November 12, 2015
Archbishop Oshagan will travel to the Mid-West this weekend where on Saturday evening he will deliver the invocation at the 9th annual banquet of the Armenian National Committee of America, Eastern Region. The banquet, which will take place at The Westin Book Cadillac Hotel in Detroit, is under the general theme, “Yesterday, Today and Beyond…” The following awards will be presented: Freedom Award to Fethiye Cetin, and former Congressman David Bonior; the Vahan Cardashian Award to Armen Topouzian; Activist Award to Nor Zartonk; Legacy Award to John W. Kcikian. Cocktails and Silent Auction is scheduled for 6 pm with program and dinner at 7:30 pm.

Bishop Anoushavan, Vicar General, who will return tomorrow from Vienna, Austria where he participated in ecumenical meetings between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, will celebrate the Divine Liturgy at St. Stephen’s Church in Connecticut this Sunday, November 15. The St. Stephen community is celebrating the 90th anniversary of the church this year.

Archbishop Oshagan will preside over the 90th celebratory banquet on Sunday that will take place after the Liturgy, at the Farmington Club in Farmington, Connecticut, under the theme of “Remembering the Past, Embracing the Future, 1925-2015.”
Archbishop Oshagan consecrates the new cross that will be placed on the dome of the church.
Archbishop Oshagan presided over 51th anniversary celebration of Soorp Khatch Church (Bethesda MD) on November 7, 2015.  His Eminence celebrated the Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon on Sunday November 8, 2015, and consecrated the new cross for the Soorp Khatch church.  The new Cross was donated by Mrs. Lucie Sarkissian and children, Zareh, Angele and Nellie Sarkissian in loving memory of Garbis Sarkissian, son and brother.

The Divine Liturgy and the concretion services were web streamed live on Soorp Khatch streaming platform. The Liturgy and cross consecration video can be viewed here.

In attendance at the 51st anniversary celebration were Rev. Father Sarkis Aktavookian and Yeretzgin Maggie. Other guests included the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Armenia to the United States His Excellency Mr. Tigram Argsyan; the representative of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, Mr. Robert Avetissian; and the chairman of the Board of Trustees of Soorp Khatch Church, Mr. Aram Sarafian. Honorary Chairpersons are Mr. and Mrs. Vrege and Mary Najarian.

During the anniversary banquet the Prelacy’s Certificates of Merit were presented by Archbishop Oshagan to: Dr. Zareh Soghomonian, Mrs. Lena Ara Tatarian Damirjian, and Mrs. Mary Najarian for their service to the Soorp Khatch Church and the community-at-large. Der Hayr’s award was presented to George Zabounian in recognition of his dedicated service to the church.

Guest performers were Ms. Zareen Nairi Balian and Ms. Arya Anoush Balian. The national anthems were performed by Mrs. Emma Soghomonian. Ms. Sevan Kolejian and Mr. Hratch Najarian served as the Masters of Ceremonies.

See more photos here.

Bishop Anoushavan will return from Vienna, Austria, tomorrow, where he took part in the Pro-Oriente Commission for Ecumenical Encounter between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches.
Bishop Anoushavan with other participants in the ecumenical encounter in Vienna.
Archbishop Oshagan and Archpriest Armen (seated) with Bishop Anoushavan (standing left) and Bishop Meghrig Parikian.
Archbishop Oshagan with Ms. Arina Zohrabian and Mr. Matt Senekeremian, from the American University of Armenia at the Prelacy.
Archbishop Oshagan and Bishop Anoushavan took time from their busy schedules last week to visit their brother-in-Christ, Archpriest Fr. Armen Ishkhanian in Montreal, Canada. Joining them in the visit was Bishop Meghrig Parikian, Prelate of the Prelacy of Canada.

Archbishop Oshagan welcomed two officials from the American University of Armenia (AUB), who visited him at the Prelacy this week. Ms. Arina Zohrabian, Director of Admissions, and Mr. Matt Senekeremian, Assistant Director of Development, informed the Prelate about the growth and progress of the university and the role of the Diaspora in its future.

The American University of Armenia was founded in 1991 during a period of transition toward independence and soon after the 1988 earthquake. Today, nearly a quarter of a century since its founding, AUA continues to be the only U.S. accredited university in the former Soviet Union territory and the only university in the region offering an American education. Most recently, AUA initiated a program created to meet the growing needs of Armenia’s Syrian-Armenian refugees who have resettled in Armenia.

Note: See this week’s podcast by Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian for an interview with Ms. Zohrabian.
The regional Mid-Atlantic Board of Trustees Workshop will take place on Saturday, November 21, at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street, New York City. The workshop will begin at 10 am and conclude at 4 pm. The Workshop will feature presentations and workshops on working together, developing a parish mission statement, Prelacy programs, and the sharing of “Parish Best Practices.” There will also be time for individual parish consultations.

Archbishop Oshagan attended the Centennial Gala Celebration of the Near East Foundation (formerly Near East Relief) on October 28 in New York City. Near East Relief was founded one hundred years ago in the aftermath of the Armenian Genocide and is considered to be the model for future U.S. philanthropy. Through the efforts of NER, thousands and thousands of orphaned Armenian children were saved and educated. The current Near East Foundation continues its philanthropy and is currently working with Syrian and Iraqi refugees and vulnerable members of their host communities in Jordan and Lebanon.

The event marked 100 years of NEF’s pioneering work in the Middle East and Africa. In commemorating the history of the foundation, NEF paid tribute to the many individuals who have contributed to its legacy throughout the years.  One of the more moving parts of the evening took place when descendants of genocide survivors presented a recreation of the NEF Workers’ medal to the descendants of NEF founders and relief workers who responded to the early calls to action surrounding the Armenian genocide.

The co-chairs of the Centennial Committee, Shant Mardirossian and Linda Jacobs, sent a letter of thanks to the Prelacy for being a “Knowledge Sponsor.” The letter said, “Your generous support allowed us to memorialize a century of service and recognize the individuals who have made the Near East Foundation what it is today.”

See photos here. View centennial video here.
The Prelacy is pleased to present a presentation of the newly published book Goodbye, Antoura, a memoir of the Armenian Genocide by Karnig Panian, on Sunday, November  22, at 2 pm at St. Sarkis Church, 38-65 234th Street, Douglaston, New York.

“The Antoura orphanage was another project of the Armenian genocide; its administrators, some benign and some cruel, sought to transform the children into Turks by changing their Armenian names, forcing them to speak Turkish, and erasing their history.” (From the publisher’s website)

The book will be presented by Dr. Herand Markarian. Mrs. Houry Boyamian, daughter of the author, will provide insight about her father’s memoir. Originally written and published in Armenian, this newly published English translation has garnered much critical acclaim. The Saint Sarkis Ladies Guild will host a reception. 
Bible readings for Sunday, November 15, Tenth Sunday of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Paregentan of the Fast of Advent, are: Isaiah 25:9-26; Philippians 1:1-11; Luke 9:44-50.

“Let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of man is to be delivered into the hands of men.” But they did not understand this saying, and it was concealed from them, that they should not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.

And an argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. But when Jesus perceived the thoughts of their hearts, he took a child and put him by his side, and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me; for he who is least among you all is the one who is great.”

John answered, “Master, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he does not follow with us.” But Jesus said to him, “Do not forbid him; for he that is not against you is for you.”  (Luke 9:44-50)

For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.
“Living out our baptismal call,” a three-part Bible study program will take place on three consecutive Thursdays, December 3, 10, and 17, at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street, New York City. Sessions will be presented by Deacon Shant Kazanjian, Executive Director of the Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC), 7 to 8:30 pm. Registration is required. Contact or or telephone Prelacy (212-689-7810) or Cathedral (212-689-5880) or simply click on the image above to link to the registration page
This Sunday, November 15, is the Eve (Paregentan) of the Fast of Advent (Hisnag). This is a week-long fast (Monday to Friday) leading up to the first Sunday of Advent, which is next Sunday.

Advent is the period that guides us up the birth and baptism of Christ. It begins fifty days before January 6. Advent is intended to be a solemn and quiet time for prayer, reflection, and meditation in preparation for the mystery of the incarnation.

Traditionally the entire fifty-day period of Advent was a period of fasting. Now there are three week-long fasts during Advent (along with the regular fasting days of Wednesday and Friday). The three week-long fasts are known as: The Fast of Advent (Hisnagats Bahk); The Fast of St. James (Sourp Hagopah Bahk); and the Fast of the Nativity (Dznuntyan Bahk).

This Saturday, November 14, we remember the Holy Apostles Andrew and Philip. Andrew was a Galilean fisherman and the first-called of the followers of Christ, along with his brother Simon, who was later called Peter. Philip was from Bethsaida, and after he had been called to be an apostle he brought in Nathanael (later called Bartholomew).

The word apostle is associated with the special inner circle of Jesus’ disciples, chosen by Jesus to accompany him during His ministry, to learn from Him and follow His instructions to continue His work.

St. Illuminator’s Cathedral and the ANC of New York together with partner organizations Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society, ARS “Mayr” Chapter, and the Permanent Mission of Armenia to the United Nations Friday hosted a book presentation last Friday for Indian-American author Abie Alexander’s latest novel “For the Love of Armine,” dedicated to the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide.

The premiere New York presentation of the book took place at the Armenian Center in Woodside, New York. More than 100 attendees enjoyed the presentation of the book by the author, and the excerpts read in English and Armenian by young members of the community accompanied by a violin performance by Diana Vasilyan.

Remarks were made by Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, pastor of the St. Illuminator’s Cathedral; Dr. Artur Martirosyan, ANCA-ER Community Outreach and Communications Director; Mr. Raffi Asatoorian, chairman of ANC NY; Mr. Armen Sahakyan, ANCA-ER Executive Director; Mr. Mikael Sarukhanyan, of the Permanent Mission of Armenia to the UN.

The program concluded with closing remarks and a wine blessing (kinedzon) made by His Grace Bishop Anoushavan, Vicar General of the Prelacy.
Bishop Anoushavan and Der Mesrob with the author and participants in the program.
Bishop Anoushavan attended the 100th anniversary of the Hudson County Shake Chapter of the Armenian Relief Society on October 31. The event took place at the Chart House in Weehawken, New Jersey. The event was sponsored by Dr. Kourkin and Talene Tchorbajian and featured the popular singer/performer Elie Berberian from Toronto.
Bishop Anoushavan with guests at the 100th anniversary of the Shake Chapter.
Mr. Sayat Tekir explains some of the recent development in Turkey.
A public gathering took place on Tuesday at St. IIluminator Cathedral's John Pashalian Hall, to hear Mr. Sayat Tekir, an Istanbul based activist and spokesperson of the "Nor Zartonk" Movement, speak about the recent developments with Camp Armen, the challenges facing Armenians and other minorities in Turkey, the mission and current projects of the Nor Zartonk movement, and recent developments taking place in Turkey and their effect on the Armenian community. Mr. Dickran Kabarajian translated the presentation from Armenian into English. The event was organized by St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, the Armenian National Committee of New York, and Armenian Missionary Association of America.
Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
Birth of Michael Arlen
(November 16, 1895)
Michael Arlen was one of the stars of English literature in the 1920s, but he was also a controversial name within the Armenian diaspora. His position regarding Armenian reality was frequently contrasted with that of another writer across the pond, who would shine in the 1930s: William Saroyan.

He was born Dikran Kouyoumdjian on November 16, 1895 in Rustchuk (Bulgaria), now Ruse. He was the youngest child of five to an Armenian merchant family that had initially settled in Plovdiv in 1892, where his father had established a successful import business. The family moved again, this time to England, in 1901, and settled in the seaside town of Southport.

Young Dikran attended Malvern College, and in 1913 enrolled at the University of Edinburgh, in Scotland, as a medical student. However, both he and his family intended that he would go to Oxford. In his first book, The London Venture, Arlen wrote: “I, up at Edinburgh, was on the high road to general fecklessness. I only stayed there a few months; jumbled months of elementary medicine, political economy, metaphysics, theosophy--I once handed round programs at an Annie Besant lecture at the Usher Hall--and beer, lots of beer. And then, one night, I emptied my last mug, and with another side-glance at Oxford, came down to London; 'to take up a literary career' my biographer will no doubt write of me.”

His literary career actually started in 1916. He contributed regularly under his birth name to the Armenian monthly Ararat, published in London between 1913 and 1919, where he wrote essays and book reviews about Armenian issues. He also published essays and literary pieces in the British weekly The New Age. He assembled some personal essays from the latter and published it as The London Venture in 1920 with the pen name Michael Arlen, which he adopted as his legal name when he naturalized as a British citizen in 1922.

After this book, he worked on collections of short stories, including The Romantic Lady (1921), Piracy: A Romantic Chronicle of These Days (1922), and These Charming People (1923). They culminated into the book that would launch Arlen's fame and fortune in the 1920s: The Green Hat (1924). This novel narrates the short life and violent death of femme fatale and dashing widow Iris Storm, owner of the hat of the title and a yellow Hispano Suiza car. Arlen became almost instantly famous, rich, and incessantly in the spotlight. He frequently traveled to the United States and worked on plays and films. The Green Hat was adapted into Broadway and London’s West End plays, and a silent Hollywood film starring Greta Garbo and John Gilbert in 1928. The novel was considered provocative in the United States; the movie was therefore dubbed A Woman of Affairs. It was adapted again in 1934 for a sound movie, Outcast Lady, with Constance Bennett and Herbert Marshall in the main roles.

Arlen published Young Men in Love (1927), but it received mixed reviews, the same as the next books: Lily Christine (1928), Babes in the Wood (1929), and Men Dislike Women (1931). He moved to Cannes (France), where he married Greek Countess Atalanta Mercati. They had two children, Michael John (1930), the author of the celebrated memoir Passage to Ararat, and Venetia Arlen (1933).

His immaculate manners invariably impressed everyone. He was always impeccably dressed and groomed, and drove around London in a fashionable yellow Rolls Royce, engaging in all kinds of luxurious activities. His success was viewed by some with envy, mixed with latent suspicion for foreigners. Another popular author of the time, Sydney Horler, is said to have called Arlen “the only Armenian who never tried to sell me a carpet.”

Arlen made occasional references to Armenians (he gave a speech in 1925 to the Armenian Cultural Foundation in New York) in the 1920s, but run in trouble after an essay published in Babes in the Wood, “Confessions of a Naturalized Englishman.” Many pieces published in the Armenian press criticized his seemingly anti-Armenian stance.

He would never be able to make a comeback into the literary fame that The Green Hat had brought to him. He ventured into science fiction with Man’s Mortality (1933) and into gothic horror with Hell! Said the Duchess: A Bed-Time Story (1934), and briefly returned to his earlier romantic style in his final collection of short stories, The Crooked Coronet (1939), but did not have much success.

His final novel, The Flying Dutchman (1939), was released coincidentally with the outbreak of World War II. He returned to England to contribute to the war effort. He was appointed as an information officer for Civil Defense in 1940, but when his loyalty to England was questioned in 1941, he resigned and returned to America. He moved to New York in 1945, but he suffered from writer’s block for the rest of his life. He died of lung cancer on June 23, 1956 in New York.

Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site (
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Armenian Prelacy
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Thank you for your help
(Pastor of St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York)

This week’s podcast features:
• Interview with Ms. Arina Zohrabian, Admissions Director of the American University of Armenia.
• And much more

Click on the image above to link to the Podcast
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.

November 12—An evening with Project SAVE Armenian Photograph Archives, Inc., Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library (previously National Heritage Museum), 33 Marrett Road, Lexington, Massachusetts, celebrating 40 years and beyond. Reservations and information: or (617) 923-4542.

November 13-14—Fall Food Fest at Holy Trinity Church, 635 Grove Street, Worcester, Massachusetts, Friday open at 4 pm with dinner served from 5 pm to 8 pm and Saturday open at 10 am with dinner served from noon to 4 pm. Join us for kheyma, shish kebab, losh kebab, or chicken kebab dinners or try our new vegetarian meal. Visit our Country Store and Bake Table. Stock up on choreg, katah, choreg, porov kufta, simit, baklava, yanlanchi, toorshi, and much more. Free admission and free parking. For information: 508-852-2414.

November 14—Holiday Arts & Crafts Fair, 10 am to 4 pm, at Jaffarian Hall, St. Gregory Church, 158 Main Street, North Andover, Massachusetts. Handcrafted items by local crafters & artisans. Light lunch served. For information: Dorothy 978-686-7769 or Rose 978-256-0594.

November 14—9th Annual ANCA-ER Banquet, Westin Book Cadillac Hotel, Detroit, Michigan. Silent auction and cocktail hour, 6 pm; Dinner and Award Ceremony, 7:30 pm.

November 15—“Remembering the Past, Embracing the Future, 1925-2015,” St. Stephen’s Church, New Britain, Connecticut, 90th Anniversary celebration. His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan, Prelate, will preside over the banquet at Farmington Club, 162 Town Farm Road, Farmington, Connecticut.

November 14 & 15—Armenian Fest, hosted by Sts. Vartanantz Church, Providence, Rhode Island, at Rhodes-On-The-Pawtuxet (1 Rhodes Place, off Broad Street) in Cranston. The largest indoor festival, serving delicious shish and losh kebob, chicken and kufta dinners and Armenian pastries. Live dance music. Armenian dance group performance on Saturday and Sunday at 5 pm. 50/50 main raffle prizes, hourly raffles, silent auction, country store, gift baskets, flea-market, arts and crafts. For more information:

November 19—“Four Authors in Search of a Past: History, Community, Inspiration,” poetry readings by Nancy Agabian, Haig Chahinian, Lola Koundakjian, and Veronica Pamoukaghlian, 7 pm at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street, New York City.

November 22—Presentation of Goodbye, Antoura: A Memoir of the Armenian Genocide by Karnig Panian, organized by Prelacy will take place at St Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York. The book will be presented by Dr. Herand Markarian; Mrs. Houry Boyamian, daughter of the author, will provide insight about her father’s memoir that was just recently translated into English. For information: 212-689-7810.

Novembe 26th-December 6thArmenian Relief Society of Eastern USA proudly announces its Fifth Annual Online Auction. Find the perfect Christmas Gift for the special people on your list. To view and bid on auction items or make an online donation visit: For questions contact: or Call: Talin Daghlian @ 201-446-2316

November 29—ARS Havadk Chapter’s annual Holiday Dinner, at St. Stephen’s Church Hall, 167 Tremont Street, New Britain, Connecticut following church services. Ham with all the trimmings. $13 adult; $8 children under 16.

November 30—Get Classical presents: “With You Armenia,” in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, 7 pm at (Le) Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleeker Street, New York City. Features cellist, Mischa Maisky, pianist Lily Maisky, pianist Elena Lisitsian, and violinist Alissa Margulis. Tickets ($30-$40) may be purchased at . “As musicians we would like to bring attention to some of the much under-appreciated Armenian Classical works by composers such as Arno Babadjanian and Komitas Vartabed. We will also present works by Sergey Rachmaninov and Dmitry Shostakovish. We feel very strongly about our responsibility to never forget and bring others to do so as well, through one of the most direct forms of communication and commemoration, music.” (Lily Maisky)

December 3, 30, and 17—“Living Out Our Baptism,” a three-part Bible study presented by Deacon Shant Kazanjian, executive director of Armenian Religious Education Council, 7 to 8:30 pm. Registration required. Contact or, or 212-689-7810.

December 5—Soorp Asdvadzadzin Church Annual Bazaar in Whitinsville will be held at the Pleasant Street Christian Reform Church Hall, 25 Cross Street, Whitinsville, Massachusetts, 10:00-4:30, dinners served at 11:30.

December 5—120th anniversary celebration of Lowell ARF Aharonian Gomideh, Kazanjian Memorial Pavilion, Sts. Vartanantz Church, 180 Old Westford Road, Chelmsford, Massachusetts. Dinner and program. Armenian National Committee Freedom Awards and Community Service Awards will be presented. Donation $50 adults; $15 students. Reservations contact Armen Jeknavorian, or 978-256-2538.

December 6—Episcopal Divine Liturgy and 61st Anniversary celebration, St. Gregory Church, Granite City, Illinois.

December 20—“Soup, Sandwiches, and Bingo,” St. Stephen’s Church Hall, New Britain, Connecticut, following church services, sponsored by Ladies Guild.
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