May 11, 2017


The Eastern Prelacy’s National Representative Assembly (NRA) will convene in Illinois beginning on Thursday, May 18 to Saturday, May 20. The Clergy conference will begin on Wednesday, May 17. This year’s assembly is being hosted by All Saints Armenian Church of Glenview, Illinois.  

This year’s NRA will concentrate on the theme of Renewal, following the call of Catholicos Aram I, who declared the entire year of 2017 as the “Year of Renewal.” Presentations on Parish renewal will be given by Joseph Kormos, from the Orthodox Church of America, and Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian, pastor of St. Sarkis Church in Douglaston, New York. Following the presentations the Assembly will break into three separate groups to examine the imperative of renewal in a more intimate setting, before a joint report is presented to the full Assembly. Two other panels scheduled will focus on By-Laws and Budget issues.  

Concurrent with the Assembly, the annual conference of the National Association of Ladies Guilds (NALG) will take place. The National Representative Assembly is the highest ecclesiastical and administrative body of the Prelacy. It is composed of a ratio of one-seventh clergy and six-sevenths lay delegates. The clergy delegates are elected by the Clergy Conference and the lay delegates by their respective parishes. The number of delegates from the parishes depends on the number of parish members. The minimum number of delegates for a parish is two and the maximum is seven.

All Saints Armenian Apostolic Church, Glenview, Illinois


A reception for the Pillars of the Prelacy took place last Saturday, May 6, hosted by Christopher and Manoushak Krikorian at their home in Cranston, Rhode Island. It was a lovely evening of fellowship presided over by His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan, who offered an opening prayer. Hagop Khatchadourian, chairman of the Board of Trustees of Sts. Vartanantz Church, Providence, Rhode Island, served as the MC for the evening, welcoming everyone and introducing the Prelacy Pillars from Rhode Island. Mr. Hagop Antranigian of the Pillars Committee offered his comments regarding the importance of the program to the ongoing work of the Prelacy, followed by a description of the projects underway presented by Mark Phillips, member of the Prelacy Executive Council. 

A video presentation representing the various programs and projects of the Prelacy was prepared by the Prelacy’s Communications Department. Rev. Fr. Kapriel Nazarian, Pastor of Sts. Vartanantz Church, after thanking the hosts and those attending for their support, offered a very personal introduction of Oshagan Srpazan. Der Hayr focused on Srpazan’s vision and dedication that has brought a continuing renewal to our Prelacy and has benefited all the local churches, including Sts. Vartanantz of Providence.”

Concluding the evening, Archbishop Oshagan thanked the host parish, the Krikorians and especially the Pillars. In his remarks, the Prelate spoke about his motto “With Each Other, For Each Other” and how the church-at-large, the Prelacy and parishes complement “each other for each other.” He added that our survival throughout the centuries is due to the many sacrifices and dedicated servants of our church, who are testimony to our existence in North America today.

A group photo of the guests at the reception for Pillars.
Archbishop Oshagan and Rev. Fr. Kapriel with the hosts, Mr. and Mrs. Christopher and Manoushak Krikorian.
Pillars Committee member Hagop Antranigian presents the Prelacy programs.


Hrair Hawk Khatcherian presented a slide show/lecture on Sunday, April 30, at St. Sarkis Church in Douglaston, New York, about his latest photo book of Khatchkars (stone-crosses) throughout the world. The talented photographer has been on a mission since 1992 to photograph Armenian churches and khatchkars. Each khatchkar depicts a Biblical or Christian story. Master carvers dedicated their art for important events and victories. Armenian khatchkars are found throughout the world and now, thanks to Hrair Hawk, they are immortal in print.

Bishop Anoushavan with Hrair Khatcherian and attendees at the recent lecture.


Bishop Anoushavan, Vicar General of the Prelacy, presided over the Divine Liturgy and Requiem Service and delivered the sermon at Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey, last Sunday, May 7. After the services, the Sunday School director, staff, and 2017 graduates captured a memorable photo with His Grace and Rev. Fr. Hovnan Bozoian, pastor of Sts. Vartanantz.

Bishop Anoushavan and Rev. Fr. Hovnan with Sunday School director and staff and 2017 graduates.


Archbishop Oshagan presided over the Divine Liturgy and Requiem Service at Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey, on Sunday, April 30.

Archbishop Oshagan during the Requiem Service on Sunday, April 30, in New Jersey.


The Romanian Armenian community of Greater New York offered a Requiem Service and Memorial Luncheon in memory of Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Zareh Baronian at St. Sarkis Church in Douglaston, New York. Very Rev. Fr. Zareh was the former pastor and vicar of the Armenian Apostolic Church (Archangels Michael and Gabriel) in Bucharest, Romania. Archbishop Oshagan presided over the requiem service and blessed the memorial meal.

Archbishop Oshagan and Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian with organizing members of the Romanian Armenian community at the Memorial Luncheon in remembrance of Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Zareh Baronian.


Note about the Readings:  Beginning Monday (April 24) and continuing until Pentecost (June 4) each day the four Gospels are read in the following order: 1) Morning—Luke; 2) Midday—John; 3) Evening—Matthew; 4) Evening dismissal—Mark. By Pentecost the four gospels are read up to the passion narratives.

Bible readings for Sunday, May 14, Apparition of the Holy Cross, are: Readings for the Apparition of the Cross (morning) Galatians 6:14-18; Matthew 24:30-36. (1) Luke 11:33-12:12; (2); Acts 17:1-15; 1 John 1:1-10; John 7:14-23; (3) Matthew 13:53-58; John 19:25-30; (4) Mark 6:30-44.

May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything; but a new creation is everything! As for those who will follow this rule—peace be upon them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. From now on, let no one make trouble for me; for I carry the marks of Jesus branded on my body. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen. (Galatians 6:14-18)


  “…then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory; and he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

"From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.” (Matthew 24:30-36)

For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings  Click Here.

This Sunday (May 14) the Armenian Church commemorates the Feast of the Apparition of the Holy Cross (Yerevoumun Sourp Khatchi). The Apparition of the Cross is the first feast dedicated to the Holy Cross in the Armenian liturgical calendar. It is celebrated in remembrance of the appearance of the sign of the cross over the city of Jerusalem in 351 that remained in the sky for several hours. The apparition extended from Golgotha to the Mount of Olives (about two miles), and was brighter than the sun and was seen by everyone in Jerusalem. The Patriarch of Jerusalem, Cyril, used this occasion to remind Emperor Constantius of Byzantium of his father’s (Constantine the Great) orthodox faith. Cyril claimed the Apparition was further reason to return to orthodoxy.

Traditionally, the Armenian translation of Cyril’s message is read on this feast day during the Antastan service prior to the Gospel lection. The Apparition is celebrated by the Armenian and Greek churches. The Greeks observe it on the fixed day of May 7, while the Armenian date is moveable depending on the date of Easter. It is celebrated on the fifth Sunday of Easter, which is the fourth Sunday after Easter.

Cyril is a revered Doctor of the Church and he is remembered in the Armenian Church’s liturgical calendar. Here is a short excerpt from Cyril’s letter about the apparition:

In those holy days of the Easter season, on 7 May at about the third hour, a huge cross made of light appeared in the sky above holy Golgotha extending as far as the holy Mount of Olives. It was not revealed to one or two people alone, but it appeared unmistakably to everyone in the city. It was as if one might conclude that one had suffered a momentary optical illusion; it was visible to the human eye above the earth for several hours. The flashes it emitted outshone the rays of the sun, which would have outshone and obscured it themselves if it had not presented the watchers with a more powerful illumination than the sun. It prompted the whole populace at once to run together into the holy church, overcome both with fear and joy at the divine vision. Young and old, men and women of every age, even young girls confined to their rooms at home, natives and foreigners, Christians and pagans visiting from abroad, all together as if with a single voice raised a hymn of praise to God’s Only-Begotten Son the wonder-worker. They had the evidence of their own senses that the holy faith of Christians is not based on the persuasive arguments of philosophy but on the revelation of the Spirit and power; it is not proclaimed by mere human beings but testified from heaven by God Himself.” (Excerpt from Cyril’s letter about the Apparition of the Cross).


The 50th anniversary of the ordination to the priesthood of His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan will be celebrated on Sunday, November 19, 2017. Please save the date and watch for the exciting details of this inspiring milestone.


Last year, the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC) released “Let’s Chat,” a 24-page booklet written in Armenian (both in Armenian and Latin script) and English, and intended as an aid for the teaching of Armenian as a second language. The premise was to bring together some core vocabulary needed for an elementary conversation, fleshed out with appropriate short dialogues.

A follow-up had been announced at the time. “Let’s Chat 2” serves as a companion to the first booklet, taking language learning to a further level and presenting a collection of dialogues about many subjects that are part of daily life: “Who Are You?,” “My Family,” “What Do You Want to Be?,” “College,” “Finding a Home,” “Housework,” “At Work,” “Neighbors,” “Church,” “Clothes,” “Bathroom,” “Getting a Haircut,” “Illness,” “Sports,” “Shopping,” “Going Out,” “What Happened?,” “Travel.”

“The positive reception enjoyed by ‘Let’s Chat’ encouraged the preparation of this follow-up,” Dr. Vartan Matiossian, ANEC Director, observed. “We have worked along the linguistic and visual parameters established for the first booklet. Like its predecessor, ‘Let’s Chat 2’ may be used both in classrooms and as a self-teaching instrument. We have made sure that the material is both accurate and attractive.”

“Let’s Chat 2” has been published thanks to a generous donation from Dr. Aram and Mrs. Seta Semerdjian. Copies of “Let’s Chat” and “Let’s Chat 2” may be ordered by contacting the Prelacy Bookstore by phone (212-689-7810) or by email ( The price is $10 plus shipping and handling.


The 31st annual St. Gregory of Datev Institute summer program for youth ages 13-18 is scheduled to be held at the St. Mary of Providence Center in Elverson, Pennsylvania, from July 2-9, 2017. Sponsored by the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC), the summer program offers a unique weeklong Christian educational program for youth. It aims to instill and nurture the Armenian Christian faith and identity in our youth through a variety of educational activities, coupled with daily church services and communal recreational activities. For information and registration, please visit the Prelacy’s website or contact the AREC office by email ( or telephone (212-689-7810). 

Watch the Datev Teaser below!


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.
Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
Birth of Arman Manookian (May 15, 1904)

The Hawaiian scenes of Arman Manookian, an Armenian-American painter with a premature and tragic end, have been rediscovered in the last years.

The elder of three siblings, he was born Tateos Manookian in Constantinople on May 15, 1904. His father Arshag was a printer and publisher of an Armenian newspaper. 

Tateos was a student at the St. Gregory the Illuminator school in Constantinople, whose principal was poet Taniel Varoujan. On the fatidic night of April 24, 1915, Varoujan was arrested (he would be killed on the road of exile months later), and Arshag Manookian and his brother-in-law hid in the family’s print shop to save their lives. Young Tateos’ father somehow fled the Ottoman Empire, only to die in France two years later during the epidemic of the Spanish flu. The Armenians of Constantinople lived in an atmosphere of terror until the end of World War I, with arrests, executions, partial exiles, and rumors and threats of general deportation hanging over their heads. The future painter would spend some time in Egypt during those years. His mother managed to sell the print shop and gave a large amount of money to her sixteen-year-old son, allowing him to leave for the United States.

Tateos Manookian arrived at Ellis Island in April 1920. He went to live with a relative of his mother in Providence, where he studied at the Rhode Island College of Design from 1920-1922. His talent was already apparent, as a state scholarship paid for his tuition to take classes in drawing. In 1923 he enlisted in the Marine Corps with a new name, Arman Theodore Manookian, and claimed American citizenship, which he actually did not have. 

In 1924 Private Manookian was assigned as a clerk to Major Edwin North McClellan, a Marine historian, who had worked for the previous five years preparing a history of the Marine Corps during World War I. History of U. S. Marines and Origin of Sea Soldiers, never published (the only extant complete copy is kept at the New York Public Library), would be eventually completed with more than a thousand pages of text and eight hundred pages of notes, and over a hundred illustrations by Manookian, who also started publishing some of his work in magazines. 

In 1925 McClellan, who was a mentor of sorts during their time together, was dispatched to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and took his talented clerk with him. The archipelago fired Manookian’s creativity, who transformed himself from an illustrator into an artist. His approach to Hawaiian culture was bound with idealization—“no more intriguing artists’ paradise than these mid-Pacific gardens of the Gods,” he stated in 1927—as shown in the historical and mythological images that he created to accompany McClellan’s pieces.

In 1927 Manookian was honorably discharged as a corporal and decided to stay in Honolulu, while McClellan was called to the mainland and then to Nicaragua. The painter had found work as an illustrator with the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, and would continue working with the magazine Paradise of the Pacific. In the almost six years that he lived in Honolulu he produced paintings, magazine illustrations and, most impressively, murals that “were completely unlike anything that Honolulu audiences had previously seen,” in the words of art historian David Forbes. His use of color was particularly original. Another art historian, John Seed, who has researched Manookian’s life and art in depth, has noted: “His bond with Hawaii suggests a deep longing to be connected to a place and culture, perhaps as a replacement for what had been lost.”

After the stock market crash of 1929, the Hawaiian economy declined, with tourism and construction slowing down. Manookian’s workload also went down. In late 1930 he met Cyril Lemmon, a young architect who dabbled in painting. They started working together, and Manookian moved to the home of his new friend, who had recently married.

He continued working until the end of his life, but he was emotionally fragile. The years of terror during the genocide and his uprootedness, as well as his separation from his mother and siblings, who had been able to move to Switzerland in the late 1920s, took its toll. On May 10, 1931, while the Lemmons and a few friends were playing the parlor game “Murder,” Arman Manookian drank poison and stumbled in the kitchen, never to regain consciousness.

A memorial exhibit for the unfortunate painter was held at the Honolulu Academy in the fall of 1933. Manookian’s works are held in several museums, and only 31 of his oil paintings are known to exist. They have become very valuable in the last few years, with several exhibitions held in Hawaii, where he was acknowledged as “Hawaii’s Van Gogh” in the House of Representatives resolution that recognized the Armenian Genocide.

“Hawaiian Boy and Girl” Collection of John and Patsy Dilks
Men in an Outrigger Canoe Headed for Shore
Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web page ( www.armenianprelacy. org ).


Last Sunday's Reflection was offered by Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Vicar General. His Grace was reflecting on the Book of John 5:24.

Click Here to watch.

Don't forget to call your mother! I wish I could call mine.

God Gave to me a Child
God gave to me a child—and then I knew
The parenthood of God, the eternal care
Of He who keeps the night watch and never sleeps
Who, when His children need Him, is always there.
I sought His knowledge for so long a while, 
And then I found it in my little baby's smile.

(The third stanza of "God gave to me a Child" by James B. Singleton

SIAMANTO ACADEMY—Meets every second Saturday of the month at the Hovnanian School, 817 River Road, New Milford, New Jersey. For information: or 212-689-7810.

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

May 17-20—National Association of Ladies Guilds (NALG) Annual Conference concurrent with the National Representative Assembly (NRA), hosted by All Saints Church, Glenview, Illinois.

May 21—St. Gregory Church of Merrimack Valley, North Andover, Massachusetts, 47th anniversary celebration and year-end hantes of church schools. Archbishop Oshagan will celebrate the Divine Liturgy and preside over the dedication of the Tom M. Vartabedian Library and anniversary/hantes.

November 19SAVE THE DATE. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the ordination of His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan.

December 5-8—World General Assembly of the Great House of Cilicia, at the Catholicosate in Antelias, Lebanon.

The Armenian Prelacy 
Tel: 212-689-7810 ♦ Fax: 212-689-7168 ♦ Email:

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