August 8, 2019
Two more mass shootings last weekend in Texas and Ohio behooves us to say something. But what? It seems we have come to a time and place where there are no words that don’t sound trite and hollow. The valiant advocate students who survived the terror of Parkland made it very clear to the world that “thoughts and prayers” are simply nice words without real meaning.
Certainly there is mass violence somewhere in the world every single day. But, this should not be the case in the United States, the country that was founded on democracy and the rights of humanity and so blessed with prosperity and opportunity!
As Christian Armenians we know the trauma that is being experienced by the families who lost loved ones in a matter of seconds. Unfortunately, we also know that trauma can never be erased or forgotten. Even when you want to forget, the trauma is always there, front and center in the reality of a changed life.
Yes, our “thoughts and prayers” must certainly be with the many people who are in deep pain. However, as Christian Armenians we must go beyond “thoughts and prayers” and find ways to spread our message into our greater society that is in dire need of healing. It is our duty to be part of solutions to put our society on the right path that leads to love and away from hate. That is the path that was opened to us by our Lord and Savior two thousand years ago with a message that is relevant today and forever.

The Summer Youth Academy organized by the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia, began on Monday and will continue for two weeks. The participants are students and young professionals from the Eastern, Western, and Canadian Prelacies. The program includes participation in the Feast of St. Mary’s Assumption, intimate encounters with His Holiness Catholicos Aram, Q&A Roundtables, and sightseeing.

Participants from the Eastern Prelacy include: Shant Eghian, Taleen Donoyan, Anahid Donoyan, Lorie Simonian, Michele Colangelo, Anoush Krafian, Ani Chobanian, Isabel Hagobian, Juliet Hagobian, Mari Bijimenian, Vrej Dawli, Knar Topouzian, and Violette Dekirmenjian.
Archbishop Anoushavan will travel to New England this weekend where on Sunday he will preside over the Blessing of Grapes service at 1 pm during the annual picnic of Holy Trinity Church of Worcester, Massachusetts. The picnic and service will take place on the church grounds.

His Eminence will then go to Camp Haiastan in Franklin, Massachusetts where he will preside over the Blessing of Grapes and Madagh at 3 pm during the annual picnic of St. Stephen’s Church of Watertown, Massachusetts.

Sts. Vartanantz Church in Providence, Rhode Island, held its annual picnic last Sunday under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan. Prior to the picnic, His Eminence presided over the Divine Liturgy in the church and delivered an inspirational message about salvation and always keeping our eyes on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Following the Divine Liturgy, His Eminence attended the parish’s picnic at Camp Haiastan and presided over the Blessing of Grapes and Madagh. Also participating were several clergy from the New England area.
Bible readings for Sunday, August 11, Third 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 up building 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 10) 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 11) 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 18. 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.

Professor Vahakn Dadrian

The pioneering and internationally known scholar of the Armenian genocide, Dr. Vahakn Dadrian, passed away on August 2. He was 93 years old. He was the author of many books and articles about the genocide and his knowledge and facility with many languages permitted his research to include many different sources, often presenting evidence that had yet to be examined by scholars.

Vahakn Norair Dadrian was born in Istanbul to a family that lost many of its members during the Armenian genocide. He first studied mathematics at the University of Berlin. Later he switched to philosophy at the University of Vienna, and later international law at the University of Zurich. He completed his PH.D in sociology at the University of Chicago.

Dr. Dadrian was not just an expert on the Armenian genocide, but on genocide studies and theory in general. He was part of what was called the “first generation” of genocide scholars who created this area of study fifty years ago.

He has been recognized by the Armenian National Academy of Sciences and honored by the President of Armenia with the Republic’s highest cultural award, the Khorenatzi medal. In 1999 he was decorated with the Mesrob Mashdotz medal by His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia.

Asdvatz hokeen lousavoreh . May God illuminate his soul
St. Paul Church of Waukegan, Illinois, held a special Antasdan service, blessing of grapes, picnic, and bake sale on the church grounds last Sunday. Archpriest Fr. Daron Stepanian, pastor of St. Paul Church was joined by Archpriest Fr. Zareh Sahakian, retired clergy of the Eastern Prelacy, and Rev. Fr. Sahag Kaishian, visiting clergy at St. George Armenian Church in Waukegan, and altar servers and community members from the Waukegan area.
Birth of Vakhtang Ananian (August 8, 1905)

Vakhtang Ananian’s name is not the first that comes to mind when talking about Armenian literature in the twentieth century. But he was and is still a very popular writer, especially in Armenia, as the founder of the genre of adventurous literature. His novels instilled love for nature, especially among children and teenagers.

Ananian was born on August 8, 1905, in the village of Poghoskilisa (later Shamakhian), which now has been incorporated into the area of the town of Dilijan. He spent his childhood at the village, where he got his elementary education. At the age of ten he entered the parish school of Dilijan, but he could not afford the tuition and, after two years, he had to leave. He remembered years later: “My period of studies ended. After that, I did not see a real school ever again. My school was mother nature, in whose lap I grew up.”

He would fill the lack of formal education with self-education. At the age of twenty-one, in 1926, Ananian moved to Yerevan. In 1927 he published his first story and in 1930, his first short novel. He worked at the editorial offices of the periodicals Machkal and Sotsialistakan giughtuntesootyoon, and edited the newspaper Kolkhoznik from 1930-1935. He became a member of the Writers Union of Armenia in 1934. From 1941-1945 he fought in World War II.

His stories about Armenian nature, especially hunting, had already attracted the attention of readers. In 1934 he had published a collection of short stories, Prey, followed by Hunting Stories , a series in six volumes (1947-1966). However, he became famous with a novella of adventures, On the Shore of Lake Sevan (1951), which would be translated into more than ten languages. Another of his best works in the genre of young adults was the novella The Prisoners of Hovazadzor (1956). Both On the Shore of Lake Sevan and The Prisoners of Hovazadzor won the “Best Book” award in the all-Soviet contest for the best children’s book, and became the source for the films The Secret of the Mountainous Lake (1954) and The Prisoners of Hovazadzor (1957). Ananian also wrote The Fauna of Armenia, published in four volumes between 1961 and 1966. He combined here his deep knowledge of the subject and his talent as a writer to offer a work of great interest even for scientists.

In the last years of his life, the writer earned several high marks of recognition. In 1968 he was recognized as Emeritus Worker of Culture of Soviet Armenia, and two years later he won the State Prize for the ensemble of his works for children and teenagers. In 1974 he won the annual prize of the Communist Youth of Armenia. He would also be decorated with several medals.

Ananian passed away on March 4, 1980. A middle school in Yerevan bears his name and a stamp honored him in 2006, on the centennial of his birth. 
Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site ( ). 
Money Never Sleeps

Language is not only what we write, but also what we speak. Like English or any other living language you can think of, the colloquial vocabulary of the Armenian language, whether Western or Eastern, shows variations in relation to the written language. 

There are cases when a certain concept is orally expressed in a certain way, which changes when the same idea is put into writing. 

One such case is the verb “to deposit” (= pay money into a bank account). If you look into a popular English-Armenian dictionary (Mesrob Kouyoumdjian’s  Comprehensive English-Armenian Dictionary, Beirut, 1981), you will find the following translations: զետեղել (zedeghel “to place” ), ի պահ դնել (i bah tunel “to keep” ), պառկեցնել (barrgetsunel “to put down” ), պահեստի դնել (bahesdi tunel “to put in reserve” ) .

Interestingly, these translations offer a combination of written and colloquial choices. Among literate words like zedeghel, i bah tunel, and bahesdi tunel, we find the more pedestrian word barrgetsunel , commonly used in conversation:

«Այսօր դրամ պառկեցուցի հաշիւին մէջ» (Aysor tram barrgetsootsi hashivin mech) “Today I deposited money in the account”

You may have surmised by now that the word should be related to barrgil (“to lie down”). That is correct; you use it to say, for instance, «Քիչ առաջ պզտիկները պառկեցուցի» (Kich arach buzdigneruh barrgetsootsi “I put down the children a while ago”) when you are sending the little ones to sleep.

The association is that you put down a check in your account in the same way that you put down a child in bed. But there should be a technical word that means “to deposit,” right?

Yes, there is. When you put down money, you enter or put it in your account. That is called մուծել ( moodzel ). There is a word for the noun “deposit” too: մուծարք ( moodzark) or մուծում ( moodzoom ).

In the end, money does not go to your bank account to sleep. It will remain awake for more time than your children. Therefore, it is not entirely true that you “put it down.” At least, if you use moodzel, you know that there is a possibility that it will come out from your account in the same way it entered, and perhaps faster.
Previous entries in “Armenian Language Corner” are on the Prelacy’s website ( ). 
The Prelacy’s Orphan Sponsorship program was established in 1993 and continues to be the central mission of the Prelacy’s programs in Armenia and Artsakh. As part of the program, letters are received regularly from sponsored children addressed to their sponsors. We are pleased to share some of these letters through Crossroads . This week’s letter is from ten-year-old Yuri*, who is sponsored by Bernice Kazarian from Redford, Michigan. She and her late husband Kazar were among the first sponsors of the Prelacy’s orphan sponsorship program when it began in 1993.  

*In order to protect the privacy of the children we use only their first names.
Dear Sponsor,

I hope you are doing well. I am well, thank you. I would like to tell you about my achievements during this year. I finished the school year on the honor roll. I participated in the Armenian for All spelling bee and won with 93 points in the “best results” category.

I took part in a singing competition organized by the “Zartonk Veratsnund” Foundation. I passed the preliminary and regional rounds and got to the national round. I am practicing now for the national round. I really hope that I will succeed in this round as well.
That is all for this time,

(signed) Yurik.

Currently there are children on the waiting list for the Prelacy’s Sponsorship Program. If you would like to sponsor a child please contact the Prelacy by email ( ) or telephone (212-689-7810), ask for Sophie.

Please send your inquiries and comments (English or Armenian) to .

Please remember that the deadline for submitting items for Crossroads is on Wednesdays at noon.
Earlier this year the Prelacy embarked on a long overdue process of digitizing photographs and important documents. From time to time we will be sharing some interesting historical mementos found in our archives.
This photograph, although many years old, was just recently given to Archbishop Anoushavan by Haig Rakidjian. The photograph is of the graduating class of 1927-28 at Haigazian School in Aleppo, Syria. In the front row, first on the left, is Simon Payaslian who later became Catholicos Zareh I, of the Great House of Cilicia. Garabed Rakidjian, the father of the photo’s donor, is fourth from the left in the top row.

( Calendar items may be edited to conform to space and style )
August 11 —St. Stephen’s Church, Watertown, Massachusetts, welcomes all to its annual picnic at Camp Haiastan. Under the auspices of H.E. Archbishop Anoushavan. Blessing of the Grapes and Madagh at 3 pm. Rain or shine. For information: (617) 924-7562.

August 11 —Annual picnic of Holy Trinity Armenian Church of Worcester, Massachusetts. Blessing of Grapes at 1 pm with Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian presiding.

August 16, 17, 18 —All Saints Armenian Church, Glenview, Illinois, Armenian Fest 2019. Friday, 6 pm to 10 pm; Saturday, 5 pm to 11 pm; Sunday, 12 noon to 7 pm. Grape blessing ceremony at 4 pm on Sunday. Free admission and parking. Children’s area with Inflatables.

August 18 —St. Asdvadzadzin Armenian Church, Whitinsville, MA, Blessing of Grapes service, and Annual Picnic at 12:00 P.M. under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate, with the participation of the pastors of the New England area churches.

September 7 —The Newark Museum of Art presents a concert-performance of “Gorky’s Dream Garden,” a musical-theater opera of love, courage and modern art, at the Museum, 49 Washington Street, Newark, New Jersey, at 1:00 pm. Based on the life of Arshile Gorky by composer Michelle Ekizian. Admission is included with Newark Museum admission. For information: or 973-596-6550.

September 8 - Saint Gregory Church, North Andover, Annual Picnic, Sunday, 12:00-5:30 P.M; Great Procession of the Holy Cross will take place at 2:30 P.M. under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate.

September 28 —New Jersey chapter of Hamazkayin Armenian Educational & Cultural Society presents Lilit Hovhannisyan with special performance by Nayri Dance Ensemble, 8 pm, Felician University, Breslin Hall, Lodi, New Jersey. Tickets online only:

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, California.

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.

October 19 —Herand Markarian’s Jubilee Celebration: 65 th anniversary of cultural achievements and 80 th birthday. Theatre in the Park, Flushing Meadows, Queens, New York, at 7:05 pm. Watch for details.

November 9 and 10 —Armenian Fest 2019, Sts. Vartanantz Church, Providence, Rhode Island, Annual Food Festival at Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet, 60 Rhodes Place, Cranston. Saturday noon to 9 pm; Sunday noon to 7 pm. Free admission and parking. Valet parking available. For information: 401-831-6399. 

November 17 —SAVE THE DATE for Eastern Prelacy’s first annual Special Thanksgiving Banquet at Terrace on the Park. Details to follow.

May 13-16, 2020 —National Representative Assembly (NRA) of the Eastern Prelacy, hosted by St. Gregory the Illuminator Church of Philadelphia. The Clergy Conference will begin on Wednesday, May 13; the full Assembly will convene on Thursday, May 14 and conclude on Saturday, May 16.
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