April 5, 2018
Pope Francis presided over ceremonies that unveiled and blessed a bronze statue of St. Gregory of Narek, the most recent Doctor of the Universal Church, today in the gardens of the Vatican. The tenth century Armenian monk and poet was proclaimed a Doctor of the Universal Church in February 2015 by Pope Francis. Narek joined the prestigious ranks of only 36 such honorees that include Augustine, John Chrysostom, and Thomas Aquinas. The title Doctor of the Universal Church is a high honor and bestowed on those whose life and writings have made an impact on the universal church.
Participating in the ceremonies were the two Armenian Catholicoses, His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia, and Patriarch Gregory Peter of the Armenian Catholic Church. Joining them was the outgoing president of the Republic of Armenia Serge Sarkisian, His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, and His Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America.
Following the unveiling the hierarchy and entourage were the luncheon guests of Pope Francis. Catholicos Aram’s official entourage included Archbishop Oshagan, Prelate of the Eastern United States; Archbishop Kegham Khatcherian, Prelate of Greece; and Very Rev. Fr. Bedros Manuelian, director of information for the Holy See of Cilicia.
Pope Francis and Catholicos Aram also had a meeting during which the Catholicos thanked the Pope for officially recognizing the Armenian Genocide and for his ongoing support of Lebanon. A number of other issues were also discussed during this meeting, including a single date for the celebration of Easter; the importance of interfaith dialogue and understanding, especially between Muslims and Christians; and the dwindling Christian population in the Middle East.
Archbishop Oshagan delivers his Easter message at St. Illuminator Cathedral in New York.
Youngsters gather around the Prelate for Easter egg competition.
Bishop Anoushavan during the Easter procession at Sts. Vartanantz Church, New Jersey
Easter services conclude in the large hall of Sts. Vartanantz Church. 

Bible readings for Sunday, April 8 , New Sunday , are: Luke 4:14-30; Acts 5:31-6:7; James 3:1-12; John 1:1-17; Evening Gospels: John 21: 15-25; Matthew 27:60-61; John 20:26-31.

God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”

When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them. But a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, respected by all the people, stood up and ordered the men to be put outside for a short time. Then he said to them, “Fellow Israelites, consider carefully what you propose to do to these men. For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him; but he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and disappeared. After him Judas the Galilean rose up at the time of the census and got people to follow him; he also perished, and all who followed him were scattered. So in the present case, I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone; because if this plan or this undertaking is of human origin, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them—in that case you may even be found fighting against God!”

They were convinced by him, and when they had called in the apostles, they had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. As they left the council, they rejoiced that they were considered worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name. And every day in the temple and at home they did not cease to teach and proclaim Jesus as the Messiah.

Now during those days, when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food. And the twelve called together the whole community of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables. Therefore, friends, select from among yourselves seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task, while we, for our part, will devote ourselves to prayer and to serving the word.” What they said pleased the whole community, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, together with Phillip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. They had these men stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.

The word of God continued to spread; the number of the disciples increased greatly in Jerusalem, and great many of the priests became obedient to the faith. (Acts 5:31-6:7)


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him.

But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’” From his fullness we have all received grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:1017)

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

A Note about the Readings:  Beginning Monday (April 9) and continuing until Pentecost (May 20) each day the four Gospels are read in the following order: 1) Morning—Luke; 2) Midday—John; 3) Evening—Matthew; 4) Evening dismissal—Mark. By Pentecost the four gospels are read up to the passion narratives. 
This Sunday, April 8, is New Sunday ( Nor Giragi ). Easter Sunday is followed by a period of fifty days ( Hinook ) from the Resurrection to Pentecost ( Hokekaloost ) dedicated to the glorification of the Resurrection. Each of the seven Sundays of Hinook has a special name. It is also called Second Easter ( Grgnazadig ), which literally means “Easter repeated,” because it is the eighth day of Easter and a day similar to Easter.

This Saturday, 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 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
Plans are underway for the 32 nd annual St. Gregory of Datev Institute Summer Program, a unique Armenian Christian educational program for youth ages 13-18 to enrich their knowledge of the Christian faith in a wholesome and nurturing environment, with recreational activities and daily church services.

Sponsored by the Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC), the Program is scheduled to be held at the St. Mary of Providence Center in Elverson, Pennsylvania, from July 1-8, 2018. 

For information and registration click here.

The Eastern Prelacy’s National Representative Assembly will convene at St. Gregory Church in North Andover, Massachusetts, May 10 to 12. Friends near and far are invited to attend the Banquet that will take place Friday evening, May 11, at Harris’ Pelham Inn, Pelham, New Hampshire. Cocktail reception will begin at 6:30 pm with dinner at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $75 per person.

For more information about the National Representative Assembly click here


The Prelacy is sponsoring a reception for the recently published book, The Sins of the Fathers: Turkish Denialism and the Armenian Genocide, by Professor Siobhan Nash-Marshall, of Manhattanville College, that will be presented at John Pashalian Hall at St. Illuminator Cathedral tomorrow evening, Friday, April 6, at 7 pm. The book and author will be introduced by Dr. Herand Markarian. NOTE THE CHANGE OF VENUE. THIS EVENT WILL TAKE PLACE AT ST. ILLUMINATOR CATHEDRAL, 221 East 27 th Street, New York City.

Siobhan Nash-Marshall is professor of philosophy and the Mary T. Clark Chair of Christian Philosophy at Manhattanville College, where she is also chair of the philosophy department. She holds PhDs from Fordham University and the Universita Cattolica di Milano, as well as a L.M. from the Universita di Padova and a B.A. from New York University. Her specializations are metaphysics, epistemology, and medieval philosophy. In recent years, she has devoted attention to genocide and genocide negationism. The Sins of the Fathers is her first book-length treatment of the topic. A reception will follow the presentation. 

Death of Lili Chookasian (April 10, 2012)
Lili Chookasian was one of the world's leading contraltos during the 1960s and 1970s with a long and celebrated career at the Metropolitan Opera.
She was born in Chicago on August 1, 1921, the youngest of three children to immigrants from Sepastia. Her family was a survivor of the Armenian Genocide. Her first language was Armenian, and she would acquire her English proficiency after attending school.

After high school, Chookasian began studying singing seriously, and earning money singing in the choirs of Armenian churches and on the radio. She began performing professionally as an oratorio and concert singer in the 1940s, mostly in Chicago but also occasionally out of town. The main highlight of her early concert career was her performance as soloist for Mahler's second symphony with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, directed by Bruno Walter.

In 1956 Chookasian was diagnosed with breast cancer, and her physicians gave her six months to live. She underwent a radical mastectomy, which was further complicated by a widespread infection that required additional surgeries. However, she fought her way back to health. She would have another breast cancer scare in 1961, which forced her to another mastectomy.

At the age of thirty-eight, in 1959, Chookasian made her first opera appearance and a resounding success as Adalgisa in Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma with the Arkansas State Opera. In 1961 she was hired for a concert performance of Sergei Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky with the New York Philharmonic. Shortly thereafter, she was offered a contract with the Metropolitan Opera but turned it down because of family considerations. After successful performances in Italy and Baltimore, she finally accepted a second offer to join the roster at the Metropolitan, where she debuted in March 1962 in Amilcare Ponchielli’s La Gioconda.   

During her 24-year-long career at the Met, Lili Chookasian sang many principal contralto roles and a number of secondary parts in operas by Giuseppe Verdi, Richard Wagner, Claude Debussy, Gounod, Mussorgsky, and many others. While working at the Met, Chookasian quickly became one of the leading contraltos performing on the international stage during the 1960s and 1970s, singing under the best conductors of that time, like Leopold Stokowski, Leonard Bernstein, Herbert von Karajan, and many others. She was particularly admired worldwide for her performances in Beethoven’s ninth symphony, Gustav Mahler’s symphony Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth), and above all Giuseppe Verdi's Requiem.
In September 1967 she traveled to Armenia, where she performed in two productions mounted in her honor at the Alexander Spentiarian Opera Theatre: Amneris in Verdi’s Aida and Parandzem in Dikran Tchouhadjian’s Arshak II. She received the prize Bedros Atamian of the Ministry of Culture of Soviet Armenia in 1981.

During a performance of Kurt Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny in 1984, she suffered a minor heart attack on stage and was unable to continue. Her career slowed down and she performed for the last time at the Met on February 17, 1986 in Charles Gounod Romeo and Juliet, which became her farewell to the opera stage.

After retiring, Chookasian joined the voice faculty at Yale University’s School of Music. She taught there and resided in Branford, Connecticut. In 1987 she lost George Gavejian, her husband of forty-six years, with whom she had three children. In 2002 she was awarded Yale’s Sanford Medal. She was name Professor Emeritus of the School of Music in 2010.

Lili Chookasian passed away at her home in Branford on April 10, 2012. 


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Armenian Prelacy
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In preparation of the Feast of the Holy Resurrection of our Lord and Savior  Jesus Christ , Deacon  Ryan Tellalian  of St. Illuminators Armenian Cathedral guides us through Easter Sunday's Gospel reading from Mark 16:1-8.

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 6 PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF VENUE. Book presentation, “The Sins of the Fathers: Turkish Denialism and the Armenian Genocide” by Professor Siobhan Nash-Marshall. The book will be presented by Dr. Herand Markarian at 7 pm in Pashalian Hall at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 E. 27 th  Street, New York City. Reception will follow.

April 14 —Exploring the Eucharist (Soorp Badarak), a seminar (10:30am-3pm), at St. Gregory Church, 135 Goodwin Street, Indian Orchard, Massachusetts, conducted by Dn. Shant Kazanjian, Director of the Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC) of the Eastern Prelacy. For info contact the church office at stgregorymass@yahoo.com or call (413) 543-4763.

April 22 —Remembering the Armenian Genocide, Annual Gathering at Times Square, 2 pm, 43 rd Street and Broadway, New York City. Free bus transportation to and from Times Square. Sponsored by the Knights and Daughters of Vartan; co-sponsored by Armenian General Benevolent Union, Armenian Assembly of America, Armenian National Committee of America, ADL-Ramagavars, Armenian National Council, and with the participation of community-wide churches and organizations. Contacts: New York , Sam Melkonian 516-352-2587; Brooklyn , Tigran Sahakyan 347-291-7765; New Jersey , Leo Manuelian 917-418-3940 or 201-746-0409.

April 29 —“History and Future of the Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) Conflict" -- Guest Speaker: Anna Astvatsaturian-Turcotte, Author of "Nowhere, A Story of Exile." Under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate.  1:30 p.m. St. Sarkis Armenian Church, 38-65 234th Street, Douglaston, NY.  A book signing will take place after the lecture. For more information, please call 718-224-2275.

April 29 —The Armenian Martyrs’ Memorial Committee of Rhode Island will commemorate the 103 rd Anniversary of the 1915 Armenian Genocide on Sunday, April 29, at 12:45 pm at the Martyrs’ Monument site in North Burial Ground, Branch Avenue, Providence. The clergy of the three Armenian churches will perform services in memory of the Holy Martyrs. Chris Bohjalian will be the keynote speaker. His newest book, “The Flight Attendant” is on the NY Times best- selling list. Federal, state and local officials will also be in attendance. The public is cordially invited to attend this important day in memory of our Holy Martyrs and survivors of the Armenian Genocide.

May 3 —NYC Fundraiser for the Women's Support Center of the Tufenkian Foundation. 7-9 p.m. Almayass, 24 E. 21st Street, NY, NY. $45 at the door or with advance purchase (ticket includes 1 complimentary glass of wine and small appetizers). Tickets can be purchased via: https://goo.gl/xSw2th. For more information, contact Vartan Badalian at badalivs93@gmail.com. 

May 9-12 —Eastern Prelacy’s National Representative Assembly, hosted by St. Gregory Church, North Andover, Massachusetts. The one-day clergy conference and Conference of Yeretzgeens will take place on Wednesday, May 9. The full Assembly will convene on Thursday, May 10, at 11 am and will conclude on Saturday, May 12, at noon. The National Association of Ladies Guilds Meeting convenes during this time as well. For more information go to www.saintgregory/nra-2018 .

May 11 --National Representative Assembly Banquet Celebration hosted by St. Gregory Church, North Andover, Massachusetts, at the Harris Pelham Inn, 65 Ledge Road, Pelham, New Hampshire. Cocktail reception at 6:30 pm; dinner & program at 7:30 pm. Tickets $75. To purchase tickets online click here.

June 24 --Ways to Wellness: A Panel Discussion on Mental Health -- 1:30 p.m. -- St. Sarkis Armenian Church, 38-65 234th Street, Douglaston, NY. For more information, please contact Anahid at anahide@aol.com (Lecture rescheduled from an earlier date).

July 1-8, 2018 – Datev Summer Program for youth ages 13-18-- The 32 nd annual St. Gregory of Datev Institute Summer Christian Studies Program will take place at the St. Mary of Providence Center in Elverson, Pennsylvania, sponsored by the Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC). For information and registration, contact the AREC office – 212-689-7810 or arec@armenianprelacy.org or click here.

September 21, 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.

October 20 —Armenian Friends America, Inc., Sixth Annual HYE KEF 5, featuring world famous Onnik Dinkjian and the All Stars. Double Tree Hotel, Andover, Massachusetts. Details to follow. www.ArmenianFriendsofAmerica.org .
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/