August 3, 2017


Today (August 3) the Armenian Church commemorates as a group the Holy Forefathers, including: Adam, Abel, Seth, Enoch, Noah, Metchizedek, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, Eleazar, Joshua, Samuel, Samson, Jephthah, Barak, Gideon, and others. This day is set in our Liturgical Calendar as a day of remembrance of the ancestors of Christ.


Archbishop Oshagan will preside over the annual picnic and Blessing of the Grapes of Watertown’s St. Stephen’s Church that will take place this Sunday (August 6) at Camp Haiastan in Franklin, Massachusetts. His Eminence will lead the service of Blessing of the Grapes and Madagh with the participation of clergy and altar servers from the New England parishes.


Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian, pastor of St. Sarkis Church in Douglaston, New York, is currently visiting Lebanon where he is conducting a three-day seminar on pastoral care and counseling with the seminarians at the Cilician See’s Theological Seminary in Bikfaya, Lebanon.


The seminar covers the basic principles of pastoral care and counseling, including introduction to bereavement counseling and pre-marital counseling. The seminar began yesterday (May 2) and will conclude tomorrow. Fr. Nareg has graduate degrees in pastoral theology and clinical mental health counseling and he is a licensed mental health counselor in the state of New York.


The Promise is currently the #1 movie on Amazon in its category (Special Interests). Did you order your copy? Order one for a friend too. Let’s keep the sales up.


Remember that Survival Pictures is donating 100% of its proceeds from the home release sales of The Promise to organizations devoted to Armenian Genocide education initiatives in the United States. Digital downloads via iTunes and Amazon Prime are available, as well as the Blu-ray and DVD versions. You must use the special links so that all sales and downloads can be tracked and proceeds redirected to the designated Armenian charities. Purchases made directly from Amazon or iTunes without use of the unique URLs noted below will not benefit Armenian Genocide education.


The two specials links are:





2017 Institute graduates with His Grace Bishop Anoushavan, Vicar General, and Dn. Shant Kazanjian, Director of AREC (L to R: Dn. Shant, Aleen Khederlarian, Lori Samuelian, Levon Tekeyan, Bishop Anoushavan, Sylvia Bayrakdarian, and Davit Isakhanian) 

His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan, Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy, and His Grace Bishop Anoushavan, Vicar General, flanked by the 2017 Datev Institute participants and instructors.

The Eastern Prelacy’s St. Gregory of Datev Institute held its 31th annual Summer Program for youth ages 13-18 at St. Mary of Providence Center in Elverson, Pennsylvania, from July 2-9, 2017, with the participation of 33 students, held under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan, the Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America.

Sponsored by the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC), and directed by Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian, pastor of St. Sarkis Church (Douglaston, New York), the Institute offers a unique Christian educational program for youth to enrich their knowledge of the Christian faith in a wholesome and nurturing environment, coupled with recreational activities and daily worship.

Indeed, these three components—education, worship, and fellowship—shaped and governed the daily schedule of the weeklong program of the Institute.

Every morning, after breakfast, the students would file out for chapel for a short morning service. Classes were held from 9:30am to 12:30pm, and then another hour or two in the evening. In the afternoons, the students enjoyed recreational activities, such as volleyball, basketball, soccer, swimming, and other sports activities. There was also a special excursion this year—canoeing at French Creek. And before retiring to their rooms for the night, the students would once again gather for a short corporate/communal prayer service.

The curriculum of the Institute is designed to be completed in four weeks (one week each summer). The students who complete the program have the option to return for postgraduate classes. All five levels of classes take place concurrently.

Through lectures, interactive presentations, and discussions, the curriculum exposes the students to a range of important foundations of Armenian Christianity, from Bible and creeds, sacraments and sacred chants, personal and corporate prayer, Armenian culture and history, to contemporary moral and ethical issues.  To read the entire press release click here.


Bible readings for Sunday, August 6, Third Sunday of Transfiguration (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 5) 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 6) 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 13. 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.


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





Armenian Prelacy
138 E. 39th Street
New York, NY 10016
Checks payable to: Armenian Apostolic Church of America
(Memo: Syrian Armenian Relief)

Thank you for your help.

Legendary Football Coach, Ara Parseghian, dies at age 94: Ara Parseghian, who guided the University of Notre Dame to national football championships died yesterday. During his long tenure at Notre Dame, Parseghian became a national hero. He was featured on the cover of Time Magazine in 1964 with an extensive article inside under the headline, “Ara, the Beautiful.”


Captain Alexander Akapov honored: Ukrainian Armenian pilot Captain Alexander Akopov was honored for safely landing a plane carrying 127 people in Turkey during a fierce hailstorm on July 31. The plane was enroute to Cyprus from Istanbul when the storm hit. The golf-ball sized hailstones caused extensive damage to the plane’s nose and windscreen.


Chessmaster Levon Aronian featured in New Yorker: A profile of chessmaster Levon Aronian was featured in The New Yorker (online) on July 29, written by British writer and journalist Sean Williams. Aronian is currently ranked seventh in the world and has one of the highest ratings in chess history.


Armenia Wins Gold: Armenia took the gold in the 2017 International Basketball Federation (FIBA) U16, European Championship Division C Finals, a day after the team overturned a 15-point deficit to hand Azerbaijan an 88-76 defeat in the semi-finals. Armenia beat Gibraltar 88-70 to win the tournament. 

Birth of Shahan Shahnour (August 3, 1903)

At the end of the 1920s, a group of young French Armenian writers started a movement towards the renewal of Armenian literature. The innovative works and theoretical writings of the so-called “Paris boys” would mark the beginning of Diasporan literature. One of the most famous names in that generation was Shahan Shahnour.

Born Shahnour Kerestejian in Scutari (Üsküdar), a district of Constantinople (Istanbul) on August 3, 1903, the future writer first attended the Semerjian School in Scutari, until 1916, and then the Berberian School. His pen name would become a combination of his first name and the first name of the Berberian School’s principal, the philosopher and educator Shahan Berberian (1891-1956).

He showed graphic talent and his first contributions to the Armenian press in Constantinople were drawings. He moved to Paris in 1923 and worked as a photographer. He followed courses at the Sorbonne from 1928-1932. He shocked the Armenian literary world with the publication of his first literary work, the novel Retreat without Song (Նահանջը առանց երգի), first in installments in the daily Haratch (1928-1929) and then as a book (1929). Branded as “the novel of the Diaspora,” it depicted the life of a group of Armenian immigrants in France and their process of assimilation and loss of identity. It was followed by a heated controversy concerning its ideological underpinnings, its denial of tradition, and various passages deemed as immoral for the standards of the time.

Shahnour became a leading member of the group of writers called “Menk” (“We”), which published the literary journal of the same name from 1931-1933, and published a collection of short stories in 1933, The Betrayal of the Resurrecting Gods (Յարալէզներու դաւաճանութիւնը). He would continue writing for the French Armenian press until the 1930s, and his essays did not lack polemical overtones.

However, health problems started in 1936 with the beginning of osteolysis (degeneration and destruction of bone tissue). The condition would take a turn for the worse after a botched surgery in 1939. For the next two decades, Shahnour, pretty much disabled, would wander through hospitals and shelters in different French cities, surviving with the help of a few Armenian and French friends. Finally, in 1959 he would find a safe place at the Armenian Home of Saint-Raphael, in the south of France, where he remained until the end of his life.

Despite his health issues, Shahnour continued writing. Although he abandoned Armenian literature for a while, he wrote poetry in French under the pseudonym of Armen Lubin that reflected his condition. His poetry, published in five collections from 1942-1957, earned him the praise of leading French writers and several literary prizes well into the 1960s. (A complete Armenian translation appeared in 2007.) He returned to Armenian letters in 1956 and forged a friendship with Arpik Missakian, publisher of Haratch, who would assist him for the rest of his life. Although his disability precluded him from writing literature, he focused on essay writing, and collected much of his old and new works in several collections: The Sunday Issue of My Newspaper (1958), A Couple of Red Notebooks (1967), The Open Register (1971), and The Fire at My Side (1973). The popularity brought by his old works continued alive with the readers until the end of his life and beyond; Retreat without Song would have four more editions between 1948 and 1994, and was posthumously translated into English (1981) and French (2009).

Shahnour’s life came to an end on August 20, 1974, in the hospital of Saint-Raphael. He was buried in the cemetery of Pere-Lachaise, in Paris, along Shavarsh Missakian, the founding publisher and editor of Haratch, the newspaper that had launched him to fame. 


Last Sunday’s Reflection was offered by Deacon Stephen Sherokey of Holy Cross Church of Troy, New York. 

Click here to watch.


August 6—Annual Picnic of St. Stephen’s Church at Camp Haiastan, Franklin, Massachusetts, under the auspices of Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate. Lunch (delicious kebabs) beginning at 12 Noon. Blessing of the Grapes and Madagh at 3 pm.

August 13—St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, New York City, Episcopal Divine Liturgy, Blessing of the Grapes, and Luncheon on the Feast of the Assumption . Divine Liturgy celebrated by Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Vicar General. Luncheon, organized by the Ladies Guild, is $25 per person (free under 12). For information: or 212-689-5880.

August 13 - Sts. Vartanantz Church, Providence, Rhode Island, Annual Picnic at Camp Haiastan, Franklin, Massachusetts starting at 12 noon. Shish, losh, and chicken kebab dinners served all day. Armenian pastries and choreg available. Frenchy's Popcorn and Apples. Blessing of the Grapes and Madagh at 3:30 pm. Music by the Mike Gregian Ensemble with guest Joe Zeytoonian on oud. All New England churches and communities are invited to attend. Rain or shine. For information, please call the church office (401) 831-6399.

August 13—Annual Church Picnic at Holy Trinity Church, Worcester, Massachusetts. Liturgy begins at 9:30 am under the auspices of Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate. Lunch served beginning at 12 noon on the church grounds. Enjoy shish, chicken, losh kebabs or a vegetarian dinner. Music by DJ Shaheen, tavloo tournament, Bouncy House for children. Traditional blessing of the grapes at 1 pm. Free admission and free parking.

October 2-6—Clergy Conference for Eastern, Western, and Canadian Prelacies will take place in Montreal, hosted by the Prelacy of Canada.

October 7—Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey presents “The Battle of the Bands.” Dance all night with two bands featuring Onnig Dinkjian and Kevork Artinian. Mezza and Dessert tables. For information and reservations contact: Bea Movsesian 201-445-6867; Lynn Mahlebjian 201-739-6217; Silva Kouyoumdjian 201-779-6744.

October 7-8—50th Anniversary Weekend, St. Gregory the Illuminator Church, 8701 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Saturday evening: “Golden Evening Kef Celebration,” featuring the Vosbikian Band.  Sunday, Golden Anniversary Banquet, following the Divine Liturgy. 

October 14—Armenian Friends of America, Inc., present “Hye Kef 5,” a five hour dance featuring Onnik Dinkjian with John Berberian (Oud); Mal Barsamian (Clarinet); Ara Dinkjian (keyboard); Ron Tutunjian (Dumbeg), at DoubleTree by Hilton, 123 Old River Road, Andover, Massachusetts. Tickets: $55 (before September 1); $65 (after September 1); $50 for students 21 and under. Continuous buffet 7:30 to 9:30 pm; coffee and dessert will follow. Advance tickets only. Proceeds will benefit five Armenian churches. For information: Sharke Der Apkarian 978-808-0598.

October 29CHANGE OF DATE / SAVE THE DATE. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the ordination of His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, under the auspices and presence of His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia. Divine Liturgy at St. Illuminator Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street, New York City, at 10 am. Followed by reception and dinner at The New York Palace, 455 Madison Avenue, New York City.

December 5-8—World General Assembly of the Great House of Cilicia, at the Catholicosate in Antelias, Lebanon.

The Armenian Prelacy 
Tel: 212-689-7810 ♦ Fax: 212-689-7168 ♦ Email:

Visit the Catholicosate webpage at