May 18, 2017


The 2017 National Representative Assembly (NRA) convened today and will conclude at noon on Saturday. The Assembly is hosted by All Saints Church of Glenview, Illinois. The clergy conference began yesterday afternoon and the full Assembly officially opened with a prayer by the Prelate, His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan. Very Rev. Fr. Ghevont Pentezian, pastor of the host parish, welcomed the delegates as did Hagop Soulakian, chairman of the Board of Trustees. 

After a series of preliminary duties in the morning session, the afternoon session was devoted to messages and reports that began with a message from His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia. In the keynote address Archbishop Oshagan focused his remarks on the theme of the year, Renewal, and the formation of a Youth Ministry Department. “We must strive,” the Prelate said, “to present the entire culture of the Armenian Church to old and young. Our culture, faith, language, became the color of our skin; became our character like the unique physical attributes of a race. With the message of the Bible as our directive, wherever we went, even before our homes we built the fortress of our survival—the Armenian Church.” 

Jack Mardoian, chairman of the Executive Council presented the Council’s report to the NRA. Enumerating a host of accomplishments during the year, Mr. Mardoian said, “Despite the accomplishments, we have only begun to scratch the surface of what is required of us as a Council, of what we require of our parishes, and what we believe will enhance our spiritual life and ability to serve as a church.” Mr. Mardoian then went on to speak about the specifics of renewal with the emphasis that renewal of our church will not be accomplished in one year “just because this year has been proclaimed as the Year of Renewal… Renewal is an ongoing process which will require undertaking meaningful and important challenges and in recognizing that a ‘one size fits all’ plan does not work when you have a Prelacy as varied and diverse as ours. It is our hope that the first steps in clearly establishing this agenda will come from your ideas and the program we adopt at this Assembly.” 

Tomorrow, presentations on Parish Renewal will be offered by Joseph Kormos from the Orthodox Church of America and Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian, pastor of St. Sarkis Church in Douglaston, New York. Panels will also convene on proposed bylaws changes and proposed budget. 

The Assembly will conclude on Saturday following elections for two vacancies on the Religious Council and three on the Lay Council. 

A more comprehensive report will be offered in next week’s Crossroads. The text of the messages of the Catholicos, Prelate, and Chairman will be posted on the Prelacy’s web page early next week.

Some scenes from the Thursday sessions of the National Representative Assembly.


The large hall of Sts. Vartanantz Church in Ridgefield, New Jersey was transformed into an elegant venue for the parish’s third Appreciation Night last Saturday, May 13. Under the auspices and presided by His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan, seven members of the parish were honored for their decades of service to the church in various capacities. The evening’s honorees were Margaret Entrup, Yester Garabedian, Lovenia Gopoian, Hermine Manoukian, Bea Movsesian, Mary Ohanessian, and Arax Sarajian.  

The heavy rains did not dampen the enthusiasm of family and friends who came to add their voices to the well-deserved accolades bestowed upon the honorees. Each honoree was introduced by one of the members of the organizing committee who gave an overview of the person’s service to the church and community. Archbishop Oshagan then presented certificates of appreciation and a large golden Armenian cross engraved with the honorees name. 

Zarmair Setrakian, who together with Maral Doghramadjian and Lynn Mahlebjian organized the event, served as the Master of Ceremonies. Rev. Fr. Hovnan Bozoian, pastor, provided the opening message in which he thanked the honorees on behalf of the Board of Trustees. In his message Archbishop Oshagan praised the parish for recognizing and honoring individuals who have given so much of their time and resources to benefit the Sts. Vartanantz community. 

The honorees with Archbishop Oshagan and Rev. Fr. Hovnan, left to right, Yester Garabedian, Margaret Entrup, Lovenia Gopoian, Der Hovnan, the Prelate, Arax Sarajian, Bea Movsesian, Hermine Manoukian, Mary Ohanessian.

Archbishop Oshagan offers the table blessing.

A partial scene of guests at the Appreciation dinner.


A 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 21, Sixth Sunday of Easter, are: (1) Luke 14:25-15:32; (2); Acts 20:17-38; 1 John 3:2-6; John 9:39-10:10; (3) Matthew 16:13-17:13; (4) Mark 8:27-9:13.
  From Miletus he sent a message to Ephesus, asking the elders of the church to meet him. When they came to him, he said to them:

“You yourselves know how I lived among you the entire time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, serving the Lord with all humility and with tears, enduring the trials that came to me through the plots of the Jews. I did not shrink from doing anything helpful, proclaiming the message to you and teaching you publicly and from house to house, as I testified to both Jews and Greeks about repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus. And now, as a captive to the Spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and persecutions are waiting for me. But I do not count my life of any value to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the good news of God’s grace.

And now I know that none of you, among whom I have gone about proclaiming the Kingdom, will ever see my face again. Therefore I declare to you this day that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God. Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock, of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son. I know that after I have gone, savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Some even from your own group will come distorting the truth in order to entice the disciples to follow them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to warn everyone with tears. And now I commend you to God and to the message of his grace, a message that is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all who are sanctified. I coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothing. You know for yourselves that I worked with my own hands to support myself and my companions. In all this I have given you an example that by such work we must support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

When he had finished speaking, he knelt down with them all and prayed. There was much weeping among them all; they embraced Paul and kissed him, grieving especially because of what he had said, that they would not see him again.  Then they brought him to the ship. (Acts 20:17-38)


  Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.” Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, “surely we are not blind, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.

"Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. 

So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (John 9:39-10:10)

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


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.


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)
Death of Mathurin de La Croze (May 21, 1739)

The pre-modern history of Armenian Studies has several names on its account. The erudite orientalist Mathurin Veyssière de La Croze was one of them, still remembered today because of an often repeated phrase.

La Croze was born on December 4, 1661, in Nantes (France). He was taught by his father, who was a prosperous merchant, and also profited from the extensive family library. He was a proficient speaker and reader of Latin at an age when children had barely learned the basics. However, his father’s excessive severity put an end to his progress, and he obtained permission to go to the French possessions in America and learn the secrets of trade. He went to the island of Guadalupe in 1675, but he did nothing else but to learn English, Spanish, and Portuguese thanks to his contacts with foreigners. Two years later, he came back to Nantes, where his father’s business was failing, and La Croze abandoned business to study medicine. However, he soon changed his mind and chose religious life. He entered the monastery of Saint-Florent de Saumur in 1677 as a novice, studied theology in Le Mans, and became a member of the Benedictine order in Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

However, La Croze’s independent character did not fit within the discipline of the order; he fought against his superiors and was forced to flee France to escape from a prison sentence. He went to Basel (Switzerland) in 1696 and entered the university under a false name. Months later he became a member of the Reformed Church. In 1697 he moved to Berlin, where he became the librarian of the elector-prince of Brandebourg. He published his first book, about French history, in 1698. Two years later, he started working on his Armenian dictionary, which he finished in 1712, but this work of more than 1,200 manuscript pages remained unpublished. In 1713 he translated into Latin a historical poem by Catholicos Nerses Shnorhali (1101-1173), to which he attached a poem by King Hetum II of Cilicia (1289-1298, 1299-1305) and copious notes and a genealogical tree of Cilician kings. He also made other translations from Armenian texts, and copied various manuscripts for his personal use.

In 1718 La Croze wrote a letter to the French translators of the New Testament, Beausobre and Lenfant, which they published in their preface of the translator the same here. The Berlin-based erudite made here his oft-quoted remark about the “Queen of Translations” (translated by Vartan Matiossian), which has been mistakenly ascribed to the entire Bible:

“The Armenian version is, according to me, the queen of all versions of the New Testament. The advantage of this language to be able to express word by word the terms of the original is unmatched by any other. . . . The antiquity of the Armenian version is indubitable. The historians of this nation link it to the beginning of the fifth century, and their authority, that is not to be scorned, is in total agreement with what we can observe by comparing this version with the oldest available Greek copies. From an infinity of examples that I could report, I will just choose two that seem to be worthy of being remarked.

. . . . These two examples will suffice right now. I speak extensively about the Armenian version in the preface of my dictionary of this language. This version is not enough known. . . . I have thought to be able to make you feel, like myself, the beauty, the dignity, and the energy of the Armenian version, without speaking of its antiquity. To get started about this, one needs to learn this language, which is not less useful for the Greek of the Ancient Testament than for the Greek of the New one. The text of the Septuagint may be restored in infinity of places through this version.”

La Croze would also write dictionaries of Coptic, Slavic, and Syriac, of which only the first was posthumously published. He married in 1702 and lived in precarious financial condition for more than two decades, until he became the educator of Princess Wilhelmina, sister of King Frederick II of Prussia. She arranged a raise in his position of library and La Croze was allowed in 1725 to also take a position as professor of Philosophy at the French College of Berlin. He continued working on his scholarly studies until his death on May 21, 1739. Among his most important works were also History of Christianity of the Indies (1724) and History of Christianity of Ethiopia and Armenia (1739).

La Croze, who knew fifteen languages, ancient and modern, including Basque, Armenian, and Chinese, published extensively in the fields of classics and Orientalism, and left many unpublished works, as well as an enormous private library. After his death, his valuable letters, which contain important material for literary history and philology, appeared published in three volumes (1742-1746).

Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web page ( www.armenianprelacy. org ).
Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)

Don’t Mess With… “With”

How do you cut a melon? Whether in English or in Armenian, you cut it with a knife, of course.

Let’s clarify that “with” is a preposition in English, while its Armenian counterpart hետ (hed) is a postposition, which means that it is used at the end of the sentence.


In English, you employ “with” to indicate various things: being together or involved; belonging; use; feeling; agreement or understanding. However, in Armenian, you only employ hed to indicate being together or involved, and agreement or understanding:

1)      Being together: Ես հոն գացի ամուսինիս հետ (Yes hon katsee amooseenees hed) “I went there with my husband”

2)      Agreement: Ես համաձայն եմ ձեզի հետ (Yes hamatzayn em tsezi hed) “I agree with you”

In all other cases, Armenian declension rules apply. Let’s remember that Armenian nouns are declined; for instance, in the first sentence, we find amooseenees, formed by the combination of the genitive declension of the noun amooseen (ամուսին “husband”), amooseenee, and the possessive s (ս). Conversely, English does not have declension, and it uses the construction “with my husband” (preposition + possessive + noun) to say what Armenian expresses with a single word.

Therefore, in the other three cases, when we want to indicate belonging, use, or feeling in Armenian, we never use the postposition hed, but the instrumental declension ով (ov):

1)      Belonging: Կապոյտ աչքերով աղջիկ մը (Gabooyd achkerov aghcheeg muh “A girl with blue eyes”)

2)      Use: Սեխը դանակով կտրեցի (Sekhuh tanagov gudretsee “I cut the melon with a knife”)

3)      Feeling: Ջերմ համբոյրներով (Cherm hampooyrnerov With warm kisses”)

  Otherwise, if you said, for instance, « Սեխը դանակ ին հետ կտրեցի » ( Sekhuh tanagin hed   gudretsee ), this would be nothing but English disguised in an Armenian cloak, or, in other words, a bad translation from English.
Previous entries in “Armenian Language Corner” 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.


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.

June 18—St. Gregory Church, 135 Goodwin Street,  Indian Orchard, Massachusetts, Father’s Day Picnic; Armenian music and dancing featuring Leo Derderian, David Ansbigian, and Haig Aram Arakelian; Activities for young and young at heart. Shish Kebab and Losh Kebab Dinners; Shish Kebab & Losh Kebab Sandwiches; delicious homemade pastries and baked good.

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:

Visit the Catholicosate webpage at