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TOP STORY                                                          August 18, 2016

Sts. Joachim and Anna

Feast of Sts. Joachim and Anna 

The Armenian Church styles her Sourp Asdvadzadzin: the “Holy Mother-of-God”: an almost cosmic title which has elicited reverent love from generations of Armenian Christians, and is honored as the name of many of our churches. In more common parlance she is St. Mary: the girl of humble piety who carried the Hope of the world within her body, and delivered Him as a baby in Bethlehem.

She began life as the child of a devout Hebrew couple, whose earnest prayer was answered with the birth of a precious daughter. Tuesday, August 23, marks the Feast of Sts. Joachim and Anna, the parents of the Holy Virgin Mary, who are remembered with honor in the Armenian Church. The parents who guided St. Mary onto the path of holiness truly deserve to be celebrated.

To read more about the feasts of the Holy Mother-of-God, click here. Our Lord's saintly grandparents lend their names to our Diocesan parish in Palos Heights, IL. To visit the parish website, click here.

Scripture of the Week

Prv 11:30-12:4
Zec 2:10-13
2 Cor 6:16-7:1
Lk 1:39-56

Prayer of the Week

Dear Lord, you parted the Red Sea and the Jordan River as your people journeyed to the Promised Land. Lift away those things that keep us from you today as we continue the journey. We ask this in your name, and with the Father and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Upcoming Saints & Feasts

23 August: Sts. Joachim and Anna, parents of the Holy Mother-of-God

25 August: St. Jeremiah the Prophet


Rio 2016

Armenia Wins Olympic Gold

While fans across the diaspora cheered on Armenian women at the Olympics in Rio last week, Armenian men were in the spotlight this week as they took four medals, including Armenia’s first gold medal at this year’s Games.
Silver medals went to weightlifters Gor Minasyan and Simon Martirosyan and wrestler Migran Arutyunyan. Artur Aleksanyan of Gyumri won a gold medal in wrestling—his second Olympic medal following his third-place finish four years ago in London.

Meanwhile, Kirill Grigoryan, representing Russia, won a bronze medal in rifle shooting.
Armenia is taking part in the summer Olympics for the sixth time since its independence, with 32 athletes representing the country in 41 events at the Games in Rio.


Pray for Louisiana

Prayers for Louisiana Flood Victims

This week the state of Louisiana has seen widespread damage and loss as a result of a severe flood emergency—most critically affecting the Baton Rouge area. The state capital is home to one of our Diocesan mission parishes—the St. Garabed Church—where the disaster has had an impact on several parish families.
The Rev. Fr. Tateos Abdalian, our Diocesan mission parishes director, has been in contact with Vasken Kaltakjian, the parish council chair of the Baton Rouge church. Mr. Kaltakjian reports that to his knowledge at this time, three families in the parish have been forced to flee their homes, and one parishioner his business, after having sustained serious flood damage.
Thankfully, there was no loss of life among the parishioners. The St. Garabed Church was left unaffected by the flooding.
In a directive issued earlier this week, Diocesan Primate Archbishop Khajag Barsamian asked all Diocesan parishes to remember the St. Garabed parishioners in their prayers and to pray for all the victims of the flooding in Baton Rouge. The Primate also called on parishes to hold a special collection on Sunday, August 21, to help the general relief effort in Louisiana. All proceeds from the collection will go to a responsible relief agency through the Fund for Armenian Relief. Funds collected should be sent to the Diocesan Center no later than Friday, August 26.
May God be with our Armenian Christian brothers and sisters, and with all our fellow American citizens, who are enduring the effects of this disaster.


Donor Recognition Day

An Invitation to all Diocesan Supporters

The Eastern Diocese will host a “Donor Recognition Day” on Thursday evening, September 15, on the plaza of St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral in Manhattan.
Guests will receive tours of the Diocesan Center and St. Vartan Cathedral, enjoy a special dance performance, and have an opportunity to meet with Diocesan Primate Archbishop Khajag Barsamian. Clergy, Diocesan Council members, staff, and ACYOA members will also be representing the Eastern Diocese.
“Our Diocese was created out of the faith and generosity of past contributors, and it continues to exist because of our current generation of donors,” said Taleen Babayan, who leads the Diocese’s Development Department. “We look forward to welcoming our donors to the Diocesan Center and strengthening our relationships so they can see the fruits of their generosity.”
The event, scheduled for 6 p.m. on September 15, is open to all Diocesan supporters; admission is complimentary. Click here to view a flyer for information. For questions, contact Taleen Babayan at


St. Nersess Seminary Opening

Seminary Looks Forward to Celebratory Event in the Fall 

St. Nersess Armenian Seminary announced this week the date of the official opening of its new campus in Armonk, NY, and the consecration of its new chapel.
The long awaited event will take place on Saturday, November 12, 2016. The chapel consecration will begin at 11 a.m., and other activities will follow.
His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, will officiate over the consecration and opening ceremonies.
Further details will follow in the near future.


St. Mary Church, Washington DC

Washington, DC Parish Observes Name Day

Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Diocesan Primate, visited St. Mary Church of Washington, DC, on Sunday, August 14, as the community observed the church’s name day. During the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, Archbishop Barsamian blessed the veil of a girl and ordained four boys to the rank of acolyte. Archbishop Barsamian and the Rev. Fr. Hovsep Karapetyan, parish pastor, performed the “Blessing of Grapes” service and blessed madagh.
Later that afternoon, the parish honored longtime member Annie Simonian Totah, who is a recent recipient of a pontifical encyclical issued by His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians. Mrs. Simonian Totah is widely recognized for her support of Armenian causes nationally and internationally. 
Parishioners Mr. and Mrs. Onnik and Hripsime Sivaslian, also longtime members of St. Mary Church, were honored with the Diocese’s “St. Vartan Award.” The day’s program also included remarks and a musical presentation. Click on the following links to read more and to view photos.


St. Stepanos Armenian Church, Elberon, NJ

A Special Celebration in Elberon

On Sunday, August 14, St. Stepanos Church of Elberon, NJ, celebrated the Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God with a special luncheon.
The Rev. Fr. Daniel Karadjian, parish pastor, celebrated the Divine Liturgy and performed the “Blessing of the Grapes” ceremony.
Later that day, more than 100 parishioners gathered in the Kevork and Sirvart Hovnanian Hall for a luncheon. The parish council honored Maral Karakashian as “The Mother and the Woman of the Year. ” Mrs. Karakashian has served the church in many capacities, including on the parish council, choir, school, social events, and Women’s Guild. She was presented with a plaque and flowers.


St. John Church, Detroit

Cultural Events Held in Detroit

Last month, St. John Church of Detroit, MI, hosted a weeklong “Arts of Armenia” program for children ages 8 to 13.
Young participants enjoyed painting, Armenian color dyeing, rug weaving, cooking, and dancing. They also learned about Armenian history, the Armenian alphabet, and illuminated manuscripts.
Instructors included Zabel Belian, Anahit Toumajan, Levon Kafafian, Nayiri Karapetian, Digran Calan, Dolly Matoian, and Marianne Dardarian. Assisting them were Ani Misirliyan, Nubar Tambourin, and Amber Kalajian. Lisa Mardigian supervised the program, with assistance from John Yavruian. “The Arts of Armenia” program is sponsored by the St. John Komitas Choir, under the direction of Dn. Rubik Mailian and the chairmanship of Denise Karakashian. 
Preceding the children’s program was an evening of Armenian folk music featuring master duduk player from Armenia Tigran Poghosyan. Local violinist Harry Hovagimian and St. John Church music director Rubik Mailian accompanied Mr. Poghosyan. The program included selections by Komitas, Sayat Nova, and music from different regions of Armenia.    
Click here to view photos.

Zabelle Zartarian
Fr. Gulgulian with Zabelle Zartarian.

Wynnewood Parishioner Turns 100

On Sunday, August 14, parishioners of St. Sahag and St. Mesrob Church of Wynnewood, PA, came together to celebrate the 100th birthday of Zabelle Zartarian.
Sunday School students sang songs and parish council chair Robert Zakian presented Mrs. Zartarian with a plaque. The Very Rev. Fr. Oshagan Gulgulian, parish pastor, presented the honoree with a letter and certificate issued by Diocesan Primate Archbishop Khajag Barsamian. 
Steve Barsamian, parish council vice chair, served as master of ceremonies, and read aloud a birthday card Mrs. Zartarian received from President Obama. Lisa Kazanjian, parish council corresponding secretary, spoke about Mrs. Zartarian’s life and accomplishments; click here to read a biographical sketch of a remarkable, joy-filled life.
Mrs. Zartarian taught at the parish Sunday School for more than 50 years. The Sunday School will dedicate a classroom in her name. 

Armenian Genocide

Albany Genocide Centennial Concert Now on CD/DVD

As part of the Armenian Genocide Centennial commemorations held in the Capital District of upstate New York last year, a multi-ethnic Centennial Memorial Concert was held on October 11 at Our Lady of Victory Church in Troy, NY.
DVD and CD recordings of that concert are now available for purchase. Music from the concert includes performances by Armenian and Italian opera soloists, Ne’imah Jewish Community Chorus, joint Greek choirs, New York Catholic Chorale, and a piano solo by Renee Dearstyne.
For purchasing information, contact Rafi Topalian at (518) 272-2000, or (518) 810-5018; or e-mail him at


Upcoming Parish Events

Sts. Sahag and Mesrob Church | Providence, RI
Sts. Sahag and Mesrob Church of Providence, RI, will host its annual picnic on Saturday, August 20, beginning at noon on church grounds. Enjoy Armenian food, music, dancing, a tavloo tournament, art exhibits, and other activities. Click here to view a flyer for information.
Holy Resurrection Church | New Britain, CT
The Church of the Holy Resurrection of New Britain, CT, will hold its annual Armenian Festival on Sunday, August 21, from 12 to 6 p.m. (rain or shine) on church grounds. The festival will feature traditional Armenian food, live music by the Harry Bedrossian Ensemble, and dancing. For directions or information, e-mail, or call Gary at (860) 690-5959. Click here to view a flyer.

Armenian Church at Hye Pointe | Bradford, MA
The Armenian Church at Hye Pointe will host an “Armenian Food and Music Festival” on Sunday, August 28, from 12 to 5 p.m. The event will be held at American Legion Farm (1314 Main Street, Haverhill, MA). Enjoy live Armenian music, picnic-style dinners, and games. Click here to view a flyer for information.
St. David Church | Boca Raton, FL
On Sunday, August 28, the Alex and Marie Manoogian Armenian and Sunday School of St. David Church will hold registration for the 2016-17 school year. Parents will have the opportunity to meet other Armenian families at the "Mommy & Me" classes for toddlers ages 1.5 to 3 years, and the Pre-K and kindergarten classes for ages 3 and up. Instruction for older children includes Armenian language, music and culture, and religious education. 


Ride for Armenian Independence Day

A Bike Ride in New York for Armenian Independence

On Saturday, September 17, St. Vartan Cathedral and the Diocese’s Development department will co-host a bike ride to Governor’s Island in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of Armenia’s independence.
The day will begin on the plaza of St. Vartan Cathedral in Manhattan at 9:30 a.m. A light lunch will be served upon arrival at Governor’s Island. Click here to view a flyer for registration information.