June 7, 2018

The offices of the St. Nerses the Great Charitable and Social Organization in Yerevan.
This Sunday parishes of the Eastern Prelacy will mark the 25 th anniversary of the establishment of the St. Nerses the Great Charitable and Social Organization, the Eastern Prelacy’s office for charitable work in Armenia and Artsakh. The St. Nerses Organization was founded 25 years ago by His Eminence Archbishop Mesrob Ashjian, of blessed memory, who at the time served as Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy. Archbishop Mesrob named the charity in honor of St. Nerses because of his many charitable works, and who was given the honorific “the Great” by a grateful nation.

The milestone anniversary is being celebrated this weekend to coincide with the Feast of Catholicos Nerses the Great, which this year falls on Saturday, June 9 according to the liturgical calendar of the Armenian Church. Catholicos Nerses’ pontificate was the beginning of a new modern era. He brought the church closer to the people, rather than to royals and nobles. (See item below for more about Nerses the Great).
Celebrate the 25 th anniversary of St. Nerses the Great Charitable and Social Organization by sponsoring a child in Armenia and Artsakh

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PHOTOS: Jack Mardoian, Archbishop Oshagan
The 2018 National Representative Assembly was opened by Jack Mardoian, Chairman of the Executive Council and opening prayer offered by the Prelate, His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan, on Thursday, May 10. The Assembly was hosted by St. Gregory Church of Merrimack Valley in North Andover, Massachusetts. Elected as co-chairmen were Noubar Megerian (St. Gregory, Philadelphia) and Aram Sarafian (Soorp Khatch, Bethesda). Elected to serve as English secretary was Janet Haroian (St. Gregory, Granite City) and Armenian secretary (Rev. Fr. Torkom Chorbajian (St. Gregory, Granite City).

Rev. Fr. Stephan Baljian, pastor of the host parish, welcomed the delegates on behalf of the Steering Committee and the Board of Trustees of St. Gregory Church. Der Stephan spoke about the history of the communities comprising the Merrimack Valley and expressed appreciation to the Board and Pastor of St. Michael’s Parish—St. Gregory’s next door neighbor—for opening their facilities to the NRA. Also offering opening remarks were Greg Afarian, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the host parish; Haig Oshagan on behalf of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation; and Sandra Vartanian on behalf of the Armenian Relief Society.

The message of His Holiness Catholicos Aram I to the NRA was read by Archpriest Fr. Nerses Manoogian. Chairman of the Religious Council. This was followed by the Keynote Address offered by His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan (The Prelate’s address is available on the Prelacy website in Armenian and English). Der Nerses then presented the report on the World Assembly with a PowerPoint summation. Jack Mardoian presented highlights of the Prelacy’s Executive Councils (Religious and Lay) reports that had been sent to delegates earlier for review.

Rev. Fr. Vart Gyozalyan, pastor of the Armenian Church at Hye Point, Bradford, Massachusetts representing the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, conveyed the greetings of the newly elected Primate, Very Reverend Father Daniel Findikyan.

Panel discussions included the following topics: Parish Development; Sunday School; Youth Ministry; Prelacy Action Plan; By-Laws; Budget and Fundraising. A summary of the discussions on each of the topics was presented to the full delegation with opportunity for questions regarding the findings and recommendations of the various panels.

Four incumbents were eligible for re-election to the Executive Council. All four were re-elected, namely,
Veh Bezdikian, Susan Erickson, Jack Mardoian, Mark Philips.

Rev. Fr. Mikael Der Kosrofian invited the National Representative Assembly to convene next year in Whitinsville, Massachusetts, hosted for the first time by Saint Asdvadzadzin Church.

The 2018 Assembly came to an end with closing remarks and benediction by the Prelate. Archbishop Oshagan thanked the steering committee, Der Stephan, the Board of Trustees, for a well-organized Assembly and special events. He noted that we are all called to serve our church and nation. “As Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Go to the nations,’ so too are the NRA delegates called upon to be the missionaries to our parishes and share with them the work of the Prelacy.”

The Feast of the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ was celebrated during the NRA on Thursday evening, May 10, with the Divine Liturgy at St. Gregory Church in North Andover. The Liturgy was celebrated by Rev. Fr. Hrant Kevorkian, pastor of St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan. The many clergymen attending the NRA participated in the Liturgy filling various roles as altar servers and choir members. Delegates and parishioners attending were struck with the beauty and majesty of the Armenian Liturgy. The Liturgy was followed by a dinner in the parish’s hall with many local parishioners attending. The evening was abundant with fellowship, entertainment, and delicious food.

Bible readings for Sunday, June 10, Third Sunday after Pentecost, Eve of the Fast of our Holy Father St. Gregory the Illuminator, are: Isaiah 1:2-15; Romans 6:12-23; Matthew 12:1-8.

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned—sin was indeed in the world before the law, but sin is not reckoned when there is no law. Yet death exercised dominion from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who is a type of the one who was to come.

But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died through the one man’s trespass, much more surely have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for the many. And the free gift is not like the effect of the one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brings justification. If, because of the one man’s trespass, death exercised dominion through that one, much more surely will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness exercise dominion in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

Therefore just as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all. For just as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. But law came in, with the result that the trespass multiplied; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, just as sin exercised dominion in death, so grace might also exercise dominion through justification leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:12-21)


At that time Jesus went through the grain fields on the Sabbath; his disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. When the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him or his companions to eat, but only for the priests. Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and yet are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”  (Matthew 12:1-8)

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

This Saturday (June 9) the Armenian Church commemorates Catholicos Nerses the Great and Khat the Bishop . Nerses the Great was the father of Catholicos Sahak I and the great grandson of St. Gregory the Illuminator. He succeeded two catholicoi whose reigns were unexceptional, and the people were eager to return to the line of their beloved Gregory the Illuminator. Nerses was a student of St. Basil of Caesarea, one of three great Cappadocian Fathers. Nerses’ pontificate was the beginning of a new era. He brought the church closer to the people, rather than to royals and nobles. He convened the Council of Ashtishat that resulted in numerous laws on issues related to marriage, worship, and customs. He built many schools, hospitals, and monasteries. He sent monks to preach the Gospel throughout the country. His bold actions resulted in great displeasure by the royal family and in 373 he was reportedly poisoned by the king. His accomplishments for the spiritual and social well-being of the common people earned him the gratitude of the entire nation and the honorific “Great.”

Khat the Bishop worked closely with St. Nerses the Great. Like Nerses he had great passion for social issues, especially helping the poor. Nerses entrusted most of the benevolent work of the church to Khat. He is so closely associated with St. Nerses that the church honors them on the same day.

By the light of unspeakable grace of your divine knowledge you arose on the land of Armenia, merciful heavenly Father; have compassion on us who have sinned. Saint Nerses, pure in soul, from birth you were chosen to inherit the paternal lot of shepherding righteously and lawfully. You adorned the Church with the laws of truth and established good order within it; through his prayers have mercy on us, O Christ. With great honor Saint Nerses was honored by the blessed chosen holy fathers of the Council where he confessed the Spirit true God with Father and Son. You revealed to Saint Nerses the hidden mystery of times yet to come; through his prayers have mercy on us, O Christ. At the command of the heavenly King he accepted the cup of death from the king and was translated into heaven into the heavenly nuptial chamber.  (Canon to the Holy Patriarch Nerses the Great from the Liturgical Canons of the Armenian Church)

This Tuesday (June 12) the Armenian Church remembers Constantine the Great and his mother, Helena. Constantine was the first Christian emperor of Rome. In 330 he founded Constantinople as a “second Rome,” and considered himself to be a servant of God. He was buried amid the apostles in the basilica he founded in their honor in Constantinople. Helena followed her son in becoming a Christian and devoted her life to charitable work. She built many churches and monasteries and is believed to have played an important role in the recovery of the true cross in Golgotha. She is also believed to have helped find Christ’s exact place of burial where later the Church of the Holy Sepulcher was built.
Also commemorated this week:
Monday, June 11: St. Epiphanius of Cyprus and St. Babylas
Plans are underway for the 32 nd annual St. Gregory of Datev Institute Summer Program, a unique Armenian Christian educational program for youth ages 13-18 to enrich their knowledge of the Christian faith in a wholesome and nurturing environment, with recreational activities and daily church services.

Sponsored by the Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC), the Program is scheduled to be held at the St. Mary of Providence Center in Elverson, Pennsylvania, from July 1-8, 2018. For information and registration click here.
The Pastor and Board of Trustees of St. Illuminator's Cathedral recently invited Ms. Anahit Zakaryan to serve as the new choirmaster of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral in New York City, with the blessings of His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan. Soprano Anahit Zakaryan has earned international critical acclaim for her many operatic roles throughout the world.

Ms. Zakaryan, a native of Armenia, started her voice training at a young age at the School for Gifted Children. After graduation, she entered the State Music Conservatory and began her studies in the class of Professor Tatevik Sazandarian. After graduating from the Conservatory in 1995, she was invited to continue her studies at the Juilliard School of Music, in the class of Marlena Mallas. Ms.Zakaryan made her debut in 1987 with the Armenian Youth Opera Theater at Armenia's National Opera House.  She was a soloist at the Armenian State Opera, Academy Choir of Armenia, and Armenian Female Choir, as well as a soloist and one of the founders of the Armenian Youth Opera Theater. In 1993, her vocal talents earned her first place in a national Komitas Competition. Ms. Zakaryan's singing has taken her through the former Soviet Union and much of Europe. 

Currently Ms. Zakaryan resides in the United States, continuing her career in opera in addition to performing at private and fundraising concerts and gracing the church with her angelic voice. Ms. Zakaryan was a soloist at St.Vartan Armenian Cathedral Choir, receiving church music training under Maestro Khoren Mekhanejian since 1995. She was one of four soloists invited to the Armenian Genocide Centennial commemorated at Washington’s National Cathedral in 2015.  

On Sunday, May 27, Sts. Vartanantz Church in Providence, Rhode Island, offered prayers of thanksgiving for the Republic of Armenia and the 100 th anniversary of the First Republic. The Providence Homenetmen presented the flags for blessing.

Prayers for the Republic of Armenia and blessing of flags took place at St. Stephen’s Church, Watertown, Massachusetts last Sunday, June 3.
Death of Ara Sarkissian 
(June 13, 1969)
Ara Sarkissian is considered the founder of Soviet Armenian sculpture.
He was born in the suburb of Makrikeuy, near Constantinople, on April 7, 1902. He studied at the local Dadian School, and after 1914, when his family moved to the neighborhood of Pera, in the city, he attended the Essayan School. After working menial jobs during the war to make some money, he studied at the local Art School from 1919-1921 and then he moved to Rome to continue studies there, but after half year he entered the Vienna School of Masters (1921-1924). In both schools he already showed progress in sculpture, and the impact of World War I and the Armenian Genocide leaned him towards tragic subjects.
Still a student, in 1921-1922 he collaborated in Rome, Vienna, and Berlin in the logistics of the Operation Nemesis, at a time when the liquidations of former Ottoman Prime Minister Said Halim pasha and genocidaires Behaeddin Shakir and Jemal Azmi were being planned. Sarkissian appears as A.S. in the Armenian original of Arshavir Shiragian’s memoirs (1965), although his mention has been eliminated in the English translation. 
In 1924 Sarkissian was granted Soviet citizenship in Vienna and the next year he settled in Yerevan, where he would live the rest of his life. In 1926 he organized the Soviet Armenian chapter of the Association of Painters of Revolutionary Russia and was elected its president. Six years later he became the founding president of the Painters Union of Armenia until 1937. In 1945 he became the founding director of the Institute of Art of Yerevan (now the Art Academy of Yerevan) until 1959, and later he was head of chair and director of the atelier until his death.
In the 1920s and 1930s Sarkissian’s busts of Armenian writers and intellectuals were characterized by their expressiveness. During World War II, he sculpted busts of Armenian soldiers and various patriotic compositions. One of his best works, the statue of Bolshevik revolutionary Sergei Kirov, was installed in Kirovakan (formerly Gharakilise) in 1942, but after the fall of the Soviet regime and the renaming of Kirovakan into Vanadzor, it was retired in 1992. During his life he participated in many exhibitions in Yerevan, Tbilisi, and Moscow.
In 1949 he was elected corresponding member of the Soviet Academy of Arts and became a full member in 1958. In 1963 he earned the title of People’s Artist of the USSR.
Sarkissian’s most recognizable works are the statues of Hovhannes Tumanian and Alexander Spendiarian in front of the Yerevan Opera House (1957), which he co-authored with Ghughas Chubarian, and the statues of Mesrob Mashdots and Sahak Bartev in the courtyard of the main building of Yerevan State University.
Ara Sarkissian's participation in the Operation Nemesis and his involvement with the Armenian Revolutionary Federation had remained unknown in Soviet Armenia for obvious political reasons. However, in the last years it has been disclosed that his dismissal from the post of director of the Institute of Art in 1959 was due to the fact that he had a brother in Greece who was an A.R.F. leader and whom he met that year in Brussels. It is suspected that his sudden death on June 13, 1969, two days after being discharged from the hospital after a surgery for a broken foot, was linked to the previous discovery that the sculptor had been involved in the Operation Nemesis four decades before.
Ara Sarkissian was posthumously awarded the USSR State Prize (1971). The two-floor house that he shared with painter Hakob Kojoyan became a house-museum dedicated to both artists in 1973. 


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Armenian Prelacy
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(Prepared by Armenian National Education Committee)
Two Cousin Cows

The reconstruction of a prehistoric vocabulary, at the same time, reflects upon the culture that those ancient speakers had. When linguists found out that there was a common family of languages that included many European and a few Asian languages, the Indo-European family, they also theorized that there had been a proto-language from which the modern Indo-European languages descended. For the past two centuries, they have worked on the vocabulary of Proto-Indo-European (P.I.E.). Since the vocabulary of this proto-language is the product of a reconstruction and does not appear in any written source, its words are preceded by an asterisk.

P.I.E. had many words related to animal husbandry. One of those words with an asterisk is *gwou. The reader would hardly have any trouble to realize that *gwou is related to the familiar English word “cow.” Indeed it is.

The P.I.E. word *gwou meant “ox, bull, cow” and was inherited by many Indo-European languages. For instance, Sanskrit go, Persian gav, Proto-Germanic *kwon, and even Greek boûs and Latin bōs (the latter originated the English word “bovine”). It was also the source for the Armenian word կով ( kov in Classical/Eastern Armenian; gov in Western Armenian). From the Proto-Germanic source came Old English cu, Middle English cu, qu, kowh, and our current “cow.”

Thus, we understand that, in this case, English and Armenian cows are cousins.

However, the old Armenian cows had an advantage over their English cousins. They also produced a word of Indo-European origin together with one of the sub-products of their milk. The Armenian word կոգի ( kogi in Classical/Eastern Armenian; goki in Western Armenian) was used in Classical Armenian with the meaning “butter.” It derived from the Proto-Indo-European adjective *gwow-yo, like its cognates in Sanskrit ( gavya, “coming from or belonging to a cow; milk”) and Avestan (the language of the Persian holy book, gaoiia, “coming from cattle, consisting of cattle”).

However, as it happens many times in language some Persian source provided another word, which became the one used in Modern Armenian: կարագ ( karag in Classical/Eastern Armenian; garak in Western Armenian). And goki became a relic of the past.

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.
June 17 —“Yerevan, My Home,” presented by the Areni Choir, 6 pm at Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center, 129 West 67 th Street, New York, NY 10036. Concert is dedicated to Yerevan’s 2800 th anniversary and 100 th anniversary of the First Republic of Armenia. Reception to follow. Donation : $50, $40 (children under12, $20). Tickets: Lincoln Center Box Office 212-501-3330; Germaine 917-288-2747; arena.choir@gmail.com .

June 17 —Father’s Day Picnic, 12 noon to 5 pm on the church grounds at 135 Goodwin Street, Indian Orchard, Massachusetts. Enjoy many favorite Armenian dinners including shish kebob and rice pilaf. Homemade pastries and baked goods available for purchase. Enjoy Armenian music and dancing, outdoor activities, and raffle. Admission and parking free. Information: 413-543-4763.

June 24 --Ways to Wellness: A Panel Discussion on Mental Health -- 1:30 p.m. -- St. Sarkis Armenian Church, 38-65 234th Street, Douglaston, NY. For more information, please contact Anahid at anahide@aol.com (Lecture rescheduled from an earlier date).
July 1-8– Datev Summer Program for youth ages 13-18-- The 32 nd annual St. Gregory of Datev Institute Summer Christian Studies Program will take place at the St. Mary of Providence Center in Elverson, Pennsylvania, sponsored by the Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC). For information and registration, contact the AREC office – 212-689-7810 or arec@armenianprelacy.org or click here .
July 14— Ladies Guild of Sts. Vartanantz Church, Providence, Rhode Island, presents “Hye Summer Night XII,” at Crown Plaza Hotel, Warwick, Rhode Island. Entertainment by Onnik Dinkjian, Hatchig Kazarian, Ara Dinkjian, Bruce Gigarjian, and Raffi Massoyan. Dinner/Dance $55.00 (6 pm to 12:30 am); Dance only $35.00 (8 pm). For dinner and table reservations: Joyce Bagdasarian, 401-434-4467 by July 7.
July 21 -- St. Illuminator Cathedral's Huyser Music Ensemble presents a first-of-its-kind Broadway caliber Armenian musical, entitled "We Shall Return Soon," at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, Tony Bennett Concert Hall, Long Island City, New York, at 7:45 pm. Written and directed by Huyser's artistic director Harout Barsoumian, this musical is dedicated to the centennial of the first Republic of Armenia, seen through the memories of a 105-year-old Genocide survivor. The musical will feature the participation of Tekeyan Cultural Association's Mher Megerdchian Theatrical Group. For updates and more details, visit  ​ http://www.huysermusic.org .
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 world famous Onnik Dinkjian and the All Stars. Double Tree Hotel, Andover, Massachusetts. Details to follow. For more information please visit: www.ArmenianFriendsofAmerica.org .

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