Jan 19, 2017
Hrant Dink
Born in Malatya on September 15, 1954
Assassinated in Istanbul on January 19, 2007

Today is the tenth anniversary of the assassination of Hrant Dink

Hrant Dink, the outspoken editor of the Istanbul based bilingual Turkish and Armenian weekly newspaper, Agos, was murdered in front of his office. The prominent editor, columnist and voice for Turkey’s Armenian community was shot dead as he left his office on a busy street in central Istanbul. He was prosecuted and harassed for challenging the Turkish denial of the 1915 Armenian genocide. In recent articles, Mr. Dink had described the increasing death threats against him and the difficulties he faced. In his last column for Agos, published on January 10, 2007, Mr. Dink wrote:

What I have lived through has not been an easy process. Neither is what we have lived through as a family. There were moments when I seriously thought about leaving the country and moving far away, especially when the threats started to involve those close to me. At that point, I always remained helpless. That must be what they call “Life-or Death.” I could have resisted out of my own will—but I did not have the right to put into danger the life of anyone who was close to me. I could have been my own hero—but I did not have the right to be brave by placing any other person—let alone someone close to me—in danger. During such helpless times, I gathered my family, my children together, and sought refuge in them, and received the greatest support from them. They trusted in me. Wherever I would be, they would be there as well. If I said “Let’s go,” they would go; if I said “Let’s stay,” they would stay…. I wish that we will never ever have to experience such a departure. We have far too many reasons—and hope—not to experience it.

During a visit with Hrant Dink’s family following the assassination, Nobel Laureate Ohran Pamunk said: “In a sense, we are all responsible for his death. However, at the very forefront of this responsibility are those who still defend Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code. Those who campaigned against him, those who portrayed this sibling of ours as an enemy of Turkey, those who painted him as a target, they are the most responsible in this. And then, in the end, we are all responsible.

Candlelight Vigil Tonight in New York City

A Candlelight Vigil will take place tonight beginning at 6 pm at Third Avenue and 50th Street in New York City in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the assassination of Hrant Dink, organized by the Armen Garo Chapter of the ARF.

This photograph appeared on the top of page one of The New York Times on January 20, 2007, with the following caption: “Editor Who Spoke for Armenians in Turkey Is Slain. Colleagues of Hrant Dink, the editor of a weekly newspaper in Istanbul, looked down from the paper’s offices to where his body lay yesterday. Mr. Dink, a voice for Turkey’s ethnic Armenians who was prosecuted for challenging the official Turkish version of the 1915 Armenian genocide, was shot as he left his office.” A detailed story appeared on page 3 of the Times.


Very Rev. Fr. Zareh Sarkissian celebrated the Divine Liturgy, delivered the Sermon and performed the Blessing of the Water ceremony at Soorp Asdvadzadzin Church in Whitinsville, Massachusetts, on January 6. The Godfather of the Cross was Charles Whittlesey, son of William and Nicole Whittlesey.

Very Rev. Fr. Zareh Sarkissian performs the Blessing of the Water ceremony with the Godfather of the Cross Charles Whittlesey standing nearby.

Very Rev. Fr. Zareh and Rev. Fr. Mikael Der Kosrofian, pastor of Sts. Asdvadzadzin Church, with altar servers and parishioners.


St. Sarkis Church of Douglaston, New York, reopened its Sunday School on Sunday, January 15. They had received an overwhelming number of registrations of 50 students. An enthusiastic group of 30 students attended last Sunday. The students will be divided into five groups, Nursery up to 6th grade. They will follow the curriculum provided by the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC). A light breakfast will be served after the children receive Holy Communion. His Grace Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Vicar General, offered a blessing to the staff, students, and parents of the Sunday School.

Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian and Ambassador Zohrab Mnatsakanyan with Ms. Azadouhi Zaroukian at Armenia’s UN Mission where the Certificates were presented.


This photograph of the Blessing of the Water Ceremony at Sts. Vartanantz Church in Providence, Rhode Island, was mistakenly omitted from last week’s coverage. Rev. Fr. Kapriel Nazarian, pastor, with the altar servers and the Godfather of the Cross, Raffi Raphaelian.


John Pashalian Hall of St. Illuminator's Cathedral was filled on Sunday, January 15. The New York premiere of the much-anticipated movie, "The Line: Kyank U Kriv," about the Artsakh war brought together Armenians and friends from the metro New York area and Philadelphia. Over 130 people attended the screening of the movie by the Moscow-based Mher Mkrtchyan (nephew of the famous Soviet Armenian actor Mher Mktrchyan) that was recognized as the best movie of the year at the "Anahit" festival in Armenia in December 2016.

The event started with a minute of silence to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the assassination of Hrant Dink suggested by Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian who offered opening remarks and thanked the NY ANC and the ANCA Eastern Region for the partnership with the Cathedral as well as Sam Hovhannisyan, the film's US promoter who came from Glendale, California for this special occasion. In his welcoming remarks Dr. Artur Martirosyan, a member of the St. Illuminator's Board Trustee and the Community Outreach & Communications Director at the ANCA Eastern Region office spoke of the importance of community cohesion and outreach on Artsakh issues and all other national causes. He advocated enrollment and increased participation in Armenian community life expressed by attending liturgical services, participating in cultural, educational events as well as in advocacy for the national causes, including congressional outreach, participation in vigils, protests and demonstrations.

The post-screening atmosphere in John Pashalian hall was filled with emotions, memories and patriotism. Besides providing positive feedback about the movie, the attendees inquired about the second movie in the series that will be released soon and will be devoted to the heroic resistance against Azerbaijani aggression in April 2016. The proceeds of the event will benefit the ANCA Eastern Region Endowment fund to support Hai Tahd activities.

The screening in Pashalian Hall at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, New York.


Bible Readings for Sunday, January 22, Second Sunday after Octave of the Nativity are: Isaiah 58:13-59:7; John 3:13-21; 1 Timothy 4:12-5:10.

No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.  For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God. 
(John 3:13-21)


Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I arrive, give attention to the public reading of scripture, to exhorting, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you through prophecy with the laying on of hands by the council of elders. Put these things into practice, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress. Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; continue in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Do not speak harshly to an older man, but speak to him as to a father, to younger men as brothers, to older women as mothers, to younger women as sisters—with absolute purity.

Honor widows who are really widows. If a widow has children or grandchildren, they should first learn their religious duty to their own family and make some repayment to their parents; for this is pleasing in God’s sight. The real widow, left alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day; but the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. Give these commands as well, so that they may be above reproach. And whoever does not provide for relatives, and especially for family members, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Let a widow be put on the list if she is not less than sixty years old and has been married only once; she must be well attested for her good works, as one who has brought up children, shown hospitality, washed the saints’ feet, helped the afflicted, and devoted herself to doing good in every way.  (1 Timothy 4:12-5:10)

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


This Saturday, January 21, the Armenian Church remembers the Holy Fathers Athanasius and Cyril. 

Athanasius was a bishop and doctor of the church. He was born and died in Alexandria. While a deacon he attended the Council of Nicaea in 325, where he was a strong opponent of Arianism. He served as Bishop of Alexandria for 46 years; about 17 of those years were spent in exile because of disagreements with the emperor. Much of his writings have survived, as well as some of his letters. Athanasius is one of the four great Greek doctors of the church, along with Basil the Great, John Chrysostom, and Gregory of Nazianzus. 

Cyril of Alexandria, a father and doctor of the church, was born in Alexandria, and was the nephew of the patriarch of that city. He presided over the third Ecumenical Council at Ephesus. He wrote treatises that clarified the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation. He was a brilliant theologian of the Alexandrian tradition and highly respected by the Church of Armenia.


On Tuesday, January 24 the Armenian Church remembers Vahan Goghtnatzi. As a young child he and other children of Armenian nobility were taken to Damascus for education. When they reached adulthood, the Arab overlords granted them permission to return to Armenia. Vahan promised his overlord he would return. Vahan married and established himself over his father’s lands; however the Arab overlords demanded his return. After fleeing from place to place, Vahan surrendered and expressed his desire to remain in Armenia and practice his Christian religion. He was imprisoned and martyred. It is believed that the melody and words of the sharagan (hymn) dedicated to Vahan (Zarmanali e ints) were written by his sister. 

Your sighs and cries of repentance are more pleasant to me than songs or music. O blessed lord Vahan, God chosen one. Arousing all the powers of my soul, it even more urges me to compose in your honor not a sad elegy, but a hymn that is spiritual, joyful, of praise which calls others to walk in your footsteps. O blessed lord Vahan, servant of Christ.(From the sharagan dedicated to Vahan of Goghtn, from the Liturgical Canons of the Armenian Church) 

Also remembered this week:

St. Theodosius the King and the Holy Children of Ephesus, Thursday, January 19.

St. Kyriakos (Giragos) and his mother Julita, Monday, January 23.

Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
Birth of Haig Patigian (January 22, 1876)

The growth of the Armenian American community in the early twentieth century included the names of various artists. One of them was the sculptor Haig Patigian.

He was born in Van on January 22, 1876. His parents were teachers at the American Mission School. His father Avedis was interested in visual art too, and was the first person to take up photography in Van. However, when the Turkish authorities noticed him walking around the city and photographing picturesque scenery, they accused him of selling photos of Van’s fortifications to the Russians. He fled to the Caucasus in 1888 and traveled to the United States, settling in Fresno, California. In 1891 he was able to send for his family. His wife Marine and their five children (a sixth would be born in America) were able to make their way to Fresno. He eventually would purchase a ranch and set to produce raisins.

Haig Patigian started as an apprentice at a sign painter’s shop in 1893 and opened his own shop three years later. His older brother Horen (Khoren) was making a living in San Francisco as a newspaper illustrator, and he decided to make the leap himself in 1898. In 1900 he was hired as an illustrator for the evening newspaper SF Bulletin. His brother died a year later from pneumonia, followed by his mother several months later. He was devastated by their loss, and of his youngest sister, who passed away from tuberculosis.

Patigian, who had been engaged in self-teaching, turned this string of losses into a work of art. He created his first real statue in plaster, “The Unique Soul,” depicting a male nude fighting despair. Its display at the Press Club was immediately celebrated in local newspapers. In 1905 he was hired to create a statue of the late President William McKinley for the town of Arcata, in northern California. The completed statue was in a foundry and was prepared for shipping on April 18, 1906, the day of the Great Earthquake and Fire of San Francisco. Although he was informed that the foundry had been destroyed, and his statue along with it, he found out that some mechanics had saved it. The statue was unveiled in Arcata on July 4, 1906. In October, Patigian sailed to Paris, where he remained for a year. He re-created his work, “Ancient History,” which had been destroyed in the studio in San Francisco’s Fire, and entered it in the 125th official exposition of the Salon des Artistes Francais.

Patigian returned to San Francisco in late 1907 and married Blanche Hollister, the daughter of a landowner and Sacramento legislator, in the New Year of 1908. They would have two children, Hollis and Haig Jr. In the same year, he joined the Bohemian Club, of which he served as president from 1920-1922 and 1947-1948. He was assigned the sculptural works for the Palace of Machinery at the Panama Pacific International Exposition in 1914, and also produced a bronze monument for Dr. Chester Rowell (1844-1912), founder of the Fresno Republican, former mayor of Fresno and California state senator, which was placed on Courthouse Square in Fresno. Rowell was sympathetic to immigration and especially Armenians—who had a hard time in Fresno—and had been the Patigian family’s doctor. During the Armenian Genocide, Patigian created a medal for the Armenian Relief Fund.

Already a household name in American sculpture, Patigian received steady commissions after 1914, which included his “Lincoln,” in front of the City Hall of San Francisco (1928), considered one of the best in the United States, and his bust of President Hoover that entered the White House in 1929, among many other works mostly spread throughout San Francisco and other places in California. During World War II, when metal for statues was scarce, he turned to watercolors. Many of his works during this period are in private collections, as well as clubs in San Francisco.

His wife Blanche passed away on September 10, 1950. Nine days later, on September 19, Haig Patigian, who already had a heart condition, followed her.

 Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web page (www.armenianprelacy.org).


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.

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. 

January 22—“Ways to Wellness—A Panel Discussion on Mental Health,” following church services at St. Sarkis Church, 38-65 234th Street, Douglaston, New York. For more information: 718-224-2275.

March 31—Eastern Prelacy’s annual Musical Armenia concert at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, New York City at 8 pm. Featuring: Hasmik Vardanyan, cello; Karen Hakobyan, piano; Haik Kazazyan, violin; Hayk Arsenyan, piano. For tickets ($25) and information call Carnegie Hall Box Office (212-247-7800) or Prelacy Office (212-689-7810).

May 18-20—National Representative Assembly of the Eastern Prelacy hosted by All Saints Church, Glenview, Illinois.

The Armenian Prelacy 
Tel: 212-689-7810 ♦ Fax: 212-689-7168 ♦ Email: email@armenianprelacy.org