July 7, 2016

The St. Gregory of Datev Summer Institute is currently in session. The 30th summer program for youth ages 13 to 18, takes place at the St. Mary of Providence Center in Elverson, Pennsylvania. Sponsored by the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC), and directed by Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian, Pastor of St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York, the Datev Institute offers a unique Christian educational program for youth to enrich their knowledge of the Christian faith in a wholesome and nurturing environment, coupled with recreational activities and daily worship and prayer services.
Last Sunday parishes of the Easter Prelacy offered Pontifical Prayers and Blessings on the occasion of the 21st anniversary of the election and consecration of His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of the Great House of Cilicia.
As most of you know, 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 milestone “20th anniversary” is being celebrated this year because last year was the centennial commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, and His Holiness did not want to detract attraction from this solemn anniversary.  
The celebratory day will begin with a Pontifical Divine Liturgy at Sts. Vartanantz Church in Ridgefield, New Jersey, celebrated by His Holiness. 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. A committee has been meeting regularly to plan a celebration that is fitting and enjoyable. Details of the event will be forthcoming.
His Holiness was consecrated Catholicos of Cilicia on July 1, 1995. During the past twenty-one 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.
Bible readings for Sunday, July 10, Second Sunday of Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ, are Isaiah 3:16-4:1; 1 Corinthians 1:25-30; Matthew 18:10-14.
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven  their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven. What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” (Matthew 18:10-14)
For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.

Today, Thursday, July 7, the Armenian Church remembers the prophet Isaiah, who is best known for the longest prophetic book in the Old Testament (66 chapters) that bears his name. Isaiah foretells the birth of the Messiah by a virgin and describes the suffering of the Messiah’s church. Many of the New Testament teachings of Jesus refer to the book of Isaiah. Because of his clear foretelling about Christ the Savior, Isaiah is also recognized as an Old Testament evangelist. Although it is not recorded in the Bible, it is believed that Isaiah died a martyr’s death by order of the Hebrew king, Manasseh. Relics of the prophet are preserved at Mt. Athos in the Greek Orthodox Khilendaria Monastery in Greece.
This Saturday, July 9, the Armenian Church commemorates Saint Thaddeus, one of two apostles who preached in Armenia, and Saint Santookht, daughter of King Sandadrook, and the first saint of the Armenian Church.
Princess Santookht was converted to Christianity by Thaddeus. Her father tried to have her renounce her conversion and finally gave her a choice of the crown or the sword. She chose the sword and became the first witness for Christianity in Armenia and the first saint of the Armenian Church. Shortly after her martyrdom, Thaddeus was also martyred.
On Monday, July 11, the Armenian Church commemorates St. Cyprian (Gibrianos), who was bishop of Carthage, an important early Christian writer, and a major theologian of the early African church. Many of his works in Latin have survived.  One of his best known works is, On the Unity of the Church. Many of his epistles, treatises, and pastoral letters are extant. He urged Christians to recite the Lord’s Prayer every day, meditating on each phrase. He wrote a commentary on the Lord’s Prayer showing how it is the model for prayer. 
Born in the year 200, he was the son of wealthy parents and became a teacher of rhetoric and literature. He converted to Christianity in his middle years and was ordained a priest and elected to serve as bishop of Carthage. He was subject to persecution after his conversion and in the year 258 was beheaded along with forty-five martyrs.

“When we pray, we should ensure that we understand the words we use. We should be humble, aware of our own weaknesses, and be eager to receive God’s grace. Our bodily posture and our tone of voice should reflect the fact that through prayer we enter God’s presence. To speak too loudly to God would be impudent; thus a quiet and modest manner is appropriate. The Lord has instructed us that we should usually pray in private, even in our own bedrooms. This reminds us that God is everywhere, that he hears and sees everything, and that he penetrates the deepest secrets of our hearts.”
(From “On the Lord’s Prayer,” by Cyprian of Carthage)

Archbishop Oshagan and Bishop Anoushavan attended a number of events last week in honor of Cardinal Patriarch Moran Mor Bechara Boutros al-Rahi, the head of the Maronite Catholic Church, during the Patriarch’s visit to the United States.
Archbishop Oshagan and Bishop Anoushavan and other clergymen with Patriarch Rahi after the Divine Liturgy celebrated by the Patriarch at the Maronite Cathedral.
Patriarch Rahi with Archbishop Oshagan and Bishop Anoushavan at the Catholic Center (CNEWA) in Manhattan.
St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School (SSAES) in Watertown, Massachusetts, successfully completed its 32nd academic year last week with Graduation Ceremonies that took place on June 16 (K) and June 17 (Elementary). 
In her remarks the Principal, Mrs. Houry Boyamian, focused on the 13th Graduating Class Trip to Armenia; The Annual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Week and the Science Fair; The School’s 30th Anniversary; and the Visit to the school of the President of the Republic of Armenia and his delegation.    
She thanked the faculty, the administrative staff, the PTO, the parent volunteers, the school board and committees, the St. Stephen’s Church board of trustees, Rev. Fr. Archpriest Antranig Baljian, as well as all the organizations and individuals that contribute to the advancement of the school.
On June 16, Mrs. Boyamian honored Mrs. Maral Derderian for 25 years of dedicated service in the preschool and on June 17, Mrs. Boyamian honored two administrators. Nora Hacket received the Golden Logo of the school for her 15 years of dedicated service as assistant treasurer and Arlet Ashjian received the Silver Logo of the school for her 10 years of dedicated service as administrative assistant. 
This year, the Kindergarten graduation program was dedicated to Peace, while the Elementary graduation program focused on the 30th anniversary of the school, the 25th Anniversary of the Republic of Armenia, as well as on Community Service, as His Holiness, Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia declared 2016 the Year of Service.
On both days, Archpriest Antranig Baljian expressed his appreciation to the administration and faculty for their dedication and effort.
Twenty-one students graduated from Kindergarten. They are: Nellie Aghajanyan, Gianna Alexanderian, Harout Artinian, Nara Behbahani, Avedis Bell, Ariana Bouthiete, Emma Fontes, Isabel Fontes, Armen Galaian, Stepan Guzelian, Julia Kebadjian, David Oganesian, Lori Panossian, Gassia Sarkissian, Tatevik Sarkissian, Liana Seraderian, Arman Stepanian, Belissa Tamburrini, Chloe Tinkjian, Gacia Tokadjian, and Nairi Yacubian.
Thirteen students graduated from the Elementary School. They are: Taline Antoine, Chris Ashjian, Alec Der-Sirakian, Alique Haserjian, Sophia Kahvejian, Vana Karaguesian, Alexander Nalbandyan, Andrew Sarkissian, Sevan Soukiasian, Alique Stepanian, Sevana Stepanian, Benjamin Surenian and Izabell Tenekedzhyan
 Elementary School Graduates with Archpriest Father Antranig Baljian, Principal Houry Boyamian, teachers Ardemis Megerdichian and Liz Strasser. 
Preschool teacher Maral Derderian honored for her 25 years of dedicated service, surrounded by Principal Houry Boyamian and Preschool Director Maral Orchanian.
Kindergarten graduates performing.
The Executive and Central Committees of the World Council of Churches (WCC) met last week in Trondheim (Norway), focusing their discussions on the WCC’s current theme of a “pilgrimage of justice and peace.: The Very Rev. Housig Mardiossian, Ecumenical Officer, and Ms. Teny Pirri-Simonian, the Ecumenical Representative in Switzerland and Europe, represented the Holy See of Cilicia.
The agenda included the reports of the Moderator and the General Secretary, special plenary sessions on Religions and Violence, the Middle East, and Children’s Rights. The participants were also introduced to the native people and the culture of Norway. The members of the standing committees of the Central Committee discussed the presentations and administrative matters proposed by the staff, after which they made recommendations and took decisions. The Central Committee elected among its member a representative to the committee planning for the 11th Assembly in 2021. Ms. Teny Pirri-Simonian, in view of her long ecumenical experience, was elected. Mrs. Piri-Simonian also represented the Catholicosate of Cilicia at the Executive Committee of the WCC, which met in June.
The Council of Orthodox Bishops, presided by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, that took place from June 19 to 26, in Crete, was the first Council of Orthodox Bishops since 787 AD. The Oriental Orthodox Churches were invited as observers. Archbishop Gomitas Ohanian represented the Holy See of Cilicia.
Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
Death of Diana Apcar (July 8, 1937)
The name of Diana Apcar is mostly known in her role as diplomatic representative of the first Republic of Armenia in Japan. However, it is noteworthy that she was probably the first woman to have been appointed to any diplomatic post ever.
Diana Agabeg (Aghabegian) was born on October 12, 1859 in Rangoon, Burma (today Yangon, Myanmar), which was then a British colony. The roots of her paternal family were in the Armenian community of New Julfa, then a suburb of Ispahan, in Persia (Iran). Her mother came from the Avetum family in Shiraz (Persia).
Diana (she spelled her name Դիանա, according to Eastern Armenian pronunciation) was the youngest of seven children in the family, and was raised in Calcutta (today Kolkata), where she attended a local convent school. She became fluent in English, Armenian, and Hindi, and she would later learn Japanese and Chinese. In 1890 she married Apcar Michael Apcar, who also came from a well-known family from New Julfa, with a successful network of commercial activities all around Southeast Asia. The newlywed couple married in Hong-Kong and moved to Japan in 1891 to expand the family business. They settled in Kobe, where Michael worked in the silk trade and the import-export business from and to India. He founded a corporation and opened the Great Eastern Hotel. They eventually had five children, of which only three survived: Rose (1891), Michael Jr. (1892), and Ruth (1896).
After the sudden death of her husband in 1906, Diana Apcar continued the family business until her son reached adult age. They moved to Yokohama, one of the busiest ports of Japan, situated at 30 kilometers from Tokyo. She opened a great store, which did business in China, the United States, and Europe.
By then, Apcar had already published two books, Susan (1892) and Home Stories of the War (1905); the latter was about the Russian-Japanese War of 1904-1905. After her son took over the family business in 1910, she had more time to focus on her literary and then humanitarian and diplomatic career. The Armenian plight in the Ottoman Empire became her central topic. She also wrote many articles on international relations and the impact of imperialism on world affairs and global peace. She started contributing to many Japanese journals and newspapers, such as The Japan Advertiser, The Far East, The Japan Gazette, and also the U.S.-based Armenia (later to be known as New Armenia). Between 1910 and 1918 she published seven more books, some of them about Armenia and Armenians: The Truth about the Armenian Massacres, Betrayed Armenia, In His Name... (1911), The Peace Problem (1912), Peace and No Peace (1912), The Great Evil (1914), and On the Cross of Europe’s Imperialism: Armenia Crucified (1918). She also wrote for European newspapers on Far Eastern affairs.
During World War I and in the postwar era, Diana Apcar was particularly involved with the resettlement of Armenian refugees, either former war prisoners or genocide survivors, who braved the long and perilous journey across Siberia and were transited through Japan.  Although considered stateless for diplomatic purposes, her efforts through contacts with the Japanese authorities made them possible to obtain the necessary documents to continue their journey, mostly to the United States.
Her indefatigable work continued after the independence of Armenia. Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Hamo Ohanjanian acknowledged that “nobody has worked in the Far East like you to defend the interests of our newly born homeland and to ease the difficult situation of our compatriots” in his letter of July 22, 1920, which designated Diana Apcar with the rank of Honorary Consul to the Empire of Japan. With her designation, Japan recognized de facto the independence of Armenia. Her position was, indeed, terminated, after Armenia became a Soviet republic. Interestingly, a Soviet revolutionary, Alexandra Kollontai, would become the next woman to hold a position, after her designation as ambassador of the Soviet Union to Norway in 1923.
Nevertheless, Apcar did not stop working for Armenian causes and writing. Catholicos of All Armenians Gevorg V (1911-1930) recognized her dedication with an encyclical in 1926.
Diana Apcar passed away at the age of seventy-seven, on July 8, 1937, in Yokohama. She was buried in the cemetery for foreigners, beside her husband. The Tokyo-based Society of Armenian-Japanese Friendship cares for her grave-site. Her daughters had moved to the United States in the 1920s, and her son did the same in 1945. Lucille Apcar, Diana Apcar’s granddaughter, published her unpublished book of short stories, From the Book of One Thousand Tales: Stories of Armenia and Its People, in 2004, based on accounts from Armenian refugees in Japan.
Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site (www.armenianprelacy.org).
Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
How Do You Say Basturma in Armenian?
For more than a century, pastrami has become as ubiquitous in a deli as salami. Its name was probably modeled over salami, because it was first spelled in English as pastrama. This points out to the actual source, since this dried beef was introduced by Jewish Romanians in the late nineteenth century: the Romanian word pastramă.
The Romanian word, at its turn, came from Greek pastramas / pastourmas (παστραμάς/παστουρμάς), which was a borrowing from the Turkish word pastırma (pastırma et “pressed meat” in Old Turkish). As we all know, Western Armenians usually call it basturma (պասթըրմա), while Eastern Armenians used the form bastoorma (բաստուրմա). Thus, here we have the connection between pastrami and the well-known seasoned meat that many people enjoy with eggs for breakfast.
However, the fact that the word is Turkish does not mean that the food is indeed Turkish. Actually, historians of the ancient and medieval world were well aware that cured meat had been made in Asia Minor for centuries, at least since the Byzantine period, and called apokti.
Here is the clue to find the actual Armenian term for basturma, long before the Turks came from Central Asia to Asia Minor and the Armenian Highland in the eleventh century.
The word abookhd (Classical Armenian apukht, ապուխտ) was already used in the Armenian translation of the Bible, in the fifth century A.D., meaning “salted and dried meat.” The word apokti was an equivalent of abookhd, and both came from one of the Iranian dialects, Pahlavi, where the word apuxt meant “uncooked” (a “un” and puxta “cooked”). Later, the Armenian word went into Georgian abokhti or abukhti, and, via the dialect of the Armenians of Poland, into Polish abucht.
The choice is yours, whether you prefer an Armenian word of no less than seventeen hundred years of antiquity, whose borrowing from Iranian is no longer remembered, and a loanword that everyone knows where it comes from. Meanwhile, you may also want to know that, in modern times, abookhd also gave birth to an interesting compound word, khozabookhd (խոզապուխտ), which designates an item that you may find every day at your local deli too: ham.
Previous entries in “The Armenian Language Corner” are on the Prelacy’s web site (www.armenianprelacy.org).
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.
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.
July 16—Armenian Relief Society of Eastern USA, Annual Convention Banquet and Cultural Program, featuring Huyser Music Ensemble of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral and Duet performance by Maral and Megheri Tutunjian, at Park Ridge Marriott Hotel,  300 Brae Boulevard, Park Ridge, New Jersey. Donation: $50. For reservations: Marina Babikian 201-888-5818.
July 19—St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan, Ladies’ Guild presents “A Pilgrimage to Ethnic Churches of Detroit.” A guided tour of five historic churches in Detroit, 9 am to 5:30 pm, $45 per person. For reservations: Amy Hecht (248) 683-7155 or Mary Bedikian (248) 645-1490.
July 30—Armenian American Night, Harry Chapin Lakeside Theater, Eisenhower Park, East Meadow, New York. Armenian entertainment at its best. Sponsored by Nassau County Department of Parks, Recreation and Museums. For information: 516-761-0042 or 516-572-0355.
August 14—Annual Picnic, Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey, at the Wild Duck Pond, Ridgewood, New Jersey, following the Badarak.
August 14—St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan, Annual Church Picnic at Kensington Park, 4570 Huron River Parkway, Milford, Michigan 48380. Lunch beginning at 12 noon includes delicious kebabs and refreshments. Blessing of the Grapes at 3 pm. Armenian music, picnic games, kids area, and much more, rain or shine. For information: Church office (313) 336-6200.
August 14—Sts. Vartanantz Church, Providence, Rhode Island, Annual Picnic under auspices of Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, at Camp Haiastan, Franklin, Massachusetts starting at 12 noon. Shish, losh, and chicken kebob dinners served all day. Armenian pastries and choreg available. Frenchies popcorn and apples. Blessing of the Grapes and Madagh at 3:30 pm. Music by Mike Gregian and Ensemble with guest Joe Zeitounian. All New England churches and communities are invited to attend. Rain or shine. For information: church office (401) 831-6399.
August 22—St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan, 41st Annual Golf and Tennis Classic at Tam-O-Shanter Country Club. Golf and dinner $250. Dinner only $125. For information: Church office (313) 336-6200.
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.

November 12 and 13—Armenian Fest 2016, Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Church, Providence, Rhode Island, presents Armenian Food Festival at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet, Broad Street, Cranston, Rhode Island. Chicken, losh, and shish kebab and kufta dinners. Armenian delicacies, dancing to live music, arts and crafts, flea market, gift baskets, children’s corner, country store, jewelry, hourly raffles. Armenian Dance Group will perform on Saturday and Sunday at 5 pm. Armenian food and pastry available all day. Saturday, noon to 9 pm; Sunday, noon to 8 pm. For information: www.armenianfestri.com/ or church office, (401) 831-6399.
138 East 39th Street | New York, NY 10016 US
Subscribe to our email list.