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TOP STORY                                                           October 6, 2016

Holy Translators

Translators Assemble!

The Invincible Philosopher. The Master of Mystic Poetry. The Wartime Chronicler. The Grace-Filled Patriarch. The Man of a Dozen Tongues.

It could be the line-up of characters for a new super-hero flick. But in fact, each is a saint of the Armenian Church—David, Narek, Yeghishe, Nersess, Masdots—remembered together (along with others) as a distinctive “team” known as the Holy Translators. This Saturday, October 8, is their annual feast day.

Whether super or not, the Holy Translators were genuine heroes—and powerful ones, at that. Endowed with rare qualities of imagination and vision, they helped to forge a national identity for the Armenian people—using simple words and humble faith as their primary tools.

It’s an identity that has outlasted empires, overcome persecution, and reached the heights of civilization. Most remarkable of all, it has endured to the present day—and is ready to be embraced by all of us. This Saturday, try to reflect on the great power we’ve inherited—and the great responsibility that goes with it.

Learn more about the Holy Translators by clicking here.

Scripture of the Week

Is 19:1-11
Gal 2:1-10
Mk 12:35-44

Prayer of the Week

With your peace, Christ our savior, which surpasses all understanding and speech, defend us and keep us fearless of all evil. Make us equal to your true worshipers, who worship you in spirit and in truth; for to the most-holy Trinity is befitting glory, dominion, and honor, now and always. Amen.

Upcoming Saints & Feasts

8 October: Holy Translators Mesrob, Yeghishe, Moses the Poet, David the Philosopher, Gregory of Narek, and Nersess the Graceful


Armenian Bible

First Printed Armenian Bible Turns 350

“We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the world of life…” (1 John 1:1)
Those words have traveled. And not just from one place to another, but also from generation to generation. Since being set down in the 1st century, the words of Scripture have been recited, chanted, listened to—in every language under the sun.
But it wasn’t until the 15th century that they could be read—not merely by the few who had access to handwritten manuscripts, but by common folk who had the blessing of literacy.
Johannes Gutenberg, a knight of Mainz, Germany, invented the movable type printing process in 1440 and published his 42-line Bible 15 years later. Gutenberg’s invention and publication sparked one of the world’s great communications revolutions. In the centuries that followed, it inspired some leaders of the Armenian Church.
Under the pontificate of Catholicos Philippos I Aghbaketsi (1633-55), the first printed Armenian Bible saw publication in the 17th century. This year marks the 350th anniversary of that milestone. Oskan Erevantsi (1614-74) had started a printing press in Amsterdam with the help of affluent Armenian patrons. In 1666 he printed the first complete Armenian Bible, which in his honor is known as the Oskanian Bible. It consisted of 1,462 double pages, with 159 engraved illustrations by the Dutch artist Christoffel van Sichem. It’s considered a masterpiece of the arts of printing and book-binding, and a valuable artifact of the Armenian Christian heritage. Today the Eastern Diocese’s Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center is home to one of the early copies of the Oskanian Bible. Click here to view photos of this relic of history.
In observance of the 350th anniversary of the first printed Armenian Bible, Holy Etchmiadzin is hosting a conference this week, titled “Armenian Translation of the Holy Bible and its Publication in the Evolution of History.” Under the presidency of His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, scholars representing institutions across the globe will discuss the history of translating and disseminating the Bible.


Karekin II

His Holiness Karekin II to Visit United States 

His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, will visit the United States in the autumn of 2016 to preside over several important events.
The primates of the Armenian Church dioceses of North America—Archbishop Khajag Barsamian (Eastern U.S.), Archbishop Hovnan Derderian (Western U.S.), and Bishop Abgar Hovakimian (Canada)—and the president of the Armenian General Benevolent Union, Berge Setrakian, have invited His Holiness Karekin II to convene the next meeting of the Supreme Spiritual Council in New York. This will mark the first time the Supreme Spiritual Council has convened outside of Armenia.
In a separate meeting, His Holiness will lead a joint meeting of the Supreme Spiritual Council, the three executive councils of the North American dioceses, and the executive board of the AGBU.
On Sunday, October 30, a Divine Liturgy honoring the 17th anniversary of His Holiness’ enthronement as Catholicos of All Armenians will be held at St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral in New York. A banquet will follow services in Haik and Alice Kavookjian Auditorium.
On Saturday, November 12, His Holiness Karekin II will preside over the official opening of the new campus of St. Nersess Armenian Seminary in Armonk, NY: the consecration of the seminary's St. Hagop Chapel, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Karekin I Theological Center (see item below).
Also during his visit, the Catholicos will preside over the 89th General Assembly of the AGBU and the celebration of AGBU’s 110th anniversary. Additional details about these events will be forthcoming.


Garo Paylan at the Diocesan Center

Garo Paylan Visits Diocesan Center

On Tuesday, October 4, Diocesan Primate Archbishop Khajag Barsamian welcomed Mr. Garo Paylan, an ethnic Armenian who is a member of the Turkish parliament, to the Diocesan Center in New York. Mr. Paylan was accompanied by his advisor Tamar Nalci.
Mr. Paylan spoke about the Armenian community of Turkey—their activities and the challenges they face as a minority group. Archbishop Barsamian noted that it’s important for Turkey’s Armenian community to have a voice in the country’s government through the work of dedicated public servants like Mr. Paylan. The Primate also mentioned the Diocese’s pilgrimages to historic Armenia, and Mr. Paylan agreed that such programs are important for helping diasporans maintain contact with the Armenian community of Turkey and with the lands of their ancestors.



FAR Board of Directors Travels to Armenia 

The Fund for Armenian Relief’s Board of Directors spent a week in Armenia last month. In an intense itinerary of meetings, events, and discussions, the board members reviewed FAR projects, evaluated the use of FAR’s resources, and examined the performance of FAR’s staff in Armenia as they meet the goals of the organization’s mission in Armenia and Karabagh.
A special leg of the trip involved traveling to Armenia’s impoverished Tavush province, where FAR has launched a groundbreakings project called “Saving a Generation: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty” (BCPP). Three years ago, the Mardigian Family Foundation provided financial resources to implement the project, and on this visit Mr. and Mrs. Edward and Janet Mardigian were able to personally witness how the program works.
On September 27, Armenia’s President Serge Sargsyan met with the FAR delegation and presented awards to Edward and Janet Mardigian. The awards—the “State Medal for Service to the Motherland”—were granted for the couple’s long-term support of Armenia’s people, and their contributions to Armenian causes and communities worldwide.
His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, graciously greeted the FAR delegation at the Holy See, where he bestowed on Edward and Janet the highest award of the Armenian Church: the “St. Gregory the Illuminator Medal.” 
The FAR Board also visited the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan, where they met with Ambassador Richard Mills and other embassy representatives. Click on the following links to read more and to view photos.



Diocese Launches "Our Church, Our Legacy" Endowment Campaign

Earlier this week, the Eastern Diocese announced the official launch of its “Our Church, Our Legacy” endowment campaign.
This ambitious campaign aims to raise an endowment of $15 million—to preserve, strengthen, and expand the legacy of the Armenian Church in America. In preliminary outreach, the campaign has already raised $5.7 million.
Most important of all, the Diocese’s local parishes will be the direct focus of the campaign. The endowment will allow the Diocese to support our communities with new tools and creative resources to fortify the church’s ministry among parishes, families, and individuals.
“Supporting our Diocese is something we grew up doing automatically,” say campaign co-chairs Melanie Dadourian and Oscar Tatosian. “We each watched as our parents volunteered their time to build a spiritual home for their families.”
“They led by example, and we followed. That’s why we enthusiastically agreed to serve as co-chairs for this endowment campaign. We’ve made personal financial contributions to it, and we’re reaching out to like-minded people to do the same.”
The campaign is planned as a grassroots, person-to-person effort. Please welcome a call from the “Our Church, Our Legacy” endowment campaign in the weeks to come. For more information on the campaign, contact Mr. Mel Kalagian at (702) 325-4713, or via e-mail at


Armenian Church in Worcester

Worcester Parish to Mark 125th Anniversary of Establishment

On Sunday, October 9, the Church of Our Saviour of Worcester, MA, will celebrate its 125th anniversary as the first Armenian church in America. Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Diocesan Primate, will preside over the events.
During services, Archbishop Barsamian will ordain Adam Bullock, Stephen Kheboian, and Stephen Shamgochian to the sub-diaconate and Arsen Gulbankian, Arek Gulbankian, Edward Naroian, Carlos Rivera, and Steven Surabian to the rank of acolyte.
A banquet reception will be held to honor the achievement of these newly ordained young men and to recognize 15 parishioners for their longtime service and devotion to the church and community. Parishioners honored will include:  Dr. Robert Anusbigian, Seth Arakelian, Rose Aslanian, Ann Avakian, John Chicknavorian,  Joan Handleman, Lucine Haroian, Gordon Hargrove, and Harry Sahagian; the following will be honored posthumously: Dr. Martin Deranian, Zareh Markarian, Mary Melikian, Violet Nalbandian, Ervant Osganian, and John Sagarian. 
In addition, Gregory Mazmanian and Lutwig J. Stepanian will be presented with the Diocese’s “St. Vartan Award” in recognition of their distinguished service to the Armenian Church at large.   
“Witnessing the ordinations of our young altar servers, as well as honoring our parishioners, will make this day a most joyous celebration for our church,” said the Rev. Fr. Aved Terzian, parish pastor.


Primate Visits Palos Heights

Palos Heights Community Welcomes Primate

Diocesan Primate Archbishop Khajag Barsamian visited Sts. Joachim and Anne Church of Palos Heights, IL, from September 23 to 25.
On Friday, the Primate held an evening meeting with altar servers and choir members. On Saturday morning, Archbishop Barsamian and the Rev. Fr. Tavit Boyajian, parish pastor, visited elderly parishioners who are unable to attend church services. Later that day, the Primate met with parish leaders, including members of the parish council and Women’s Guild, and Sunday School teachers.
On Saturday evening, the community gathered for dinner and a town hall meeting with the Primate. They heard about new Diocesan initiatives and the work of the Fund for Armenian Relief, and shared concerns and updates from their parish.
On Sunday morning, Archbishop Barsamian presided over the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. He blessed the following eight children to serve as candle-bearers and readers: Grace Arakelian, Ari Arzumanian, Emily Bargamian, David Bradford, Jessie Bradford, Luke Bogosian, Samuel Gibbings, and Areen Krikorian.
The Primate’s visit came to a close with the parish’s 58th anniversary dinner. Sunday School students, accompanied by Fr. Boyajian on the guitar, sang the hymn “Sourp, Sourp.” Parishioners Kevork Arakelian and Onnig Madanyan were honored as “Lay Ministers of the Year.” Click here to view photos.

Fr. Tateos
Fr. Tadeos Barseghyan.

Minnesota Pastor Receives Master's Degree

This summer, the Rev. Fr. Tadeos Barseghyan, pastor of St. Sahag Church of St. Paul, MN, received a master’s degree in Arts and Theology from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul.
He is one of several Diocesan clergy pursuing advanced degrees in recent years. The Eastern Diocese is currently supporting seven other clergymen in continuing education programs.


Join the Armenian Churches Sports Association

The Armenian Churches Sports Association will begin its 50th basketball season on Sunday, October 23. Since its founding in 1967, the ACSA has promoted Armenian faith and culture on and off the court. All local parish teams are invited to join. 
The 50th season will feature 10 regular season games, played on Sundays at gyms in the New York metro area. Games will run through mid-March, and qualifying teams will have a chance to play in playoff and championship games. Teams are formed in the following age ranges: Junior Boys (ages 9-14), Girls (ages 11-18), Senior Boys (ages 15-18), and Men (ages 19 and over).
To learn more about joining the ACSA, contact your church’s team coach for instructions on how to register or e-mail For more information, visit or


Upcoming Parish Events

St. Mary Church | Washington, DC
St. Mary Church of Washington, DC, will host its annual Armenian food festival from October 6 through 9. Enjoy shish kabob, lahmajoon, kufta, yalanchi dolma, and other Armenian favorites. Click here to view a flyer for information.
St. John Church | Greenfield, WI
In celebration of Armenian Cultural Month, St. John Church of the Greater Milwaukee will host a performance by Hamazkayin’s Sardarabad Dance Ensemble of Chicago, with guest performances by Hamazkayin’s Arax Dance Group of Detroit. Witness an ensemble of more than 85 colorfully costumed dancers on Saturday, October 8, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The event will take place at South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center. Click on the following links to view a flyer, purchase tickets, and for more information, or e-mail

St. Thomas Church | Tenafly, NJ
St. Thomas Church of Tenafly, NJ, will host a concert featuring Armenian pop singer Avraam Russo on Saturday, October 8, beginning at 8 p.m. After the concert, enjoy dancing with music by DJ Shant. Click here to view a flyer for information.

St. Thomas Church will host a food festival and fall bazaar on October 22 (12 to 8 p.m.) and October 23 (12 to 6 p.m.). Enjoy Armenian and Mediterranean foods, vendors, dance performances, activities for kids, and more. Click on the following links to view flyers for the bazaar and the weekend’s special attractions.
St. John Church | Detroit, MI
St. John Church of Detroit, MI, will host a sanctuary and museum tour on Thursday, October 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Rev. Fr. Garabed Kochakian will guide a tour of the sanctuary; Dn. Rubik Mailian will play sacred music. A tour of the Alex and Marie Manoogian Museum will conclude the day's program, which also includes an Armenian luncheon at noon. Click here to view a flyer.
St. George Church | Hartford, CT
St. George Church of Hartford, CT, will host an Armenian food festival on Friday, October 14 (5 to 8 p.m.) and Saturday, October 15 (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.). Enjoy lamb and chicken kebab dinners, homemade paklava, and other foods and pastries. Armenian novelty items, dry goods, and attic treasures will be available for purchase.  For information, call the church at (860) 956-5647, or e-mail

St. James Church | Watertown, MA
St. James Church of Watertown, MA, will host its 69th annual bazaar on October 14 and 15 (11 a.m. to 9 p.m.). Enjoy Armenian food and pastries, a silent auction, raffles, vendor booths, and children’s activities. For information, visit or click here to view a flyer.

St. Leon Church | Fair Lawn, NJ
St. Leon Church of Fair Lawn, NJ, will host its 80th annual food festival from October 14 to 16. Enjoy Armenian food, music and dance performances, and activities for children. Click here to view a flyer or visit For information, call Berj Akian at (201) 745-1999.
St. Peter Church | Watervliet, NY
St. Peter Church of Watervliet, NY, will host a fall retreat inspired by the faith and music of Bruce Springsteen. The retreat is scheduled for Saturday, October 15, from 4 to 9 p.m. The evening of music, discussion, and reflection will be led by the Rev. Fr. Stepanos Doudoukjian, parish pastor. Participants will consider how Bruce Springsteen's Catholic roots have impacted his music, and what his fans can learn about faith and spirituality from his work.
Advance registration is required; to register call the church office at (518) 274-3673, or e-mail Click on the following links to view a brochure and flyer, and to read about the retreat in the Troy Record and to view a segment that aired on a local news channel. Click here for further registration information.

Holy Trinity Church | Cambridge, MA
Holy Trinity Church of Cambridge, MA, will host a presentation on helping the children of Armenia who have cancer on Tuesday, October 18, from 7 to 9 p.m., in the church’s Charles and Nevart Talanian Cultural Hall. The medical team from the Muratsan Clinic of Chemotherapy in Yerevan will speak about the clinic’s program and ways parishioners in America can help. During Holy Trinity’s pilgrimage to Armenia in July 2016, the group visited the Muratsan Chemotherapy Clinic and met several of the children undergoing treatment. The clinic is in need of medical equipment, basic supplies, and chemotherapy drugs. Click here for more information. To RSVP for the October 18 event, e-mail, or call the Holy Trinity Church office at (617) 354-0632.   
Following services on Sunday, October 23, Holy Trinity Church will host its annual banquet, this year celebrating the church’s 55th anniversary. The event will be held in Charles and Nevart Talanian Cultural Hall. Diocesan Primate Archbishop Khajag Barsamian will preside over the Divine Liturgy, beginning at 10 a.m., and the afternoon program.
The parish will honor all parish council chairs who have served on Brattle Street, and recognize outgoing parish council members Dr. Mark Ayanian and Gregory A. Kolligian, Jr., and Diocesan delegates Edmond J. Danielson, Bruce Newell, and Dean Soultanian. The banquet RSVP deadline is October 19. Click here for information.

Sts. Sahag and Mesrob Church | Providence, RI
The cultural committee of Sts. Sahag and Mesrob Church of Providence, RI, will host a celebration of the 25th anniversary of Armenia’s independence on Saturday, October 22, at 7 p.m. The evening will feature a presentation by Ambassador Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, Armenia’s ambassador to the United Nations, and a musical performance by the “Bostonians.” A reception will follow. Click here to view a flyer for more information.

St. Gregory the Enlightener Church | White Plains, NY
The culture committee of St. Gregory the Enlightener Church of White Plains, NY, will host an art show and sale featuring the works of parish artists on October 22 (1 to 5 p.m.) and October 23 (12 to 4 p.m.). The event will be held in the church atrium. Click here to view a flyer for information.

Church of the Holy Resurrection | New Britain, CT
The Church of the Holy Resurrection of New Britain, CT, is teaming up with St. Vartan Church of Toronto, Canada, for a special project benefiting the residents of Artsakh. Parishioners are asked to donate knitted hats, gloves, and scarves—or to donate funds for the purchase of these items—no later than Sunday, January 8, 2017. All knitted items will be delivered to Artsakh by the Vancouver-Armenian Friendship Society. Click here to view a flyer for information.


Sports Weekend

ACYOA Juniors Fall Sports Weekend

Each year during Columbus Day weekend, ACYOA Juniors from across the Diocese gather for a weekend filled with sports, fellowship, and faith. Close to 250 young people from around the Diocese will travel the “Hyeway to Philly” this weekend to attend the annual ACYOA Fall Juniors Sports Weekend, hosted by St. Sahag and St. Mesrob Church in Wynnewood, PA. 
The participants will meet their host families on Friday evening, and they will begin the weekend with vespers, an insights message, and a brief orientation.
Saturday morning will begin with sports competitions. Team sports include co-ed volleyball and futsal—a variation on soccer—as well as boys and girls basketball. Participants will also compete in individual tournaments in chess, tavloo, and ping pong. On Saturday evening, participants will enjoy a dance at the church.
On Sunday, the group will take part in the Divine Liturgy, celebrated by the Very Rev. Fr. Oshagan Gulgulian, parish pastor. The afternoon will continue with sports finals, followed by an awards banquet and dance. The weekend will come to a close on Monday with a farewell breakfast.
For more information about programming for the ACYOA Juniors or Seniors, contact Jennifer Morris, the Diocese’s director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, at or at (248) 648-0702.


Mozart Requiem

Mozart's Requiem at St. Vartan Cathedral

The St. Vartan Cathedral Choir will perform the Mozart Requiem on Saturday, October 15, at 7:30 p.m. in the cathedral sanctuary.
Maestro Khoren Mekanejian is the conductor of the St. Vartan Cathedral Choir; Dr. Walter Hilse will serve as the guest organist.
Click here to view a flyer for ticket information.

Aleksandr Gevorgyan with his grandfather.

Book Talk at the Zohrab Center

The Diocese’s Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center will host a book presentation by Dr. Aleksandr Gevorgyan on Thursday, October 20, at 7 p.m.
Dr. Gevorgyan will speak about his grandfather’s memoir, How Did I Survive?, a work he translated and edited, which tells the story of his grandfather Professor Artavazd M. Minasyan’s survival of Stalin’s purges and the harsh years of World War II.

Click here to visit the Zohrab Center website for information.

Hovnanian School

Hovnanian School to Mark 40th Anniversary

The Hovnanian School of New Milford, NJ, is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a gala on Saturday, October 22. The event will be held at the Rockleigh Country Club in Rockleigh, NJ.
On this occasion, the school will honor philanthropist Aso Tavitian. Click here to view a flyer for information.




The world premiere of HOKIS—a musical spectacular blending traditional Armenian performance art with Cirque de Soleil-style acrobatics, modern dance and technology—will take place on Friday, October 28 at 8 p.m. at the renowned New York City Center.
The performance—showcasing the talents of 70 young dancers, acrobats, and technology students from Armenia—is brought to the public as part of the 110th anniversary celebration of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU), being held concurrently in New York. Click on the following links to view a flyer and for information on AGBU’s website.


St. Nersess Seminary

St. Nersess Seminary Prepares for Official Opening

St. Nersess Armenian Seminary will hold the official opening of its new campus in Armonk, NY, and the consecration of its new chapel on Saturday, November 12, beginning at 10:30 a.m.
His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, will officiate over the consecration and opening ceremonies.
Click here to visit the seminary website for information. Space is limited and RSVPs are required.

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