March 3, 2016
The Midwest regional Board of Trustees Workshop will take place this Saturday, March 5, beginning at 10 am and concluding at 4:30 pm. All Saints Church in Glenview, Illinois is hosting the workshop. His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan will preside and members of the Religious and Executive Councils will participate.

Prelacy parishes observed ARS Remembrance Day last Sunday, February 28. Requiem service for all deceased members and benefactors was offered following the Liturgy.

In New York, Bishop Anoushavan presided over the Divine Liturgy and the Requiem Service at St. Illuminators Cathedral. During the fellowship hour that followed the services His Grace praised the Armenian Relief Society’s service and dedication to the Armenian community.
Bishop Anoushavan and Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian with altar servers and members of the New York “Mayr” chapter of the ARS.
The Eastern Prelacy hosted a Town Hall Meeting with the U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, Richard M. Mills, Jr., last Monday, February 29, at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 E. 27th Street, New York City. Prior to the meeting the Ambassador came to the Prelacy offices where he met privately with Archbishop Oshagan and members of the Executive Council.

The Town Hall Meeting was well-attended and the Ambassador spoke candidly in his presentation and later answered questions posed by attendees. Stephen Hagopian, chairman of the Prelacy’s Executive Council welcomed and introduced the Ambassador.
The Ambassador at the Prelacy offices prior to the Town Hall Meeting with Archbishop Oshagan, Bishop Anoushavan, Executive Council members, and Prelacy staff.
The Ambassador speaking at the Town Hall Meeting in Pashalian Hall of St. Illuminators Cathedral.
Bible readings for Sunday, March 6, Fourth Sunday of Great Lent, Sunday of the Judge are: Isaiah 65:8-25; Philippians 3:1-4:9; Luke 17:20-18:14.

Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, “The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among  you.”

Then he said to the disciple, “The days are coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. They will say to you, ‘Look there!’ or ‘Look here!’ Do not go, do not set off in pursuit. For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. But first he must endure much suffering and be rejected by this generation. Just as it was in the days of Noah, so too it will be in the days of the Son of Man.

They were eating and drinking, and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed all of them. Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot; they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day that Lot left Sodom, it rained fire and sulfur from heaven and destroyed all of them—it will be like that on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, anyone on the housetop who has belongings in the house must not come down take them away; and likewise anyone in the field must not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. Those who try to make their life secure will lose it, but those who lose their life will keep it. I tell you, on that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. There will be two women grinding meal together; one will be taken and the other left.” Then they asked them, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.”

Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’ And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 17:20-18:14)

For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here
We are now more than halfway through Great Lent (yesterday was Michink, the median day of Lent). This Sunday, March 6, is the Sunday of the Judge (Datavori Kiraki). The Gospel reading for this day is the parable told by Jesus about a widow and a judge (see reading above). The judge in the parable is seen as hard-hearted and without principles, fear of God, or compassion for people. A widow in the same town has been ill-treated and she has come to the judge for justice. Although her cause is just, the judge does not pay attention to her case. However, she is persistent and she makes the same appeal again and again until at last the judge decides to see she receives justice. He does this not because he cares about justice, but because he wants to be rid of the widow.

The message of this parable is that we must persist in our pursuit of righteousness and justice with the confidence that perseverance (especially in prayer) will be rewarded.

This Saturday, March 5, we remember the Forty Martyrs of Sebastia. Although the backgrounds and identities of the forty young soldiers are not known, it is believed they came from Lesser Armenia and served in the Roman army. According to St. Basil of Caesarea, forty Christian soldiers refused to worship the Roman emperor while stationed in Sebastia in Armenia in 320. They remained faithful to their Christian faith. The soldiers were tried and condemned to death by stoning. Miraculously, when the sentence was being carried out, the stones would not reach the condemned soldiers, but would instead come back striking those throwing the stones. The soldiers were than thrown into a frozen lake and forced to stay there, unless they renounced their faith. Warm baths were prepared for anyone who would recant. Of the forty, only one gave up. When he did, another soldier, moved by the example of the suffering Christians, declared himself a Christian and took the apostate’s place. All forty died.

Some of our great Church Fathers like Basil, Gregory of Nyssa, Ephraim the Assyrian, and Sisian of Sebastia, wrote panegyrics about the forty martyrs, who are remembered each year during Lent on the Saturday following the median day of Lent. The Armenians have built and named churches in memory of the Forty Martyrs in various parts of the world.

The fourth 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 Grace Bishop Anoushavan, Vicar General. 
Dn. Shant Kazanjian, Director of AREC, spoke about “We were all pledged at baptism to serve God.” Dn. Shant asked, what is it that we are saying when, during the service of baptism, the godfather, responding to the priest’s question (“what does this child request?”), responds:  “Faith, hope, love and baptism,…and to serve God”? In keeping with the Lenten theme, Dn. Shant focused on the last phrase, “to serve God” (ծառայել Աստուծոյ, dzarayel Asdoodzo). He stated that this has to be understood scripturally, and he turned the participants’ attention to St. Paul’s letter to the Romans 6:15-23, and provided a short reflection.

To view the presentation, please click below. 
Deacon Shant Kazanjian talks about how "we were all pledged at baptism to serve God."
A scene from the fourth Lenten lecture last night.
Next Wednesday, March 9, Archpriest Fr. Nerses Manoogian, pastor of St. Gregory the Illuminator Church, Philadelphia will speak about “Qualities of the servants of the Lord.”

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 Cathedral. 
Dn. Shant Kazanjian, Director of the Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC), conducted a seminar for Sunday School teachers’ from New York and New Jersey, hosted by Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church in Ridgefield, New Jersey, last Saturday. The topic was “Baptism, Chrismation, and Eucharist: The Foundation of our Life in Christ.”
The program began with a Church Service led by Rev. Fr. Hovnan Bozoian, pastor of Sts. Vartanantz Church, and Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, pastor of St. Illuminator’s Armenian Cathedral in New York City, followed by opening remarks from both pastors.
Deacon Shant walked the participants through the service of baptism-chrismation, highlighting its distinctive parts, symbolisms and movements. He expounded on scriptural passages read during the service. The participants briefly reviewed the curriculum they use to teach these sacraments at different grade levels. They explored various themes in the service prayers, discussing the multi-dimensional imagery of baptism and its implications and mandates. Throughout the 4-hour seminar, Dn. Shant entertained a host of questions related to the sacraments of baptism and Chrismation, the foundation and pattern of our life in Christ.
On March 19, Dn. Shant will conduct the same seminar for the New England Region Sunday School Teachers and it will be hosted by Saints Asdvadzadzin Armenian Apostolic Church of Whitinsville, Massachusetts.
Seminar participants with Rev. Fr. Hovnan Bozoian, pastor of Sts. Vartanantz Church, and Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, pastor of St. Illuminator’s Armenian Apostolic Cathedral.
A scene from the seminar at Sts. Vartanantz with Dn. Shant leading the discussion.
The 33rd Musical Armenia concert will take place on Friday, March 11, 8 pm at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City. This year the Musical Armenia committee is excited to present the pianist Sofya Melikyan and NUR (a collaboration of the lyric soprano Rosy Anoush Svazlian and the pianist/composer Andrea Manzoni. The Musical Armenia series is sponsored by the Eastern Prelacy and the Prelacy Ladies Guild. Tickets for the concert are twenty-five dollars. Tickets are available at the box office (telephone) and at the Prelacy office (212-689-7810).
The Armenian National Committee of New York together with more than 60 activists gathered in front of the Permanent Mission of Azerbaijan to the United Nations last Friday to demand truth and justice for the crimes perpetrated against the Armenians in the cities of Sumgait, Baku, Kirovabad, and other places in 1988-1992. 

Michael Abagyan, a survivor of the 1990 Baku pogroms, participated in the demonstration. “The Armenian massacres in Azerbaijan during and on the eve of the Soviet Union’s collapse were state-sponsored and centrally planned by the Azerbaijani authorities,” he said. “Hundreds of Armenians perished and more than 400,000 civilians, including myself, were deported without any compensation for the losses.”

Very Rev. Fr. Zareh Sarkissian, Visiting Pastor of Holy Cross Church, Troy, New York, offered the concluding prayer, along with deacons from St. Illuminator’s Cathedral.
Demonstration at the Permanent Mission of Azerbaijan took place last Friday.
His Holiness Aram I met with representatives of the World Council of Churches and the Norwegian Council of Churches to discuss the problems in the Middle East, particularly those concerning Christians, and the problems concerning humanitarian assistance.

His Holiness discussed the different faces of the Syrian crisis and their impact on Christian communities, and he described how the churches in the Middle East were coping with the situation. Explaining that international aid to Iraq and Syria is not reaching Christian communities, the Catholicos appealed to the representatives to assist these communities bilaterally. He concluded by describing the specific situation and needs of Armenians in Syria.

His Holiness presided over the meeting of the Khatchik Babikian Fund for Research on Historic-Political and Legal Issues in Antelias during the week of February 15 to 21. The committee selected for publication new manuscripts on the historical, political, and legal aspects of the Armenian Cause both in Armenian and English. The committee decided to continue its publication policy of publishing in different languages, and to give priority to new research and doctoral dissertations on the legal aspects of the Cause, and to prepare a bibliography and catalog of all publications on the topic.

The recent publication by the Babikian Fund, “Legal Avenues for Armenian Genocide Reparations,” is a collection of documents for the legal pursuit of the Armenian Genocide.

Committee members who attended the meeting were: Shahan Kandaharian, Guiro Manoyan, Khatchik Der Ghougassian, and Khatchik Dedeyan, Chancellor of the Catholicosate.
Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
Opening of the “Djemaran” of Hamazkayin (March 3, 1930)
The Hamazkayin Cultural and Educational Union was founded in 1928 in Egypt. One of its main goals was to promote education among Armenians in the Diaspora.

Less than two years after the creation of Hamazkayin, the Armenian College (Hay Djemaran) was opened in a rented building in Beirut, on Kantari Street, with fifteen students. It was March 3, 1930. In the fall of the same year, when the academic year 1930-1931 started, the number of student had quadrupled, becoming 63.
The first school building.
Levon Shant
Nikol Aghbalian
The goal of the Djemaran (an institution of secondary education) was to offer general education to the new generation, with an emphasis on Armenian education, language, and culture, and prepare the next generation of Armenian intellectuals. The first principal of the school was the noted writer, educator, and public figure Levon Shant (1869-1951), with the collaboration of another noted literary critic, educator, and public figure, Nikol Aghbalian (1873-1947).

The Djemaran soon moved to a more ample and comfortable building on the street Wadi Abu Gemil, until the donation of the Palandjian sisters and the fundraisers in the United States allowed the purchase of a property in the area of Zokak el Blat, which was inaugurated in May 1950. The Djemaran took the name of Nshan Palandjian, a founding member of Hamazkayin in Syria and the late brother of the donors.

After the death of Levon Shant in 1951, the position of principal was taken by Simon Vratzian (1882-1969), writer, editor, and last prime minister of the first Republic of Armenia. He was assisted by the writer Mushegh Ishkhan (1913-1990) and educator Karnig Panian (1910-1989) as vice principals. The second and third buildings of the Djemaran were built in 1953 and 1957.

Vratzian fell ill and Hratch Dasnabedian replaced him as principal in fall of 1968. New floors were added to the three buildings to accommodate the growing number of students.  
The student body passed 1,000 in the academic year 1974-1975, and the space of the school was insufficient, despite constructions and additions. The Central Board of Hamazkayin decided to build a new school complex and a large piece of property was purchased in the area of Mezher. However, the Lebanese civil war of 1975-1990 initially slowed down all projects, and forced important changes. The internal movement of the Armenian population in Beirut was followed by the division of the student body in two buildings. Together with the headquarters, part of the student body was relocated for two years in Dubbaya and afterwards, for eight years, at the Shaghzoyan Center in Bourj Hammoud (the current headquarters of the Aztag Daily), which became a six-floor building.
The war, however, did not stop the project. Construction of the Mezher complex started in 1986. Thanks to the huge donation of Melankton Arslanian, followed after his death by his brother Haig Arslanian, as well as donations flowing from Lebanon and other countries (especially Kuwait and the Gulf States), the first two buildings of the complex were built, the same as the Norsigian Kindergarten thanks to the homonymous will.
The campus today.
The Djemaran moved to its new building in 1987 and the grand opening was held in the fall of 1988. The small kindergarten and elementary school remaining at the historical building of the Nshan Palandjian Djemaran were also moved in 2001, and the entire school was reunified in the Melankton and Haig Arslanian Djemaran. Currently, the school has three sections: pre-nursery and nursery, for 1-3 year old children; the Norsigian Kindergarten (three years), and the school proper, with elementary, primary, junior high, and high school sections.
After the death of Hratch Dasnabedian in April 2001 and a short tenure by a three-member Executive Council, the position of principal was entrusted to Dikran Jinbashian, with a current student population of 700 children.

Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site (

The crisis in Syria requires our financial assistance.
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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.
Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
Don’t Do It Back, Do It Again
We have all probably heard people who are not English native speakers and who sometimes speak in a way that sounds like Armenian translated into English. Many who know Armenian enough to make the distinction have probably heard sentences that sound like... English translated into Armenian.

How do you correct this issue? First of all, you pay attention to what you say. Secondly, you should note that not everything that you think and say in one language necessarily makes the same sense in the other. Thirdly, you should learn and, most importantly, apply what you learn to correct your own speech. In the end, the most important thing is communication, but quality of communication is even more important.

Such cases have been discussed in this column. Another example is, for instance, the sentence: “I went back to sleep.” It is a perfectly normal English sentence. However, the problem starts when you try to make it into a “perfectly normal” Armenian sentence:

Katsee yed knanaloo (Գացի ետ քնանալու).

Rest assured that this is not “normal” Armenian, and not only the sentence sounds wrong, but it is wrong. The idea that you try to convey is that, after your sleep was interrupted, you went to sleep again. When you translate a sentence, you do not translate only the words, but also the meaning, and thus you do not make literal translations when the words are not their exact equivalent (meaning included) in the other language.  

In this case, you translate the meaning “again” and not the word “back,” because katsee yed knanaloo sounds like “I fell back to sleep.” The result should be: 

Katsee noren knanaloo (Գացի նորէն քնանալու).

Previous entries in “The Armenian Language Corner” are on the Prelacy’s web site (
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 5—Midwest Board of Trustees Regional Workshop, hosted by All Saints Armenian Church, Glenview, Illinois, 10 am to 4:30 pm.

March 6—The Anthropology Museum of the People of New York and the Armenian Cultural Educational Resource Center Gallery at Queens College present the “Mark Kyrkostas Remember Me With Music,” Classical Music, Song and Dance Concert, 7 pm at the Armenian Church of the Holy Martyrs, 209-15 Horace Harding Boulevard, Bayside, New York.

March 9—Prelacy Lenten Program, “Qualities of the servants of the Lord,” by Archpriest Fr. Nerses Manoogian, at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street, New York City, 7 pm.

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 Chaper, 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 23—Procession and flag-raising for 101st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide at Lowell, Massachusetts City Hall, 10 a.m., followed by a reception and cultural program by area school children at nearby Masonic Center. Sponsored by the Armenian National Committee of Merrimack Valley and Armenian Genocide Commemorative Committee of Merrimack Valley. For the march, please gather at corner of Merrimack and John Streets at 9:30 a.m.

April 29—Inaugural Concert of New York Hamazkayin Dzirani Children’s Choir, at the Armenian Center, 69-23 47th Avenue, Woodside, New York, at 8 pm. Directed by Kevork Hadjian. For more information or to join the choir contact Asdghig (718-566-8397) or email to (

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.
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