February 6, 2020
In Faith I Confess 21st Prayer - English

Read by Hagop Kechejian, 10th Grade student at
St. Stephen’s Armenian Saturday School.

On Wednesday, February 5, Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate, visited Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia to congratulate him on his appointment as Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations. The Prelate, who is also president of CAMECT (Christian Arab and Middle Eastern Churches Together), was accompanied by the organization’s secretary, Bishop Gregory Mansour, Eparch of the Maronite Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn. During their meeting at the New York offices of the Holy See Mission, the three ecclesiastics spoke about the brotherhood of the Armenian Church and Rome, which has been deepening under the pontificates of Pope John Paul II, of blessed memory, and currently under Pope Francis. They also discussed the challenges Christians face in the Near East following decades of war and turmoil.

Prior to his appointment by Pope Francis to the UN Mission, Archbishop Caccia served as Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines. He succeeds Archbishop Bernardito Auza, who in October 2019 was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to the Kingdom of Spain and to the Principality of Andorra. The Holy See became a Permanent Observer State at the United Nations on 6 April 1964.

Srpazan and Dr. Gregorian before a painting by Armenian American famous writer William Saroyan.
On Wednesday, February 5, Archbishop Anoushavan visited Dr. Vartan Gregorian, president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York. In the course of their conversation, they discussed issues about the American-Armenian community at large as well as developments in Armenia. Born in Tabriz, Iran, Dr. Gregorian has been active in U.S. institutions since he came to the country in 1956. Following a distinguished career in academia, he served as president of the New York Public Library (1981-1989) and president of Brown University. In 2004, President George W. Bush awarded him the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civil award. In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed him to serve on the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships.

His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, presided over an inter-church conference at the monastery of Antelias from January 31 to February 3, with the participation of theologians and inter-church movement experts from Burundi, Canada, Finland, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Russia, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States and the Vatican.

The conference discussed the need to develop a new vision for the inter-church movement to address the current challenges the churches face. Following a long examination, a common declaration was adopted, which will be published within the next two weeks. 

You may now reserve your tickets for the 2020 Musical Armenia Concert, which will take place on Sunday, March 15, 2020, at 2:00 pm at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. This is the 37th edition of the much-loved series that began in 1982. Our 2020 event showcases three outstanding artists who will present a stimulating and inspiring program: pianist Tatev Amiryan, vocalist Anna Hayrapetyan, and cellist Laura Navasardian.

Musical Armenia, established by Archbishop Mesrob Ashjian and the Prelacy Ladies Guild, is dedicated to promoting young Armenian artists and to the performance of music by Armenian composers. Over the past 38 years, many of our performers have established solid professional careers. The Prelacy thanks Musical Armenia’s devoted supporters for their contributions to the artists’ development. 

As in the past, Musical Armenia’s sponsors and supporters can make a key contribution to the development of these artists. Prospective sponsors may join any of these categories: diamond ($1,000 donation), platinum ($500), gold ($300), or silver ($200). Diamond, platinum, and gold sponsors will receive two complimentary tickets.

Tickets for the concert cost $25. For further information or to purchase tickets, please contact the Prelacy at 212-689-7810 or via e-mail at sophie@armenianprelacy.org.
Bible Readings for Sunday, February 9, Fourth Sunday after Nativity are: Isaiah 63:7-19; 2 Timothy 3:1-12; John 6:22-38.
The next day the crowd that had stayed on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there. They also saw that Jesus had not got into the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. Then some boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks.   So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus.

When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.” Then they said to him, “What must we do to perform the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” So they said to him, “What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” Then Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. (John 6:22-38)


You must understand this, that in the last days distressing times will come. For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, brutes, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the outward form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid them! For among them are those who make their way into households and captivate silly women, overwhelmed by their sins and swayed by all kinds of desires, who are always being instructed and can never arrive at a knowledge of the truth. As Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these people, of corrupt mind and counterfeit faith, also oppose the truth. But they will not make much progress, because, as in the case of those two men, their folly will become plain to everyone. Now you have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions, and my suffering the things that happened to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. What persecutions I endured! Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. Indeed, all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. (2 Timothy 3:1-12)
For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.
Saturday, February 8, the Armenian Church commemorates St. Sarkis the Warrior, his son Mardiros, and 14 faithful soldiers. This is a moveable feast that can occur between January 11 and February 16. It follows the Fast of the Catechumens, which is not connected to St. Sarkis, but has become associated with this saint, even often referred to as the fast of St. Sarkis.

Sarkis was a 4 th century Roman soldier who became a Christian. He rose through the military ranks because of his valiant campaign on behalf of the Emperor Constantine. With the accession of Emperor Julian, Sarkis and his son took refuge in Armenia, where Christianity had already been the nation’s official religion. Later they went to Persia to join the Persian army to fight Julian. Both fought with exceptional bravery. The Persian leader, Shapur II, tried to convince them to abandon their Christian faith and embrace Zoroastrianism. Both refused, and father and son were martyred. Fourteen loyal Christian soldiers who went to claim the bodies were also killed. Eventually, Christians secured the remains and sent them to Assyria where they remained until the fifth century when Mesrob Mashdots had the remains transferred to the city of Karpi in the area of Vaspurakan in Armenia. A monastery was built over the site of the graves.
In this week's reflection, Archpriest Fr. Gomidas Baghsarian of Holy Cross Armenian Church of Troy, NY, interprets a very significant passage found in this Sunday's bible reading from the Gospel of John 6:22-38 bible. "I am the Bread of Life."

The Armenian Prelacy has launched a new Christian educational mini-video lecture series exploring the meaning of baptism. The biweekly presentations will be made by Dn. Shant Kazanjian, Director of Christian Education.

The Prelacy’s Orphan Sponsorship program was established in 1993 and continues to be the central mission of the Prelacy’s projects 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 Victoria* who is sponsored by Virginia Zureki. 
Dear Sponsor,

This is Victoria. I am in 4th grade now. I am doing very well in school. My favorite subjects are Armenian, Math, and English. When I come home from school, I firstly do my homework and then I help my mom in house chores: sweep the floors, water the flowers, and play with my little brother.

When I have spare time, I draw – that is what I like the most and cannot imagine my day without doing it. We often go to the church. There, I always pray for the health of all of us. I pray for you as well. May God bless you for all you do for our family.

I hope one day I get to meet you and hug you.

With much love,


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

Currently there are children on the waiting list for the Prelacy’s Sponsorship Program. If you would like to sponsor a child please click here for quick and easy online sponsorship. You may also contact the Prelacy by email ( sophie@armenianprelacy.org ) or telephone (212-689-7810), ask for Sophie. 
The St. Nerses the Great Charitable and Social Organization (Medsn Nerses) is now supporting its beneficiaries who pursue college education: the young who reach the age limit of 18 will receive aid that may be vital for their careers.

The College Sponsorship Program starts this year. An annual stipend of $250 will help defray some of the costs for the young men and women who have enrolled in an institution of higher education.

This marks the latest evolution of a program that then-Prelate Archbishop Mesrob Ashjian, of blessed memory, urgently put together right after the 1988 catastrophic earthquake. At the time, the priority was to provide immediate help for earthquake survivors. Soon thereafter, the Orphan Sponsorship Program emerged as a priority benefitting thousands of children.

The programs have grown and blossomed greatly, and currently also include aid to orphanages, schools, students, the elderly, disabled servicemen, and a summer camp. Now, former members of the Orphan Sponsorship Program have become college students and will be needing new sponsors. With the highest standards observed since its inception, the St. Nerses the Great Charitable Organization will continue to track down potential candidates and bringing them to your attention.

Sponsors who have generously ensured a stipend for children may continue to do so as they mature into young professionals.

If you would like to sponsor a young student in the College Sponsorship Program օr a young child in the Orphans Sponsorship Program, you may contact the Prelacy by email (sophie@armenianprelacy.org) or telephone (212-689-7810).
This book is a case study of the Armenian community in Manchester, England. It examines the complex social and political processes at play that maintain and shape Armenian identity. The author uses a comparative analysis in order to understand other Armenian communities throughout the world and other self-defined diaspora groups. She introduces the study by her definition of the diaspora and an examination of classic and contemporary theories of ethnicity while she outlines how we construct our sense of identity in different settings. A narration of the long, rich, and often traumatic Armenian history is followed by a close look at how Armenian successfully balance lives rooted in a particular territory while sharing very different cultural and social spaces. Their experience emphasizes their ability to combine resources and networks from multiple locations (transnationally) in order to maximize their freedom and independence from the confines of any nation.
Copies of this book may be purchased from the Prelacy Bookstore ( books@armenianprelacy.org   or 212-689-7810)
Birth of Ashkharbek Kalantar (February 11, 1884)
Ashkharbek Kalantar was an important player in the founding of archeology in Armenia, but, as many intellectuals of his time, his life ended tragically during the Stalinist purges.

Kalantar was born on February 11, 1884, in the village of Ardvi, in Lori (Armenia), into the Armenian noble families of Loris-Melik and Arghutian. After graduation from the Nersisian School of Tiflis (1903) and the Russian gymnasium of the city (1907) he entered the University of St. Petersburg in 1907 to study linguistics and the languages of the Caucasus. As a student, Kalantar participated in the archeological excavations of Nikolai Marr in Ani. He finished his studies in 1911 and became a fellow of the Institute of Archeology of St. Petersburg. He participated in numerous archeological missions in Armenia.

In 1914 he was elected fellow of the Imperial Society of Archeology, designated curator of the Asiatic Museum of St. Petersburg, and took the direction of the thirteenth campaign of excavations in Ani. He participated in World War I as translator and advisor to General Antranig in the first battalion of Armenian volunteers, with the rank of deputy colonel, and on his way he studied the Armenian historical monuments in the region of Khoy (Iran).

In 1917 he participated in the second archeological expedition of Van, together with Armenologist Nicolas Adontz. During the Ottoman invasion of Eastern Armenia in April-May 1918, he organized the evacuation of about 6,000 objects of the museum of Ani, which are currently located at the Museum of History of Armenia, in Yerevan. In 1918-1919 he was lecturer at the Transcaucasian University of Tiflis and became one of the seven founding members of the new University of Yerevan in 1919. He was soon named scientific secretary of the Commission of Ancient Monuments, which he cofounded with architect Alexander Tamanian and painter Martiros Sarian.

Kalantar was the last archaeologist to describe monuments, mostly in the region of Ani, which were destroyed by the policies of the Turkish government after the 1920s. In 2013 an international expedition repeated Kalantar’s expedition of August–September 1920 to document the current, often desperate situation of ten or more monuments of the Ani region (Alaman, Arjo-Arij, Bagaran, Khtskonk, Mren, et cetera).

In 1922 he founded the chair of Oriental History and Archaeology at Yerevan State University. In the same year, he published the first textbook of archaeology in Armenian. He continued his archeological investigations, organized exhibitions, and participated in international congresses. He organized over thirty archeological expeditions. In the 1930s he acted with Tamanian to try to save the basilica church of Poghos-Petros in Yerevan (in the place of the current Moskva movie theater), which was razed by the Soviet regime. In 1935 Kalantar was appointed member of the scientific council of the Armenian branch of the Soviet Academy of Sciences (the predecessor to the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia).

His distinguished career came to an end in March 1938, during the Stalinist purges. He was arrested as an “enemy of the people” together with other colleagues. He died in exile somewhere in Russia in June 1942.

Ashkharbek Kalantar authored more than 80 scholarly articles in his life. The English translations of his selected works were published in 3 volumes in Paris (1994, 1999, 2004). His bust was inaugurated in the entrance hall of Yerevan State University in February 2015. 
Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site ( www.armenianprelacy.org ). 
In June 1983 His Holiness Karekin II of the Great House of Cilicia made an extensive 80-day pontifical visit to the United States and Canada. On Sunday, June 5, 1983 a Pontifical Divine Liturgy took place at St. Bartholomew’s Church in New York City, followed by a reception in Astor Hall of the New York Public Library (photo above). In the evening a Grand Banquet took place at the Waldorf-Astoria.
Please send your inquiries and comments (English and/or Armenian) to crossroads@armenianprelacy.org . Please remember that the deadline for submitting items for Crossroads is on Wednesdays at noon.

All parish news, photographs, and calendar items should also be emailed to crossroads@armenianprelacy.org .

Comments received may be shared from time to time. We are looking forward to yours.

A faithful reader writes:

“Crossroads is an exemplary and wonderful newsletter. I’ve shared it with my family and friends and a great combination of spiritual, cultural, informative and secular. I look forward to it each week. Great concept and execution of the concept.”

Comments received may be shared from time to time. We are looking forward to yours. 

 ( Calendar items may be edited to conform to space and style )
February 8, 2020 —The next Siamanto Academy class at the Prelacy office on Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM. For more information, contact Mary Gulumian, director of the Armenian National Education Committee by email (anec@armenianprelacy.org) or phone (212-689-7231).

February 9, 2020—  The Celebration of the Feast of St. Sarkis at St. Sarkis Church (Douglaston, NY). Divine Liturgy will be celebrated by His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate, during which an icon of Sts. Vartanantz will be consecrated.

February 18, 2020   —Celebration of Sts. Ghevontiantz at St. Stephen’s Church (Watertown, MA), presided over by His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate. Icon of Sts. Vartanantz to be consecrated during Badarak.

March 4, 2020 —The Embassy of Armenia in the U.S. and PostClassical Ensemble present “An Armenian Odyssey: The Color of Pomegranates,” a multimedia performance of Armenian music, culture and history, featuring Jivan Gasparyan and others, at 7:30 pm at Washington National Cathedral, 3101 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.

March 15, 2020 —Save the date and watch for details for the Eastern Prelacy’s 37 th annual Musical Armenia concert, 2:00 pm, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, West 57 th Street at Seventh Avenue, New York City.

March 28, 2020 —“Faith Building Women 2020 Symposium,” a daylong conference to heighten awareness of women in the Bible, organized by the Adult Christian Education department of St. Peter Armenian Church. The Symposium will take place at Holy Trinity Armenian Church, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Keynote speakers are Dr. Roberta Ervine and Arpi Nakashian.

March 29, 2020 —The New Jersey Shakeh Chapter of the Armenian Relief Society presents Kev Orkian, 4:00 pm, Abadjian Hall, at St. Leon Armenian Church, 12-61 Saddle River Rd, Fairlawn, NJ. For more information and tickets, call Maral: (201) 289-6486 or Sita (201) 320-2859.

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.

May 31, 2020 —Save the Date. St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York, 30 th Anniversary Banquet.

June 28—July 5, 2020 —St. Gregory of Datev Institute Summer Program: the 34th annual Datev Summer Program for youth ages 13-18 will take place at the St. Mary of Providence Center in Elverson, Pennsylvania, sponsored by the Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC). For information, please click here or contact the AREC office—212-689-7810 or arec@armenianprelacy.org
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/