June 13, 2013
500th Edition


The conflict in Syria began more than two years ago. What started as protests and retaliations have escalated into a bloody war. More than 80,000 have lost their lives, many more have been maimed and wounded, and millions have been displaced.
The Armenian community in Syria grew significantly after the 1915 Genocide as survivors were welcomed to settle there, and were generously assisted to establish new lives. Soon it became the prime community of the Armenian Diaspora, preserving Armenian traditions, the language, and culture.
It will soon be one years that all of the Diaspora communities, as well as the Republic of Armenia, embarked on a fundraising campaign for humanitarian assistance to the Syrian Armenian community. Food, medicine, and personal necessities are being distributed to families under the leadership of the Pan-Armenian committee formed in Syria that has representation from all religious, social, and political organization.
Please take a few minutes (the video is about 10 minutes) and view the video here that shows the distribution of charitable goods. And then please remember that this is a continuing tragedy that needs our attention. You can make your donation online below.
The Fund for Syrian Armenian Relief is a joint effort of: Armenian Apostolic Church of America (Eastern Prelacy); Armenian Catholic Eparchy; Armenian Evangelical Union of North America; Armenian Relief Society (Eastern USA, Inc.); Armenian Revolutionary Federation.


The World General Assembly of the Holy See of Cilicia began yesterday and will conclude on Friday, June 14. The Assembly convened at the Catholicate in Antelias, Lebanon, with the attendance of delegates from all of the dioceses under the jurisdiction of the Cilician See. Archbishop Oshagan is leading the delegation from the Eastern Prelacy that includes Raffi Ourlian, Antranik Boudakian, and Ara Nalbandian.
During the three-day meeting, the delegates will examine the reports presented by the Executive Council and the Religious and Lay Councils. Major issues that will be discussed include: Christian Education, Armenian language and culture, youth concerns, ecumenical and interfaith relations, and the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Genocide.
On Friday evening the delegates and the guests will attend the commencement ceremonies of the Cilician Seminary, followed by a concert celebrating “2013 Year of the Armenian Mother.” On Saturday, a small group will accompany His Holiness Aram I to meet with the President of Lebanon, H.E. Michel Suleiman.
Full details about the Assembly, including the text of His Holiness’s keynote message to the Assembly, will be available in next week’s Crossroads and on the Prelacy’s web page.
The Delegates at the World General Assembly in Antelias, Lebanon.
His Holiness Aram I and His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan with delegates from the Eastern Prelacy, from left, Ara Nalbandian, Antranik Boudakian, Raffi Ourlian.
General view of the Assembly.


The Enthronement of His Beatitude Archbishop Nourhan Manougian as the 97th Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem took place on June 4 in the presence of distinguished church leaders, diplomats, and guests. The Holy See of Etchmiadzin was represented by Archbishop Nathan Hovhannisian and Bishop Vahan Hovhanessian. The Great House of Cilicia was represented by Archbishop Varoujan Hergelian. The Patriarchate of Constantinople was represented by Archbishop Aram Ateshian.
His Beatitude entered the St. James Cathedral with the Archbishops and the Grand Sacristan of the Patriarchate, Archbishop Sevan Gharibian. After praying at the chapel of St. James, His Beatitude was led to the main altar where he knelt, recited an oath pledging his faithfulness to the Lord and commitment to safeguarding the Armenian presence in the Holy Land.  In the tradition of the ancient ceremony, seven archbishops placed their right hands on Patriarch Manougian, bestowing him with the authority to lead the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem. His Beatitude was then given the Patriarchal staff, a symbol of authority. After delivering his first sermon as Patriarch in Armenian and English, His Beatitude stepped down from the main altar and stood in front of the Throne of St. James where he received congratulations from members of the Brotherhood of St. James. A reception took place immediately thereafter at the Patriarchate for clergy and honored guests.


Bishop Anoushavan will travel to New England this weekend. On Friday, June 14, he will be in Watertown, Massachusetts, where on behalf of Archbishop Oshagan he will present the Prelacy’s Queen Zabel award to Mrs. Houri Boyamian, the principal of St. Stephen’s Elementary Day School.
On Sunday, June 16, His Grace will celebrate the Divine Liturgy and deliver the sermon at St. Gregory Church, North Andover, Massachusetts.


The 110th birthday of composer Aram Khatchadourian was celebrated with a concert at St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York. Bishop Anoushavan, Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian, and board members with performers following the concert.


Bishop Anoushavan attended the annual picnic sponsored by the Armenian Old Age Home in Flushing, New York, last Sunday. His Grace is pictured above with administrators and board members of the home.


Registration is still open for the 2013 St. Gregory of Datev Summer Institute for youth ages 13-18 at the St. Mary of Providence Center in Elverson, Pennsylvania, from June 30 – July 7, 2013. The Program is sponsored by the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC). For registration and information, please contact the AREC office at 212-689-7810 or at or click here.


The 4th annual summer camp for orphans will take place in Dzaghgatzor, Armenia, July 4 to 11. Sponsored by the Eastern Prelacy, each year more than fifty orphans enrolled in the Prelacy’s Orphan Sponsorship Program (ages 13 to 16) attend the camp where they learn about the Armenian Church, attend worship services, share in Christian fellowship, and enjoy recreational activities and field trips. The camp is directed by Archpriest Fr. Aram  Stepanian, pastor of St. Asdvadzadzin Church, Whitinsville, Massachusetts, with the help of the Prelacy’s Armenia office, the St. Nerses the Great Charitable Organization. To make a donation toward expenses of the camp contact Der Aram by email ( or by telephone (508-865-2454).


Bible readings for Sunday, June 16, Fourth Sunday after Pentecost are: Isaiah 1:21-31; Romans 7:15-8:11; Matthew 12:38-45.
Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so for three days and three nights the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth. The people of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented the proclamation of Jonah, and see, something greater than Jonah is here! The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and see, something greater than Solomon is here!
“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it wanders through waterless regions looking for a resting place, but it finds none. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ When it comes, it finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and live there; and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So will it be also with this evil generation. (Matthew 12:38-45)
For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.


This Saturday, June 16, the Armenian Church observes one of the three feast days dedicated to St. Gregory the Illuminator (Krikor Lousavorich): the discovery of his relics. St. Gregory is considered to be the “Apostle of Armenia,” and the patron saint of the Armenian Church. He preached throughout Armenia, built churches, including the great cathedral in Etchmiadzin, established the first canon laws, wrote many prayers, and organized the liturgical services.
After years of evangelizing, St. Gregory sought solitude and an ascetic life. He retired to a cave at Mount Sepouh where he died in solitude. Shepherds found his body and without realizing his identity they buried him under a pile of stones. Later a hermit, Garnik of Pasen, who was a disciple of St. Gregory, saw a vision and went to Mount Sepouh and found the burial site. He took the saint’s remains to the village of Tordan for burial where King Trtad was buried.
Relics from the right hand of St. Gregory, encased in a golden arm, are at the Holy Mother See of Etchmiadzin and the Holy See of Cilicia. The Catholicoi mix the new Muron (Holy Chrism) with the old Muron with the golden hand of St. Gregory.


This Tuesday, June 18, the Armenian Church commemorates Daniel the Prophet and his companions. Daniel and his youthful companions, Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego, found favor with the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar after their captivity. When the king gave orders for a large statue of himself that would be worshipped like a god, Daniel and the three youths refused. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were put into a large furnace. The flames shot out of the furnace and attacked those standing nearby, but the three young boys walked in the flames without harm. Seeing this, the king ordered their release from the furnace, and he became a convert to the True God. (See the Book of Daniel, chapters 1 to 3 for the full account).


The construction of the new Holy Martyrs Church in Abu Dhabi began last year with the blessing of the cornerstone by His Holiness Catholicos Aram during his visit to the United Arab Emirates. The church will serve Armenians living in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharja. Construction of the church is expected to be completed by January 2014 according to the architect, Souren Kochakian. The compound will include the church, a community center, and residences for the prelate and clergy. Catholicosal Vicar, Very Rev. Fr. Mesrob Sarkissian, and a local committee are supervising the construction.
Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)

Birth of Yervand Kochar (June 15, 1899)

Either in photographs or personally, every Armenian has seen at least once the statues of David of Sassoun and Vartan Mamigonian in Yerevan. These are among the most recognizable symbols of the city—the David of Sassoun statue has transcended to become a national symbol—and are the work of one of the most remarkable Armenian artists of the twentieth century: Yervand Kochar.
Yervand Kochar (Kocharian) was born in Tiflis (Tbilisi, Georgia) in 1899. He graduated from the Nersisian Lyceum in 1918 and in the meantime (1915-1918) studied in the O. Schmerling School (Art School of the Caucasus Association for the Promotion of Fine Arts).  After a year at the State Free Art Studio of Moscow, he returned to Tiflis in 1919 and participated in his first exhibition, the second fall show of Georgian painters in the same year. He received a diploma of professor of fine arts and technical studies from the Soviet Georgian government in 1921, and in 1922 he left to study abroad. He first sojourned in Constantinople and then in Venice; he had exhibitions in both cities. He settled in Paris by 1923, where his art enjoyed a good reception. His participation in the Salon of the Independents in 1928 was accompanied with scandal: two of his works were vandalized, and the press printed sympathetic echoes. Those works were the first examples of his new direction, “Painting in Space,” also called tri-dimensional painting. He gave his first solo exhibition in the same year. In an international exhibition, “Panorama of Contemporary Art,” also held in Paris (1929), Kochar presented his works, along with avant-garde artists such as Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Robert Delaunay, Georges Braque, Joan Miró, and others. He participated in exhibitions of French painters in Prague, Brno, Bratislava, New York, and Brussels (1935), and London (1936). Polish-French art critic Waldemar-George (1893-1970) defined his painting in the following terms: “The dimensional painting of Kochar is one of the conquests of modern art, as significant as the pure forms of Brâncuşi and the structures of Picasso and Braque . . . The dimensional painting has crushed the boundaries of sculpture and one-dimensional painting. It has reformed the visual laws, opening a third way before painters and sculptors. It is about time to tribute honors to Kochar the creator, which he truly deserves.”
Kochar was a well-known artist in French circles in 1936 when he decided, surprisingly, to repatriate to Soviet Armenia for good. However, his innovative art was not well-received by the regime, particularly in Stalinist times. He was charged with formalism, which was something tantamount to “enemy of the people,” the standard accusation that cost prison and exile to Siberia for many. He even was imprisoned on politically motivated charges between 1941 and 1943, but was eventually freed thanks to the intervention of two of his school friends, Anastas Mikoyan and architect Karo Halabian. He married scholar Manik Mkrtchyan (1913-1984) and had two sons.
Over the years, Kochar created graphic works, plaster busts, statues, and designs for theatrical plays. The political “thaw” after the denunciation of Stalin’s crimes in 1956 by Soviet strongman Nikita Khruschev helped him to achieve actual recognition. He created the statue of David of Sassoun in 1959, which was placed at the square of the Yerevan railway station, and won the State Prize of Armenia in 1967. He said: “Whatever you have seen at the studio, I do it myself. And this [the statue of David of Sassoun] is for Caesar. However, I pay Caesar with pure gold.”
His first solo exhibition in Yerevan, after thirty years, was held in 1965; other solo exhibitions followed in 1971 and 1978. His works were also exhibited in Moscow (1973) and Baku and Tbilisi (1974). He never traveled outside the Soviet Union, but his collected works were exhibited in Paris (1945 and 1966). He earned recognitions such as Emeritus Artist of Armenia (1956), People’s Artist of Armenia (1965), Soviet Order of Red Banner (1971), and People’s Artist of the Soviet Union in 1976. He created “The Eagle of Zvartnotz” (1955), the obelisk-type monument set at the entrance of the ruins of the church of Zvartnotz, near Holy Etchmiadzin. Some of his most important paintings of his last years were “Extasis” (1960), “The Disaster of War” (1962), and “The Muse of Cybernetics” (1972). His major last work, the statue of Vartan Mamikonian, was inaugurated in 1975 on Khanjian Street, near the actual location of the open-market Vernissage.
Yervand Kochar passed away in Yerevan on January 22, 1979. Five years later, a museum dedicated to his art opened near Yerevan’s Cascade. A street in the city bears his name, as well as the art school of the city of Hrazdan.


Flag Day commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777, by resolution of the Second Continental Congress.
President Woodrow Wilson officially established June 14 as Flag Day in 1916 and President Harry Truman signed an act of Congress designating June 14 as “National Flag Day.”


Only a dad but he gives his all,
To smooth the way for his children small,
Doing with courage stern and grim
The deeds that his father did for him.
This is the line for him I pen:
Only a dad, but the best of men.
(Edgar Guest)


May 2 to June 30—“History of Armenia: Past, Present, Future,” a series of eight seminars presented on Thursdays, 7 pm to 8:30 pm, at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street, New York City. Sponsored by the Cathedral and the UN Armenian Mission. Facilitator: Artur Martirosyan, Ph.D.
June 12 to 15—World General Assembly of the Holy See of Cilicia, at the Catholicosate in Antelias, Lebanon.
June 13—St. Gregory Church, North Andover, Massachusetts, 4th annual Cigar Night & Dinner in Blessed Memory of Rev. Fr. Vartan Kassabian. Surf & Turf dinner, open bar, cigars, live & silent auction, raffles. Tickets must be purchased in advance by sending a check for $150 payable to St. Gregory’s Mens Club, 158 Main Street, North Andover, Massachusetts 01845, or contact Greg Minasian at, or 978-470-3075.
June 15—National Association of Ladies Guilds (NALG), Seminar and Picnic, 10 am to 2 pm. Jointly hosted with Ladies Guild of Saint Asdvadzadzin Church, Whitinsville, Massachusetts, 315 Church Street, Whitinsville. Guest speaker: Carol Jaffarian, will provide update on the Mother and Child Clinic and Birthing Center in Akhourian, Armenia. RSVP by June 8 to the Church (508-234-3677), or to Sharke
Derapkrian by email ( or phone (978-685-7243).
June 16—St. Gregory Church, annual Father’s Day Picnic, 12 noon to 5 pm, on the church grounds at 135 Goodwin Street, Indian  Orchard, Massachusetts. Enjoy many favorite Armenian dinners including shish kebab and rice pilaf.  Baked goods available for purchase. 50/50 raffle, Armenian music and dancing, and a bounce house for children. Free admission and parking. For information: 413-543-4763.
June 23—Annual picnic of St. Stephen’s Church of New Britain and Hartford, 12 noon at the Quartette Club, 225 Wooster Street, New Britain, Connecticut. Admission is free. Come and enjoy Armenian food, music, and dancing, while visiting with old and new friends. For information: Church, 860-229-8322, or email Facebook:
June 23—Sts. Vartanantz Church, 461 Bergen Boulevard, Ridgefield, New Jersey, Nareg Saturday School year-end hantes, following the Divine Liturgy.
June 24—Holy Trinity Church, Worcester, Massachusetts, 10th Annual Golf Outing at Sterling National Country Club, Sterling, Massachusetts. Join us for a great day of golf including golf, cart, breakfast, prizes, gifts, and dinner for $140 per golfer. Tee off at 9 am. Shotgun start and scramble format. For information contact Rich Tashjian at or 978-422-7600.
June 30-July 7—27th Annual St. Gregory of Datev Institute, at St. Mary of Providence Center, Elverson, Pennsylvania, sponsored by the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Cou8ncil (AREC). For information contact the AREC office3 by email ( or phone (212-689-7810).
June 30—Brunch and Talent Show, organized and hosted by the Ladies Guild of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, New York, at 1 pm, under the auspices of Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian. Adults $15.00; Children $10.00. For information: 212-689-5880.
July 4-11—4th Annual Summer Camp for Orphans will take place in Dzaghgztazor, Armenia, sponsored by the Eastern Prelacy. Orphans ages 13 to 16 who are enrolled in the Prelacy’s Orphan Sponsorship program are eligible to attend to learn about the Armenian Church and history. The week long program includes Bible study and prayers and meditation combined with summer fun activities and fellowship with other campers. For more information contact Archpriest Fr. Aram Stepanian by email ( or by phone (508-865-2454).
July 7—St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan, Outdoor Family Event, following church services on the Feast of Transfiguration, Vartivar. Everyone, especially the youth, is invited to join in water games on the lawn next to the church.
July 8-19—8th Annual Summer Camp program at St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York.
July 13—“A Hye Summer Night VII” Dinner Dance sponsored by Ladies Guild of Sts. Vartanantz Church and Armenian Relief Society “Ani” Chapter of Providence, Rhode Island, at the Providence Marriott Hotel, One Orms Street, Providence, Rhode Island 02904, 6 pm to 1 am. Featuring: Joe Kouyoumjian (oud), Brian Ansbigian (oud), David Ansbigian (oud), Leon Janikian (clarinet), Ken Kalajian (guitar), Jason Naroian (dumbeg), Armen Janigian (Daf). For tickets ($50 per person) and information: Joyce Bagdasarian (401-434-4467); Joyce Yeremian (401-354-8770).
August 4—Annual picnic of St. Stephen’s Church, Watertown, Massachusetts, at Camp Haiastan, 722 Summer Street, Franklin, Massachusetts 02038. Delicious food, music and more from 12 noon to 5 pm. For information, 617-924-7562, visit online at or on Facebook.
August 18—Annual Picnic of Soorp Asdvadzadzin Church, Whitinsville, Massachusetts, 12 noon on the church grounds, 315 Church Street, Whitinsville, immediately following the Divine Liturgy celebrated by Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian who will also officiate the Blessing of the Grapes ceremony with the participation of New England clergy. Delicious Armenian food, homemade baked goods. Listen and dance to traditional live Armenian music by the Mugrditchian Band. For information: 508-234-3677.
August 18—St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan, Blessing of the Grapes and Family Fun Picnic, at Lakeshore Park, 601 South Lake Drive, Novi, Michigan. Food, music, dancing, magic show, volleyball, soccer, tavlou tournament, mountain biking, swimming.
August 18—Annual Picnic, Sts. Vartanantz Church, New Jersey.
September 15—Book Presentation at Pashalian Hall, St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, New York, of “One Church One Nation” by Hrair Hawk Khatcherian.
October 19—Armenian Friends of America presents “Hye Kef 5” featuring musicians Leon Janikian, Joe Kouyoumjian, Greg Takvorian, Ken Kalajian, Ron Raphaelian, and Jay Baronian, 7:30-12:30, Michael’s Function Hall, 12 Alpha Street, Haverhill, Massachusetts. Proceeds to benefit all Armenian churches in Merrimack Valley and New Hampshire. Tickets: $40 adults; $30 students; includes individually-served mezza platters. For information/reservations: John Arzigian 603-560-3826; Sandy Boroyan 978-251-8687; Scott Sahagian 617-699-3581; Peter Gulezian 978-375-1616.
November 15-16-17—Annual Bazaar, Sts. Vartanantz Church, 461 Bergen Boulevard, Ridgefield, New Jersey.
Web pages of the parishes can be accessed through the Prelacy’s web site.
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