September 6, 2018
CONTINUING THE TRADITION: PRELATE OPENS AYF OLYMPICS
Archbishop Oshagan traveled to Philadelphia, where on Sunday, September 2 he delivered the opening prayer and remarks at the 85 th Annual Olympic Games of the Armenian Youth Federation.

In his message the Prelate said, “By the Grace of our Lord, once again I have the duty and honor to open the AYF Olympic Games here in Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love. I am pleased to have this opportunity to be part of this historic weekend one more time as your Prelate.

Since 1998, I have had the honor to be with you every Labor Day weekend. Twenty years ago at the Olympics held in Chicago, I stood before you as your newly-elected Prelate and asked you to join with me hand-in-hand, heart-to-heart, in our collective journey as Armenian Americans with the goal enriching our religious and community life.”

In his prayer, His Eminence, asked the Lord to “bless the founders and leaders of this great organization, which has been serving the Armenian youth in America since 1933. Grace them with Your wisdom and good judgment and guide their continued service.”

Archbishop Oshagan in the speakers’ booth.
A special shirt is presented to Archbishop Oshagan in appreciation of his service.

IN MEMORIAM
Rouben Surenian
1936—2016
Archbishop Oshagan and the Religious and Executive Councils received the news of the passing of Rouben Surenian wil great sorrow. Funeral services took place today at St. Stephen’s Church in Watertown, Massachusetts with Archbishop Oshagan presiding.

He is survived by his wife Lida (Jagasparian, and three children, Ara, Janet, and Roubina, and six grandchildren. He is also survived by a brother, Vahe.

He was an active member of Greater Boston Armenian Community. His multi-years of service include to St. Stephen’s Church as a delegate to the National Representative Assembly, as member of the Board of Trustees, including service as chairman. He also served in leadership position in the Persian Armenian Society, Armenian Cultural and Educational Center, St. Stephen’s Armenian School, and the local radio hour.

May the light of our Lord shine on him in eternal bliss.
BIBLE READINGS
Bible readings for Sunday, September 9, Fourth Sunday after the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God, (Eve of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross) are: Isaiah 13:1-9; 2 Corinthians 7:9-16; Mark 7:31-37.

When I came to Troas to proclaim the good news of Christ, a door was opened for me in the Lord; but my mind could not rest because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I said farewell to them and went on to Macedonia.

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads in every place the fragrance that comes from knowing him. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? For we are not peddlers of God’s word like so many; but in Christ we speak as persons of sincerity, as persons sent from God and standing in his presence.

Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Surely we do not need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you or from you, do we? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all; and you show that you are a letter of Christ, prepared by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. (2 Corinthians 2:12-13:3)

***

The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. When it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now very late; send them away so that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy something for themselves to eat.” But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “Are we to go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread, and give it to them to eat?” And he said to them, “How many loaves have you? Go and see.” When they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” Then he ordered them to get all the people to sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of hundreds and of fifties. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and he divided the two fish among them all. And all ate and were filled; and they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand men. (Mark 6:30-44)


For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.

FEAST OF THE NATIVITY OF THE HOLY MOTHER
Saturday, September 8, the Armenian Church commemorates the Feast of the Nativity of the Holy Mother of God. The birth of the Holy Mother is not recorded in the Bible; the account of this event comes to us from other writings that are not part of the New Testament. According to tradition, Joachim and Anna were faithful and pious and waiting for the promised Messiah. They were elderly and childless. They prayed to God for a child and were blessed with a daughter they named Mary, who became the Mother of the Messiah.

PAREGENTAN OF THE FAST LEADING TO FEAST OF THE EXALTATION OF THE CROSS
This Sunday, September 9, is the Paregentan of the Fast leading to the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross ( Khachveratz ), which is next Sunday, September 17. Because the Exaltation is a Tabernacle Feast, it is preceded by a week (Monday to Friday) of fasting and followed by a memorial day of remembrance.
Birth of Diran Cherakian
(September 11, 1875)
Diran Cherakian was an important name of the Western Armenian literary generation of the first years of the twentieth century, who would become an indirect victim of the genocide.

He was born on September 11, 1875, in Scutari (Uskudar), a suburb of Constantinople. After his primary studies at the local Surp Khach School (1881-1885), he continued at the famous Berberian Lyceum from 1886-1891. Here he was deeply influenced by its founder and director, the noted writer and educator Reteos Berberian, to whom he dedicated his first book.

After graduation at the age of sixteen, the young Diran, who had already shown his precocious interest in literature, music, and arts, as well as natural history, became a teacher at his alma mater for the next seven years. From 1898-1900 he taught in Trebizonda, on the Black Sea shore, and he was particularly inspired by that sojourn. He wrote his first book, Inner World, which he would publish six years later. He had already become a frequent contributor to the Armenian press with essays, studies, travelogues, prose pieces, and poems.

In 1900 Cherakian returned to Constantinople to continue his teaching career at the Berberian, Getronagan, and Bezazian schools, where he mostly taught Armenian literature. Meanwhile, in 1904-1905 he visited Paris, where he followed courses of painting and literature, and Egypt. In 1906 he finally published Inner World, a collection of philosophical reflections and impressions, followed by a book of sonnets, Cypress Wood, in 1908. He published both books with the pseudonym of Indra (the anagram of his first name, but also the name of the god of the heavens and storms in Indian mythology). Cherakian acquired a certain status among the Western Armenian intelligentsia, even though his literature was sometimes criticized. His philosophy was that light was the ground for the material and spiritual world. The infinite was the way to measure the incommensurable, the universe, and develop universal harmony.

After 1910, the writer went through a deep psychological crisis that would lead him to renege his past and his literary production. He first adhered to spiritism and then, in 1913, he entered the Adventist Church, becoming a wandering preacher. During World War I, he served in the Ottoman army as a translator and secretary, but refused to take arms, and his students raised money to free him from military service. He continued preaching the Bible at his return to Constantinople, which caused his wife and only child to leave the house, as his attitude became intolerable. Cherakian, deeply shocked by the annihilation of 1915, gradually lost his mind and was caught into fixation and paranoia. He burned his manuscripts at that time.

The drama of his life would come to an end in the postwar. He recreated an Adventist auditorium in 1919-1920 and preached the love of Christ and the beauty of eternal life. The wish of death became his fundamental thought. During the Kemalist movement, in 1921, Cherakian went to Konia, where he preached going from house to house. He was arrested as a suspect, charged with sedition and deported in unknown direction. After a journey of many days in extremely painful conditions, under the strikes of the whip, Cherakian, hungry, thirsty, and ill, reached the plain of Diarbekir with his unfortunate companions. He finally passed away on the banks of the Tigris River on June 6, 1921, encouraging his comrades to pursue love, unity, and faith.
Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s website ( www.armenianprelacy.org ).
PLEASE REMEMBER
SYRIAN ARMENIAN COMMUNITY NEEDS OUR HELP MORE THAN EVER

The crisis in Syria requires our financial assistance.
Please keep this community in your prayers, your hearts, and your pocketbooks.

PLEASE DO NOT FORGET OUR ONGOING RELIEF EFFORTS FOR THE ARMENIAN COMMUNITY IN SYRIA WHERE CONDITIONS ARE BECOMING INCREASINGLY MORE DIFFICULT.

THE NEED IS REAL.
THE NEED IS GREAT.

DONATIONS TO THE FUND FOR SYRIAN ARMENIAN RELIEF CAN BE MADE ON LINE.

TO DONATE NOW CLICK HERE AND SELECT SYRIAN ARMENIAN RELIEF IN THE MENU.
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Armenian Prelacy
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New York, NY 10016
Checks payable to: Armenian Apostolic Church of America
(Memo: Syrian Armenian Relief)

Thank you for your help.
“ARMENIA!” EXHIBIT OPENS SEPTEMBER 22
“Armenia!” the major exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is set to open on September 22. Dr. Helen C. Evans, curator of the exhibit, describes the exhibition as “The first major exhibition to explore the remarkable artistic and cultural achievements of the Armenian people in a global context.” The exhibit features 14 centuries of Armenian history from the 4 th century to the 17 th century.

A short video about the exhibit is on the Museum’s website. To view it click here.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
SIAMANTO ACADEMY— Meets every second Saturday of the month at the Hovnanian School, 817 River Road, New Milford, New Jersey.
New term begins on September 22, 2018.
For information: anec@armenianprelacy.org or 212-689-7810.

September 8 —Special session of the Eastern Prelacy’s National Representative Assembly for election of Prelate, will take place at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27 th Street, New York City. Meeting will begin at 1 pm sharp.

September 9 —St. Gregory Church of Merrimack Valley, Picnic-Festival on the church grounds, 158 Main Street, North Andover, Massachusetts, 12 noon to 5:30 pm. Featuring Armenian music by Leon Janikian (clarinet); John Berberian (oud); Jason Naroian (dumbeg, vocals); John Arzigian (accordion, vocals). Lamb shish kebab, losh kebab, chicken kebab dinners, vegetarian dinners, Armenian pastries. Great Procession of the Holy Cross to take place around the church premises. Games and activities for all. Free parking and admission. For information (978-685-5038).

September 16 —St. Stephen’s Church of Hartford-New Britain, 167 Tremont Street, New Britain. Annual Picnic, 12:30 pm in church hall and backyard tent. Shish & Lu-lu Kebab, Roasted Chicken, Hot Dogs, Pilaf, Salad and Pastry table. Raffle and Armenian music. Rain or shine.

September 22, 2018 to January 13, 2019 —“Armenia!” a large exhibition dedicated to the medieval period of Armenian history and culture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. The exhibit is the first at the Met dedicated solely to Armenia. Curated by Dr. Helen C. Evans.

September 29 —Special Live Concert featuring Arsen Grigoryan, sponsored by Philadelphia’s Artemis Chapter of the Armenian Relief Society, at 7:30 pm in Founders Hall of St. Gregory the Illuminator Church, 8701 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia. The concert will benefit the ARS’s “Sponsor a Birth” program in Gyumri, Armenia. Donation $50 (includes hors d’oeuvres and desserts). For tickets: Elizabeth Dramgotchian (215) 920-6054; Madonna Kzirian (215) 760-4106; Rima Chapanian (856) 981-8203.

October 13 —ANCA Eastern Region Annual Gala will take place at the Grand Hyatt New York 109 East 42nd Street, New York, NY. 6:00 pm Cocktail Reception and Silent Auction, 7:30 pm Dinner and Program. Contact (201) 788-5424, e-mail ergala@anca.org or visit www.ancaef.org for more information.


October 20 —Armenian Friends America, Inc., Sixth Annual HYE KEF 5, featuring Onnik Dinkjian, John Berberian, Ara Dinkjian, Mal Barsamian, and Jason Naroian. Double Tree Hotel, Andover, Massachusetts. For information: www.ArmenianFriendsofAmerica.org .

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