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TOP STORY                                                      March 5, 2015

Sunday of the Good Steward
A 17th-century Dutch etching of the Parable of the Unjust Steward.

Sunday of the Steward

Jesus’ parable about an unjust steward who was accused of cheating his master (Luke 16:1-17—the reading for Sunday, March 8) is famous for being difficult to understand. But it gives very concrete clues about what it means to be a “good steward.”
The steward is a figure who comes up in many of Jesus’ parables—a “stock character,” we might say, who would have been very recognizable to Christ’s listeners. What did stewards do, in the time of Jesus? What made them so interesting to our Lord?
Click here to visit our blog and to read more.


Scripture of the Week

Is 56:1-57:21
Eph 4:17-5:14
Lk 16:1-31

Prayer of the Week

Look with love, O merciful Father, on the created works of your hand, and grant the camps of the angels to be guardians of our feeble persons. Deliver us from temptation, from the wandering demons of night, that by day and by night we may give you glory incessantly. Amen.

Upcoming Saints & Feasts

7 March: Sts. John of Jerusalem, John of Otzoon, John of Orotni and Gregory of Datev

8 March: Sunday of the Steward

11 March: Median Day of Lent


Assyrian Christians in prayer
Assyrian Christian refugees in prayer at a church in Lebanon.

The Plight of Assyrian Christians

Reports emerging from Syria last week described the assault on Assyrian Christian communities in the country’s northeastern region. In Iraq, meanwhile, the terror organization calling itself the Islamic State has begun demolishing monuments and artifacts from the ancient Assyrian empire.

In a story all too familiar to the Armenian people, Adul Ahad Nissan, an Assyrian Christian who was forced to flee his village in Syria, described in the New York Times the pain of separation from friends and loved ones. “I made a vow,” he said, “when I return I want to kiss the soil of my village and pray in the church.” Click here to read the Times article.

And please continue to pray for our Christian brothers and sisters in the Middle East.



Alex Dadourian
Alex Dadourian.

In Memoriam: Alex Dadourian

The Eastern Diocese mourns the passing of Mr. Alexander Ara Dadourian, a longtime leader of the Diocese who carried forward a distinguished family legacy of service to the Armenian Church and heritage. He passed away on March 2, at the age of 81.

He and his brothers were deeply influenced by the generation of their parents, especially the figure of their father, Dadour Dadourian. As a young man Alex Dadourian was a godfather of St. Vartan Cathedral; and as he advanced in years he became more involved in the leadership of the Diocese as a whole, serving on the Armenian Church Endowment Fund board, and being a deeply valued counselor to Diocesan primates for more than 40 years.

“Alex Dadourian was a kind and pious gentleman, deeply patriotic, and profoundly devoted to Christ and the church,” wrote Diocesan Primate Archbishop Khajag Barsamian in a message this week. “He and his late brother Haig were the best possible stewards of their father’s vision: preserving it, building upon it, and passing it on to further generations.”

Nubar Dorian
Nubar Dorian.

In Memoriam: Nubar Dorian 

The Eastern Diocese mourns the passing of Mr. Nubar Dorian—a distinguished community activist and a leader of many Armenian organizations—who passed away on February 28. He was 92.

Born in Lebanon, Mr. Dorian came to America in 1947. His professional life was spent in the business world, but parallel to that, he was active in Armenian affairs in the full spectrum of community institutions.

He also enjoyed a wide following as a writer of commentary articles in the major Armenian newspapers, which touched on every aspect of Armenian life. Click here to read a personal reflection on Nubar Dorian’s life and accomplishment.

Armenia's National Medical Library dedicated its reading room to the late Dr. Edgar Housepian. Pictured above are guests at the formal opening ceremony.

Armenia's Medical Library Honors the Late Dr. Housepian

When Armenia’s newly renovated National Medical Library opened its doors at the end of December, the library’s reading room was dedicated to the late Dr. Edgar Housepian—the internationally-renowned neurosurgeon and a founding member of the Fund for Armenian Relief. 

At the formal opening, friends, Armenia’s former health ministers, and Armenia’s current Health Minister Armen Muradyan recalled Dr. Housepian’s contributions to the development of the country’s health care system in the aftermath of the 1988 earthquake.

Thanks to Dr. Housepian’s vision and support, FAR has continuously contributed to the development of the National Medical Library in Yerevan, ensuring its access to international medical journals and electronic databases, and helping it to publish Armenian-language medical abstracts and to launch its website.

Click here to read more on FAR’s blog.

Lucine Amara
This week Lucine Amara reached a remarkable life milestone: her 90th birthday.

A Star at 90

For a certain generation of Armenian-Americans, to witness Lucine Amara on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera—to hear her golden voice, and watch her captivate an audience—was more than just a splendid evening’s entertainment. 

As a community, we felt a part of her great artistic achievements. And the pride we feel for her has been magnified by the devotion Miss Amara has always shown towards our shared Armenian heritage.

This week, her friends and admirers applauded her once more, as Lucine Amara reached a remarkable life milestone: her 90th birthday. The Diocesan Center in New York provided the setting for a joyous gathering of her family and friends; click here to read about it. And click on the following links to read the congratulatory newspaper accounts of her amazing life and career.


Minnesota Council of Churches

Minnesota Churches Adopt Genocide Resolution

On February 17, the Rev. Fr. Tadeos Barseghyan, pastor of St. Sahag Church of St. Paul, MN, made a presentation on the Armenian Genocide at a meeting of the Minnesota Council of Churches.

The ecumenical organization unanimously adopted a resolution officially recognizing 2015 as the centennial year of the Armenian Genocide; condemning “the failure of the domestic and international authorities to come to terms with the yet unanswered questions about this atrocity”; and calling on its member churches to offer a prayer on April 19, 2015, for the martyrs of 1915 and for all victims of crimes against humanity.

Click here to read the full text of the resolution.

Celebrating Coptic Martyrs
Fr. Oshagan Gulgulian (left) with church leaders at St. George Coptic Orthodox Church of Greater Philadelphia.

An Expression of Solidarity

On Sunday, March 1, the Very Rev. Fr. Oshagan Gulgulian, pastor of St. Sahag and St. Mesrob Church of Wynnewood, PA, attended a special service dedicated to the 21 Christian martyrs who were canonized by the Coptic Church last month.

The service was held at the St. George Coptic Orthodox Church of Greater Philadelphia. Bishop Karas of the Coptic Church presided.

Fr. Gulgulian offered a prayer during the service, and expressed the sense of solidarity Armenian Church members feel towards their Coptic brothers and sisters.

St. George Church, Hartford, CT
Marianne and Ted Hovivian, of the New York Friends of Gavar Special School, make a presentation at St. George Church.

Hartford Parish Supports School in Armenia

On Saturday, February 28, the Women’s Guild of St. George Church of Hartford, CT, organized its annual Lenten dinner.

Guest speakers Ted and Marianne Hovivian, of the New York Friends of Gavar Special School, described the work of the school and its mission to educate children with mental and physical disabilities in Armenia. Artwork made by the students of the Gavar Special School, as well as photographs of the school and its recent renovation projects, were on display in the church hall.

Lorina Abalian, vice chair of the Women’s Guild, said the guild made a donation to the school to help support its programs. Individual donations were also made after the presentation by the parishioners. The Rev. Fr. Gomidas Zohrabian, parish pastor, added, “We hope the donations collected will allow the school to continue to make building and program improvements and to provide essential education for these students.”

Click here to view photos.

Marie Epjian
Marie and Charles Ipjian on their wedding day in 1930.

Life After the Genocide

When one of the last survivors of the Armenian Genocide residing in Chicago passed away late last year at the age of 99, she left behind a testimony to her life and experience.

In this 100th year of remembrance of the Armenian Genocide, the family of Marie Arabanlian Ipjian shared her story with their fellow parishioners in Evanston, IL—and they in turn wish to share it with our readership.

Click here to read Mrs. Ipjian’s testimony.

Rev. Fr. Dajad Davidian
Fr. Dajad Davidian speaks about the impact of the Genocide on the Armenian Church.

Lenten Series Underway in Chelmsford

Sts. Vartanantz Church of Chelmsford, MA, is focusing its annual Lenten program on the Armenian Genocide. On Friday, February 27, the Rev. Fr. Dajad Davidian spoke about the impact of the Genocide on the Armenian Church.

Fr. Davidian described the status of Armenian communities in the Ottoman Empire before 1915, and went on to discuss the effect the Genocide had on Christian life in Historic Armenia, including the destruction of churches, monasteries and seminaries, and the persecution of clergy. He also related the challenges the Armenian Church faced in the aftermath of the Genocide.

On Friday, March 6, the Rev. Fr. Khachatur Kesablyan, pastor of Sts. Vartanantz Church, will speak about the idea of divine punishment and redemption in the Christian faith. Click here to view a flyer for information.

Choir Workshop in White Plains
A regional choir workshop was held in White Plains, NY, for leaders of junior choirs.

Workshop for Junior Choir Leaders

On Saturday, February 28, a regional choir workshop was held at St. Gregory the Enlightener Church in White Plains, NY, for leaders of junior choirs.

Representatives of St. Gregory the Enlightener Church; Holy Martyrs Church of Bayside, NY; St. Peter Church of Watervliet, NY; St. Leon Church of Fair Lawn, NJ; St. Stepanos Church of Elberon, NJ; and St. Thomas Church of Tenafly, NJ, took part in the workshop.

The Very Rev. Fr. Simeon Odabashian, Diocesan Vicar, opened the program. The committee—comprised of the Rev. Fr. Gomidas Zohrabian, Dn. Gregory Krikorian, Maestro Khoren Mekanejian, and Fr. Odabashian—gave an overview of the goals of the junior choir program. Participants shared updates from their parishes and learned about methods of teaching Armenian Church hymns to young people.

Upcoming events

Upcoming Parish Events

St. Leon Church | Fair Lawn, NJ
On Wednesday, March 11, St. Leon Church of Fair Lawn, NJ, will host an evening with author-photographer Matthew Karanian, whose recent book is the first-ever guide to the cultural sites of Historic Armenia. Khatchig Mouradian will reflect on the significance of the new volume. Click here to view a flyer for information.

On Tuesday, March 17, St. Leon Church will host a book presentation by French journalists Laure Marchand and Guillaume Perrier, authors of Turkey and the Armenian Ghost: On the Trail of the Genocide. The book is a portrait of the aftermath of the Armenian Genocide and the struggle to have it officially recognized. Click here to view a flyer for information.

St. Gregory the Enlightener Church | White Plains, NY
St. Gregory the Enlightener Church of White Plains, NY,  will host an observance of “Saintly Women’s Day” on Saturday, March 14, beginning at 10:30 a.m. The day is dedicated to the unnamed women martyrs of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. A program and luncheon will follow services. The RSVP deadline for the luncheon has been extended to March 7. Click here to view a flyer for registration information.

On Friday, March 20, St. Gregory the Enlightener Church will host a talk by the Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan on the canonization of the martyrs of the Armenian Genocide. The evening begins with a Lenten service at 6:30, followed by dinner at 7, and the lecture at 7:30. For information, call the church at (914) 428-2595.

Holy Cross Church | Union City, NJ
The Women’s Guild of Holy Cross Church of Union City, NJ, will host a “Saintly Women’s Day” observance on Saturday, March 7, beginning at 11 a.m. Following a service in the church sanctuary, a luncheon and program will be held, focusing on the women martyrs of 1915. Click here to view a flyer for information.

St. Sarkis Church | Dallas, TX
Peter Balakian will give a talk titled "Raphael Lemkin, Cultural Destruction, and the Armenian Genocide" at Southern Methodist University on Thursday, March 19, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The lecture will be held at the university’s Dallas Hall (McCord Auditorium), located at 6425 Boaz Lane in Dallas, TX.

The event is one of several programs organized by St. Sarkis Church of Dallas as part of the 100th year of remembrance of the Armenian Genocide. Click here to view a flyer for information, or contact Hamlet Sarokhanian at

St. John Church | Southfield, MI
St. John Church of Southfield, MI, will focus its annual Lenten Retreat Seminar on the upcoming canonization of the martyrs of the Armenian Genocide. Guest Speaker Dr. Roberta Ervine, professor of Armenian Studies at St. Nersess Armenian Seminary in New York, will give a talk titled “Victors for Christ: Who is a Saint?” The event is scheduled for Saturday, March 21, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Click here to view a flyer for information.

Holy Martyrs Church | Bayside, NY
The Shnorhali Choir of Holy Martyrs Church of Bayside, NY, will give a concert on Sunday, March 22, in observance of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. The program will feature performances by the Shnorhali Choir, guest soloists Yn. Karine Malkhasyan and Ruthann Turekian, and a special appearance by NJ Hamazkayin's Arekag children's chorus.

The concert begins at 3 p.m. It will be held at St. Malachy’s Church in the Actors’ Chapel (239 West 49th Street, New York City). Click here to view a flyer for information.


ACYOA Seniors Retreat
ACYOA Central Council members Adrienne Ashbahian and Jonathan Pelaez at Saturday's retreat.

New England ACYOA Members Gather for Retreat

ACYOA Seniors from seven parishes gathered for the New England Regional Lenten Retreat hosted by the Church of the Holy Resurrection in New Britain, CT, on February 28.

During the day-long retreat, titled “Living the Gospel of Christ: Legacy of Our Martyrs,” young adults were led in a Bible study and discussion on the Crucifixion and Resurrection by the Rev. Fr. Kapriel Mouradjian, parish pastor. The Rev. Fr. Untzag Nalbandian, pastor of the Church of the Holy Ascension of Trumbull, CT, led a discussion on the canonization of the martyrs of the Armenian Genocide.

Lorie Odabashian, the Diocese’s coordinator of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, and ACYOA Central Council members Adrienne Ashbahian and Jonathan Pelaez shared their personal family histories and spoke about how their family legacies helped to shape their own lives. 

Click here to view photos.

ACYOA Jrs Retreat
ACYOA Juniors during the recent retreat in Ohio.

ACYOA Juniors Learn About Martyrdom

Around 30 ACYOA Juniors from the Cleveland and Detroit communities gathered at a retreat center in Chardon, OH, from February 27 to March 1, for a Lenten retreat. Themed “Living the Gospel of Christ: Legacy of Our Martyrs,” this year’s retreat series is designed to help participants prepare for the upcoming canonization of the martyrs of the Armenian Genocide of 1915.

The Rev. Fr. Hratch Sargsyan, pastor of St. Gregory of Narek Church of Richmond Heights, OH, served as the weekend’s chaplain, leading the participants in morning and evening prayer services and during one of the sessions on Saturday afternoon. Additional presentations were made on Saturday by Jennifer Morris, the Diocese’s director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, and guest speaker China Darrington, founder of XIX Recovery Support Services, who shared a personal story of hope.

On Sunday morning, the group took part in the Divine Liturgy at St. Gregory of Narek Church. Local parishioners hosted a luncheon for the young people. Click here to view photos.

2015 ACYOA Retreat Schedule
March 7: ACYOA Juniors and Seniors Texas Retreat - Carrollton, TX
March 7-8: ACYOA Juniors NY/NJ/Mid-Atlantic Retreat - White Plains, NY
March 14: ACYOA Juniors and Seniors Florida Retreat - Boca Raton, FL
March 14: ACYOA Seniors Midwest Retreat - Racine, WI
March 20-22: ACYOA Juniors WI/IL Retreat - Camp Hickory, IL
March 21: ACYOA Seniors NY/NJ/Mid-Atlantic Retreat - Bayside, NY

To register for upcoming retreats, contact Jennifer Morris at, or Lorie Odabashian at


Register for the Armenia Service Program

The ACYOA Central Council has opened registration for this year’s ACYOA Armenia Service Program, scheduled for July 1 to 20. The program of travel, service, and worship gives young adults (ages 18 to 30) a unique opportunity to discover their homeland and to serve its people in a meaningful way. ACYOA members leave Armenia with a connection to their faith and heritage that continues to inspire them throughout their lives.

This year’s trip leader will be the Rev. Fr. Tadeos Barseghyan, pastor of St. Sahag Church of St. Paul, MN. The Dadourian Foundation is providing generous scholarship funds to help offset costs for the first 20 applicants to the ASP program. In addition, the ACYOA Central Council is offering scholarships to participants in need of financial assistance.

The registration deadline is March 20. Click on the following links to view a flyer and to download an application form. For more information on ASP and the scholarships, contact Jennifer Morris, the Diocese’s director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, at or (248) 648-0702.

Khrimian Lyceum
Dr. Sylvie Merian with students of the Diocese's Khrimian Lyceum.

Khrimian Lyceum Learns About Manuscript Illumination

Dr. Sylvie Merian, noted art historian, scholar, and curator, was the guest lecturer at the Diocese’s Khrimian Lyceum on February 7.
In a presentation on Armenian manuscripts, she showed students goatskin parchments, manuscript colophons, papyrus samples, quills and reed pens, pigment material and other artifacts from the collection of the Morgan Library and Museum in New York. Dr. Merian also spoke about vortan garmeer (Armenian red dye), the use of gold leaf, and the work of Armenian manuscript artists Dzerun, Sarkis Bidzag, and Toros Roslin.

The Khrimian Lyceum’s daylong program continued with their choral practice, language classes, and creative arts sessions in the Armenian tradition. Click here to view photos.



Times Square

Genocide Centennial Observance in New York City

Every Armenian in the greater New York region needs to be a part of the centennial observance of the Armenian Genocide in New York City on Sunday, April 26. The day will begin with the Divine Liturgy at St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral, scheduled for 10 a.m. Archbishop Khajag Barsamian will celebrate the Divine Liturgy; Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan will deliver the sermon.

A procession to Times Square will depart the cathedral at 12:00 p.m. The program in Times Square will begin at 1:45 p.m. The 2015 Genocide Commemoration in Times Square is organized by the Mid-Atlantic Knights and Daughters of Vartan, in affiliation with the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee of America (Eastern Region).

Click here to view a flyer for information.

Zohrab Center Events

Zohrab Center Book Talks

The March 5 book presentation by photographer Ariane Ateshian Delacampagne has been postponed to Thursday, May 21. The event is organized by the Diocese's Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center, the Diocese’s Department of Armenian Studies, and AGBU’s Ararat Magazine. It will be held in the Guild Hall of the Diocesan Center (630 Second Avenue at 35th Street).

March 12 Talk on Historic Armenia

The Diocese’s Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center will co-host a book presentation by Matthew Karanian, author of Historic Armenia: After 100 Years. Mr. Karanian will speak about his collection of photos from Armenian cities and villages in Anatolia.

The event will be held at the AGBU office (55 East 59th Street, New York City) on Thursday, March 12, at 7 p.m. Click here to view a flyer for information.

Alan Hovhaness
Alan Hovhaness composed "Holy Mystery of the Martyrs" in 1976.

A Concert at St. Vartan Cathedral

St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral and St. Illuminator’s Armenian Cathedral are co-hosting a concert featuring Alan Hovhaness’s symphony “Holy Mystery of the Martyrs,” on Friday, March 20. The Rev. Fr. Hovhan Khoja-Eynatyan, pastor of St. James Church of Evanston, IL, will be the guest soloist.
“Holy Mystery of the Martyrs” was commissioned by the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church and composed by Alan Hovhaness in 1976. The “holy martyrs” of the title are the Armenian Christians killed on the field of Avarayr in 451 A.D. In its 17 movements, “Holy Mystery of the Martyrs” presents individual “prayers” that convey both the tragedy of loss and the triumph of survival. The March 20 concert is dedicated to the martyrs of the Armenian Genocide of 1915.
Click here to view a flyer for information.