August 2, 2018
Archbishop Oshagan and Minister Mkhitar Hayrapetyan at the Prelacy.
Mr. Mkhitar Hayrapetyan, Armenia’s Minister of the Diaspora, visited the Prelacy this morning where he met with Archbishop Oshagan and Bishop Anoushavan and several Prelacy staff members. Mr. Hayrapetyan was accompanied by Vagharshag Hagopyan, an advisor to the Minister, and Vahe Sahakyan, a diplomat stationed in the Midwest. The group discussed various concerns and the expectations of the Diaspora from Armenia as well as the expectations of Armenia from the Diaspora.

Tomorrow, Friday, August 3, Mr. Hayrapetyan will participate in a Roundtable Discussion on “Homeland Defense and the Diaspora” that will take place at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 E. 27 th Street, New York City, from noon to 1:30 pm. The Roundtable is sponsored by the Ministry of the Diaspora of Armenia, the Armenian Wounded Heroes Fund, and St. Illuminator’s Cathedral.

Archbishop Oshagan and Bishop Anoushavan with guests and Prelacy staff members.
Archbishop Oshagan will travel to Massachusetts this weekend where on Sunday, August 5 he will preside over the Blessing of the Grapes and Madagh during the annual picnic of Watertown’s St. Stephen’s Church at Camp Haiastan in Franklin, Massachusetts. 

His Grace Bishop Anoushavan, Vicar General of the Eastern Prelacy, flanked by the 2018 Datev Institute participants and Instructors.
Robert Destro, a Professor of Law at Catholic University, has been nominated by President Trump to serve as the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. Archbishop Oshagan noted that Mr. Destro has been an active participant in IDC (In Defense of Christians). Mr. Destro is a respected human rights advocate and civil rights attorney. When confirmed he will serve as the head of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor within the United States Department of State.

Bishop Anoushavan went to the JFK Airport to bid farewell to the young adults representing the Eastern Prelacy last Saturday.
Twelve young adults from the Eastern Prelacy are part of a group of students and professionals who are participating in an intensive summer course on the “Armenian Church: Historical and Contemporary Issues and Challenges,” that began this week and will continue to August 12. The program includes participation in the Feast of St. Mary’s Assumption, an intimate encounter with His Holiness Aram I, Q&A Roundtable, and Sightseeing.
Here are photographs and videos of the first week.
CIlicia TV Delivers A Report About The Catholicosate Summer Academy
CILICIA TV Team Gathers Testimonials From Academy Participants
Bible readings for Sunday, August 5, Fifth Sunday of Transfiguration (Eve/Paregentan of the Fast of Assumption), are Isaiah 7:1-9; 1 Corinthians 13:11-14:5; Mark 2:1-12.

When he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. So many gathered around that there was no longer room for them, not even in front of the door; and he was speaking the word to them. Then some people came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this fellow speak in this way? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” At once Jesus perceived in his spirit that they were discussing these questions among themselves; and he said to them, “Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and take your mat and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic—“I say to you, stand up, take your mat and go to your home.” And he stood up, and immediately took the mat and went out before all of them; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” (Mark 2:1-12)


When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

Pursue love and strive for the spiritual gifts, and especially that you may prophesy. For those who speak in a tongue do not speak to other people but to God; for nobody understands them, since they are speaking mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, those who prophesy speak to other people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. Those who speak in a tongue build up themselves, but those who prophesy build up the church. Now I would like all of you to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. One who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up. (1 Corinthians 13:11-14:5)

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

This Saturday (August 4) the Armenian Church commemorates the 200 Holy Fathers of the Council of Ephesus (431 AD). Ephesus, the third general ecumenical council, was convened by order of Emperor Theodosius II to settle the Nestorian heresy. A large number of high-ranking church leaders attended, headed by Patriarch Cyril of Alexandria. The principle decision of the Council was the condemnation of Nestorius. The Council excommunicated Nestorius and condemned the heresy, confirmed the Nicene Creed, and approved the title of Theotokos (God-bearer) for the Virgin Mary.

The Armenian Church accepted the canons and decisions of the council and designated a day in the liturgical calendar on the Saturday of the Paregentan of the Assumption. The Armenian Church recognizes the first three ecumenical councils: Nicaea (325); Constantinople (381); and Ephesus (431), with special days in the liturgical calendar for all three.

Ephesus is an ancient Greek city that later became the chief city of the Roman province of Asia at the crossroads of the coastal route between Smyrna and Cyzicus. The Temple of Ardemis in the city was one of the great wonders of the ancient world. St. Paul took Christianity to Ephesus (Acts 18:18-19). He stayed there for two years during his third missionary journey.

Ephesus is one of the seven churches of Asia mentioned in the Book of Revelation. In chapter 2, Jesus praises the people of Ephesus for their perseverance and hard work, however admonishes them for forgetting their first love; their Christianity had become a faithful ritual rather than a relationship of love to the Lord.

Ephesus, now located within Turkey in the province of Izmir, is a popular international tourist destination.
This Sunday (August 5) is the Paregentan , or Eve of the Fast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God. This is a five-day period of fasting (Monday to Friday) that precedes the Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother which is next Sunday, August 12. Paregentan , which means “good living,” is a day of enjoyment and feasting before the beginning of the fasting period, during which there are no feast days.

Last Sunday, July 29, the congregation of St. Sarkis Church of Douglaston, New York, gathered in the main hall not for coffee hour or for a meeting, but for Sunday Divine Liturgy, presided by the Prelate, His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan. The reason for this extraordinary setting was because the Sanctuary of St. Sarkis Church was in the process of being painted.
This unique experience created a cozy atmosphere for prayer and meditation. The lack of the curtain on the "altar" area gave all who were present a view of "what goes on behind the curtain.” Also the parishioners had the opportunity to see the choir members singing the Liturgy.

​In the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them" (Matthew 18:20).
Last Friday summer camp staff members, sponsors and their families joined together for a Wine and Cheese event to celebrate another successful year of St. Sarkis Church Summer Camp, Douglaston, New York. Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian, pastor, noted that the camp grew from 85 campers last year to 105 campers this year.
​Campers have even started to come from as far as Connecticut, Albany, and Canada to participate. And just as the camp has grown so remarkably so did this event, turning into a full sit down dinner, along with a violin performance by the esteemed Arsen Ketikyan to honor all the guests and their families.
Der Nareg also took time to say kind words about each teacher, staff member, and sponsor who contributed to this year's camp, some of whom have been doing so since its inception. These thoughtful contributions whether they are time, creative talent or money are what make this camp so successful.

His Grace Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Vicar General was also present and since the campers had such a good time, he proposed lengthening the camp to three weeks in the coming years. He also personally congratulated Der Nareg, Yn. Annie and the supporters on a job well done!
Death of Enver Pasha
(August 4, 1922)
Anyone who is aware of the history of the Armenian Genocide has heard the name of Enver Pasha as one of its key executors.

Unlike its mastermind, Talaat, Ismail Enver Pasha was a military officer, born in Constantinople on November 22, 1881. He studied in different military schools and graduated in 1903 with distinction. In 1906 he was sent to the Third Army, stationed in Salonica. He became a member of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) during his service.

When the Young Turk coup broke out in June 1908, Enver became one of its military leaders. He was actively involved in the suppression of the attempt of countercoup of April 1909, which tried to restore Abdul Hamid’s absolute powers. Afterwards, he was sent to Berlin as a military attaché, where he strengthened the ties between German and Ottoman military.

During the Italo-Turkish war of 1911, Enver left Berlin and organized the defense of Libya, where he was appointed governor of Benghazi. He was called back to Constantinople when the First Balkan War started in October 1912 and ascended to the grade of lieutenant colonel. In the same year, the CUP fell from government and was replaced by the Liberal Union party. However, the severe Ottoman defeat in the First Balkan War weakened the government and Enver organized a coup in January 1913. The power returned to the CUP and the triumvirate formed by Enver, Talaat, and Jemal Pasha took charge until the end of World War I. Enver became Minister of War and married into the royal family. When in June 1913 the Second Balkan War broke out, he reversed some of the losses by recapturing Adrianople (nowadays Edirne) from the Bulgarians. 

Enver was an architect of the Ottoman-German alliance in World War I, expecting a quick victory that would benefit the empire. He assumed command of the Ottoman forces in the Caucasus. Pursuing his quest for a Pan-Turkic empire stretching to Central Asia, he wanted to force the Russians out and take back Kars and Batum, which had been ceded after the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-1878. His offensive in the thick of winter ended with a catastrophic defeat at the Battle of Sarikamish in December 1914 – January 1915 and tens of thousands of Turkish soldiers dying in the subsequent retreat. On his return to Constantinople, Enver blamed his failure on his Armenian soldiers, although in January 1915 an Armenian soldier had carried him through battle lines on his back and saved his life, and a letter written by Enver himself to the Prelate of Konia, Bishop Karekin Khachadourian, praised the Armenians for their bravery and faithfulness in February 1915.

Enver played a major role in the Armenian Genocide. He took the first steps by ordering the Armenian recruits in the Ottoman army to be disarmed and reassigned to labor battalions before their summary executions. These instructions were explained on the basis of accusations of treasonous activity, but the defeat of his army only provided the pretext for escalating a campaign of extermination that was also unleashed against the civilian population with the use of the secret paramilitary Special Organization ( Teshkilât-i-Mahsusa ) to systematically massacre deported Armenians.

After the collapse of the Russian front in 1918, the Ottoman armies advanced into the Caucasus. The Third Army, commanded by Vehib Pasha, entered the territory of Eastern Armenia, and was halted at the battles of Sardarabad, Bash Aparan, and Gharakilise in May 1918. A new military force called the Army of Islam, commanded by Enver’s half-brother Nuri, advanced towards the territory of today’s Azerbaijan and, in combination with the Tatars (Azerbaijanis), occupied Baku on September 15, organizing a massacre of the local Armenian population.

However, the Ottoman Empire was faced with defeat. Enver was dismissed from his ministerial position in October 1918, and a month later he fled into exile together with other CUP members. Tried in absentia by a postwar courts-martial for crimes of “plunging the country into war without a legitimate reason, forced deportation of Armenians, and leaving the country without permission,” he was condemned to death in July 1919.

Enver first went to Germany, and shuttled back and forth between Berlin and Moscow trying to build a German-Soviet alliance. He went to Baku in September 1920 and took part in the Congress of Eastern Peoples. In July 1921 he tried to return to Turkey, but Mustafa Kemal did not want him among his forces, as he explicitly rejected Enver’s Pan-Turkic ideas. He traveled to Moscow where he managed to win the trust of the Soviet authorities. In November 1921 he was sent by Lenin to Bukhara, in Turkestan, to help suppress a revolt against the local Bolshevik regime. Instead, along with a small number of followers, he defected to the rebels and united their different groups under his own command to fight against the Red Army.

On August 4, 1922, a cavalry brigade of the Red Army under the command of Hakob Melkumian (known in Russian sources as Yakov Melkumov) launched a surprise attack over Enver’s headquarters near the village of Ab-i-Derya. The attack ended with Enver’s death. There are different versions. According to Melkumov’s memoirs, Enver managed to escape on horseback and hid for several days in the village of Chaghan. After the hideout was located, the Soviet troops stormed the village and Enver was killed by Melkumov himself in the ensuing combat.

Enver’s body was buried near Ab-i-Derya. As it happened with Talaat in 1943, the remains of this executioner of the Armenian people were brought to Turkey in 1996 and reburied at the Monument of Liberty cemetery in Shishli, Istanbul. 

Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s website ( ).

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As the highly anticipated Armenia! At The Met exhibit approaches, the Metropolitan Museum of Art shares a video overview of this upcoming exhibition that explores over fourteen centuries of the remarkable artistic and cultural achievements of the Armenian people. This video features Dr. Helen C. Evans, Mary and Michael Jaharis Curator of Byzantine Art.
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: or 212-689-7810.

August 12 —Sts. Vartanantz Church, 461 Bergen Boulevard, Ridgefield, New Jersey, Annual picnic and Blessing of the Grapes, sponsored by Sts. Vartanantz Church and A.R.F. Dro Gomideh. On the church grounds under large tents (in case of rain, head to large hall), 1 pm to 5 pm. Delicious food and desserts; arts and crafts and playground for kids; cards and tavloo.

August 12 —Holy Trinity Church, 635 Grove Street, Worcester, Massachusetts, Annual Church Picnic and Blessing of the Grapes. Music by DJ Shaheen, tavloo tournament, bouncy house and carnival games for the kids. Delicious foods and pastries. Join us from noon to five on the church grounds. Blessing of the grapes at 1 pm. Free admission, free parking.

August 19 —Annual Church Picnic and Blessing of Grapes, Soorp Asdvadzadzin Church, 315 Church Street, Whitinsville, Massachusetts, under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan, with the participation of pastors of the New England area churches. Full menu of shish kebab, chicken kebab, losh kebab, kheyma, desserts, and choreg sale, all beginning at 12 noon. Dance to the live music of the John Berberian Ensemble, rain or shine. For more information (508) 234-3677.

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 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 Onnik Dinkjian, John Berberian, Ara Dinkjian, Mal Barsamian, and Jason Naroian. Double Tree Hotel, Andover, Massachusetts. For information: .

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