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TOP STORY                                                         April 14, 2016

Karekin II and Aram I Visit Artsakh

Standing With the People of Artsakh

On April 13, His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, and His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, traveled to Artsakh, where they met with government representatives and visited soldiers.
 
The two patriarchs were greeted by Archbishop Barkev Martirossian, Primate of the Diocese of Artsakh; Bishop Vrtanes Abrahamyan, head of Armenia’s Armed Forces chaplaincy program; and local government representatives. They met with Nagorno-Karabagh President Bako Sahakyan, and visited the Central Military Hospital in Stepanakert, spending time with wounded soldiers, and offering words of prayer and blessing.
 
His Holiness Karekin II and His Holiness Aram I also visited Stepanakert’s main square and Artsakh’s beloved Gandzasar monastery. At the latter, they offered a prayer for peace in the region. Local school students and soldiers prepared a musical program to welcome the catholicoi.
 
On April 14, a special service was held for the “Protection and Peace of Artsakh” at the All Savior Church in Shushi. “It is my prayer that our almighty Lord will grant quick recovery to our wounded and accept into his heavenly kingdom the souls of those who lost their lives,” Catholicos Karekin II said. “May our Lord grant peace to Artsakh and continue blessing our efforts to build a strong homeland.” Click here to view photos.
 
Churches in the Eastern Diocese are fundraising in support of the Armenian families of Artsakh. Diocesan parishes will hold special plate collections on April 17 and 24. Online donations can also be made on the Diocesan website, by clicking here. (The united proceeds from the Eastern Diocese will be sent to Holy Etchmiadzin for the relief effort.)
 
Parishioners are also encouraged to contact their representatives in Congress. Click on the following links to access the Action Alert page on the Armenian Assembly’s website, or on the Armenian National Committee site.
 

Scripture of the Week

Acts 13:16-43
1 Pt 5:1-14
Jn 5:19-30

Prayer of the Week

Jesus, Wisdom of the Father, grant me wisdom, that I may, at all times, think, speak, and do before you that which is good in your sight. And save me from evil thoughts, words, and deeds. Have mercy upon your creatures and upon me, a great sinner. Amen.

Upcoming Saints & Feasts

17 April: Red Sunday

 

CHURCH NEWS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE

Pope will visit Armenia in June

Pope Francis to Visit Armenia

Holy Etchmiadzin announced this week that His Holiness Pope Francis will make an official visit to Armenia from June 24 to 26. The Pope will celebrate the liturgy in Gyumri’s central square, and visit Holy Etchmiadzin and the Dzidzernagapert Genocide Memorial in Yerevan.
 
Last year, Pope Francis celebrated a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. In an exquisite service in the Armenian rite, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church offered prayers in memory of the Armenian martyrs of 1915, and expressed his profound solidarity with the Armenian people in their historic struggles and continuing aspirations.
 
On the occasion of Pope Francis’s visit to Armenia, Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern Diocese, invites parishioners of the Eastern Diocese to take part in a pilgrimage to Armenia, from June 19 to 27. More information on the pilgrimage will be forthcoming.

DIOCESAN NEWS

Peter Balakian Speaks at the Diocesan Center

Peter Balakian Speaks at Diocesan Center

More than 100 people attended Professor Peter Balakian's discussion, titled "Hollywood and the Armenian Genocide," at the Diocesan Center in New York on Friday evening, April 8. The event was hosted by the Development department of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America. 
 
Central to Professor Balakian’s talk was the screening of the first part of renowned director Elia Kazan's 1963 film, America, America, which portrays the 1890s massacres against the Armenians and the persecution of Greeks in the Ottoman Empire. An animated question-and-answer session followed the presentation, and Professor Balakian signed copies of his books.
 
Click on the following links to read more and to view photos.



 
Annual Assembly

Diocesan Assembly to Convene in Cleveland

Registration forms are available for all clergy, Diocesan delegates, and parish council chairs taking part in this year’s 114th Diocesan Assembly. The forms are online, and can be downloaded by clicking here.
  
The annual gathering of the Eastern Diocese will convene April 28 through 30, 2016, in Cleveland, OH. The St. Gregory of Narek Church of Richmond Heights, OH, will host the Assembly, bringing together several hundred Armenian Church leaders from throughout the Eastern Diocese.
 
Diocesan Primate Archbishop Khajag Barsamian will preside over all the events.
 
Prior to the Assembly, clergy from across the Diocese will meet for their annual Clergy Conference and retreat, April 25-28. The Diocesan Women’s Guild General Assembly also convenes during the week.
 
A highlight of the gathering will be the annual awards banquet, on the evening of Friday, April 29. At that time, AGBU president Berge Setrakian will be honored for his longtime leadership of the community as the Diocese’s 2016 “Armenian Church Member of the Year.” Honored as this year’s “Friend of the Armenians” will be scholar Taner Akçam, author of A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility.

PARISH NEWS

Primate Visits St. Peter Church, Albany, NY

Watervliet Parish Celebrates Pastor's Milestone  

The St. Peter Church of Watervliet, NY, welcomed Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Diocesan Primate, on April 8 to 10. The Primate spent time with as many different church groups as possible, including altar servers, members of the Women’s Guild, Sunday and Armenian school students and ACYOA members, parish council, and Diocesan delegates.  
 
Sunday morning badarak was the culmination of the weekend. At the conclusion of the liturgy, Archbishop Barsamian ordained seven acolytes and blessed five young girls in the choir. Sunday afternoon, 200 parishioners attended a banquet to honor the 20th anniversary of pastor Fr. Stepanos Doudoukjian’s ordination to the priesthood. The occasion also honored Dn. Hagop Derian and Dn. Hrant Bardakjian for their 75 years of service to the Armenian Church.
 
The Diocese’s Director of Administration, Dr. Armen Baibourtian, and Diocesan Music Ministry director Maestro Khoren Mekanejian were also present throughout the weekend. Click on the following links to read more and to view photos.



 
Genoicide Decals

Forget-Me-Not Window Decals

Last year, as Armenians came together to commemorate the centennial year of the Armenian Genocide, the forget-me-not flower became the official emblem of this worldwide observance. The flower continues to be a reminder of the endurance of the Armenian people.
 
St. Gregory the Enlightener Church of White Plains, NY, is making window decals featuring the forget-me-not emblem available to parishioners across the Diocese. The decals can be displayed on car or building windows, as well as on notebooks, mailboxes, and other surfaces. Click here to view a flyer for ordering information.



 
Julliard Music School

An Armenian Program at the Julliard School

Anita Kazarian, a parishioner of St. Gregory of Narek Church of Richmond Heights, OH, established the Papazian Prize at the Julliard School of Music to encourage students to perform music by composers of Armenian heritage.  
 
This spring Lauren Williams was announced as the first winner of the prize. In a recital on April 24, Williams will perform works by Eduard Baghdasaryan and Aram Khachaturian. The event will be held at the Julliard School (Room 309), beginning at 7 p.m. 



 
Julliard Music School
Fr. Findikyan speaks with parishioners at St. Mary Church.

A Talk on Martyrdom at the Livingston Parish

On the evening of April 9, St. Mary Church of Livingston NJ, hosted a lecture by the Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan, director of the Diocese’s Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center, on the topic of "Saints of the Armenian Church."
 
Fr. Findikyan spoke about sainthood, Christian martyrdom, and the saints’ intercession on our behalf. He explained the implications of the canonization of the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide, which took place last April at Holy Etchmiadzin in Armenia.


 
Upcoming Events

Upcoming Parish Events

Sts. Sahag and Mesrob Church | Providence, RI
Sts. Sahag and Mesrob Church of Providence, RI, will host a concert of Armenian songs performed by the Armenian Chorale of Rhode Island in commemoration of the Armenian Genocide on Saturday, April 16, beginning at 7 p.m. The concert will be held at the church. Click here to view a flyer for information.
 
Sts. Vartanantz Church | Chelmsford, MA
Sts. Vartanantz Church of Chelmsford, MA, will observe the centennial of the consecration of its original church building on Saturday, April 16. A service and program will be held at the original location of Sts. Vartanantz Church (60 Lawrence Street in Lowell, MA). The program begins at 5:30 p.m. with an architectural tour of the building, followed by a prayer service and a presentation on the formation of the parish. For information, call (978) 256-7234, or e-mail office@stsvartanantz.com.

St. Gregory the Enlightener Church | White Plains, NY
The Culture Committee of St. Gregory the Enlightener Church of White Plains, NY, will host a concert featuring mezzo soprano Talin Nalbandian and pianist and composer Hayk Arsenyan on Sunday, April 17, at 1:30 p.m. The concert will be held in the church sanctuary. It is part of the annual Lionel Galstaun Memorial Concert series. Click here to view a flyer for information.

Holy Trinity Church | Cambridge, MA
Holy Trinity Church of Cambridge, MA, will host a “Saintly Women’s Day” observance for the parishes of Massachusetts and Rhode Island on Saturday, April 16, beginning at 10:15 a.m. Sister Bridget Haase will be the guest speaker. Click here for information.  
 
On Sunday, April 17, Holy Trinity Church will host a concert by the Erevan Choral Society. Titled “In Commemoration of Our Sainted Martyrs of 1915,” the program is dedicated to the memory of the late Archbishop Yeghishe Gizirian. The concert is free and open to the public. It is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. in the church sanctuary. Click here for information.

Holy Martyrs Church | Bayside, NY
The Women’s Guild of the Church of the Holy Martyrs will celebrate its diamond (60th) anniversary with a luncheon on Sunday, April 17, from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the North Hills Country Club in Manhasset, NY. For ticket information, call Marie-Louise at (516) 365-9185 or Zarmi at (917) 446-8249.

St. Leon Church | Fair Lawn, NJ
On Friday, April 22, St. Leon Church of Fair Lawn, NJ, will co-host a discussion with Dr. Talin Suciyan, author of The Armenians in Modern Turkey. Dr. Suciyan, a professor at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany, has used Turkish state archives, personal diaries, memoirs, oral histories, newspaper accounts, and other sources to write about the Armenian community of Turkey in the decades after the Armenian Genocide of 1915. The event is scheduled for 7:45 p.m. in the church’s Charles and Grace Pinajian Youth Center. Click here to view a flyer for information.
 
An evening of songs and stories by Onnik Dinkjian and Ara Dinkjian will be held in Abajian Hall of St. Leon Church on Saturday, April 23, at 7:30 p.m. Click here to view a flyer for ticket information.

Holy Resurrection Church | Trumbull, CT
Holy Resurrection Church of Trumbull, CT, will host a “Post-Mardi Gras Night” on Saturday, April 23, from 6 to 9 p.m. Click here to view a flyer for information.

Armenian Genocide Commemoration | Hartford, CT
The Armenian community of Connecticut will hold its annual commemoration of the Armenian Genocide on Saturday April 23, at the Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford. The flag-raising ceremony is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m., followed by a program in the House Chambers at 11:30. Shant Mardirossian, chairman emeritus of the Near East Foundation, will be the keynote speaker.
 
Armenian Genocide Commemoration | Chicago, IL
The Armenian churches of Chicago will host a joint Divine Liturgy on the Feast of the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide, Sunday, April 24. Click here to view a flyer for information.

Holy Cross Church | Union City, NJ
Holy Cross Church of Union City, NJ, will celebrate its 110th anniversary on Sunday, May 15. The day will begin with the Divine Liturgy at 10 a.m., followed by a banquet at 1:30 p.m. The banquet will be held at Villa Amalfi in Cliffside Park, NJ. Banquet reservations must be made by May 1. Click here to view a flyer for information.

YOUTH NEWS

ACYOA

ACYOA Central Council Visits St. Kevork Church 

Last weekend, the ACYOA Central Council and Jennifer Morris, the Diocese’s director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, visited St. Kevork Church of Houston, TX. The group was greeted by the Rev. Fr. Martiros Hakobyan, parish pastor.
 
On Friday evening, the St. Kevork ACYOA chapter hosted an “educational night” for local young people; some 50 young adults learned about their heritage and enjoyed fellowship and conversation.
 
On Saturday, the Central Council and Jennifer Morris met with the Very Rev. Fr. Simeon Odabashian, Diocesan Vicar, to finalize details for the upcoming ACYOA General Assembly and Sports Weekend and to draft an outline for the coming year of ACYOA programs. On Sunday, the group took part in the Divine Liturgy at the Houston church. Following services, Jennifer Morris introduced the Central Council and spoke about youth programs offered by the Diocese.
 
Click here to view photos. For more information about the ACYOA General Assembly and Sports Weekend, visit www.acyoa.org.



 
Khrimian Visits St. Gregory the Enlightener Church, NY
The Khrimian Lyceum group at St. Gregory the Enlightener Church.

Khrimian Lyceum Visits White Plains Church

On Saturday, April 2, a group of Khrimian Lyceum students, parents, and teachers visited St. Gregory the Enlightener Church in White Plains, NY, where they learned about Armenian church architecture.
 
The Rev. Fr. Mesrob Hovsepyan, parish pastor, welcomed the visitors and gave a tour of the sanctuary while explaining the symbolism of Armenian architecture. Vatche Aslanian, one of the architects of the St. Gregory the Enlightener Church and the parent of a Khrimian Lyceum student, spoke about the design of the church and its planning and building process. The students were shown the architectural model of the church and learned about the intricate features of its Armenian motifs. They also saw artist Michael Aram’s chandeliers and other decorative objects in the sanctuary.
 
Click here to view photos.
 

EVENTS

FAR

Benefit Luncheon for FAR Children's Center 

The “Friends of the FAR Children's Center” will host a Spring Benefit Luncheon to support children in Armenia on Thursday, April 28, at 11:30 a.m. The luncheon will take place at the
Chart House Restaurant in Weehawken, NJ. Click here to view a flyer for information.  
 
For 15 years, the Fund for Armenian Relief’s Children’s Center has been transforming lives by performing crisis intervention and critical short-term rehabilitation to vulnerable and victimized children. The center is a full-service facility and the only institution in Armenia where children can access shelter, medical care, psychological counseling, and legal assistance.




 
Prayer

Prayer Service for Middle East Christians

The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States and the Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches in America (SCOOCH) will host a “Common Prayer Service” on the evening of Thursday, April 21, at St. Gabriel Syriac Orthodox Church (750 Sunset Avenue) in Haworth, NJ. The service will begin at 7 p.m.
 
This service is meant to bring people together as they pray for the safety of two Syrian hierarchs held in captivity—Syriac Orthodox Archbishop John Ibrahim, and Antiochian (Greek) Orthodox Metropolitan Paul Yazigi—and for all others suffering in the Middle East. The Assembly of Bishops and SCOOCH invite all residents and visitors of the Tri-State area to join in prayer on the evening of April 21.
 
Click on the following links to read more and to view a flyer



 
Armenian Genocide Commemoration in Chicago

Ecumenical Prayer Service in Chicago

The Joint Committee of Armenian Churches of Greater Chicago and Wisconsin will hold an Ecumenical Prayer Service for the intercession of the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide. The event is scheduled for April 16 at 3 p.m. at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church (601 S. Central Avenue) in Chicago.
 
Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, will be the guest homilist. Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, Diocesan Legate and Ecumenical Director, and the Very Rev. Fr. Simeon Odabashian, Diocesan Vicar, will be in attendance.
 
Click here to view a flyer for information. The service will be broadcast live online (beginning at 3 p.m. Central Daylight Time) at the following link: www.assumptionchicago.org.



 
Armenian Genocide Commemoratin in Boston

Armenian Genocide Prayer Service in Boston

The Catholic Archdiocese of Boston will host a commemoration of the Armenian Genocide on Saturday, April 23, beginning at 4 p.m.
 
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, the Catholic Archbishop of Boston, will host a prayer service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern Diocese, will participate in the service.
 
Click on the following links to read an article in the Boston Globe and to view a flyer for information. The service will be broadcast live online (beginning at 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time) at the following link: www.catholictvlive.com.




 
Times Square

April 24 Events in New York City

The Feast of the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide will be observed at St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral on Sunday, April 24.
 
The Very Rev. Fr. Shahe Ananian, a visiting priest from Holy Etchmiadzin, will celebrate the Divine Liturgy beginning at 10:30 a.m. The annual Genocide Commemoration sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Knights and Daughters of Vartan will be held in Times Square (43rd Street and Broadway) following services. Click here to view a flyer for information on the Times Square event.




 
Linda Buzard
Organist Linda Buzard.

Organ Music at St. Vartan Cathedral

St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral will host "An Evening of Organ Music" on Saturday, May 7, beginning at 7 p.m. 
 
Organist Linda Buzard, choirmaster at the Episcopal Chapel of St. John the Divine in Champaign, IL, will play works by Bach, Mendelssohn, and Franck. The concert will be held in the cathedral sanctuary (630 Second Avenue in New York City).
 
Tickets will be sold at the door. Click here to view a flyer for information.