October 30, 2014

Archbishop Shahan Sarkissian, Prelate of Aleppo, met last week with parishes of the Eastern Prelacy. His Eminence has been visiting Armenian communities across the United States to brief the community about the Syrian crisis and the current state of the Syrian Armenian community. All contributions received are being allocated to the Armenian schools in Aleppo and other areas.

The history of Armenians in Syria goes back to the 11th century, but it was the survivors of the 1915 Genocide that established the community that became the premiere community of the Diaspora.

As we reported last week, on Wednesday, October 22, the Archbishop, accompanied by Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, visited the community of St. Stephen’s Church in Watertown, Massachusetts. A public gathering took place in the evening hosted by the Armenian Relief Society. Here are some subsequent visits made by Archbishop Shahan:

Philadelphia, October 23
Archbishop Shahan and Archbishop Oshagan, accompanied by Archpriest Fr. Nerses Manoogian, pastor of St. Gregory Church, gathered at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Sam and Nellie Nalbandian of Huntington Valley, Pennsylvania, for a reception to raise funds to help keep the Armenian schools open in Aleppo. Speaking about the general situation in Aleppo as well as other cities, Archbishop Shahan said that “although we live in difficult times, we never lose hope. We are without water and electricity, but hope is very much alive in us.” 

Douglaston, October 24
A public briefing took place at St. Sarkis Church in Douglaston, New York on Friday evening, October 24. Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian, pastor of St. Sarkis, welcomed the Archbishop assuring him of the support of the Armenian American community. The Prelate of Aleppo spoke softly and plainly, but eloquently, about the Syrian Armenian community and the community’s determination to remain in Syria. He described how every effort is being made to keep the schools open and functioning so that the young people will not be deprived of an education. He noted that in some areas schools were consolidated in safer areas.

Ridgefield, October 25 and 26
On Saturday evening, a public briefing took place at Sts. Vartanantz Church in Ridgefield, New Jersey, where once again Archbishop Shahan introduced several videos vividly showing the current situation in Syria. Rev. Fr. Hovnan Bozoian and the Board of Trustees hosted the event that brought together many members of the community. On Sunday, His Eminence celebrated the Divine Liturgy and delivered a sermon on the occasion of the Feast of the Discovery of the Holy Cross. Following the Liturgy, Archbishop Shahan spoke to a gathering of parishioners about the general situation and introduced the videos that were shown. The Aleppo Prelate answered questions from the audience.

Woodside, October 27
On Monday evening, Archbishop Shahan once again presented his briefing to a gathering at the Armenian Center in Woodside, New York, sponsored by St. Illuminator’s Cathedral and the ARF Armen Garo Gomideh. Opening remarks were offered by Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian. As he did at each of the events, the Prelate, Archbishop Oshagan, concluded the gathering with his words of encouragement and appealed to the community to continue supporting the Syrian Armenian community with prayers and financial assistance.

On Tuesday, October 28, Archbishop Shahan departed for Canada where he is continuing his public briefings and appeals.
A fundraising reception at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Sam Nalbandian was attended by many from the Philadelphia area.
The clergy are surrounded by parishioners and friends at  St. Sarkis Church in Douglaston, New York.
The attendees at a reception at Sts. Vartanantz Church, New Jersey on Saturday evening.
Archbishop Shahan celebrated the Divine Liturgy in  New Jersey.
A briefing and presentation on Sunday after the Liturgy in New Jersey.
The attendees at the public briefing at the Armenian Center in New York with the clergy.
Archbishop Oshagan and Archbishop Shahan with Salpi Ketchelian, Anna Mari Manoukian, and Taleen Lakissian who presented $750 to Bishop Shahan collected by St. Illuminator’s Sunday and Saturday school students.
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: Fund for Syrian Armenian Relief

Thank you for your help

Archbishop Oshagan will travel to Illinois this weekend where on Sunday he will celebrate the Divine Liturgy and deliver the sermon at All Saints Church in Glenview, on the occasion of the 71st anniversary of the parish. Following the services His Eminence will preside over an anniversary banquet at Shahnasarian Hall.


On Sunday, November 2, Bishop Anoushavan will celebrate the Divine Liturgy and deliver the sermon at St. Gregory Church, of Springfield & Indian Orchard, Massachusetts. During the service His Grace will ordain Stephen Michael Sherokey to the diaconate and consecrate an icon of Saint Sarkis the Warrior. The Vicar will preside at the banquet that will follow the liturgical services.


Last weekend Bishop Anoushavan visited St. Hagop Church in Racine, Wisconsin, and St. Paul Church in Waukegan, Illinois.

On Saturday evening the Vicar met with the leadership and parishioners of St. Paul Church in Waukegan that also included the blessing of a recently installed church sign in the front of the church, and concluded with a moving and uplifting candlelight service.

On Sunday His Grace celebrated the Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon at St. Hagop Church in Racine. During the services, His Grace granted the right to wear stoles to altar servers, Vahan Mahdasian and Arakel Khaligian. The Vicar also read the encyclical from His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia, elevating Rev. Fr. Daron Stepanian, pastor of St. Hagop, to the rank of Archpriest. A dinner celebration of the 76th anniversary of the parish took place after the services. On behalf of the pastor and the board of trustees, Bishop Anoushavan presented a Certificate of Merit to Archdeacon Dikran Mahdasian for fifty years of service to St. Hagop. In his comments, Der Daron congratulated the parish on its 76 years of religious and national leadership and expressed thanks to the Prelate, Archbishop Oshagan, and the Vicar, Bishop Anoushavan, for their fatherly guidance and for the honor of being elevated to the rank of Archpriest.
Bishop Anoushavan and Archpriest Fr. Daron with members of the St. Paul Church community.
Following the Liturgy at St. Hagop Church, the Vicar and Der Hayr with the altar servers and parishioners.
Bishop Anoushavan reads the pontifical encyclical elevating Der Daron to rank of Archpriest.

Representatives of Christian and Arab Middle Eastern Churches Together (CAMECT) met on Tuesday, October 28, at the Prelacy offices in New York City. CAMECT is comprised of faith communities in the United States who belong to or are associated with churches in the Middle East. The organization meets at least twice a year to discuss the current situation and to deepen the bonds of fellowship, awareness, respect and love for one another.

Archbishop Oshagan is the chairman of CAMECT that includes representatives of the following churches with roots in the Middle East: Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America; Armenian Orthodox Church; Armenian Catholic Church; Armenian Evangelical Church; Assyrian Church of the East; Chaldean Catholic Church; Coptic Orthodox Church; Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Maronite Catholic Church; Melkite Greek Catholic Church; Presbyterian Church; Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch; Syriac Catholic Church of Antioch.

Archbishop Oshagan said, “The presence of Christianity in the Middle East is a deep-rooted reality. For fourteen centuries Christians have coexisted and cohabited with the Arab people who always regarded the Christian people as the indigenous people of the Book and encouraged and protected the Christian presence and rights. The Christian leadership in the Middle East stands firm in its determination to maintain the Christian presence in the Middle East and to help the people remain in the countries they consider their home.”
A meeting of CAMECT representatives took place at the Prelacy on Tuesday, October 28.

St. Gregory Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, held its annual Sunday School Halloween Party last Sunday.  More than 60 students joined in the festivities of the day, which included lessons about the Discovery of the Holy Cross and the origins of Halloween; they marched in the Parade of Saints, danced to music, played games, made caramel apples, engaged in a group competitive Scripturally-based modified Jeopardy/Wheel of Fortune/Hangman tournament, feasted at an overflowing table of kids' favorite delectable foods, and took home goodie bags to enjoy later that night.  Serving in various capacities, the junior and senior high students fulfilled their stewardship responsibilities in this their first Day of Stewardship, where they learn to give back to the church.  It was a fun-filled, action-packed day that everyone enjoyed.
The day began with lessons on the Feast of the Discovery of the Holy Cross that was being celebrated that day.
The Halloween table was filled with treats, plus “goodie bags” to take home.

Whatever we call it—Bazaar, Food Festival, Fall Fair, or Holiday Fair—it is the beginning of the season that our parishes present their annual event that for most parishes is a major part of their annual income. St. Gregory Church, North Andover, Massachusetts hosted their annual Fall Fair last weekend.
At the pastry table in North Andover are, from left, Christine Kourkounian, chair of the Board of Trustees, Susan Kulungian, and Melanie Tokatlian.
Rev. Stephan Baljian, pastor of St. Gregory is joined at the Fall Fair by his parents, Archpriest Fr. Antranig Baljian and Yeretzkin Cheryl.

Bible readings for Sunday, November 2, Eighth Sunday of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, are: Isaiah 22:15-25; Ephesians 1:1-14; Luke 8:17-21.

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus and are faithful to Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:1-14)

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

Today, October 30, the Armenian Church remembers St. John Chrysostom (Hovhan Voskeperan), a notable Christian bishop and preacher in Syria and Constantinople. He is famous for his eloquence—Chrysostom means “golden mouth.” The Orthodox Church honors him as a saint and one of the “three holy hierarchs” (along with Basil the Great and Gregory the Theologian). He is also recognized and honored by the Catholic Church and the Church of England.

John converted to Christianity in 368 when he was barely 21 years old. He renounced a large inheritance and promising legal career and went to live in a mountain cave where he studied the Bible. He was later ordained a priest and soon his sermons were attracting huge audiences. He challenged wealthy Christians, whose generosity was confined to donating precious objects for display in churches. “The gift of a chalice may be extravagant in its generosity,” he said, “but a gift to the poor is an expression of love.”

His outspoken criticism was not appreciated by the hierarchy and he was sent into exile at various times. He had a profound influence on the doctrines and theology of the Armenian Church because he spent the final years of his exile in Armenia. Some of his important works have survived only in Armenian manuscripts.

Muse of the deep and ineffable Divine Mysteries.
Wise Prefect and Great Doctor of the world,
Like the rock of the Church, you were faithful to the key to heaven.
From the beloved disciple, you received the gospel.
From the Holy Virgin Birth-giver you received your symbol of authority.
O Patriarch John, by the grace of the Holy Spirit you received wisdom.
(An Armenian Church ode dedicated to St. John Chrysostom)


This Saturday, November 1, the Armenian Church commemorates the Feast of All Saints, Old and New, Known and Unknown. The western churches always celebrate All Saints Day on November 1. In the Armenian Church tradition the date is variable depending on the season of the Cross. It can occur in late October or in November. The commemoration is rooted in the belief that there are many saints who are not known to us. Therefore, on this day all saints are honored.

His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia, attended a three-day conference dedicated to the 400 years of Armenians living in New Julfa that took place at the Ararat Community Hall in Isfahan/New Julfa. In his opening message, His Holiness congratulated the organizers for the timely event and the theme, “New Julfa: Symbol of Conviviality amongst the Three Monotheistic Religions.” Also attending the opening were the Governor and Vice Governor of Isfahan, the Head of Religious Affairs, the President of Isfahan University, and Professors from Yerevan University.

The Catholicos spoke about the rich experience of Armenians, which he said has been well documented in the region’s literature. The three day conference concluded with the celebration of the 350th anniversary of the Cathedral of Holy Saviour Monastery of New Julfa, in the presence of the Catholicos, and the Prime Minister of Armenia, Hovik Abrahamian, who was accompanied by seven government ministers.

As part of the celebrations a conference of scholars took place on October 21. Dr. Vazken Ghougassian, Executive Director of the Eastern Prelacy was invited to participate. The topic of his presentation was “The Social, Administrative and Ecclesiastical Structure of the New Julfa Armenian Community in the 17th Century.”
The Divine Liturgy on the occasion of the 350th anniversary of the Cathedral of All Savior’s Monastery (Sourp Armenaprkich) in New Julfa. The Cathedral was completed in 1664.
Catholicos Aram officially re-opens the renovated library.
The conference of scholars was attended by high-ranking government officials, the clergy, and the general public. Dr. Vazken Ghougassian, Executive Director of the Eastern Prelacy, was one of the presenters.
Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
Armistice of Mudros (October 30, 1918)

The defeat of the Central Powers in World War I triggered the capitulation of the Ottoman Empire, which was forced to conclude the Armistice of Mudros on October 30, 1918, to end the hostilities with the Allies in the Middle Eastern theater. The armistice was signed by Ottoman Navy Minister Rauf Bey and British Admiral Somerset Arthur Gough-Calthorpe on board the British ship Agamemnon in Mudros, a harbor on the Greek island of Lemnos.

As part of several conditions, the Ottomans surrendered their remaining garrisons outside Anatolia and granted the Allies the right to occupy forts controlling the Straits of the Dardanelles and the Bosporus. Any Ottoman territory could be also occupied by the Allies in case of a threat to security. The Ottoman army was demobilized.

Armenia had proclaimed its independence on May 28, 1918, but according to the Treaty of Batum (June 4), its borders had been reduced to an area surrounding Yerevan, Alexandropol, and lake Sevan of approximately 12,000 square kilometers. Armenians anxiously waited for the end of the war, hoping that the Allies would fulfill their promises.

Several clauses of the armistice referred to Armenians:

“IV. All Allied prisoners of war and Armenian interned persons and prisoners to be collected in Constantinople and handed over unconditionally to the Allies.

XI. Immediate withdrawal of the Turkish troops from Northwest Persia to the rear of the pre-war frontier has already been ordered and will be carried out. Part of Trans-Caucasia has already been ordered to be evacuated by Turkish troops; the remainder is to be evacuated if required by the Allies after they have studied the situation there.

XV. Allied Control Officers to be placed on all railways, including such portions of the Trans-Caucasian Railways as are now under Turkish control, which must be placed at the free and complete disposal of the Allied authorities, due consideration being given to the needs of the population. This clause to include Allied occupation of Batoum. Turkey will raise no objection to the occupation of Baku by the Allies.

XVI. Surrender of all garrisons in Hedjaz, Assir, Yemen, Syria, and Mesopotamia to the nearest Allied Commander; and the withdrawal of troops from Cilicia, except those necessary to maintain order, as will be determined under Clause V.

XXIV. In case of disorder in the six Armenian vilayets, the Allies reserve to themselves the right to occupy any part of them.

Calthorpe had dictated the conditions of the armistice on behalf of the Allies without consultation with the other members of the Entente. Those conditions were discussed during the Peace Conference of Versailles, opened on January 18, 1919.  At the end of January, the Allied Supreme Council approved a resolution to separate Armenia, Syria, Palestine, Arabia, and Mesopotamia from the Ottoman Empire.

However, in the future the Allies did not take any serious measure to execute the clauses of the armistice, which would have favored the solution of the Armenian Question. The signature of the Treaty of Sevres in August 1920 was the legal follow-up to the armistice, but it was never ratified due to the Turkish victory in the so-called “war of independence.”

Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” can be read on the Prelacy’s web site (www.armenianprelacy.org).

The Prelacy Bookstore has an extensive collection of books (in Armenian and English) about the Genocide including histories, historical novels, memoirs, eye witness testimonies, essays, and poetry. From now through next April we will feature one or two books each week from the Bookstore’s collection.
From Empire to Republic:
Turkish Nationalism and the Armenian Genocide
By Taner Akcam

This book is the first serious scholarly attempt to study the Armenian Genocide in the context of Turkish political history. 

Softcover, $36.00 plus shipping and handling
Hagop: An Armenian Genocide Survivor’s Journey to Freedom
By Theodore D. Kharpertian

This memoir of a survivor, written by his son, recounts the lifelong struggle and tenacity of Hagop Kharpertian, the only survivor in his family. It is a story of crime without punishment and the narrative of a remarkable life. 

Softcover, $13.00 plus shipping and handling

To order these books or for information contact the Armenian Prelacy Bookstore by email (books@armenianprelacy.org) or by phone (212-689-7810).
click the image below to listen to Podcast No. 9 with Rev. Fr. nareg terterian featuring an interesting interview with Arthur Hayrabedian, the first chairman of the Borad of St. Sarkis Church.

We are back to Standard Time as of 2 am Sunday. Don’t forget to FALL BACK.
November 2—All Saints Church, Glenview, Illinois, 71st Anniversary under auspices of Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, following the Divine Liturgy, at Shahnasarian Hall, 1701 N. Greenwood, Glenview, Illinois.

November 2—Family Brunch following the Divine Liturgy, Sts. Vartanantz Church, 461 Bergen Boulevard, Ridgefield, New Jersey, sponsored by the Nareg Armenian School. Adults $15; children under twelve $5.00. All proceeds will benefit the Nareg Saturday School.

November 6—Avak Luncheon, sponsored by St. Gregory Church, 158 Main Street, North Andover, Massachusetts, at noon. Speaker: Sonya Vartabedian, “Diary of a Community Editor,” reflections from Sunday School student here to award-winning journalist and editor of The Andover Townsman and Andover Magazine.

November 7-8-9—Rouben Mamoulian Film Festival, 7 pm, at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, New York. Sponsored by the Anthropology Museum of the People of New York, the Armenian Cultural Educational Resource Center Gallery at Queens College, and The Museum of the Moving Image. Opening night and reception will feature Love Me Tonight, the 1932 musical comedy film produced and directed by Mamoulian, with music by Rodgers and Hart, starring Jeanette MacDonald and Maurice Chevalier. For tickets and information: anthroarmen@aol.com or 718-428-5650.

November 7 & 8—St. Stephen’s Church, Watertown, Massachusetts, 58th Armenian Bazaar, 10 am to 9:30 pm at Armenian Cultural & Educational Center, 47 Nichols Avenue, Watertown, Massachusetts. Meals served from 11:30 am to 8:30 pm (take out is available). Enjoy delicious meals, Armenian pastries, gourmet items, arts and crafts, books, raffles, attic treasures. For information: 617-924-7562. 

November 8—ARF Day Celebration, hosted by the New York Armen Garo Gomideh. Dinner followed by patriotic songs by Karnig Sarkissian. Guest speaker, Vicken Hovsepian, Central Committee Western Region, at Armenian Center, 69-23 47th Avenue, Woodside, New York, at 8 pm. For reservations/info: 718-651-4687.

November 14-15—Holy Trinity Church, Worcester, Massachusetts, Annual Fall Fest. Friday, 4 to 8 pm; Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm. Shish, chicken, losh kebab and kheyma dinners. Home made pastries and special desserts. For information: 508-852-2414.

November 15 &16—Sts. Vartanantz Church, Providence, Rhode Island, Armenian Fest 2014 at Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet, Broad Street, Cranston, Rhode Island.  Largest indoor festival in Rhode Island.  Delicious shish and losh kebob, chicken and kufta dinners and Armenian pastry available all day.  Live dance music. The Mourad Armenian School and Providence Hamazkayin dance groups will perform on Saturday and Sunday at 5 pm. Hourly raffles, silent auction, country store, gift baskets, flea-market, arts and crafts. Main raffle prizes worth total $2,700.  Fun for all ages. Free admission, parking and valet. For information: 401-831-6399 or www.stsvartanantzchurch.org.

November 21, 22, 23—Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey, Annual Bazaar, Food Festival, and Hantes. Mezze and Kebab dinners (chicken, shish, luleh); dessert table and trays of home-made delicacies; Boutique Booths; Chinese Auction; Supervised Game Room for children; Pre-packaged Monte, Sou Buereg, Kufteh, and Lehmejun; Take-out available; Live Music for dancing and listening. Traditional Kavourma dinner on Sunday served immediately after church service. For information: 201-943-2950.

December 6—Armenian Winter Dessert Festival, Soorp Khatch Church, Bethesda, Maryland.

December 6—Lowell Gomideh anniversary celebration, 6 pm, at St. Gregory Church, 158 Main Street, North Andover, Massachusetts. Dinner, entertainment, program, speaker: David Boyajian, “The Survival of Armenia: Dangers and Opportunities. Admission: $20 adults; $10 students. For information: tommyvart@aol.com or 978-373-1654.

December 6—St. Asdvadzadzin Church, Whitinsville, Massachusetts, Annual Bazaar at Christian Reform Church, Whitinsville, 10 am to 5 pm.

December 7—Ladies Guild of St. Stephen’s Church of New Britain and Hartford, Connecticut, will host a Wine Tasting Party at noon in the church hall, 167 Tremont Street, New Britain. A wine talk and tasting will be provided by Taylor Brooke Winery, Woodstock, Connecticut, owned by Linda Varjabedian Auger.

December 7—8th Annual ANC Eastern Region Banquet, Ritz-Carlton Battery Park, NY. Freedom Award Honoree: former Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau and the Morgenthau family; Vahan Cardashian Award Honoree: ANCA activist Alice Movsesian.  Tickets are $250.  For reservations and information, please visit www.anca.org/erbanquet or 917.428.1918.

December 12—Children of Armenia Fund (COAF) 11th Annual Holiday Gala, Cipriani 42nd Street, New York City. Cocktails and Silent Auction, 7 pm; Dinner & Program, 8 pm; Dancing & After Party, 10 pm. For tickets and information www.coafkids.org or 212-994-8234.

December 13—St. Gregory Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, “A 2014 Christmas Celebration” at 7pm in the Sanctuary. Usher in the Christmas season with family and friends. Featuring master organist, Ara Eloian, group caroling in Armenian and English. Reception following in Terhanian Hall. Admission is Free. RSVP to church office 215-482-9200.

February 9-11, 2015—Ghevontiantz gathering of clergy serving the Eastern Prelacy.

March 13-15, 2015—“Responsibility 2015,” International conference for Armenian Genocide’s centennial at Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York, featuring prominent historians, policymakers, authors, and artists. Organized by the ARF Eastern US Centennial Committee, under the auspices of the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee of America, Eastern Region. www.responsibility2015.com for information.

March 20, 2015—Musical Armenia, presented by Eastern Prelacy and Prelacy Ladies Guild, Weill Recital Hall, 8 pm, Carnegie Hall, New York City.

October 5-9, 2015—Clergy gathering of Eastern, Western, and Canadian Prelacies.
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.