to ask the Heavenly Father to establish peace on earth. Sunday of Advent is in preparation for next Sunday, Palm Sunday, which is the celebration of the glorious entry of our Lord into Jerusalem and the beginning of Holy Week.

The terrible manifestation of your glory which will be in your second coming David foresaw and announced beforehand by the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, God will come openly, fire will burn before him. Then, O Jesus, spare us, have compassion, O Christ and have mercy.

Mother of God unwedded, bride of heaven on earth, when in the sight of light you sit at the right hand of your only-begotten beseech him for us to deliver us from the awful flame, to number us with the righteous that we also may sing glory with the heavenly ones.
(Canon for the Sixth Sunday of Great Lent from the Liturgical Canons of the Armenian Church)

During Great Lent, saint days are commemorated only on Saturdays. During the remainder of the year saints can be honored on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, or Saturdays.

This Saturday, March 12, the Armenian Church celebrates one of the three days in its liturgical calendar devoted to St. Gregory the Illuminator, the patron saint of the Armenian Church. The three days are: Descend into the Pit, Emergence from the Pit, and Discovery of his remains. This Saturday is the commemoration of his commitment to the Deep Pit (Khor Virab).
Khor Virap Monastery built over the pit where St. Gregory was imprisoned.
Gregory maintained his faith and refused to renounce Christ. As a result he endured many tortures and his final punishment was banishment into a deep pit where he remained for a period of thirteen or more years. Miraculously he survived, thanks to his faith and according to tradition a woman (identity unknown) who lowered food and water into the pit.

The Monastery of Khor Virab is a popular destination for tourists and pilgrims who visit Armenia. The monastery was built on the exact location where St. Gregory was imprisoned. The pit is accessible and it is possible for visitors to climb down the ladder (27 steep steps) into the pit. The church, named Sourp Asdvadzadzin, dates to the 17th century. The area is one of the most beautiful in Armenia and provides stunning views of Ararat. The area surrounding Khor Virab is the site of the ancient Armenian capital, Artashat, founded by King Artashes I about 180 BC.

Come, let us exalt on this day the spreader of the spiritual light to us who sat in darkness, the holy patriarch Gregory. Come, you children instructed by him, exalt on this day the distributor to the sons of Torkom of the undefiled gifts of the Holy Spirit who gave us a new birth as sons of the light. Come, you children instructed by him, exalt on this day the interpreter of the divine word in the land of Armenia. On this day the Church and her children sing with the angels, on this day of memory of the enlightener ascribing glory to God in the highest.
(Canon to St. Gregory the Illuminator, Commitment to the Pit, from the Liturgical Canons of the Armenian Church)

The fifth of a six-part Prelacy Lenten lecture series took place last night at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral in New York City, presided over by His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan, Prelate. 
Last night, Archpriest Fr. Nerses Manoogian, pastor of St. Gregory the Illuminator Church, Philadelphia, spoke about “Qualities of the servants of the Lord.” Fr. Nerses first prefaced his talk by emphasizing that, by virtue of our baptism into Christ, we are all servants of God, called to mirror Jesus. He then discussed three qualities of an effective servant of God: 1) Faith in God, 2) ability to listen, and 3) ability to see—all illustrated with vignettes from the Bible.

To view Der Hayr’s presentation, click play below.
Archpriest Fr. Nerses Manoogian presented the fifth of the six Lenten lectures at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral.
A scene from the Lenten service prior to the lecture.
“Service is the Obligation of the Community and Government” is the sixth and final Lenten lecture next Wednesday, March 16, and it will be presented by Mrs. Silva Takvorian, ARS Central Executive board member.
The Lenten Program is sponsored by the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC), the Prelacy Ladies Guild (PLG), and the Ladies’ Guild of St. Illuminator’s 
A reminder that the Prelacy’s 33rd Musical Armenia concert is tomorrow evening, 8 pm at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in New York City. Featured artists are pianist Sofya Melikyan and NUR (a collaboration of the lyric soprano Rosy Anoush Svazlian and the pianist/composer Andrea Man) Tickets are available at the Box Office (212-247-7800) and at the Prelacy office (212-689-7810).
St. Illuminator Cathedral’s Ladies Guild hosted a Mid-Lenten (Michink) luncheon and program in Pashalian Hall last Sunday following the Divine Liturgy. Archbishop Oshagan presided and blessed the table. Welcoming remarks were offered by Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, pastor. Mrs. Ani Piranian, chairlady of the Ladies Guild, introduced members of “The Way We Were” ensemble. 

The music-theatre ensemble returned to the Cathedral for an encore performance of their popular musical, “The Hye Legion: The Gamavors,” written and directed by the ensemble’s leader Hourig Papazian Sahagian. The musical is based on true-life stories of the daring missions by volunteers (gamavors), who joined the Armenian Legion (affiliated with the French Foreign Legion) during World War I.
Archbishop Oshagan, Rev. Fr. Mesrob, and Hourig Papazian Sahagian with the members of the popular “The Way We Were” Ensemble.
Dr. Vartan Matiossian, Director of the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC), conducted a seminar for Saturday School teachers from Providence, Boston, and Whitinsville, hosted by Mourad School in Providence, Rhode Island, on Saturday, March 5, 2016. The seminar was also attended by Archpriest  Fr. Gomidas Baghsarian, pastor, and Rev. Fr. Kapriel Nazarian, assistant pastor of the Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church.
The program started with opening remarks by Mr. Hagop Khatchadourian, chairman of the Church Board of Trustees. 
Dr. Matiossian had tailored his presentations according to the requests of the participating schools. He first made an engaging presentation about “Why Do We Study Armenian History,” where he walked the participants through the main reasons behind the study of Armenian history in general and its teaching in particular. This presentation was followed by the review and explanation of a lesson plan on Tigran the Great, based on the use of the Atlas of Historical Armenia, published by ANEC.
The second part of the seminar was dedicated to the teaching of Armenian as a second language (ASL). Dr. Matiossian made an overview of some theoretical features of ASL teaching. Afterwards, he conducted a workshop, where he first introduced some teaching strategies for classes including ASL students and classes entirely dedicated to ASL students. Later, the teachers were divided in four groups, and tasked with the creation of activities of different kinds, based on the use of the series of “Let’s Chat” handouts recently published by ANEC. Throughout the four-hour seminar, those present participated actively with questions and comments, as well as by sharing their experiences in class on the subjects under consideration.
Chake Boloian was recently honored for her 46 years of service as a member of the choir.
Journalist Tom Vartabedian decided to join the choir at age 75.
Chake Boloian, a member of the choir at St. Gregory Church in North Andover for 46 years, was honored with a Certificate of Merit award from the Prelacy during the recent celebration of the parish’s anniversary. Tom Vartabedian writes, “Seven pastors and 46 years later, Boloian still holds her charmed place in the chorale. Choir directors were added. Singers have come and gone. But Boloian remains the true Energizer bunny. She never stops.”

To read the full story click here.

The Armenian Liturgy is beautiful and a dedicated choir is a very important component. We owe a debt of great gratitude to the hundreds of dedicated choir members who sing each Sunday in our parishes. Our esteemed contributor Tom Vartabedian reminds us that it is never too late. After sitting in the back of the church for many decades, he recently journeyed front and center by joining the choir.

To read Tom’s article about this experience “With a church song in my heart,” click here.
In continuation of the landmark case for the return of the historical Seat of the Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia at the Monastery of St. Sophia in Kozan, Turkey, His Holiness Catholicos Aram met with the legal team in Geneva last Saturday to discuss progress of the case filed before the Constitutional Court of Turkey on April 27, 2015. The claim of the Catholicosate is that it retains ownership rights over its historic Seat and that under international law, the 1923 Lausanne Treaty, the Government of Turkey is under an obligation to return this property so that it may be restored and used for religious worship. In order to expedite the case, the lawyer of the Catholicosate in Turkey recently submitted a petition requesting a prompt hearing. If the Government of Turkey does not voluntarily return the Monastery, or if the Constitutional Court does not order its return, the Catholicos has previously indicated that the case will be taken to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, which has the jurisdiction to issue a legally binding decision against Turkey.

According to established tradition, the Prelate and Council of the Diocese of Lebanon invited His Holiness Aram I to preside over the Mid-Lent service at St. Nishan Church in Beirut. Seminary students accompanied His Holiness and participated in the service.

In his message, the Catholoicos explained that Great Lent is an invitation by the Church to the faithful to repent. He then explained the meaning of the prayer of repentance and the steps involved in the act of repentance. His Holiness said, “Penitents withdraw from evil thoughts, follow the way of Jesus, who came to restore God’s presence and Heavenly Kingdom, and reject their self-centered life, turning to a God-centered life. Great Lent is the period when the Church invites her faithful to renounce worldly attractions and turn to God.”

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, His Holiness Aram I stated that throughout the ages Armenians have respected women. “In the context of the family, women are mothers, educators, keepers and transmitters of values and sustain our hopes and visions. Armenian men must recognize women as equal partners and Armenian women must see themselves as equal partners,” the Catholicos said.

His Holiness Aram I met last week with Nicolas Michel, the senior advisor to Staffan de Mistura, special envoy of United Nations Secretary-General Ban-Ki-moon for Syria. During the two-hour meeting, Mr. Michel briefed the Catholicos on possible solutions to the conflict and processes leading to peace, and then asked His Holiness to share his views. His Holiness stated that any peace process should include all communities of Syria, including the Christians because they are all equal citizens of Syria with equal rights and obligations. After the exchange of views, Mr. Michel thanked His Holiness and said that he would stay in contact and continue to consult on these matters.
Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
Birth of Yeghishe Charents (March 13, 1897)
The most famous names of Armenian poetry in the twentieth century were victims either of genocide (Taniel Varoujan and Siamanto), political repression (Yeghishe Charents), or car accident (Paruyr Sevak). Among them, Charents was probably the brightest star in the Armenian literary sky.
Portrait of Yeghishe Charents by Martiros Saryan.
Yeghishe Soghomonian, the future poet, was born in Kars, on March 13, 1897. His parents had moved there from Maku, in Iran, and had seven children. After his elementary studies at the Russian or Armenian parochial school, he studied in the royal school of the city from 1908-1912, but he did not graduate. The young Yeghishe published his first poem in 1912 and his first book, Three Songs to the Sad Girl, dedicated to his girlfriend Astghik Kondakjian, in 1914. Here he adopted the pseudonym of Charents (Armenian char “bad”), for which there are various contradictory explanations.

In August 1915, at the age of eighteen, Charents enrolled himself in the Armenian volunteer corps of the Russian army, and fought in the Caucasian battlefront against the Ottoman army until the end of the year. His war experiences gave birth to his first relevant work, the poem Dante-esque legend, published in 1916.

In 1916-1917 Charents was in Moscow, where he studied at the Shaniavski Popular University. After the October Revolution, he returned to the Caucasus and first participated in the civil fights in the Northern Caucasus. His experiences were the basis for one of his most important poems, The Frenzied Masses, published in 1918. After the liberation of Kars from Turkish occupation, he became a teacher in one of the villages of the Kars district in 1919.

Nikol Aghbalian, Minister of Education of the first Republic of Armenia and a well-known literary critic, lectured in October 1919 on Charents with a very positive outlook. In January 1920 he became an official at the ministry until June, when he left after participating in the Bolshevik demonstrations of May 1. After the establishment of the Soviet regime, he entered the Communist Party and was designated head of the Art section of the Commissariat of Education. During the February 1921 rebellion, he fought as a soldier in the Red Army.

In June 1921 he married Arpenik Ter Astvatzatrian and they departed together for Moscow, where they studied at the University for Workers of the Orient. In 1922 he published his collected works in two volumes and returned to Yerevan, where he would become a leading name in the efforts to modernize Armenian poetry and in the different literary movements, while publishing poems and collections of poetry. From 1921-1924 he also wrote his novel Land of Nayiri, first published serially and then as a book (1926). In 1924-1925 he traveled abroad and visited Istanbul, Rome, Venice, Paris, and Berlin.

In September 1926 Charents was involved in a criminal incident when he shot and slightly wounded a young girl whom he had fallen in love with. In November he was sentenced to eight years of imprisonment, later reduced to three, in the House of Correction (prison) of Yerevan, and previously he was expelled from the Communist Party. This situation coincided with the death of his wife Arpenik on January 2, 1927, at the age of twenty-eight, due to an extra-uterine pregnancy. Charents was freed on humanitarian grounds, given his extremely fragile psychological condition, and sent to mandatory treatment at a sanatorium.

From 1928-1935 the poet worked at the Armenian State Publishing House and developed a prolific editorial program, including the publication of new writers and Armenian classics, as well as translations. After a kidney surgery in Moscow (1929), he developed the use of morphine, which he would continue until the end of his life.  

In 1931 he married Isabela Niazova, and they would have two daughters, Arpenik and Anahit. Literary and political pressure over him, as well as on the best representatives of the Armenian intelligentsia was mounting. In 1933 Charents’ most important collection of poetry, The Book of the Road, was forbidden before publication. It was released in 1934 only after the poet excluded several works that had been questioned. In this year, he participated in the First Congress of Soviet Writers, held in Moscow.
A memorial sculpture to Charents in central Yerevan.
His downfall started in 1935, when he was fired from his job, expelled from the Writers Union of Armenia, and interrogated several times at the Ministry of Internal Affairs on trumped-up charges of being a terrorist. The assassination of Aghasi Khanjian, First Secretary of the Armenian Communist Party and his friend and protector, on July 9, 1936, covered up by Joseph Stalin’s henchman Laurenti Beria, First Secretary of the Party in Transcaucasia, as a “suicide,” unleashed the political persecution against Armenian intellectuals. Many writers and intellectuals were arrested on July and August 1936, and they would be shot, exiled to Siberia, or sentenced to years in a wave of terror that continued until 1938-1939. Charents was subjected to house arrest in September 1936, his books were retired from libraries and bookstores, and the publication of his works was stopped.

The poet was finally imprisoned on July 1937. His wife would follow the same fate (she was deported to Kazakhstan for five years in 1938), and their children would be placed in an orphanage as “enemies of the people.” Charents, gravely ill, passed away in the hospital of the Yerevan prison on November 27, 1937. His body was buried in an unmarked grave and the exact place of his tomb remains unknown.

Charents was rehabilitated after the death of Stalin, and his name became extremely popular among youngsters and adults. His works have been published many times, and statues, streets and a museum perpetuate his name in Armenia.

Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site (
Charents is featured on the 1000 dram bill of the Republic of Armenia's currency.
For many decades the Prelacy has sponsored an annual raffle drawing the proceeds of which are devoted to the educational and religious programs of the Prelacy that benefit our youth. The drawing takes place in May during the annual National Representative Assembly. The top prize is $5,000, second prize is $2,000 and third, fourth, and fifth prizes are $1,000. 

Of course being a winner is great. But, truthfully, in this raffle there are no losers, because the money raised funds the programs that are so vital to our church’s mission. If you haven’t bought a ticket please consider purchasing one or more now. Contact your local parish or contact the Prelacy ( or 212-689-7810).

The New York Community Trust has announced that among their more than 1,700 charitable funds and scholarships there are several that benefit students of Armenian descent. These are: The Hazaros Tabakoglu Scholarship Fund; Hagop, Arousiag, and Arpy Kashmanian Scholarship Fund; and the Anni P. Nalbandian Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Criteria for the scholarships include: Academic excellence; Family residence in New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut. (Students can attend schools throughout the U.S.); Financial need; Involvement with the Armenian community and its culture; Full-time undergraduate study only. 

Deadline for application is May 2, 2016. For an application or information contact: Anne Nally, Scholarship Administrator (

The crisis in Syria requires our financial assistance.
Please keep this community in your prayers, your hearts, and your pocketbooks.


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.
Armenians of the Merrimack Valley, a new book written by E. Philip Brown and Tom Vartabedian was recently published. The authors are currently embarking on a presentation tour of their new book. Tom is a well-known journalist who contributes regularly to the Armenian press. His work is often featured in Crossroads. The schedule for the book tour is as follows:

March 13, Armenian Church at Hye Point, 110 Main Street, Haverhill, 12:30 pm, book signing and presentation. March 19, Barnes & Noble, Salem, New Hampshire, 1-4 pm, book signing and presentation. March 31, Buttonswood Historical Museum, 7 pm, 240 Water Street, Haverhill, Massachusetts, book signing and presentation. April 2, Armenian Library & Museum of America (ALMA), 2 pm, 65 Main Street, Watertown, Massachusetts, book signing and presentation. April 7, Avak luncheon, St. Gregory Church, 158 Main Street, North Andover, Massachusetts, noon, book signing and presentation. May 21, Vermette’s Market, 6 Pond Street, Amesbury, Massachusetts, 10 am to 2 pm, book signing.

The significance of an obituary this week probably was missed by most. Raymond Tomlinson, a computer scientist, died at age 74. Mr. Tomlinson was the person who saved the “at” @ sign from the fate of the “cent” sign that was removed from the keyboard some time ago. It seemed that @ was next in line for banishment, until Mr. Tomlinson undertook the challenging task in 1971 of finding a way to address a message created by one person and sent by one computer to someone at a different computer. The address needed an individual’s name, as well as the name of the computer, which might service many users. Most importantly, the symbol separating those two addresses could not already be widely used in programs and operating systems. Searching for the right symbol, Mr. Tomlinson’s stared at a keyboard and his eyes focused on @, and the rest, as they say, is history. And so the “ancient @, once nearly obsolete, became the symbolic linchpin of a revolution in how humans connect,” as noted by the Smithsonian magazine.

Featured this week:
• Interview with Professor Marilyn Martone, Ph.D.
• Bible Reflection
• Hymn of the Day
• And more.

Click the image above to listen.

The Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia:
History, Treasures, Mission
Seta B. Dadoyan, Editor

Published on the occasion of the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide, this oversize volume chronicles the history and mission of the Armenian Church, especially the Holy See of Cilicia. The first part concentrates on the history of Cilicia and the Catholicosate; the second part focuses on the treasures of Armenian Cilicia. Five appendices provide valuable historic information. Most articles are published in the language they were originally written (English and/or French).

In his Epilogue to the volume, His Holiness Aram I notes, “While going through this volume, the reader witnesses the long pilgrimage of a people, who overcame despair by hope, uncertainty by resolve, genocide by survival. Indeed, the very survival of this small nation and church is a miracle. Faith in God was the people’s sustaining power and their vision of the future became their driving force.”

400 pages, hardcover, color photographs
$150.00 plus shipping and handling.
We return to Daylight Saving Time at 2 am on Sunday. Remember to adjust your time-pieces one-hour ahead (spring forward; fall back).
SIAMANTO ACADEMY—Meets every second Saturday of the month at the Hovnanian School, 817 River Road, New Milford, New Jersey. For information: or 212-689-7810.

March 11—33rd Musical Armenia, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, 57th Street and 7th Avenue, with Sofya Melikian, piano; and NUR featuring Rosy Anoush Svazlian and Andrea Manzoni, soprano and piano. Tickets: $25. Box office: 212-247-7800; Prelacy: 212-689-7810;

March 12—30th anniversary of St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School at Sorenson Center for the Arts (Babson College), Wellesley, Massachusetts. Tickets ($125) may be purchased online ( by email (, or by phone (617-926-6979.

March 16—Prelacy Lenten Program, “Service is the obligation of the community and government structures,” by Mrs. Silva Takvorian, at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street, New York City, 7 pm.

March 19—Sunday School Teachers’ Seminar, New England Region, “Baptism, Chrismation, and Eucharist: The Foundation of our Life in Christ,” at Saints Asdvadzadzin Armenian Apostolic Church, 315 Church Street, Whitinsville, Massachusetts, 10am—3pm. Sponsored by the Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC)—Eastern Prelacy. The seminar will be conducted by Dn. Shant Kazanjian, AREC Director. For information contact the AREC office by phone (212-689-7810) or email (

March 20—Anniversary dinner hosted by the Merrimack Valley “Arax” ARS Chapter, 1 pm, Jaffarian Hall, St. Gregory Church, 158 Main Street, North Andover, Massachusetts. Luleh kebab dinner and program; speaker Talin Daghlian. Tickets at the door.

April 2—Contemporary Art Exhibit and Reception, 7 pm to 10 pm, Vahakn and Hasmig Hovnanian Hall at the Armenian Prelacy, 138 E. 39th Street, New York City. Sponsored by the Armenian Relief Society of the Eastern USA, under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan, Prelate. The works of prominent Armenian artists from Armenia and the Diaspora will be on view and available for purchase. Curated by Vicki Shoghag Hovanessian. Proceeds will benefit the ARS Educational Programs. The exhibition will also be open on Sunday, April 3, 1 pm to 4 pm. Admission is free.

April 2—Presentation and book signing by Haverhill (MA) authors Tom Vartabedian and E. Philip Brown, “Armenians of the Merrimack Valley,” 2 pm at Armenian Museum of America, 65 Main Street, Watertown, Massachusetts; co-sponsored by Project SAVE Armenian Photograph Archives.

April 16—Cocktail and Dinner Reception for the Pillars of the Prelacy in the New England region, 6:30 pm at Armenian Museum of America, 65 Main Street, Watertown, Massachusetts.

May 12, 13, 14—National Representative Assembly of the Eastern Prelacy hosted by St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York. Also convening are the National Association of Ladies Guilds conference, and conference of Yeretzgins.
Web pages of the parishes can be accessed through the Prelacy’s web site.
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