March 12, 2020
"Morning of Light" 1st Prayer

Read by Alek Banklian
All Saints Armenian Apostolic Church of Glenview, IL

THE PRELATE’S STATEMENT ABOUT COVID-19
Dear Faithful,
 
In light of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic and the declared state of emergency in many states throughout our Prelacy, I am writing to reassure you that the health and well-being of our church community is our highest priority. For this reason, we wish you to know the following:

  1. Being the Lenten Season, the parts of the Divine Liturgy which would normally entail direct contact (i.e. Holy Communion; Kiss of Peace and kissing of the Bible) are not performed for the duration of Lent. Further information about the post Lenten period will be forthcoming.
  2. We urge you to follow the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control:
  • Clean your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash and immediately wash your hands. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

In addition to the above, I am working with both the Religious and Lay members of the Executive Council of the Prelacy in consultation with the pastors of our various parishes, to formulate an action plan in our churches for the continued health and well-being of all of our faithful after the Lenten season is finished.
 
In the meantime, we ask that the Board of Trustees in each of our parishes take the necessary actions to make sure the church sanctuary is clean and disinfected every week and that hand sanitizer will be available during services.
 
It is our goal that all of our faithful parishioners who attend services and worship in our church will feel comfortable and not fearful or uneasy. If you feel uncomfortable about coming to church, please rest assured that we totally understand if you decide to stay home.
Also, if you have recently traveled outside the country or have come into contact with someone who may be infected with COVID-19, you should stay home for at least two weeks to ensure that you have not been infected.
 
Please know that we all need to weather this together as a community of faith, trusting in the Almighty to protect us from all mishap. As we often pray:
 
“Guardian and hope of the faithful, Christ our God, preserve, protect and bless all your faithful people under the shadow of your holy and glorious Cross in peace. Save us from visible and invisible enemies and make us worthy to glorify you with thanksgiving, along with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Amen”
 
Prayerfully,
Archbishop Anoushavan
Prelate

“MUSICAL ARMENIA” CONCERT CANCELED
Carnegie Hall has canceled all events through Tuesday, March 31, 2020, in an effort to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19). Therefore the 37 th edition of the annual “Musical Armenia” concert with the participation of Laura Navasardian, Anna Hayrapetyan and Tatev Amiryan has also been canceled.
 
If you purchased your tickets through Carnegie Hall, please refer to the Box Office for refund. If you purchased your tickets through the Armenian Prelacy, please contact Sophie at (212) 689-7810.  

“IT’S OUR RIGHT AND DUTY TO DEMAND JUSTICE”
Prelate delivers message ahead of anniversary of Armenian Genocide
 
Dear brothers and sisters,
 
Soon we will be commemorating the 105th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
 
Not so long ago, the perpetrators of these atrocities thought all memories would fade and disappear as time passed. It might have happened so, especially if the crime had been acknowledged and reparations had been made. This still has not occurred.
I wonder: if criminal acts are committed in the Republic of Turkey, are these victims victimized yet again for raising their voices? Aren’t suspects brought to justice if only to justify the existence of the courts and their very raison d’être ? If so, then as the children of the Armenian Genocide survivors, it’s our right and duty to demand justice, and only justice, to address this unprecedent tragedy, which brought shame to the perpetrators’ descendants along with unbearable pain and trauma to the victims’ descendants.
This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the Treaty of Sèvres and President Woodrow Wilson’s arbitral award on Turkish-Armenian boundaries. These two events signaled that both the Republic of Turkey and the international community initiated the Recognition of the Armenian Genocide and Reparations for it, yet never fulfilled it.
 
The sooner a wound is healed the better a body thrives. In this case, the recognition of the Armenian Genocide followed by a reparation process will generate peace, stability and prosperity in the region and also serve as a factor of prevention of future genocides.
 
May God lead us all in His wisdom to pave the road of justice.
 
Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian
Prelate

MEETING WITH ANNA HAKOBYAN AT WASHINGTON SPECTACLE
On Wednesday, March 4, Archbishop Anoushavan attended “An Armenian Odyssey,” a multimedia spectacle sponsored by the Armenian Embassy in the United States and held at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. During the reception prior to the event, the Prelate met Ms. Anna Hakobyan, wife of Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, and Ambassador Varouzhan Nersesyan, to whom he conveyed his best wishes. In the picture, Archbishop Anoushavan is flanked (from left) by Archbishop Viken Aykazian, Ms. Hakobyan, Ambassador Nersesyan, and his wife, Ms. Narine Malkhasyan.

LITURGY AT CATHEDRAL WITH TENOR KEVORK HADJIAN
On Sunday, March 8, Archbishop Anoushavan presided over Divine Liturgy at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral in New York. In attendance was also Deacon Kevork Hadjian, on a short visit to the city.
 
Hadjian, an alumnus of the Holy See of Cilicia Seminary, has established himself as a recognized tenor and one of the most accomplished interpreters of Armenian sacred music and popular songs. Last week he was invited by the Western Prelacy to participate in the celebration of the 90th anniversary of the seminary at St. Mary’s Church in Glendale, California.

TOWARDS A MORE RESPONSIVE ECUMENICAL VISION
The participants of the ecumenical consultation hosted by His Holiness Aram I on January 31-February 2 at the Catholicosate in Antelias reaffirmed their commitment to the cause of Christian unity and called for hope in the movement despite challenging political circumstances, quoting the resilience of the Armenian Church against overwhelming adversity. The church leaders and representatives of different denominations from Burundi, Germany, the United States and the Vatican among other states, also called for an update of the ecumenical message to take into account the challenges the world currently faces.
 
“The venue included sacred memorials of the Armenian Genocide, reminders of how the Armenian Church and people have been sustained, through nearly-unimaginable trauma, by God’s grace and the power of hope,” the report says.
 
Not for the first time in its existence of more than one century, the ecumenical movement is facing a “major societal upheaval.” Yet now, the ecumenists believe, it is “a time of crisis, remembering that crisis need not be an indication of impending decline, but an opportunity for critical and realistic assessment and necessary transformation.”
 
They acknowledge the relevance of the policy document issued by the Eighth Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Harare in 1998, “Towards a Common Understanding and Vision,” or CUV, as is usually referred to by its acronym.
 
CUV, the Antelias report says, “was written and affirmed during a time of monumental historical developments, including the end of the Cold War and the subsequent reordering of global systems of economic and political power.” It’s time to consider new realities, it says.
 
“A compelling ecumenical vision is needed now more than ever given the environmental, social, and religious challenges of our era,” the ecumenists say, detailing climate change, wealth inequality, forced migration as well as growing militarization.
 
Digitalization, the report says, can be a double-edged sword. “We live in a digital age, which, paradoxically, both facilitates communication and runs the risk of undermining genuine community.”
 
Yet it also recognizes the existence of what Catholicos Aram calls the “people’s ecumenism,” which can be found outside the historical structures of the movement. “Identifying and encouraging people’s ecumenism–which may well entail a change in language, culture, and methodology–should be part of the future agenda and vision of the ecumenical movement.”
 
After expressing renewed hope in the ecumenical movement and gratitude for the new generations of Christian leaders, the report ends with the quote of Philippians 1:6:
 
I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ .” 

PRELACY VICAR GENERAL MEETS SYRIA REPRESENTATIVE TO UN
On Saturday, March 7, Very Rev. Fr. Sahag Yemishian, Vicar General of the Armenian Prelacy, visited Bashar Jaafari, the Permanent Representative of Syria to the UN, with a delegation of Syrian Armenians. The purpose of the visit was to thank Syria for its recent recognition of the Armenian Genocide. 

CATHOLICOS RECEIVES MEDIA FORUM COUNCIL
On Sunday, March 1, Catholicos Aram received the Coordinating Council of the Pan-Armenian Forum of Journalists as it got together for its first meeting in Antelias.
 
This body is commissioned to implement the recommendations of the Pan-Armenian Conference on Media and Press, held in Antelias last year under the auspices of His Holiness. The council members are: Satik Seyranyan, chairwoman of the Union of Journalists in Armenia and editor-in-chief of 168 Jam; Tigran Harutyunyan, founder and director of “Noyan Tapan” Information and Analysis Center and President of the All-Armenian Media Association; Michael Hadjian, journalist and political analyst; Aram Ananyan, director of the Armenpress News Agency; Shahan Kandaharian, editor-in-chief of Aztag Daily, and Sevag Hagopian, editor-in-chief of Zartonk Daily.
 
The meeting with the Catholicos was an opportunity to discuss the role of the Armenian media, Armenia-Diaspora cooperation, and other pan-Armenian matters.
BIBLE READINGS
Bible readings for Sunday, March 15, Fourth Sunday of Great Lent, Sunday of the Steward, are: Isaiah 56:1-57:21; Ephesians 4:17-5:14; Luke 16:1-31.
Ephesians 4:17-5:14
 
Now this I affirm and insist on in the Lord: you must no longer live as the Gentiles live, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance and hardness of heart. They have lost all sensitivity and have abandoned themselves to licentiousness, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. That is not the way you learned Christ! For surely you have heard about him and were taught in him, as truth is in Jesus. You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
 
So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another. Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil. Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy. Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant and sacrifice to God. But fornication and impurity of any kind, or greed, must not even be mentioned among you, as is proper among saints. Entirely out of place is obscene, silly, and vulgar talk; but instead, let there be thanksgiving. Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure person, or one who is greedy (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
 
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be associated with them. For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light—for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
 
***
 
Luke 16:1-31

Then Jesus said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. So he summoned him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Give me an accounting of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.’ Then the manager said to himself, ‘What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.’ So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He answered, ‘A hundred jugs of olive oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.’ Then he asked another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘A hundred containers of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill and make it eighty.’ And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes.
 
“Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”
 
The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all this, and they ridiculed him. So he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of others; but God knows your hearts; for what is prized by human beings is an abomination in the sight of God.
 
“The law and the prophets were in effect until John came; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is proclaimed, and everyone tries to enter it by force. But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than for one stroke of a letter in the law to be dropped.
 
“Anyone who divorces his wife and marries commits adultery, and whoever marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.
 
“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.’ He said, “Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father’s house—for I have five brothers—that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.’ Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’ He said, ‘No father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”  
For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.
SUNDAY OF THE STEWARD
This Sunday, March 15, the fourth Sunday of Great Lent, is the Sunday of the Steward ( Dntesi Giragi ). The parable of the Unrighteous Steward is in the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 16 (see reading above). This parable is about a rich man and his steward. The steward was one who looked out for his own personal benefit and through his cunning arrangements he made deals with those who were in debt to his master. Jesus used this parable not to condone the behavior of the steward but rather as an illustration of qualities that have a necessary place in the life of true disciples. Since we are stewards of the world, we are accountable to our Lord for the talents we have and the things that have been entrusted to our care.
 
Throughout His ministry, Jesus used parables as a teaching tool. His parables were common stories, usually short and always interesting. Generally, the stories were used to convey important moral and ethical lessons. Some of the parables are simple and easy to comprehend. Others are more complex and challenging.

SAINTS HONORED THIS SATURDAY
This Saturday, March 14, the Armenian Church commemorates the following four saints:
 
St. John
Patriarch of Jerusalem, succeeded St. Cyril as Patriarch of Jerusalem (386-417). He grew up with the monks at the monastery of Nitria (Egypt) where he learned about Christianity. He was noted for his keen intellect and is said to have delivered inspiring and eloquent sermons.
 
Hovhan Odznetsi
(St. John of Otzoon) was catholicos from 717 to 728, which was a period when Armenia was under Arab rule. He defended Armenians from forced conversion and was successful in securing the right of worship for Armenian Christians. He was also successful in securing tax-exempt status for the church. He was highly admired and respected.

Hovhan Vorodnetsi
(St. John of Orotni) was born in 1317. Following his ordination he served at the monasteries of Klatzor and Datev. He dedicated most of his efforts toward the preservation of the orthodox faith, and against the attempt to merge the Armenian Church with the Latin Church. He wrote commentaries on the Gospel of John and the epistles of St. Paul.
 
Krikor Datevatzi
(St. Gregory of Datev), born in 1346 in the province of Vayotz Tzor, is perhaps the best known of the four. He was a student of John of Orotni and a great defender of the character of the Armenian Church. He was a brilliant scholar; he knew Latin fluently and had studied the Greek philosophers extensively. He is regarded to be the greatest teacher of the Armenian Church. His most famous work is the Book of Questions ( Kirk Hartsmants ), which examines questions of faith. He is also credited with setting a high standard for preaching. He is often referred to as “the second Gregory the Illuminator.” Datevatzi, who died in 1409, had the distinction of being the last person to be canonized in the Armenian Church until the Martyrs of April were canonized on the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

MEDIAN DAY OF LENT
Wednesday, March 18, is the median day of Lent ( Meechink ). It is the 24th day of Lent and it falls on the Wednesday of the fourth week of Lent, ending the first half of our spiritual journey. Although it does not have any specific religious significance, this mid-point day has been traditionally marked as a special day and occasion for fellowship, friendship, and the sharing of a Lenten meal.

REV. FR. NAREG TERTERIAN: “HUMILITY IN SERVICE”
On Wednesday, March 5, the third installment of the Lenten Program, co-sponsored by the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC) and the Ladies Guild of St. Illuminator’s, took place at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral in New York City. Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian lectured on the subject “Humility in Service.”
 
The Lenten Program included an abridged  Husgoom  service, followed by the lecture, and concluded with a table fellowship, presided by Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate. 
THIS WEEK’S REFLECTION
In this week's Prelacy Reflection Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian of St. Illuminator's Armenian Apostolic Cathedral of New York, NY reflects upon this upcoming Sunday's bible reading from the Gospel of Luke: "The Parable of the Unjust Steward."

REGISTER FOR THE 34TH ANNUAL DATEV SUMMER INSTITUTE
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 Ellen* who is sponsored by Vahe and Hasmig Dombalagian.  
Dear Sponsor,
 
This is Ellen. I am 7 years old. I live in Abovian city with my mother, sister, and brother. My father died. I miss him very much.

I am in 2nd grade in school. I love going to school and love doing my homework. I like to dance and to draw pictures.

We rent the apartment we live in. It is difficult for my mom to raise us. My brother is going to the Army soon, and my sister is in 9th grade in school. We need help. My mom learned about St. Nerses organization and asked them for help. I am very glad that you accepted my sponsorship.

My family and I are very grateful to you.

Love,

Ellen

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

PLEASE CONSIDER SPONSORSHIP:
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. 
SPONSOR A COLLEGE STUDENT IN ARMENIA
The St. Nerses the Great Charitable and Social Organization (Medsn Nerses) is now supporting its beneficiaries who pursue college education: now the young who reach the age limit of 18 will receive aid that may be vital for their careers.
 
The College Sponsorship Program is being implemented in 2020. An annual stipend of $250 helps defray some of the costs for the young men and women who have enrolled in an institution of higher education.
 
If you would like to sponsor a young student in the College Sponsorship Program or a young child in the Orphans Sponsorship Program, you may contact the Prelacy by email (sophie@armenianprelacy.org) or telephone (212-689-7810).
FROM OUR SCHOOLS
BILINGUALISM DISCUSSED AT HARVARD PANEL
On Thursday, March 5, Dr. Vartan Matiossian, Executive Director of the Prelacy, participated in a panel discussion on bilingualism at Harvard University, organized by the National Association of Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) and co-sponsored by St. Stephen's Armenian Elementary School and the Harvard Armenian Students Association. The other participants at the event in Cambridge, Massachusetts, were doctors Lisa Guleserian and Maria Luisa Parra, who teach Armenian and Spanish respectively at Harvard, with Dr. Anna Ohanyan, a political science professor at Stonehill College, as moderator. This panel provided a global perspective on bilingual/multilingual upbringing and instruction. It surveyed the value of bilingual education, looking at experiences of other ethnic communities in the US and around the world. It then focused on the specificities of the Armenian experience and the specific challenges of researching and teaching the Armenian language. Dr. Matiossian shared insights into his personal experience as a bilingual speaker, first Armenian-Spanish, then Armenian-English, and currently tri-lingual. At an auditorium filled to almost capacity, the public took part in a lively Q&A session following the panelists’ discussions. In the picture, from left to right: Dr. Ohanyan, Dr. Parra, Ms. Houry Boyamian (principal of St. Stephen's), Dr. Matiossian, Dr. Guleserian, and Ms. Heather Krafian (co-chair of St. Stephen's Educational Committee).
NORTH ANDOVER CHILDREN CELEBRATE PAREGENTAN
On Sunday, February 23, the children from the Armenian & Sunday School of the St. Gregory Armenian Church in North Andover, MA, enjoyed the presence of visitors and a Poon Paregentan celebration.
 
St. Gregory’s Director Sossy Jeknavorian greeted the students and invited Deacon James Haddad to speak to them about the meaning of the word Lent in the Armenian Badarak, providing detailed information on each week of service during the Lenten period. Ms. Jeknavorian also invited Sunday School graduates, Dro and Greg Gregorian and Tory Kulungian, to speak about their years as Sunday and Armenian school students and how it shaped their experience at college and now in their professional careers.
 
Following the talk by the alumni, Ani Babaian guided the children as they took part in an artistic project that involved portraying Vartan Mamigonian and coloring pictures on a cross that depicted each of the weeks of Lenten season.
 
A celebration of Poon Paregentan closed the afternoon with games that included pie eating and hula hoop contests, fashion walk challenge, musical chairs and the biggest highlight for the kids: having their turn at knocking down a pinata.

FROM OUR PARISHES
Last Sunday, March 8, Der Aram Stepanian, Pastor Emeritus at St. Stephens Church conducted the Divine Liturgy along with archdeacon Ed Varjabedian and Kit Kaolian from The Armenian Church of the Holy Ascension in Trumbull, CT. Kit started to occasionally visit St. Stephens more than three years ago, at which time Der Aram invited him to serve on the altar any time he came to visit.
 
Pictured left to right are Kit Kaolian, Der Aram Stepanian and Archdeacon Ed Varjabedian.
“ETHNO-RELIGIOUS TRANSFORMATIONS OF ARMENIAN INHABITANTS IN THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY (1923-2005)”

Karen Khanlarian
Translated by Ara Caprielian
The aim of this study is to explore the ethno-religious changes and transformative processes in the Republic of Turkey (exclusive of Western Turkey) following the Armenian Genocide, to present approximate statistical and ethnographic appraisals and evaluations, and finally to shed light on the internal facts of current public and private life of this demographic group.
Copies of this book may be purchased from the Prelacy Bookstore ( books@armenianprelacy.org   or 212-689-7810)
Death of Artashes Abeghian (March 13, 1955)
Armenian Studies scholars have frequently engaged in science, but also in public affairs. Artashes Abeghian was one of those cases during almost six decades of an illustrious career.
 
Abeghian was born in the village of Astapat (region of Nakhichevan, now in the territory of Azerbaijan), on January 1, 1878. He was the nephew of famous Armenologist Manuk Abeghian (1865-1944). He attended the parochial school of his village in 1884-1887 and, from 1887 to 1890, the diocesan school of Shushi (Karabagh). He continued his education in Tiflis at the Nersisian School (1890-1895), and then at the Gevorgian Seminary of Holy Echmiadzin (1895-1899).
 
After graduation, Abeghian taught at the diocesan school of Shushi for a year. By then, he had started collecting and publishing popular songs, as well as two variants of the Armenian epic poem David of Sassoun . From 1900 to 1904, he studied in Germany at the universities of Marburg, Berlin, and Leipzig. In 1904, he graduated from the School of Philosophy of the University of Marburg with a doctoral dissertation on the Armenian translation of the Bible, whose first part was published in German (1906).
 
In 1905, he returned to Tiflis, where he would spend the next thirteen years teaching at the Nersisian School, the Hovnanian School for girls, and the state gymnasia. In 1905, he became a member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation and would be active in many educational and political endeavors. He married Natalia Israelian and had two children, Vahe and Ruzan.
 
Artashes Abeghian published several important pedagogical works. His Spelling Dictionary (1910) would go through four editions until 1999. He also published three fascicles of calligraphy (1908), a textbook of geography in three volumes (1907-1913), a textbook of geography of Armenia (1914), which had five editions, and a map of Armenia (1914-1915).
 
After the independence of Armenia, Abeghian moved to Yerevan. He was elected member of the Parliament in 1919 on the ARF list and had an important activity until the end of the independent period. Afterwards, he left for Tiflis, then for Constantinople (1921-1922), and finally settled in Berlin (1922).
 
In 1926, Abeghian became founding professor of the chair of Armenian Studies at the Seminar of Oriental Languages in Berlin University. For the next two decades, he would be the point man for Armenia and Armenian culture in Germany. In 1928, thanks to his intervention, a new street of Berlin called Armenische Strasse (Armenian Street), where the Armenian community was concentrated. He translated numerous works of Armenian literature into German and vice versa, and contributed to the German press. He published a grammar of Modern Armenian (1936) and a study on the epic of David of Sassoun (1940), both in German, among other works.
 
After the rise of Adolf Hitler to power (1933), an anti-Armenian campaign developed in Germany—reportedly with Turkish support—aimed at showing Armenians as having Semitic origin and identifying them with the Jews. This was particularly dangerous at the time, given the anti-Jewish orientation of the Nazi regime. Abeghian worked tenaciously, along with the members of the German-Armenian Society, of which he was the vice-president, to ensure that the anti-Armenian campaign went away by demonstrating the Aryan (according to the conceptions of race that existed in Europe and the U.S. at the time) origin of Armenians. Thanks to their efforts, in July 1933 a decree by the Ministry of Internal Affairs established Armenians as a people of Aryan origin. In early 1934, the German-Armenian Society published, edited by Abeghian, a collective volume by German scholars entitled Armenianness-Aryanness to make that point.
 
The anti-Armenian campaign resumed in 1941-1942, and Abeghian worked again tirelessly to turn the tide, which this time could have swept the Armenian population in Germany and Nazi-occupied territories and have them share the Jewish fate. A group of A.R.F. members came together to defend Armenian interests in Nazi Germany and shortly formed the Armenian National Council (1942-1943), with Abeghian as its president.
 
He had continued contributing to the Armenian press and writing numerous scholarly studies. In his last years, he particularly focused on the Armenian students who in the nineteenth century had studied at the University of Dorpat (Tartu), in nowadays Estonia, after Khachatur Abovian. He published three volumes on this topic: The Armenian Students of Dorpat (1942), Kerovpe Patkanian in Dorpat (1949), and Stepanos Nazarian and Dorpat (1954).
 
After the fall of Berlin, Abeghian abandoned his university position and went to southern Germany. In 1945-1946, he was principal of the Armenian school at the DP (displaced persons) camp of Stuttgart, while he continued assisting the exiles to find a home for them. In 1951, he settled in Munich, where he was professor of Armenian Studies at the university until his death on March 13, 1955.

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

NEW SUBMISSION DEADLINE FOR CROSSROADS
Please remember that the deadline for submitting items for Crossroads is on Tuesday evenings.
 
All parish news, photographs, and calendar items should be emailed to crossroads@armenianprelacy.org . Please send also your inquiries and comments (English and/or Armenian) to the same email address.

ADVISORY ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS
The Armenian Prelacy, with headquarters in Manhattan, shares with all parishes of the East Coast the concern about the coronavirus outbreak, or COVID-19. We advise everyone to refer to local authorities for guidance on prevention and follow all applicable advisories regarding church ceremonies and social events. We also urge our communities to be cautious and avoid non-essential activities. We are monitoring the rapidly evolving situation and we will update the information as needed.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 ( Calendar items may be edited to conform to space and style )
March 14  — EVENT CANCELED . The next Siamanto Academy class at the Prelacy offices 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).
 
March 14  — EVENT CANCELED . Armenian Prelacy Pillars' events at St. Asdvadzadzin Armenian Apostolic Church of Whitinsville, MA and Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church of Worcester, MA.
 
March 15  — EVENT CANCELED. 37th annual Musical Armenia concert, 2:00 pm at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, West 57 th Street at Seventh Avenue, New York City.
 
March 22 POSTPONED. Perspectives Ensemble, directed by Sato Moughalian, presents “Dark Eyes/New Eyes: A Celebration of Armenian Music,” featuring the trio Zulal. The program includes Lenten sharagans , village songs, composed pieces by Alan Hovhannes and Aram Khatchaturian, as well as works by Gomidas Vartabed. At 7:00 pm at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, St. James Chapel. Doors open at 6:30. Admission is free.
 
March 27 EVENT CANCELED . They Will Take My Island”: New scores by composer Mary Kouyoumdjian for unreleased scenes and highly personal short films by Atom Egoyan, commissioned by MetLiveArts. At 7:00 pm at The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, The Met Fifth Avenue.
 
March 28  —“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  — POSTPONED. ARS Shakeh Chapter of New Jersey presents Kev Orkian. 4:00 pm Abajian Hall, St. Leon's Church, Fair Lawn, NJ.
 
April 4 —Consecration of the cross of the newly built dome of the Church of St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church of North Andover, MA.
 
April 4  —Prelacy Parish Partnership event at St. Stephen's Armenian Apostolic Church of Watertown, MA.
 
April 25 —Armenian Genocide Commemoration at the House Chamber of the State Capitol of Connecticut, at 11:00 am. Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian, President Emeritus of American University of Armenia (AUA), will speak about “Education as the cornerstone of building resilience among the Armenian youth and advancing Armenia.”
 
May 13-16  —National Representative Assembly (NRA) of the Eastern Prelacy hosted by St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic 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 17  —Save the date. Following Divine Liturgy, St. Illuminator’s Cathedral will host a talk by academic and author Rubina Peroomian.
 
May 31  —Save the date. St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church, Douglaston, New York, 30th Anniversary Banquet.
 
June 28—July 5  —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  .

September 26-27 - 50th Anniversary of Saint Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church of Merrimack Valley; under the Auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate; more details to follow  
 
October 4 —Save the date. St. Stephen's Armenian Apostolic Church of New Britain, CT, 95th Anniversary Banquet.
 
October 17 —Hye Kef 5 Annual Dance, presented by the Armenian Friends of America, Inc.. Featuring: Steve Vosbikian Jr., Mal Barsamian, John Berberian, Ara Dinkjian and Jason Naroian. At the DoubleTree Hotel in Andover, MA. For details, visit ArmenianFriendsofAmerica.org or call Sharke at 978-808-0598
 
November 15  —Save the date. The Eastern Prelacy's Annual Thanksgiving Banquet.
 
November 28  —Save the date. Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church 80th Anniversary Celebration. Under the Auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian. Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet, Cranston, Rhode Island. More details to follow.
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