January 30, 2014
His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia, said that the revival of the Armenian community in Syria must be a priority for all Armenians. In his sermon on Christmas day at the Cathedral of St. Gregory the Illuminator in Antelias, Lebanon, that was telecast worldwide, His Holiness spoke on the theme of peace, specifically emphasizing the message of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, through his parables and his blessing of the peacemakers. The Catholicos said, “The peace of Jesus was built on justice and mutual love, and the Church is called to make peace the core of its vocation.”
Catholicos Aram spoke of the suffering in Syria, and told the faithful, “We must go beyond thinking and praying for the suffering Armenian community. We must help them materially until the day when they recover for the current tragedy and rebuild their lives.”
The Fund for Syrian Armenian Relief is continuing its efforts to help sustain the beleaguered Syrian Armenian community. The Fund has already remitted $400,000 for humanitarian aid to the people. Please help us continue this sacred duty. Make your donation now.
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.
Thank you for your help
With the blessings of His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, and His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, the Liturgical Committee and the Sanctification Committee met in Antelias, Lebanon last week. The two committees, with representation from Etchmiadzin and Cilicia, are continuing their regularly scheduled deliberations. The next meeting for both committees is scheduled to take place in May 2014 in Etchmiadzin.
Catholicos Aram I with members of the Liturgical Committee.
Catholicos Aram I with members of the Sanctification Committee.
The annual clergy gathering on the occasion of the Feast of St. Ghevont and the Priests will take place February 24 to 26. Clergy from the Eastern and Canadian Prelacies will be meeting jointly this year at Holy Cross Church in Troy, New York.

The 31st Musical Armenia concert will take place Friday evening (8 pm), March 28, at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, featuring Narek Arutyunian (clarinet) and Friends (Hahnsol Kim, violin; and Yunqing Zhou, piano). For more information click here.

The 2014 National Representative Assembly (NRA), along with the Clergy Conference, and the Conference of the National Association of Ladies Guilds (NALG), will take place May 13-17, hosted by St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan. Watch for details.
Bible readings for Sunday, February 2, Third Sunday after Nativity, are: Isaiah 62:1-11; 2 Timothy 2:15-19; John 6:39-47.
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth. Avoid profane chatter, for it will lead people into more and more impiety, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have swerved from the truth by claiming that the resurrection has already taken place. They are upsetting the faith of some. But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who calls on the name of the Lord turn away from wickedness.” (2 Timothy 2:15-19)
For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.
This Saturday, February 1, the Armenian Church celebrates the Feast of St. Gregory the Theologian, also known as Gregory of Nazianzus, who is considered to be one of the four great doctors of the Church during the fourth century, along with Basil the Great, John Chrysostom, and Athanasius the Great. He served as Archbishop of Constantinople and he  is noted for being an accomplished and eloquent speaker. He is described as “a classically trained speaker and philosopher and the most accomplished thetorical stylist of the patristic age.” He is also known as one of the Cappadocian Fathers, along with Basil the Great and Gregory of Nyssa. Some of his sermon s and poetry have survived.
The meetings of the Central Religious and Executive Councils of the Catholicosate of Cilicia concluded. The members of the councils reviewed the programs and budgets proposed by the World General Assembly and approved the following priorities for 2014: Construction projects; preparatory activities for the 100th anniversary commemoration of the Genocide; activities of the committee to protect the Western Armenian language; the program and budget of the Khatcher Kaloustian Pedagogical Center.
At the end of the deliberations of the two councils, the Central Executive Committee met in plenary session and highlighted the following concerns: Assistance to the community in Syria to stay and rebuild its life; cooperation between the two Holy Sees of Etchmiadzin and Cilicia on the basis of the decisions taken during the meeting of Bishops; and proposals related to the dioceses of the Catholicosate of Cilicia.
His Holiness Aram I closed the meeting with the following message: “In humility and without overrating our achievements, our task is to serve our people by recovering the spirituality of the Church in our daily lives, promoting educational activities, safeguarding our cultural heritage, serving our members in need and promoting ecumenical relations. We lack neither commitment, nor faith, nor vision. What we lack is finances. I pray and remain confident that our faithful will support the work of our Church as approved by you, their representatives.”

His Holiness Aram I presented a lecture on “The Challenges facing the Ecumenical Movement,” this week at the Near East School of Theology. The Catholicos first described some of the challenges that the ecumenical movement currently is facing and then reflected on the Middle East Council of Churches and some of its achievements including moving the churches from alienation to collaboration; giving visibility to the Christian presence in the Middle East; emphasized the importance of Christian-Muslim dialogue; promoted human rights, peace, and justice; and became a bridge between eastern and western Christianity.
In his conclusion, His Holiness stated that the churches are challenged to take the ecumenical movement more seriously. “Being ecumenical, engaging in the ecumenical movement is no longer an option; it is the raison d’être of the church. We feel that more existentially in our part of the world,” His Holiness said.
Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
Birth of Zabel Yesayan
(February 4, 1878)
Zabel Yesayan was a gifted novelist. Hagop Oshagan, her contemporary and another great writer and literary critic, assessed her in the following terms: “The work of Madam Yesayan is a whole. Its two big poles, the soul of individuals and the collective sensitivity of peoples, have been eternally conquered in indestructible works. Z. Yesayan is the most complete success of Western Armenian literature.” But she was also an activist for the rights of women and the rights of her people. “Women have not come to the world just to be pleasing,” she wrote. “Women have come to develop their mind and their intellectual, moral, and physical qualities. The ideal of all self-respecting women should not be just to please, but to become a beneficial element on this world.”
Born Zabel Hovhannesian in Scutari (nowadays Uskudar), a suburb of Constantinople, she attended the local Surp Khach School, and her aim was to become a writer. She managed to go to Paris at the age of seventeen, in 1895, and study literature and philosophy at the Sorbonne. Her prolific literary career started in the same year with a prose poem published in the literary periodical Tsaghik, published by Arshak Chobanian in Constantinople. She went on to publish short stories, literary essays, articles, and translations, both in French and in Armenian, in periodicals such as Mercure de France, Masis, Anahit, and Arevelian Mamoul. She would also publish two novels, In the Waiting Room (1903) and Decent People (1907).
She first signed with her maiden name, and soon, after she married painter Dikran Yesayan (1874-1921), she adopted her nom de plume that made her famous. They would have two children, Sophie and Hrant.
After the Ottoman Revolution of 1908, Zabel Yesayan returned to Constantinople, where she was active in literary and public affairs. After the Adana massacres of 1909, she was a member of the Investigative Commission set up by the Armenian Patriarchate and was sent to Cilicia in this capacity. The tragic fate of the Armenians in Cilicia inspired her masterpiece testimony of the catastrophe, Amid the Ruins (1911), as well as a series of articles, a novella, and short stories.
She was the only woman in the list of intellectuals to be arrested and deported on the fateful night of April 23-24, 1915, but she was able to avoid that dubious honor and to find refuge in Bulgaria months later. She was later joined by her mother and her son (her daughter lived with her husband in Paris).
She went to the Caucasus, and worked actively for the next three years, both in Tiflis and Baku, gathering testimonies of survivors, which she also translated in order to provide information to the French press. After reaching Paris in 1919, she went to Cilicia and Beirut in 1920-1921 to collaborate in the relocation of refugees and orphans.
Returning to Paris, she published the novellas The Last Cup and My Soul Exiled, the latter being another of her best works. She published other works in the 1920s, when she also left the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, of which she had been a member, and took a pro-Soviet orientation. She visited Soviet Armenia in 1926 and wrote down her impressions in a travelogue entitled Prometheus Unchained (1928). Finally, she settled down in Yerevan in 1933 with her children. She taught French literature at Yerevan State University and participated in the first Congress of Soviet Writers in Moscow (1934). She published two books during her last years, most importantly her childhood memoir, The Gardens of Silihdar (1935), considered her masterpiece.
Zabel Yesayan, holding the Armenian Tricolor, with her family in Paris.
After surviving 1915, it was an irony that she returned to Armenia to contribute in the rebuilding of the country, only to become yet another victim of the regime four years later. The Stalinist purges claimed her life, together with her younger colleagues Yeghishe Charents, Axel Bakunts, Vahan Totovents, and others, whom she tried to defend. She was arrested and deported in 1937. Going from prison to prison, she managed to write a few letters to her daughter and her daughter-in-law. The last one was sent from Baku in late 1942. Afterwards, there was complete silence.
As she wrote in The Gardens of Silihdar, “... I take refuge in them [the gardens] every time ominous dark clouds pile up on the horizon of my life.” Perhaps that helped her resist almost six years of exile and physical and moral suffering. One unconfirmed version says that she was drowned in the Caspian Sea in late 1942 or early 1943, at the age of 65. But her works lived to turn her into the “great lady” of Armenian literature.
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)
Love Is a Tricky Thing
If you hear the phrase “He married a girl,” you will understand that some man tied the knot with a woman. But what will you get from the literal translation «[Ան] ամուսնացաւ աղջիկ մը» ([An] amoosnatsav aghchig me)? You can only understand that . . . “a girl married”!
This is the risk of thinking in one language when talking or writing in another. Sometimes, you fall into amusing traps. In this case, you can solve it by using the proper expression «[Ան] ամուսնացաւ աղջկան մը հետ» (which literally would be “He married with a girl” in English).
Since we are in the field of sentimental issues, let us remind our readers of another troublemaker:
  • “I fell in love with him”
  • “I fell in love with her beauty.”
It does not matter whether it is a physical person or a non-physical quality. In Armenian you don’t fall in love with someone or something. There is no “with” (hed) there: «Ես սիրահարեցայ անոր/իրեն» (Yes siraharetsa anor/iren), «Ես սիրահարեցայ անոր գեղեցկութեան» (Yes siraharetsa anor keghetsgootyan).
But not everything is different.
English love has a direct object: “I love my wife,” “I love my dog,” “I love soccer.” Armenian love is no different; you love someone or something: «[Ես] կը սիրեմ կինս» ([Yes] guh sirem ginus), «Ես կը սիրեմ շունս» ([Yes ] gue sirem shoonus), «[Ես] կը սիրեմ ոտնագնդակը» ([Yes] guh sirem vodnakuntaguh).
But many people are fond of loving to someone or something. For instance, when they want to declare their love, they mistakenly say «Ես քեզի կը սիրեմ» (Yes kezi guh sirem), instead of «Ես քեզ կը սիրեմ» (Yes kez guh sirem). In this case, kezi means “to you.” Do you love “to” her? Or him?
Previous entries in “The Armenian Language Corner” are on the Prelacy’s web site (www.armenianprelacy.org).
Armenian Kesaria/Kayseri and Cappadocia
UCLA  Armenian History and Culture Series

Edited by Richard G. Hovannisian

The 12th volume in the Historic Armenian Cities and Provinces series has just been released. All volumes in this series are based on papers presented at international conferences at UCLA. Kesaria had a large Armenian community that maintained its identity during centuries of foreign rule, and Cappadocia had a pivotal role in early Christianity and the evangelization of Armenia.
368 pages, soft cover
$35.00 plus shipping & handling
Note: Other volumes in this series are also available.
To place an order, contact the Armenian Prelacy Bookstore by email (books@armenianprelacy.org) or by phone (212-689-7810).
2014 Prelacy Lenten Program, on Wednesdays, starting March 5, at St. Illuminator’s Armenian Apostolic Cathedral (New York City), Sponsored by the Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC), the Prelacy Ladies Guild (PLG), and the St. Illuminator’s Cathedral Ladies Guild. For information, please contact the Prelacy office at 212.689.7810, or arec@armenianprelacy.org or the Church office at 212-689-5880 or office@stilluminators.org.
January 31—Memorial Program dedicated to Sos Sargsyan, Armenian actor, playwright, people’s artist, and political activist, organized by Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society of New York, featuring Karine Kocharyan, Voice of Armenians TVNY, at the Armenian  Center, 69-23 47th Street, Woodside, New York. Suggested donation: $7.00. For information: 718-565-8397.
February 1—Valentine’s Day Dinner Dance, St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York.
February 2—St. Sarkis Men’s Club, Dearborn, Michigan, presents Super Bowl Party, at Lillian Arakelian Hall.
February 6—Avak luncheon, noon, St. Gregory Church, 158 Main Street, North Andover, Massachusetts; p4rogram, Joe Almasian’s 20th anniversary representing Armenia in World Olympic Games at Lillehammer, Norway.
February 9—St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan, Book Presentation by Deacon Shant Kazanjian following the Divine Liturgy at Lillian Arakelian Hall.
February 9—Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey, Bishop Anoushavan will celebrate the Divine Liturgy and deliver the sermon. Following the services, His Grace will make a presentation commemorating the 50th anniversary of the passing of Catholicos Zareh I, and the 30th anniversary of the passing of Catholicos Khoren I.
February 24-26—Annual Clergy Ghevontiantz Gathering hosted by Holy Cross Church, 255 Spring Avenue, Troy, New York.
March 1—St. Sarkis Sunday School, Dearborn, Michigan, Poon Paregentan Costume Party for everyone, at Lillian Arakelian Hall.
March 8—Sunday Teachers’ Seminar for NY-NJ region, at St. Illuminator’s Armenian Cathedral (New York City), sponsored by the Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC). Theme: The Nicene Creed.
March 26—St. Sarkis Ladies Guild, Dearborn, Michigan, Mid-Lenten Luncheon following the Lenten morning service, Lillian Arakelian Hall.
March 28—Musical Armenia Concert presented by Eastern Prelacy and Prelacy Ladies Guild, at Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, 8 pm, featuring Narek Arutyunian (clarinet) & Friends, Hahnsol Kim (violin) and Yunqing Zhou (piano).
March 27-April 6—Third Annual Online Auction hosted by Armenian Relief Society, Eastern USA, Inc. Auction items include Weekend Getaways, Unique Gifts, Restaurants, Hotels, Spa and Salon Services, Jewelry, Electronics, Artwork, Sports Memorabilia, and more. To view and bid on auction  items during the auction dates: www.biddingforgood.com/arseastusa. To contact the ARS Auction committee: arseusaauction@gmail.com.
April 5—Sunday School Teachers’ Seminar – New England region, at St. Stephen’s Armenian Apostolic Church, Watertown, Massachusetts, sponsored by the Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC). Theme: The Nicene Creed. 
May 13-17—Clergy Conference and National Representative Assembly, and Annual Conference of the National Association of Ladies’ Guilds (NALG) of the Eastern Prelacy, hosted by St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan.
June 1—Ladies Guild Annual Brunch, St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York.
June 1—St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan, Toronto Children’s Choir concert in the church sanctuary.
June 29-July 6—St. Gregory of Datev Institute Summer Program for youth ages 13-18 at the St. Mary of Providence Center in Elverson, Pennsylvania, sponsored by the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC) of the Eastern Prelacy. For information, contact the AREC office at 212.689.7810 or at arec@armenianprelacy.org.
Web pages of the parishes can be accessed through the Prelacy’s web site.
To ensure the timely arrival of Crossroads in your electronic mailbox, add email@armenianprelacy.org to your address book.
Items in Crossroads can be reproduced without permission. Please credit Crossroads as the source.
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
138 East 39th Street | New York, NY 10016 US
Subscribe to our email list.