April 4, 2019
Yeretzgin Carmen Tashjian
March 1, 1921—March 27, 2019
His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan and the Religious and Executive Councils express heartfelt sympathy on the passing of Yeretzgin Carmen Tashjian (nee Khanjian) who died on March 27, in Glendale, California.

Funeral services were held this morning at St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church in Glendale, California, with His Eminence Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate of the Western Prelacy, presiding. Interment followed at Forest Lawn Cemetery.

Yeretzgin was born on March 1, 1921, in Dikranagerd, in historic Armenia; the family subsequently relocated to Aleppo. At the age of thirteen, her father’s death forced her to find work to support her widowed mother and two younger sisters. In 1954 she married Diran Tashjian, who subsequently was ordained a married priest in the Armenian Church and given the name Mesrob. They were blessed with the birth of two sons, Vatche and Hagop.

Having been assigned to serve in the United States, in 1961 the family relocated to Providence, Rhode Island, and for more than 40 years Der Hayr and Yeretzgin served Sts. Vartanantz Church and became much beloved by the community until their retirement. In 2005 they relocated to California to be near their children and grandchildren. In 2016 her lifelong partner, Archpriest Fr. Mesrob Tashjian, passed away and her health began to decline.

We extend condolences to her loving children, grandchildren, and extended family members. May our risen Lord bless her righteous memory. Asdvatz hokeen lousavoreh .
Antranig Karadolian
March 23, 1945—April 2, 2019
The Prelate and the Religious and Executive Councils sadly received the news of the passing of Antranig Karadolian, an active member of St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church and community, of Dearborn, Michigan, on April 2, at age 74. He was born on March 23, 1945 in Aleppo, Syria. The family moved to the Armenian community of Anjar, Lebanon, when he was eight years old.

Mr. Kardolian is survived by his wife of 44 years, Vartoug, and three children, Sevan (Joseph) Sanjian, Hagop Karadolian, and Viken (Mariem) Karadolian, and four grandchildren. He is also survived by six siblings and many relatives.

Visiting hours are on Friday, April 5, from 5 pm to 8 pm, with a service at 7:30 pm at St. Sarkis Church in Dearborn. The Funeral will take place Saturday, April 6 at 10 am at St. Sarkis Church. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Mousaler Association of Detroit.

Mr. Kardolian served St. Sarkis Church for many years as a Deacon on the altar where his resounding voice was appreciated and praised by everyone. He also held positions of leadership in the community including his service as a delegate to the Eastern Prelacy’s National Representative Assembly. He was the founder and president of the Mousaler Association of Greater Detroit, and proudly preserved the heritage and traditions of the Mousa Dagh survivors. Asdvatz hokeen lousavoreh. May God illuminate his soul.

Archbishop Anoushavan has directed all parishes in the Eastern Prelacy to offer a special requiem service this Sunday, April 7, for soldiers and civilians who were killed during barbaric and ferocious attacks by Azerbaijan during April 2-6, 2016, as well as for all those who have died in subsequent attacks to this day. On this occasion, His Eminence has asked parishes to offer a second plate for donations to help the families of the heroic martyrs. 
His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan will travel to Washington, DC next week to offer the invocation at the annual Capitol Hill Observance of the Armenian Genocide, organized by the Congressional Armenian Caucus, with the support of the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia, Office of the Artsakh Republic, and Armenian American organizations. The April 9th Congressional Observance will take place at the HART Senate Office Building, Room 902 from 6:00pm to 8:30pm. The observance will be webcast live on the ANCA Facebook page.
During his time in the nation's capital, Archbishop Anoushavan will be joining the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) for a series of meetings with key Congressional leaders focusing on expanded U.S.-Armenia ties, security and freedom for the Republic of Artsakh, and justice for the Armenian Genocide. The Prelate will spotlight the plight of Armenian and other Christian and minority communities in the Middle East and stress the importance of expanded U.S. assistance in the rebuilding of the region.
Archbishop Anoushavan will travel to Indian Orchard, Massachusetts, where on Sunday, April 7 he will celebrate the Divine Liturgy and deliver the Sermon at St. Gregory the Illuminator Church. His Eminence will preside over the 85 th anniversary celebration of the parish.

Town Hall Meeting,
 Friday March 30:
Archbishop Anoushavan, accompanied by Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, pastor of St. Illuminator Cathedral, attended the Town Hall Meeting on Friday, March 29 that featured Armenia’s Defense Minister, Mr. Davit Tonoyan. The Town Hall meeting took place in Kavookjian Auditorium at the Diocesan Center in New York. The Minister presented a hard-hitting report about gains and about the defense of the country. Following the question and answer period, Mr. Tonoyan praised the work of the Artsakh Warriors Fund and its founder Mr. Razmig Arzoumanian, and Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian for his fundraising efforts, and benefactor Mrs. Azadouhi Zarikian, and Dr. Herant Markarian and the association of Armenian doctors. At the conclusion of the Town Meeting, Archbishop Anoushavan praised the Defense Ministry for its defense of Armenia and Artsakh. He stressed that helping the Homeland is a duty of every Armenian.
Defense Minister Visits St. Illuminator Cathedral,
Saturday March 31
Archbishop Anoushavan and Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian welcomed Armenia’s Defense Minister, Mr. Davit Tonoyan, His Excellency Mr. Varuzhen Nersesyan, Armenia’s ambassador to the United States, and His Excellency Mr. Mher Margaryan, Armenia’s ambassador to the United Nations, to St. Illuminator’s Cathedral on Saturday, March 31. After welcoming the guests, Archbishop Anoushavan provided a history of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral stressing that since 1915 the Cathedral has welcomed the children of Armenia providing them with hope and survival. “It was within this sacred structure that the Armenian Legionnaires ( Gamavoors ) were blessed in 1917 before joining their comrades overseas. It was here that thousands of refugee families after World War II were welcomed and helped to start a new life. And it is here where remains of our Martyrs are encased in the Martyrs Altar,” His Eminence said.
His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan blesses Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan's Cross.

St. Thomas Ecumenical Federation of North America,
Sunday, March 31:
Archbishop Anoushavan took part in the St. Thomas Ecumenical Federation of North America’s “Inauguration of Activities 2019 and World Day of Prayer,” on Sunday, March 31, at Salem Marthoma Church in Dix Hills, New York. As the keynote speaker, Archbishop Anoushavan noted that “today is the fifth Sunday of Lent, Sunday of the Judge, according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Armenian Church.” His Eminence spoke about the power of prayer and emphasized the importance of the role of prayer and its essential need in today’s world. He advised all Christians to recognize that they are chosen by Christ to be the “light and salt” of the world, strengthened by prayer—“continuous prayer like breathing,” His Eminence emphasized. Following his keynote message, a special candle-lighting service took place. 
Manhattanville College, Mary T. Clark Lecture,
 Monday & Tuesday April 1 and 2:
Archbishop Anoushavan participated in the 10 th anniversary “Mary T. Clark Lecture,” hosted by the Manhattanville College Philosophy Department. The theme was “Living in a Post-Truth World.” The two-day conference brought together many well known scholars and lecturers from Europe and the United States, who participated in lectures, round table discussions, breakout sessions, and various social events. Archbishop Anoushavan was invited to deliver the tenth anniversary Mary T. Clark Lecture which was the culminating offering of the annual event. His Eminence’s lecture was titled “Echoes of Piety and Wisdom from the Armenian Tradition.”  

Very Rev. Fr. Sahag Yemishian, Vicar General of the Prelacy, representing Archbishop Anoushavan, attended the annual Gala Reception of the Massachusetts chapter of the Lebanese-American Council on Democracy (L.A.C.D.) last Saturday, March 30. Accompanying Hayr Sahag was Rev. Fr. Stephan Baljian, pastor of St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church in North Andover. This annual event is hosted by the L.A.C.D. Massachusetts chapter, in conjunction with the Boston area (Northeast Region) Consulate of the Republic of Lebanon.

The aim of the event, which took place at Our Lady of the Cedars of Lebanon Maronite Church in Boston, was to bring the Lebanese-American community to the forefront, while also reaching out to the ethnic communities and organizations that have historically existed and thrived in Lebanon.

Attending the event as guest of honor was His Excellency Gabriel Issa, Ambassador of the Republic of Lebanon to the United States of America. Also in attendance were the Consuls of the Republic of Lebanon, the Honorable Marty Walsh, Mayor of the City of Boston, Senator Jean Shaheen of New Hampshire and many other dignitaries and clergy from various communities. A representative of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation was also in attendance.

Three prominent Lebanese-American doctors from the New England area had been selected to receive awards and were honored by Ambassador Issa during the evening’s program. Also honored that evening was Honorary Consul Mr. Ibrahim Hanna, founder and CEO of Cedar’s Foods (a Middle Eastern food company operating out of Haverhill, Massachusetts), for a lifetime of achievement and service to the Lebanese-American community.
The Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia has announced plans for a pan-Armenian conference devoted to the Armenian Press as part of the year-long commemoration of the Year of the Armenian Press that was proclaimed by His Holiness Catholicos Aram I in January.
The conference will take place July 2, 3, and 4, at the Catholicosate in Antelias, Lebanon. The conference will have a pan-Armenian focus and editors and journalists from Armenian, Artsakh, and the Diaspora are invited to participate. The conference will focus on the current challenges facing the Armenian Press, as well as other relevant topics such as the ways and means of working together, the use of modern technology, the role of social media in the world of reporting, and today’s struggles facing the Armenian print press.
Those wishing to participate in the conference should contact Mr. Khachig Dedeyan at the Catholicosate no later than April 15 by email ( info@armenianorthodoxchurch.org ) or telephone (+961 4 410001).
Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian with Dr. Svetlana Amirkhanian, President and Founder of Direct Help for Armenian People

Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, pastor of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, represented Archbishop Anoushavan at the Armenian Youth Talent concert held at St. Vartan Cathedral and organized by Direct Help for Armenian People last Saturday, March 30. The event was dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Direct Help for Armenian People (DHAP) and the 10th anniversary of Armenian Youth Talent (AYT) music competition.
Der Mesrob delivered his appreciation to all the young performers and read the Prelate’s message, wishing them a bright future. He also thanked Dr. Svetlana Amirkhanian for introducing talented young Armenian musicians to the New York Armenian community, as well as encouraging the performance of music by Armenian and non-Armenian composers.
This logo for the Prelacy’s Salt and Light Youth Group will be commonly used by all parishes. Salt and light are images used by Jesus. In the Gospel of Matthew the reference comes right after the Sermon on the Mount (Beatitudes), one of the main teachings of Jesus on morality and discipleship. Matthew 5:13 introduces the phrase “salt of the earth”; the later verses refer to “light of the world,” and not hiding a lamp under a bushel, but to “let your light shine before others.”
In a circular sent to all parishes last week, Archbishop Anoushavan announced that “ Salt and Light Youth Group is the official name for our Prelacy-wide Youth Ministry Program.” The Prelate noted that a common name will provide continuity for both the youth and leaders. Archbishop Anoushavan then enumerated a list of steps to be taken by all parishes regarding the youth ministry program. His Eminence ended his directive with this further elucidation, “Reflecting the Gospel of Matthew 5:13-16 where Christ instructs us to be like salt and to shine our light before others so that they may see the good works and glorify the Father in heaven, our prayer is that our youth may be reminded of their unique inheritance both as Armenians and Apostolic Christians and that they may walk in this reality.”
Bible readings for Sunday, April 7 , Sixth Sunday of Great Lent, Sunday of Advent are: Isaiah 66:1-24; Colossians 2:8-3:17; Matthew 22:34-23:39.

Readings for Annunciation of the Holy Mother of God: Song of Songs 1:1-11; Proverbs 11:30-12:4; Isaiah 52:7-10; Zechariah 2:10-13; Malachi 3:1-2; 2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1; Luke 1:26-38,

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily and you have come to fullness in him, who is the head of every ruler and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a spiritual circumcision, by putting off the body of the flesh in the circumcision of Christ; when you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses, erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it.

Therefore do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food and drink or of observing festivals, new moons, or Sabbaths. These are only a shadow of what is to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Do not let anyone disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, dwelling on visions, puffed up without cause by a human way of thinking, and not holding fast to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God.

If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the universe, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations, “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch”? All these regulations refer to things that perish with use; they are simply human commands and teachings. These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-imposed piety, humility, and severe treatment of the body, but they are of no value in checking self-indulgence.

So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.

Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). On account of these the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient. These are the ways you also once followed, when you were living that life. But now you must get rid of all such things—anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 2:8-3:17)


When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. Teacher, which commandments in the law is the greatest? He said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them this question: What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he? They said to him, The son of David. He said to them, How is it then that David by the Spirit calls him Lord, saying, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet? If David thus calls him Lord, how can he be his son? No one was able to give him an answer, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them. They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. They love to have the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, and to be greeted with respect in the market places, and to have people call them rabbi. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students. And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father, the one in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted. (Matthew 22:34-23:12)

For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.
This Sunday, April 7, is the sixth and final Sunday of Great Lent, known as Sunday of Advent ( Galstyan Kiraki ). On Advent Sunday we are asked to ponder the mystery of the first coming of Christ and especially his second coming which is a fundamental tenet of our Christian faith, and which is mentioned in the prayers read this Sunday. Christ came to the world for the salvation of humanity. We are told to be ready at all times because He will come again for the judgment of sinners, and when the righteous will become worthy of entering the Kingdom of God. “Then people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. He will send out his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.” (Mark 13:26-27)

Advent Sunday has its own special hymn, which proclaims that the apostles knew the mystery of the advent of Christ. The story of the expulsion from paradise is repeated and an appeal is made to Christ to ask the Heavenly Father to establish peace on earth. Sunday of Advent is in preparation for next Sunday, Palm Sunday, which is the celebration of the glorious entry of our Lord into Jerusalem and the beginning of Holy Week.

The terrible manifestation of your glory which will be in your second coming David foresaw and announced beforehand by the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, God will come openly, fire will burn before him. Then, O Jesus, spare us, have compassion, O Christ and have mercy.

Mother of God unwedded, bride of heaven on earth, when in the sight of light you sit at the right hand of your only-begotten beseech him for us to deliver us from the awful flame, to number us with the righteous that we also may sing glory with the heavenly ones.
(Canon for the Sixth Sunday of Great Lent from the Liturgical Canons of the Armenian Church)
During Great Lent, saint days are commemorated only on Saturdays. During the remainder of the year saints can be honored on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, or Saturdays.

This Saturday, April 6, the Armenian Church celebrates one of the three days in its liturgical calendar devoted to St. Gregory the Illuminator, the patron saint of the Armenian Church. The three days are: Descend into the Pit, Emergence from the Pit, and Discovery of his remains. This Saturday is the commemoration of his commitment to the Deep Pit ( Khor Virab ).

Gregory maintained his faith and refused to renounce Christ. As a result he endured many tortures and his final punishment was banishment into a deep pit where he remained for a period of thirteen or more years. Miraculously he survived, thanks to his faith and according to tradition an angelic woman (identity unknown) who lowered food and water into the pit.

The Monastery of Khor Virab is a popular destination for tourists and pilgrims who visit Armenia. The monastery was built on the exact location where St. Gregory was imprisoned. The pit is accessible and it is possible for visitors to climb down the ladder (27 steep steps) into the pit. The church, named Sourp Asdvadzadzin, dates to the 17 th century. The area is one of the most beautiful in Armenia and provides stunning views of Ararat. The area surrounding Khor Virab is the site of the ancient Armenian capital, Artashat, founded by King Artashes I about 180 BC.

Come, let us exalt on this day the spreader of the spiritual light to us who sat in darkness, the holy patriarch Gregory. Come, you children instructed y him, exalt on this day the distributor to the sons of Torkom of the undefiled gifts of the Holy Spirit who gave us a new birth as sons of the light. Come, you children instructed by him, exalt on this day the interpreter of the divine word in the land of Armenia. On this day the Church and her children sing with the angels, on this day of memory of the enlightener ascribing glory to God in the highest.
(Canon to St. Gregory the Illuminator, Commitment to the Pit, from the Liturgical Canons of the Armenian Church)
This Sunday, April 7, is the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary that is celebrated nine months before the Nativity. It is the celebration of the announcing of the forthcoming birth of Christ to the Virgin Mary as recorded in the Gospel of Luke.

“And behold. You will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:31-33)

“The unspeakable mystery hidden from the nations and ages has been revealed today by the descent of the archangel to the holy virgin Mary, whom we have as intercessor for our souls before the Lord. …O joy of our sorrowful nature, blessed virgin Mary; at the greeting of the good news you received and bore in yourself the giver of the law of greeting. Always intercede for our souls before him.”
Canon for the Annunciation of the Holy Mother of God from the Liturgical Canons of the Armenian Church
Archdeacon Shant Kazanjian, Director of Christian Education of the Eastern Prelacy, presented a Lenten lecture at St. Gregory the Illuminator Church in Philadelphia last Friday, March 29, at the invitation of the pastor, Archpriest Fr. Nerses Manoogian, and the Board of Trustees. The topic was “We believe … in the communion of saints” ( հաղորդութեամբ սրբոց ), a declaration found in the longer Armenian Creed, placed at the beginning of the Book of Hours ( Zhamakeerk ) of the Armenian Apostolic Church. 
The fifth of a six-part Lenten Program took place last night, April 3, at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral in New York City. The Program included a short church service at 7:00pm followed by a lecture at 7:30, and a table fellowship at 8:00pm, presided by His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan, the Prelate.

Last night, Rev. Fr. Kapriel Nazarian, pastor of Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church of Providence, Rhode Island, reflected on “ Living the Divine Call of the Cross .” If you missed the live stream, click here to watch it.

Next Wednesday, April 10, the sixth and final lecture in the series, “Walking the Journey Home,” will be presented by Professor Siobhan Nash-Marshall.

The Lenten Program is sponsored by the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC) and the Ladies Guild of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral.
We are pleased to announce that plans are underway for the 33 rd annual St. Gregory of Datev Institute Summer Program, a unique Christian educational program for youth ages 13-18. Sponsored by the Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC), the weeklong program will be held at St. Mary of Providence Center in Elverson, Pennsylvania, from June 30 to July 7, 2019. For information and registration, please click here .
Fifth grade students at the Spelling Bee with principal and teachers.
Thirteen students from St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School (SSAES) participated in the 9th Annual Watertown Spelling Bee for Grades 1-5, last Sunday. Students who participated are Georgette Ishagyan from 1st grade, Arman Stepanian, Elsa Sarkissian, and Nara Behbahani from 3rd grade, and fifth graders Lea Karapetian, Lara Chekijian, Anais Kahvejian, Alla Petrosyan, Nicholas Nalbandyan, Julia Chapian, Saro Iskenderian, Gassia Minassian, and Narineh Mardiros.  

The Fifth Grade team consisting of Lea, Lara, and Anais got 1st place in their first round! They had some very tricky words and made it to the double elimination round. Our two other 5th grade teams did an excellent job too.

The 3rd grade team tied for first place in their round as both teams were extremely successful spellers! Georgette Ishahagyan (Gr. 1) participated with first grade students from other schools and got first place.
The Third Grade winning team.  
The Fifth Grade winning team.
The Sunday School of Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Church in Ridgefield, New Jersey had the honor of a visit from His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian last Sunday, March 31. The students were preparing a special presentation of the “Parable of the Ten Virgins” on the occasion of the upcoming “Kaloustyan Geeragee” when His Eminence greeted the students and had a discussion about preparing and lighting oil lamps. The conversation enlightened everyone and students learned about the second coming of Christ.
Birth of Varoujan Khedeshian (April 7, 1937)

Varoujan Khedeshian was one of the most innovative directors of Armenian theater in the Diaspora during the second half of the twentieth century.

He was born on April 7, 1937, in Aley (Lebanon). At the age of sixteen, he debuted in the Hamazkayin “Kaspar Ipekian” dramatic troupe, directed by Georges Sarkissian, another famous name of Diasporan theater.

In 1960 he went to London to study at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. He graduated in 1965 and returned to Lebanon, where he joined the Hamazkayin “Levon Shant” dramatic troupe. Two years later, he founded the “Theatre 67” dramatic troupe, which had a very important role in the Lebanese Armenian community until the beginning of the civil war in 1975. Khedeshian was noted for staging works from the Armenian and international repertoire that went outside the mold of tradition, introducing the audience to contemporary works by playwrights like Arthur Miller, Peter Weiss, Edward Albee, and Neil Simon. He would maintain this approach when he took over the direction of the “Kaspar Ipekian” from 1989-2000. He translated a total of 22 plays from English into Armenian.

Some of the works he directed included, along with “Ancient Gods” and “The Emperor” (Levon Shant), “By the Road of Heaven” and “Up to Where?” (Hagop Oshagan), “Alafranca,” “The Oriental Dentist,” and “Brother Balthazar” (Hagop Baronian), “The Piper of the Mountains of Armenia” (Hamasdegh), world-famous works like “The Merchant of Venice” (William Shakespeare), “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (Edward Albee), “Marat/Sade” (Peter Weiss), “The Crucible,” “View from the Bridge,” “The Price,” and “All My Sons” (Arthur Miller), “The Prisoner of Second Avenue” and “Barefoot in the Park” (Neil Simon), “The Master Builder” (Henrik Ibsen), “Romulus the Great” (Friedrich Dürrenmatt), “The Venetian Twins” (Carlo Goldoni), “The Caretaker” (Harold Pinter).

From 1979-1987 Khedeshian staged five dramatic performances in Armenia, both in Yerevan and Leninakan (now Gyumri), and received the “Bedros Atamian” medal in 1987, becoming the first Diasporan Armenian who earned this award during the Soviet period.

His decades-long theatrical activity earned him multiple accolades and several distinctions late in life. In 2000 he was decorated with the “St. Mesrob Mashdots” order of the Holy See of Cilicia by Catholicos Aram I and the Hamazkayin order by the Central Executive Board of this organization. In 2008 the Ministry of Culture of Armenia awarded him its gold medal, and Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II bestowed upon him the “St. Sahag-St. Mesrob” medal of the Armenian Church. Meanwhile, in 2004 he had received the order of the Institute of Arts of Lebanese University, where he had taught dramatic art from 1971-1999.

Varoujan Khedeshian passed away on December 28, 2015, in Beirut, at the age of sixty-eight.

Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site ( www.armenianprelacy.org ).
We would love to know your thoughts about and suggestions for our weekly Crossroads electronic publication, and we have set up a special e-mail address for your comments. Write to us at crossroads@armenianprelacy.org
( Calendar items may be edited to conform to space and style )
SIAMANTO ACADEMY— Meets every second Saturday of the month at the Hovnanian School, 817 River Road, New Milford, New Jersey. For information: anec@armenianprelacy.org or 212-689-7810.

April 7 —Finding Our Roots: A Genealogy Presentation by George Aghjayan, Director of Armenian Historical Archives, author, genealogy researcher, at 1 pm, luncheon followed by presentation. St. Stephen’s Church, Watertown, MA. Information: Audrey Guzelian (617) 731-6051.

April 7 —85 th anniversary and banquet, St. Gregory the Illuminator Church, 135 Goodwin Street, Indian Orchard, Massachusetts. Divine Liturgy at 10 am, celebrated by Archbishop Anoushavan. For information: stgregorymass@yahoo.com .

April 7 —Book Presentation in English and Armenian, “Acknowledgment and Condemnation: The Trials of Young Turks in 1919-1921 and 1926.” Hosted by St. Illuminator’s Cathedral and Hamazkayin (Eastern Region), 1 pm at the Cathedral’s Pashalian Hall. The author Dr. Meline Anumyan will speak. Information: 212-689-5880.

April 12-14 —Holy Martyrs Armenian Day School presents exhibition of artwork by Arthur Pinajian at St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral, 630 Second Avenue, NYC. A portion of proceeds will benefit the Holy Martyrs School.

April 24 —March for Justice, Remembering the Armenian Genocide Martyrs. Under the auspices of Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate. Divine Liturgy at 10 am, St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 E. 27 th Street, New York City. March for Justice begins at 12:30 pm from the Cathedral to the Turkish Consulate. For information: 212-689-5880.

April 27 —Connecticut commemoration of the 104 th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide at Connecticut Hall of the House at the State Capitol, 210 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, Connecticut, 11 am. Featured speaker Salpi Ghazarian, Director of the University of Southern California’s Institute of Armenian Studies.

April 28 —Armenian Genocide commemoration in Times Square, 43 rd Street and Broadway, New York City, sponsored by the Knights and Daughters of Vartan. Free bus transportation to and from Times Square from New York and New Jersey. For details www.kofv.org/main/april282019 .

April 28 —Armenian Martyrs Memorial Committee of Rhode Island will commemorate the 104 th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, starting at 12:45 pm at the Martyrs Monument in North Burial Grounds in Providence. The clergy and altar servers of the three Armenian churches will participate. Keynote speaker: Stephen Kurkjian, emeritus editor and reporter for Boston Globe. For information email to joycey41@cox.net .

May 5 —60 th anniversary Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, NJ. “60 Years from Generation to Generation,” honoring Garabedian, Mirakian, Najarian, and Sarajian families. Banquet in grand hall. Information: 201-943-2950.

May 16-18 —National Representative Assembly of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, hosted by St. Asdvatzadzin Church of Whitinsville, MA.

June 30-July 7 —33 rd St. Gregory of Datev Summer Institute (ages 13-19) at St. Mary of Providence Center, Elverson, PA. Sponsored by Eastern Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC). Information: arec@armenianprelacy.org or 212-689-7810.

October 9-12 —On the occasion of the Feast of the Holy Translators a joint clergy conference of the Eastern, Western, and Canadian Prelacies will convene in Montebello, CA.

October 12 —Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, NJ continues celebration of 60 th anniversary with Elie Berberian and his band. Information: 201-943-2950.

October 19 —Armenian Friends of America Annual Hye Kef 5 Dance, featuring The Vosbikians, at Double Tree by Hilton, Andover, MA. For information: Sharke’ Der Apkarian at 978-808-0598; John Arzigian at 603-560-3826.

November 17 —SAVE THE DATE for 150 th anniversary of birth of Gomidas Vartabed, organized by the Eastern Prelacy. Details will follow.

Follow us on Social Media
The Armenian Prelacy 
Tel: 212-689-7810 ♦ Fax: 212-689-7168 ♦ Email: email@armenianprelacy.org

Visit the Catholicosate webpage at  http://www.armenianorthodoxchurch.org/en/