November 12, 2020
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CATHOLICOS ARAM I: ARTSAKH IS OURS, NOW AND FOREVER
It is only natural and fair that the daughters and sons of our nation will reject the agreements imposed on us, regardless of how inevitable they are. However, in these decisive days, we must be united and wise, staying away from expressions and deeds that undermine our unity. The world must know that under every circumstance Artsakh is ours and will remain ours now and forever.

Catholicos Aram I
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON “CILICIA AND THE CILICIA ARMENIANS DURING THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE YEARS”
On occasion of the centennial of the resistance battles of Cilicia in 1920-21, the Genocide Museum-Institute Foundation and the Catholicosate of the Holy See of Cilicia organized jointly an international conference on “Cilicia and the Cilicia Armenians during the Armenian Genocide years,” which was held in Yerevan on October 30 and 31.

The conference was opened with the blessing by Rev. Fr. Asoghik Karapetyan, Director of the Museums of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. Yeghia Djeredjian, representative of the Holy See of Cilicia, also delivered opening remarks. For his part, Genocide Museum-Institute Foundation Director Harutyun Marutyan gave a presentation on “Self-defense combats and existential battles: a look back a century later and now,” which was received with interest and enthusiasm by the attendees.

In six sessions spread over two days, there were presentations by experts from Armenia (Genocide Museum, National Academy of Sciences, State University of Yerevan, Faculty of Pedagogy, Faculty of Medicine, Charian Museum of Literature and Art, Orbeli Research Center), as well as the Diaspora (Lebanon, Britain, United States). Attendees participated in lively discussions and Q&A sessions.
ARCHBISHOP ANOUSHAVAN AT ST. SARKIS
On Sunday, November 15, Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate, will preside over the Divine Liturgy at St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York. Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian, Pastor, will celebrate the Divine Liturgy and deliver the sermon. Our faithful may follow the ceremony via live streaming.

Our faithful can watch the Livestream this Sunday morning by visiting ArmenianPrelacy.org/Livestream
THE PRELATE'S REFLECTION
“DO NOT FEAR, ONLY BELIEVE”
Today on the ninth Sunday of the Feast of the Holy Cross, our Scriptural reading is from the Gospel of St. Luke (8:49-57). One day, as our Lord Jesus Christ was teaching, a synagogue leader, named Jairus, beseeches him to come to his house and heal his only daughter. On His way our Lord is delayed, for he heals a woman who was suffering of hemorrhage for 12 years. Until then the sad news arrives from the leader’s house that the daughter passed. Our Lord encourages the miserable father by saying, “Do not fear. Only believe, and she will be saved.” Arriving at Jairus’s home, He comforts those who were weeping and wailing, telling them that the girl is not dead but sleeping , and entering the teen’s room with his three disciples and the parents, holds the hand of the girl and says, “Dalita Gumi” which means, “Child, get up”. The evangelist narrates with all the details how the girl’s spirit returned, and she gets up at once, and Jesus directs the parents to give her something to eat.

The resuscitation of Jairus’s daughter, as much as is astonishing, also presents beautiful details that nourish, deepen, and strengthen our Christian faith. I would like to share the following points:

a. It is indeed amazing to witness how the teaching and healings of our Lord Jesus Christ are interwoven so harmoniously. By following in His footsteps, we will be fascinated when we realize that He never loses an opportunity to bring relief as much as possible. As we see in the above episode, on His way to Jairus’s house He heals a woman suffering for 12 years. This is indeed a great message that God never stops doing good things, and as such, reminds us that we should seize each occasion to express our divine character by doing good things. Indeed, time is money. But how do we use it? That is the most crucial question to which we should respond in action. St. Paul, through his personal example, teaches us that “whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good” (Gal 6:10).

b. “Do not fear, only believe”. Fear and Faith, these two feelings direct our thoughts and deeds. While fear is rooted in our corporal existence and ignorance, as well as shaped by our circumstances, faith is anchored in the spiritual realm and knowledge, as well as developed by the circumstances. We swing between these two poles. Our Lord, the physician not only of diseases but also of death, invites us to be free of fear. He teaches us the simplest way to get rid of this weakness: to embrace Him, to carry Him, as He said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives” (Jn 14:27).

c. This statement of the power of Faith, belief, becomes more factual and tangible when Jesus addresses the crowd by saying that the girl is not dead but sleeping. The solemn diagnosis of the Giver of life that the girl is not dead but sleeping is beyond human understanding. Nevertheless, it sheds a new light and opens a new dimension of our existence. Death is the end point. This is human definition, but not the Creator’s. It is a transition from our terrestrial to celestial existence. It is only this firm knowledge, which is defined as faith, that gives the strength to overcome fear and to use our God granted precious life accordingly.  

As Armenian Christians, we are so grateful for the insight of our Fathers who have grasped the essence of the Dominical message and, amid terror and extermination, have interpreted this existential Truth of our Lord Jesus Christ it in their daily life. In this regard, the creed of our Fathers of the Battle of Avarayr is indeed monumental, when they had declared that “Unconscious death is death; conscious death is immortality.” Our fathers, inspired by the Living Word who said, “I am Resurrection and Life,” overcame strength of fear, and crushed the terror of death, and transmitted an everlasting legacy to the generations to come.

Today, our Holy Mass is offered in remembrance of our innocent victims of an unjust and inhuman crime. On September 27, the government of Azerbaijan with the full support of Turkey, joined by thousands of terrorist mercenaries launched a war against Artsakh. Over the last forty-three days, the world is witnessing the first cruel genocide of the century perpetrated with unconventional weapons, and unfortunately it is in the role of passive spectator.

The History of the Martyrdom of the Armenian nation, as defined by a French author, is being continued mercilessly. The Armenians are challenging not only the pitiless threat of the perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide in 1915 and the massacres of Shushi in 1920, but Death itself, for we read in their DNA, “conscious death is immortality”. The aggressors are superior, being equipped by the most modern and sophisticated military weapons, yet the Armenian heroes of Artsakh war are shedding their precious blood to defend their Homeland, their Faith, their Identity, and their Right valiantly and fearlessly.

By repeating our Morning Service supplication addressed to the Holy Virgin Mary, we say, “We beseech you, pray for us to God who became flesh through you, that wars may end, that the attacks of the enemies may cease, that love and justice may be established in this world”, and we praise the Almighty Lord. Amen.  
CROSSROADS GETS A FACELIFT
For more than 15 years, our readers have been enjoying “Crossroads,” first in English and since 2018 in its Armenian version as well.

On Thursday, November 19, we are introducing improvements in the design and layout of “Crossroads.” Our articles, news from schools and parishes, notices about church feasts and other topics will be displayed in the form of brief summaries. They will link up to our newer, more reader-friendly website.
THE MEMBERSHIP DUES CAMPAIGN CONTINUES
More than ever in our living memory, the Prelacy needs your support. Please give as generously as you can, “remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive’” (Acts 20:35).
 
Please help us keep alive the huge achievements we have attained with our joint efforts. We will emerge stronger with the hand you lend us.

Click the image above to make your contribution to the Eastern Prelacy.
THE LEBANON RELIEF FUND
The Eastern Prelacy fundraising for our brothers and sisters, thanks to the generous donations of our faithful and the cooperation of our clergy, has reached the amount of $365,259. Your contribution is distributed to our brothers and sisters by the Lebanon Central Coordinating Committee headed by Archbishop Shahe Panossian, Prelate.
To see the general list of donations, click here.
BIBLE READINGS
Bible readings for Sunday, November 15, Tenth Sunday of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, are: Isaiah 25:9-26:7; Philippians 1:1-11; Luke 9:43-50.
Philippians 1:1-11
 
Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
 
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. 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. It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart, for all of you share in God’s grace with me, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.

***
 
Luke 9:43-50
 
While everyone was amazed at all that he was doing, he said to his disciples, “Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into human hands.” But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was concealed from them, so that they could not perceive it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying.
 
An argument arose among them as to which one of them was the greatest. But Jesus, aware of their inner thoughts, took a little child and put it by his side, and said to them, “Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me; for the least among all of you is the greatest.”
 
John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.” But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him; for whoever is not against you is for you.”
For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.
THE HOLY APOSTLES ANDREW AND PHILIP
The word apostle refers to the special inner circle of Jesus’ disciples, chosen by Jesus to accompany Him during His ministry, to learn from Him, follow His instructions and continue his work.
 
This Saturday, November 14, the Armenian Church celebrates two Holy Apostles, Andrew and Philip. Andrew was a Galilean fisherman and the first-called of the followers of Christ, along with his brother Simon, who was later called Peter. Philip was from Bethsaida and after he had been called to be an apostle he brought in Nathanael (later called Bartholomew).
PAREGENTAN OF THE FAST OF ADVENT
This Sunday, November 15, is the Eve (Paregentan) of the Fast of Advent (Hisnag). This is a weeklong fast (Monday to Friday) leading up to the first Sunday of Advent, which is next Sunday, November 22.
 
Advent is the period that guides us to the birth and baptism of Christ. It begins fifty days before January 6. Advent is intended to be a solemn and quiet time for prayer, reflection, and meditation in preparation for the mystery of the incarnation.
 
Traditionally the entire fifty-day period of Advent was a period of fasting. Now there are three weeklong fasts during Advent (along with the regular fasting days of Wednesday and Friday). The three week-long fasts are known as: The Fast of Advent (Hisnagats Bahk); The Fast of St. James (Sourp Hagopah Bahk); and the Fast of the Nativity (Dznuntyan Bahk).
Also commemorated this week:
Thursday, November 12: Sts. Gurias, Samonas, Abibas the Deacon, Romanus the Monk, and Confessor Youth, Hesychius the Soldier.
FROM OUR PARISHES
DN. KEVORK HADJIAN AND ALL FALLEN SOLDIERS REMEMBERED
On Sunday, November 8, St. Illuminator's Cathedral held a fortieth day Hokehankisd requiem service for Dn. Kevork Hadjian and all fallen soldiers in defense of Artsakh and the Armenian nation. Dn. Kevork, a beloved member of the church family, fell in combat on October 6. 
 
Soorp Badarak and the Hokehankisd service was followed by a memorial program in John Pashalian Hall, presided by His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate. It was attended by about 60 parishioners, friends of Dn. Kevork and fellow members of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF). Armen Morian, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, introduced the program and served as master of ceremonies.
 
In his tribute, Anoushavan Srpazan remembered Dn. Kevork as a dedicated servant of the Armenian Church and nation.
 
Der Mesrob Lakissian, Pastor of St. Illuminator's, gave a deeply emotional appreciation of Dn. Kevork. They had grown up together in Anjar (Lebanon) before being reunited and reacquainted in New York during Dn. Kevork’s many visits to St. Illuminator’s. Nazareth Markarian also paid tribute to Dn. Kevork on behalf of the ARF New York Armen Garo Gomideh.  
 
Talented young soprano and St. Illuminator’s favorite, Anahit Indzhigulyan, who had once been Dn. Kevork’s music student, delivered a moving and tearful tribute in word and song with her rendering of “Mardigi yerke.” In another touching moment, three young members of the parish, who had also been students of Dn. Kevork, presented Anoushavan Srpazan with three CDs of patriotic and religious songs recorded by him.  
 
The program concluded with the singing of Cilicia by Bedros Hovannesian and Verkerov Lee by all participants.
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 children addressed to their actual or potential sponsors. We are pleased to share some of these letters through Crossroads.

This week’s letter is from Arshak* who is sponsored by Vahe and Hasmig Dombalagian.

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

Thank you for including me in this program.

My name is Arshak and I am 15 years old. I live in the Gegharkunik region of Armenia, in the village of Antaramej with my mother and sister. I go to our local public school. I graduated from 9th grade with good results and got promoted to 10th grade. I want to become a military pilot and this year I will enlist in the Monte Melkonian Military Academy to achieve that goal. 

I like to ride my bicycle and to play soccer. I help my mother and sister in any way I can.

Presently, I help my mother to mow the grass and when we finish this task we will start gathering wood for the winter from the nearby forest.

Until next time,

Arshak
We have:
14 children in the Orphans’ Sponsorship Program without a sponsor 
9 children in the College Sponsorship Program without a sponsor
32 orphans in the waiting list of the Prelacy’s Sponsorship Program.
 
Each of these 55 children needs your sponsorship. They need it now!

Click here for online sponsorship of minors up to the age of 18.

Click here for online sponsorship of orphans who become students at a higher education institution upon turning 18.

You can always contact the Prelacy by email (sophie@armenianprelacy.org) or telephone (212-689-7810) for the sponsorship of both minors and university students in the program of the St. Nerses the Great Organization in Armenia.
“THE BANALITY OF INDIFFERENCE:
ZIONISM AND THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE”
(Yair Auron)
The parallels between the Jewish and Armenian situations and the reactions of the Jewish community in Palestine (the Yishuv) to the Armenian genocide, which was muted and largely self-interested, are explored by Yair Auron. In attempting to assess and interpret these disparate reactions, Auron maintains a fair-minded balance in assessing claims of altruism and self-interest, expressed in universal, not merely Jewish, terms.

While not denying the uniqueness of the Holocaust, Auron carefully distinguishes it from the Armenian genocide by reviewing existing theories and relating Armenian and Jewish experience to ongoing issues of politics and identity. As a groundbreaking work of comparative history, this volume will be of interest to Armenian area specialists, historians of Zionism and Israel, and students of genocide.
Copies of this book may be purchased from the Prelacy Bookstore
(books@armenianprelacy.org or 212-689-7810)














 
































Birth of Artashes Babalian (November 17, 1886)
Artashes Babalian is not a household name, but was among the protagonists of the history of the first independent Republic of Armenia as Parliament and cabinet member.

He was born on November 17, 1886, in Shushi (Gharabagh). He studied at the local Russian school and from early age was a member of the student groups of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF). He participated in the self-defense of Gharabagh during the Armeno-Tatar conflict of 1905-1907. In 1907 he went to Switzerland and studied medicine at the University of Geneva, graduating in 1912. While in Geneva, he continued his party activities as member of the editorial board of the monthly Usanogh and contributor to the ARF organ Droshak. He returned to Shushi in 1912 and then moved to St. Petersburg, where he worked at the Obukhov hospital while he prepared to pass his exams and get his medical license. In 1913 he participated in the seventh World Assembly of the ARF as representative of the students from Russia.

After he passed his exams, in 1914 he moved to Kharkov, where he was working when World War I started. In 1915, he abandoned the city to enroll in the volunteer battalion of Khanasori Vartan (Vartan Mehrabian), which fought in the Caucasus front, as its doctor. The battalion participated in the liberation of Van in May 1915. Babalian organized hospitals in the city and became head of the department of health of the provisional government of Van and member of the city council. When the sudden Russian retreat happened, he managed to move the wounded and ill Armenian soldiers under treatment to Igdir. He was decorated with the medal of St. George by the Russian government for his successful organization of this evacuation. After working in Echmiadzin on the care of Armenian refugees, in 1916 he was sent again to Van after the Russian army had reoccupied the city to organize the care of the refugees who had returned there.

Babalian departed to Tiflis in late 1917, when the Russian army started leaving the Caucasus front after the October Revolution. He was elected member of the Armenian National Council and the All-Russian Cities Union. After the proclamation of the Republic of Armenia, in the summer of 1918 he was elected member of the Parliament. In late 1918, he went to Constantinople to join the delegation headed by Avetis Aharonian who was negotiating with the Ottoman government.

After participating in the ninth World Assembly of the party in September-October 1919, Babalian was appointed to ministerial positions: in October 1919-May 1920, he was Minister of Public Healthcare and Labor, and in May-October 1920, he served as deputy prime minister. The critical last months of the first independence found him first in Gharakilise (now Vanadzor), helping put down the May 1920 Bolshevik uprising. In September, after the beginning of the Armeno-Turkish war, he was sent to the front of Kars and Sarikamish with Simon Vratzian as government commissioner. He fell prisoner to the Turkish army on October 30, 1920, when the impregnable fortress of Kars was occupied almost without resistance.

Babalian remained as prisoner in Kars and then in Erzerum (Karin) in 1920-1921. After a year in prison, he was released in October 1921 and settled in Tabriz (Iran). His wife and children joined him later. After moving to Zanjan in 1924, he moved to the capital Tehran in 1928, where he worked until 1938 as head of department at the Pahlavi military hospital.

He lost his sons in 1931 and 1939, and he devoted himself totally to public and party activities to find relief to his grief. When the Soviet forces entered Iran in September 1943, he was arrested and imprisoned until June 1945. After his release, he was elected to several positions, such as church board chairman, member of the Representative Assembly of the Diocese of Tehran, and vice-president and then president of the Diocesan Council, among other positions.

In 1959, he published his memoirs in Cairo and passed away on August 1, at the age of seventy-three, in Tehran.
Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site (www.armenianprelacy.org). 
PLEASE REMEMBER
THE LEBANESE ARMENIAN COMMUNITY NEEDS OUR HELP MORE THAN EVER
 
TO DONATE NOW CLICK HERE 
OR IF YOU PREFER YOU MAY MAIL YOUR DONATION TO:
 
Armenian Prelacy
138 E. 39th Street
New York, NY 10016
Checks payable to: Armenian Apostolic Church of America
(Memo: Lebanon Relief Fund)

WRITE TO US
Crossroads welcomes your letters (English and/or Armenian), as well as parish news, photographs, and calendar items. The deadline for submitting items is Tuesday evenings. Please write to crossroads@armenianprelacy.org.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
(Calendar items may be edited to conform to space and style)
October 14—December 2: Bible Study on St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians, Wednesday evenings from 8:00-9:00 pm (EST), conducted by Archdeacon Shant Kazanjian, Director of Christian Education (Eastern Prelacy). To register, please email your name, email address, and phone number to shant@armenianprelacy.org.

November 21—Annual Armenian Food Drive-Thru Festival at Holy Trinity Armenian Church of Worcester, Massachusetts. Details to follow.

December 6 Sixty-six anniversary of St. Gregory the Illuminator Church of Granite City, Illinois, presided by His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan.
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