May 9, 2019
Members of the Central, Religious and Executive Councils in joint meetings at the Catholicosate in Antelias, Lebanon. Yesterday, the Councils paid tribute to the anniversary of the liberation of Shoushi on May 8, 1992.
Archbishop Anoushavan left Monday evening for the Holy See of Cilicia in Antelias, Lebanon, where he is participating in joint meetings of the Central, Religious and Executive Councils of the Catholicosate. His Eminence is expected to return to the United States on Saturday.

St. Stephen’s Church of Hartford-New Britain, Connecticut, celebrated the 94 th anniversary of the church with an anniversary banquet following the Divine Liturgy last Sunday. Prelacy Certificates of Merit were presented during the banquet to Susan Shabazian, organist and choir director; Sandy Asadourian, chairwoman of the Ladies Guild, and Yeretzgin Margaret Stepanian, in appreciation of their devoted service to the church.
Archbishop Anoushavan celebrated the Divine Liturgy last Sunday at Sts. Vartanantz Church in Ridgefield, on the occasion of the 60 th anniversary of the Church’s consecration.

During the banquet four families who have remained faithful parishioners and supporters of the church from generation to generation were honored. The honored families were the Sarajian, Najarian, Mirakian, and Garabedian familes. Seen above with the Prelate, Der Hovnan, and chairman of the board of trustees are representatives of the four families, from left, Yester Garabedian, Margaret Entrup (Mirakian), Sally and John Najarian, and Arax Sarajian, seated.

A scene from the banquet in the Church’s Great Hall.

Archbishop Anoushavan with members of the Board of Trustees.

Archpriest Fr. Antranig Baljian (left), pastor of St. Stephen Church in Watertown, Massachusetts, with Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan (center), Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church (Eastern), and Rev. Fr. Arakel Aljalian, pastor of the host parish, St. James Armenian Church in Watertown.
Archpriest Fr. Antranig Baljian, pastor of St. Stephen’s Church in Watertown, Massachusetts, served as the Eastern Prelacy’s representative at the Annual Assembly of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church that convened last week in Burlington, Massachusetts. 

Der Antranig was greeted with warmth by the Assembly where he delivered the following message:

“Words cannot express my joy and the honor I feel to have been chosen to represent His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian and the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America. Our newly-elected Prelate extends to our newly-elected Primate his most sincere and heartfelt greetings, along with his prayers for a successful and productive Assembly, as well as for the continuation of the cordial interpersonal relationship which was established by their wonderful predecessors, Archbishop Khajag and Archbishop Oshagan.

“Those of my clergy brothers who know me—as well as some of the older delegates—know that I have always been and will continue to be a firm advocate for our healing as a Church, both here in the United States and throughout the world. As a priest of 43 years, I strongly believe that true salvation as a nation, as a church and as a people lies in our togetherness: our oneness of spirit and our unity of will to be one family, one church, one people, healed and made whole by God’s grace and love.”

Parcels of non-perishable food were distributed to students and staff of the Pagaran Middle School during the Holy Week.
Through the wishes expressed by the benefactor, the Pastor and Board of Trustees of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral made a generous donation through the Azadouhi Zaroukian Fund to distribute more than 100 Easter baskets of food to students and staff of the Pagaran Middle School. The same benefactor sponsored the establishment of a computer lab at the school in January. Pagaran is located near the border of Turkey and the Arax and Akhourian rivers. The parcels contained non-perishable staple items such as rice, sugar, pasta, dry beans, olives, cooking oil, chocolate, and powdered milk and eggs, with each parcel weighing in excess of 30 pounds.

The logistics of purchasing, packing, and distributing the parcels was supervised by the Prelacy’s charitable organization in Armenia—St. Nerses the Great Charitable and Social Organization.

A Note about the Readings:  Beginning on Monday April 29 and continuing until Pentecost (June 9) 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 12 , Red Sunday , are: (1) Luke 9:18-36 ;( 2) Acts 13:16-43; 1 Peter 5:1-14; John 5:19:30; (3) Matthew 11:25-30; (4) Mark 4:26-34.

So Paul stood up and with a gesture began to speak:

“You Israelites, and others who fear God, listen. The God of this people Israel chose our ancestors and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with uplifted arm he led them out of it. For about forty years he put up with them in the wilderness. After he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance for about four hundred fifty years. After that he gave them judges until the time of the prophet Samuel. Then they asked for a king; and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, who reigned for forty years. When he had removed him, he made David their king. In his testimony about him he said, “I have found David, son of Jesse, to be a man after my heart, who will carry out all my wishes. Of this man’s posterity God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised; before his coming John had already proclaimed a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. And as John was finishing his work, he said, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. No, but one is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of the sandals on his feet.’

“My brothers, you descendants of Abraham’s family, and others who fear God, to us the message of this salvation has been sent. Because the residents of Jerusalem and their leaders did not recognize him or understand the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath, they fulfilled those words by condemning him. Even though they found no cause for a sentence of death, they asked Pilate to have him killed. When they had carried out everything that was written about him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead; and for many days he appeared to those who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, and they are now his witnesses to the people. And we bring you the good news that what God promised to our ancestors he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising Jesus; as also it is written in the second psalm. ‘You are my Son; today I have begotten you.’ As to his raising him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way, ‘I will give you the holy promises made to David.’ Therefore he has also said in another psalm, ‘You will not let your Holy One experience corruption.’ For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, died, was laid beside his ancestors, and experienced corruption; but he whom God raised up experienced no corruption. Let it be known to you therefore, my brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you; by this Jesus everyone who believes is set free from all those sins from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. Beware, therefore, that what the prophets said does not happen to you: ‘Look, you scoffers! Be amazed and perish, for in you days I am doing a work, a work that you will never believe, even if someone tells you.’”

As Paul and Barnabas were going out, the people urged them to speak about these things again the next Sabbath. When the meeting of the synagogue broke up, many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who spoke to them and urged them to continue in the grace of God. (Acts 12:16-43)


Once when Jesus was praying alone, with only the disciples near him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They answered, “John the Baptist; but others, Elijah; and still others, that one of the ancient prophets has arisen.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “The Messiah of God.”

He sternly ordered and commanded them not to tell anyone, saying, “The Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”

Then he said to them all, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it. What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words, of them the Son of Man will be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. But truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.”

Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling while. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen. (Luke 9:18-36)

For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.
This Sunday (May 12) is the fourth Sunday of Eastertide, known as Red Sunday ( Garmir Giragi ). The name does not have an ecclesiastical origin. Red is the color of blood and this may be an appropriate time to honor the memory of the early Christian martyrs. The name Red Sunday is also believed to refer to the burst of color that comes forth from the land after a barren winter. Similar to last week’s Green Sunday, it is a celebration of nature and life, symbolizing rebirth after the Resurrection of our Lord.

The Eastern Prelacy’s National Representative Assembly (NRA), hosted by St. Asdvadzadzin Church, Whitinsville, Massachusetts, will convene next week, May 16 to 18. The Clergy conference will begin on Wednesday, May 15. The theme of this year’s Assembly is “Re-Engage and Re-Discover Your Church.”
Concurrent with the Assembly, the annual conference of the National Association of Ladies Guilds (NALG) will take place.

The NRA 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.

Dr. Matiossian presents his paper at the Second Feminist Armenian Studies Workshop.
On May 4 and 5 ANEC Executive Director Dr. Vartan Matiossian traveled to California, where he was invited to present a paper at the Second Feminist Armenian Studies Workshop, held at the University of California-Irvine. The conference was organized by professors Houri Berberian (UCI), Melissa Bilal (Armenian University of Armenia), and Lerna Ekmekcioglu (MIT). It gathered 15 speakers from the United States, Armenia, and Japan. Dr. Matiossian’s presentation was entitled “Armen Ohanian: Art and Revolution from the Caucasus to Mexico.”


We are pleased to announce that plans are underway for the 33 rd annual St. Gregory of Datev Institute Summer Program, a unique Christian educational program for youth ages 13-18. Sponsored by the Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC), the weeklong program will be held at St. Mary of Providence Center in Elverson, Pennsylvania, from June 30 to July 7, 2019. For information and registration, please click here .

The Prelacy’s Orphan Sponsorship program was established in 1993 and continues to be the central mission of the Prelacy’s programs in Armenia and Artsakh. As part of the program, letters are received regularly from sponsored children addressed to their sponsors.

We like to share some of these letters through Crossroads. This week’s letter is from Allen, who is a fourth grade student, with an addendum written by his mother. 
Dear honored friend,

My name is Allen….. I live in the Tavoush region of Armenia, in the village of Movses. I am now in 4 th grade in the elementary school of our village. I am on the honor roll in school. Soon the winter vacation will be over and the hustle and bustle of school days will begin again. I am waiting impatiently to go back to school. I miss my schoolmates and my teacher.

Besides school, I like to dance and play soccer.


Dear Sponsor,

I would like to thank you very much for everything. We are so proud to have you as friends. May God always bless you.

Allen’s mom
Currently there are children on the waiting list for the Prelacy’s Sponsorship Program. If you would like to sponsor a child please contact the Prelacy by email ( ) or telephone (212-689-7810, ask for Sophie).  

Archbishop Anoushavan with artist Arpi Nardone and Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian (left) and Rev. Fr. Vahan Kouyoumdjian during the opening reception of the exhibit of the artist’s intricate works of art.
The opening reception of an exhibit of the Shadow Tole Art of Arpi Nardone took place last week at the Prelacy’s Vahakn & Hasmig Hovnanian Hall, under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan, and hosted by the Hamazkayin Educational & Cultural Society of New York. Arpi Nardone and her art have achieved international recognition and her works have been exhibited at Cartier International, as well as many private galleries. 
Archpriest Fr. Daron Stepanian, pastor of St. Paul Armenian Church in Waukegan, Illinois, presented the first part of a lecture about the Divine Liturgy, taking the parishioners in a step-by-step journey through the Badarak. Der Hayr will present the second part of the lecture next month.

St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Church of Indian Orchard, Massachusetts, sponsored a 3-hour seminar on prayer, entitled “Prayer—Personal and Communal,” last Saturday, May 4. At the Invitation of Rev. Fr. Bedros Shetilian, pastor, and the Board of Trustees, the seminar was conducted by Archdeacon Shant Kazanjian, Director of Christian Education of the Eastern Prelacy. Twenty people participated. 

Dn. Shant discussed some of the elements of the prayers that Jesus prayed, the prayer that Jesus gave to his followers, and prayers that the Armenian Church prays. He concluded by providing basic guidelines for establishing a rule for prayer, a system that is doable and flexible and practical for all those who wish to establish a discipline of prayer.
Consecration of Khoren I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia (May 12, 1963) 
After the premature and unexpected passing of Zareh I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia, in February 1963, at the age of forty-eight, it fell to his schoolmate at the Seminary, Archbishop Khoren Paroyan, and the difficult task to steer the ship of the Catholicosate in hard times. The “greeting of Jerusalem” with Catholicos of All Armenians Vazken I, in October would mend the rift that had appeared in the Armenian Church after the election of Zareh I in 1956.

The future Catholicos was born Mesrob Paroyan on November 24, 1914, in Nicosia (Cyprus), from parents from Kharpert. He spent his childhood in the village of Adalia. Returning to Nicosia in 1927, he entered the local Melikian primary school. Upon graduation in 1931, he was admitted to the newly founded Seminary of the Catholicosate of the Holy See of Cilicia in Antelias. He graduated and was ordained deacon in 1935. Two years later, he took the vows of celibacy and was consecrated monk ( apegha ) with the name Khoren, receiving the rank of archimandrite ( vartabed ) in 1938.

He occupied different positions in the Catholicosate from 1938-1942: chancellor, staff-bearer, vice dean of the Seminary, and member of the Brotherhood’s Administrative Council. In 1942 the Representative Assembly of the Prelacy of Beria (Aleppo) elected the young vartabed as Vicar in the region of Jazeera (on the borders with Turkey and Iraq), where 35,000 Armenians lived at the time. He organized the ecclesiastic, socio-cultural, and educational life for the next five years, during a turbulent period when Syria was engaged in the struggle for independence from the French mandate. Meanwhile, in 1946 he was elevated to the rank of dzayrakooyn vartabed .

In 1947 he returned to Antelias and Catholicos Karekin I consecrated him bishop. From 1947-1951 he held the two most important positions of the Catholicosate, sacristan and “door’s bishop” ( turan yebisgobos ), the latter providing all internal administrative matters. The Representative Assembly of the Prelacy of Lebanon elected him Prelate in late 1951. Bishop Khoren Paroyan once again showed his remarkable skills as administrator and builder, renovating and building new churches and schools.

The election of a successor to Karekin I, who died in 1952, had been postponed several times. After the Brotherhood Assembly elected Bishop Paroyan as new Vicar of the Catholicosate in October 1955, his expediency ensured the holding of elections in February 1956. He would become the right arm of newly elected Catholicos Zareh I.

He was elevated to the rank of archbishop in 1956 and visited the United States as Catholicosal Legate between October 1957 and June 1958. During his eight-month sojourn, he visited all Armenian centers in this country, celebrating the Divine Liturgy, preaching, lecturing, and explaining the role and mission of the Catholicosate in the Diaspora. As a result of his tireless organizational work, the Armenian Prelacy of the United States and Canada was born in 1958. After departing from the United States, he also visited the newly admitted prelacies of Greece, Tehran, Ispahan, and Iranian Azerbaijan.

After Catholicos Zareh I’s passing, Archbishop Khoren was elected once again Vicar and organized the elections held three months later, with the participation, for the first times, of representatives of the new prelacies of the United States, Greece, and Iran. He was elected Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia and consecrated on May 12, 1963. Catholicos Khoren’s twenty-year tenure was marked by a wide effort to improve and renovate the monastery of Antelias, as well as the seminary in Bikfaya. He also executed the construction of affordable housing for Armenian families in the neighborhood of Fanar and initiated the construction of the Armenian Home for the Aged. He visited the faithful in the different countries, including a four-month visit to the United States and Canada in 1969. He had also met Pope Paul VI at the Vatican in 1967, while elevating the visibility of the Catholicosate both in the relations with the other Armenian denominations and the ecumenical field.

Health problems affected Khoren I starting with a heart crisis in 1969 during his American trip. In 1977, after the celebration of the fortieth anniversary of his consecration as celibate priest, Archbishop Karekin Sarkissian, then Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy, was elected Catholicos Coadjutor. He would become Khoren I’s successor after his death on February 9, 1983, opening a new chapter in the history of the Catholicosate.

Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site ( ).
His Holiness Khoren I on April 16, 1969, during his extended visit to the United States visits the Secretary-General of the United Nations, U Thant.

We remind everyone that the deadline to receive copy and photographs for publication in Thursday’s Crossroads electronic newsletter is Wednesday at noon. Your cooperation will permit us to issue Crossroads on a timely schedule.

This Sunday (May 12) is Mothers’ Day. Don’t forget to call your mother!

( Calendar items may be edited to conform to space and style )
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 11 —Mother’s Day Dinner Dance, 6:30 pm at the Crowne Plaza, Warwick, Rhode Island, honoring Mother of the Year Maro Dionisopoulos. Reservations and Information:

May 16-18 —National Representative Assembly of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, hosted by St. Asdvatzadzin Church of Whitinsville, MA.

May 30 —“Music of My Soul” by Karine Poghosyan, piano, Zankel Hall, 7:30 pm. Carnegie Hall Box Office 212-247-7800.

June 15 —Patriotic Songs by Karnig Sarkissian and performance by Hamazkayin’s Nayiri Dance Ensemble and Arekag Chorus, honor of First Republic of Armenia, 7:30 pm, Assyrian Orthodox Church of Virgin Mary, Paramus, NJ. For information: or

June 30-July 7 —33 rd St. Gregory of Datev Summer Institute (ages 13-19) at St. Mary of Providence Center, Elverson, PA. Sponsored by Eastern Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC). Information: or 212-689-7810.

October 9-12 —On the occasion of the Feast of the Holy Translators a joint clergy conference of the Eastern, Western, and Canadian Prelacies will convene in Montebello, CA.

October 12 —Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, NJ continues celebration of 60 th anniversary with Elie Berberian and his band. Information: 201-943-2950.

October 19 —Armenian Friends of America Annual Hye Kef 5 Dance, featuring The Vosbikians, at Double Tree by Hilton, Andover, MA. For information: Sharke’ Der Apkarian at 978-808-0598; John Arzigian at 603-560-3826.

November 17 —SAVE THE DATE for 150 th anniversary of birth of Gomidas Vartabed, organized by the Eastern Prelacy. Details will follow.

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