November 21, 2019
This week, Nairi Garibian , a community member of St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church of Indian Orchard, MA reads the 10th prayer of St. Nerses Shnorhali's In Faith I Confess.

Today, Thursday, November 21, the Armenian Church commemorates the Presentation of the Holy Mother to the Temple ( Unsayoum Sourp Asdvadzadzin ), one of the eight feast days devoted to Mary in the Armenian liturgical calendar. The doctrine of the Holy Mother as “Mother-of-God” ( Asdvadzamayr ) and Bearer-of-God ( Asdvadzadzin ) was established in the fifth century at the Holy Ecumenical Council of Ephesus.

The Feast of the Presentation of the Holy Virgin to the temple at the age of three is always commemorated on November 21. She remained in the house of God for twelve years, emerging at the age of fifteen with purity and wholesomeness. During her twelve years in the temple she acquired the knowledge and religion of the greatest scholars, usually denied to female children in those days. The high priest entrusted with the care of Mary was Zachariah, the father of John the Baptist.

Archbishop Anoushavan directed all parishes in the Eastern Prelacy to offer special plate collections on two successive Sundays, last Sunday, November 17 and this Sunday, November 24, that will benefit the 2019 Telethon hosted by the All Armenia Fund on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 28. The Telethon will be broadcast live from Yerevan and Los Angeles, as well as live streamed for audiences around the globe.

Under the banner “To My Beloved Armenia,” proceeds from the 22 nd annual pan-national event will benefit the installation of solar power systems in towns and villages in Armenia and Artsakh, and the construction of drinking water and irrigation networks. Specific projects made possible through the Telethon will comprise the installation of solar-energy systems including solar panels, heaters, and substations; the construction of potable water pipelines and distribution networks; and the drilling of deep-water wells and construction of advanced drip-irrigation systems.

For a complete list of satellite and cable channels that will carry Telethon 2019, see the 2019 Telethon TV Broadcast Guide on

The first annual “Giving Thanks” banquet took place last weekend and all agreed that it was a fitting tribute to the charitable work accomplished in Armenia and Artsakh by the Prelacy’s “St. Nerses the Great Charitable and Social Organization.” Under the slogan “Twenty-Six Years of Love in Action in Armenia and Artsakh,” the banquet paid homage to several exceptional donors as well as to all of different programs that have benefited greatly from the St. Nerses the Great charity.

During the next few weeks we will feature various aspects of the Thanksgiving banquet including some of the speeches and videos and the message of His Holiness Aram I with the hope of making the exceptional charitable work accomplished more widely known.

This week we are happy to share some photographs from the Liturgy and Banquet.
Archbishop Anoushavan attended a farewell reception for the Consul General of Lebanon, His Excellency Majdi Ramadan and Mrs. Vanessa Raphael on Monday evening, November 18, in New York City. Accompanying His Eminence was Archdeacon Shant Kazanjian. Also attending was Mrs. Ani Pampanini, a former member of the Central Executive of the Catholicosate of Cilicia and former member of the Prelacy’s Executive Council.

Bible readings for Sunday, November 24, First Sunday of Advent, are: Isaiah 36:1-9; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10; Luke 12:13-31.

One of the multitude said to him, “Teacher, bid my brother divide the inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or divider over you?” And he said to them, “Take heed, and beware of all covetousness; for a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man brought forth plentifully; and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns, and build larger ones; and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

And he said to his disciples, Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat, nor about your body, what you shall put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a cubit to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass which is alive in the field today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O men of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be of anxious mind. For all the nations of the world seek these things; and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things shall be yours as well. (Luke 12:13-31)


Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.

We give thanks to God always for you all, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brethren beloved by God, that he has chosen you; for our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit; so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything. For they themselves report concerning us what a welcome we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
(1 Thessalonians 1:1-10)

For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here .

This Sunday, November 24, is the first Sunday of Advent (from the Latin adventus, meaning “coming”). Advent is a season of penitence, anticipation, and preparation. Advent serves as a reminder of the original anticipation of the birth of Christ, as well as the anticipation for Christ’s return. Ideally, Advent should be a time of quiet reflection and meditation. In modern times the period leading to Christmas is far from calm, and often is stressful and frenetic. It is a good time to remember to pause and reflect on the proper observation of the birth of our Lord and Savior.

In the true spirit of Christmas, remember that this time of the year, although filled with joy for most, can be lonely and sad for many people. Reach out to an elderly person living alone, someone who is ill, or someone who is mourning the loss of a loved one.

Also commemorated this week:
Saturday, November 23: St. Gregory and St. Nicholas the Wonderworkers.
Monday, November 25: St. Juliana and the Confessors Abraham and Khoren.
Tuesday, November 26: Lucian the priest, Tarachus, Probus, Andronicus, Onesimus and other Disciples of Paul.
Rev. Fr. Stephan Baljian and Rev. Fr. Torkom Chorbajian with the participating Altar Servers at the Conference and Retreat.
Last Saturday, by arrangement of Archbishop Anoushavan and the Religious & Executive Council, a special one-day regional conference and retreat was held for Deacons, Sub-deacons and Stole Bearers serving in the New England area churches affiliated with the Eastern Prelacy. The conference was hosted by the Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church community in Worcester, Massachusetts and facilitated by the church's pastor, Rev Fr. Torkom Chorbajian as well as Rev. Fr. Stephan Baljian, pastor of St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church in North Andover, Mass.

The participating deacons and sub-deacons hailed from several communities throughout the area. The day began with a Morning Service, followed by a Bible Study reflection offered by Der Torkom on I Timothy 3:8-13, in which St. Paul relays to Timothy the important qualities of faithfulness, holiness and servanthood that he is to require of deacons serving in the Church entrusted to his care. During the session that followed Der Hayr led the participants in a workshop aimed at improving the chanting of the Deacon's portion of the Divine Liturgy, as well as offered instruction in the basics of the Classical Armenian "Krapar" language, in order to foster better understanding of its text.

During the afternoon session, Der Stephan offered a presentation on "The role of the Deacon" in the parish, in which he highlighted several varied and valuable ways by which a deacon is called to serve the parish community. He also led a subsequent, practical workshop on the movements of the Divine Liturgy.

The day ended with the traditional Great Vespers service for Saturday evenings, on the occasion of the Feast of the Holy Apostles Andrew and Philip.

Special thanks were expressed to Der Torkom and the Holy Trinity Church community, and especially to the Holy Trinity Ladies' Guild for providing the delicious lunch and snacks.

On the occasion of the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide, the Permanent Mission of Armenia to the United Nations has organized a Round-table discussion that will take place on Monday, December 9, at the ECOSOC Chamber at the United Nations headquarters in New York. The topic of the round-table is “Remembrance and Education as Powerful Tools for Prevention: Drawing Lessons to Address Change.” Moderated by Dr. Simon Adams, Executive Director, Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, panelists include Mr. Adama Dieng, Dr. Henry Theriault, Dr. Johanna Vollhardt, and Dr. Eric D. Weitz. Mr. Mher Margaryan, Permanent Representative of Armenia to the United Nations will offer opening remarks.

In 2015 the United National General Assembly designated the 9 th of December as the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of Genocide. Since then, events in observance of the International Day have been held annually at the United Nations.

For more information about the round-table go to .
If you would like to attend:
Kindly R.S.V.P. by 2 December 2019 .

Guests without a UN badge must register by sending their names to  and need to collect their guest pass in front of the UN Headquarters Visitor Centre at 46 th  Street and 1 st  Avenue from 14:15 to 14:30. 

Photos by Salbe A. Photography
More than 400 supporters and friends gathered last Saturday at The Westin Waltham to celebrate St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School’s (SSAES) 35 th Anniversary. The cocktail hour featured light entertainment with pianist Levon Hovsepian, before guests were ushered in the ballroom.

The event was held under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy. During his opening remarks, Rev. Archpriest Fr. Antranig Baljian, read the letter of congratulations sent by His Eminence who could not attend the event.

The evening’s Mistress of Ceremonies was Lisa Gulesserian, Harvard Preceptor on Armenian Language and Culture, and the keynote speaker was Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and University of California Irvine (UCI) Professor of Engineering, Innovator and Entrepreneur, Dr. Diran Apelian. In his address, Apelian highlighted the importance of being aware and proud of one’s origins and identity as a major predictor of success in life.

In her remarks, SSAES Principal Houry Boyamian spoke about the heightened importance of an Armenian education for the Diaspora in today’s world, and she renewed her pledge to keep the School affordable to all families seeking a rigorous education steeped in a solid Armenian foundation for their children. Chairman of the School Board, Levon Barsoumian, talked about the School’s Financial Aid Program and honored Boyamian for her 31 years of service at the head of the School.

Event Chair, Nicole Babikian Hajjar, praised the School as a gift to the community and highlighted the theme of giving back as central to the entire celebration. She mentioned the 35For35 Challenge initiative, a call to all SSAES alumni to give $35 to the School on its 35 th Anniversary, reporting that about 200 alumni took the Challenge, raising close to $7,000 in funds. Babikian Hajjar announced that the Anniversary’s fundraising goal of $350,000 to benefit the Financial Aid Program had been reached, and that $3,500 of proceeds would be donated to the Soseh Kindergarten of Qarekah (Kharabagh), one of the many Kindergartens funded by the Armenian Relief Society (ARS) in the region. Hajjar thanked the Planning Team, comprised of a large group of current and past parents of the School. In closing, the winner of the Armenia Getaway Raffle, Armen Barooshian, was announced.

Throughout the evening, guests were entertained by the operatic voice of MisterX (Artur Hakobyan) from Los Angeles, who sang a diverse repertoire in different languages.

EDITOR’S NOTE : A beautiful video has been produced by St. Stephen’s School in response to the daunting and frequent question raised by many Diaspora parents: “Why is it important to send my children to an Armenian School?” The School’s Education Committee decided to take a new approach, to present an alternative view of a generation of students who were the product of an Armenian School. Heather Krafian, M.Ed., the SSAES Education Committee co-chair, made the ambitious decision to embark on this endeavor and collect and document the countless childhood memories of the St. Stephen School’s graduate alumni. The video was produced and directed by Heather Krafian with a team effort that included the School’s administration, teachers, students, and alumni. You can see the finished product below.
Armenian Bilingualism in America: Preserving Language & Identity
Celebrating 35 years of St. Stephens' Armenian Elementary School
A scene from Armenian Fest, Providence’s annual extravaganza.

The buffet was filled with delicious food appreciated by all.

Students from the Mourad Armenian School entertained with their beautiful dancing.
In the inimitable words of Armenian Fest committee member, Steve Elmasian, Armenian Fest 2019 guests came from near and far, Armenian and non-Armenian, young and not so young, to take part in this time-honored event for Sts. Vartanantz Church in Providence, Rhode Island. There is no place like home as they came from New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York; from Washington, DC and Atlanta, from as far away as Florida and Chicago and even Ann Arbor, Michigan. All grew up in Providence and all came home just for the bazaar.

They came to eat the best dinners in town at the biggest ethnic festival in Rhode Island. They came to watch the Hamazkayin Artsakh and Mourad Armenian School students and graduates dance in traditional outfits and hear Armenian music played by local musicians. They came in droves for the pastry line which was always busy. They bought Armenian clothes, books and crafts, and saw an historical display second to none. They played the liquor wheel where close to two hundred bottles were won, almost all of which were donated. They sat, ate and played the hourly raffle for two days. Their children had their faces painted while parents were playing the penny social and rummaging through the donated used items at the flea market. They visited the Ararat Café for coffee and dessert and the Country Store for mezza, lahmejune, mock kheyma, and tourshie. The falafel line was busy all weekend long, and it was delicious, and the same went for the sandwich shop. They bid on Silent Auction items. The little ones who serve on the altar, along with the Homenetmen Scouts and AYF Juniors, kept the tables cleaned as an army of young men grilled the meats and another army of women kept the kitchen going with the pilaf and kufta prep. At least a dozen people kept the trays, pans and utensils cleaned at the sink. The food line moved along as volunteers covered all the shifts. Takeout dinners set a new record. Valet service was donated by the Zorabedian brother's company, United Parking.

The Public Relations Committee reached out through social media and the radio and The Rhode Show and Studio One on TV. In addition to the annual main raffle, the Kiddie Korner, and the craft booth, new this year was a photo booth where guests could take commemorative pictures in traditional Armenian costumes.

For the first time on the Sunday of Armenian Fest, a special ceremony was held in honor of Veterans Day. Led by Alysha Phillips and Shant Eghian, everyone in the Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet rose to resoundingly sing the National Anthem. Der Kapriel then blessed and prayed for all the veterans.

Armen Jeknavorian received the 2019 Vahan Cardashian Award from the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) at the 13 th annual ANCA Eastern Region Banquet on November 9 at the University of Massachusetts Lowell Inn & Conference Center. This photo was taken with Trustees and Delegates from St. Gregory Church of North Andover who attended the event. From left, Gregory Minasian (NRA delegate), Mrs. Carol Minasian, Steven Mahlebjian (Trustee), Sylvia Mahebjian (Trustee), Armen Jeknavorian (recipient of Cardashian Award), Mrs. Sossy Jeknavorian (NRA delegate), Rev. Fr. Stephan Baljian (Pastor), Christine Kourkounian (Past Board Chair) and Armen Kourkounian (Trustee).

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 are pleased to share some of these letters through Crossroads .

This week’s letter is from Yuri* who is sponsored by Christopher and Sonia Welsh. 
Dear Sponsor,

My name is Yuri . . . and I am 16 years old. I am a 2 nd year student in Syunik’s regional public college majoring in Vehicles Maintenance and Technical Support. I have one sister and one brother. My brother is a university student, and my sister just started her first year in kindergarten.

My days are very busy. When I wake up in the morning, I take my sister to her kindergarten and go to college. My favorite part on the day is after college, when I can spend some time with my friends. I finish my week back in our village. There, I help my grandmother in all her chores. I love spending time in our village: it’s quiet and clean.

(signed) Yuri

*In order to protect the privacy of the children we use only their first names.
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 ( ) or telephone (212-689-7810), ask for Sophie. 

Death of Henry F. B. Lynch
(November 24, 1913)
A reviewer wrote in the journal Man : “The result is this magnificently printed and illustrated mixture of travel notes and impressions, historical and archeological research, political ratiocination, and geographical information.” He was talking about Henry Finnis Blosse Lynch’s Armenia: Travels and Studies, which became the premier source of historical and geographic information about Armenia at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Lynch was a British traveler and politician with an Armenian connection. His maternal grandfather, Robert Taylor, was a twenty-year-old ensign member of the British East India Company sent to Persia who eloped with the twelve-year-old Rosa, daughter of an Armenian merchant of Shiraz, in the 1790s. One of his daughters, Caroline, married Lt. Henry Blosse Lynch, of the East India Company navy. In 1841 the latter founded Lynch Brothers in Baghdad, a commercial firm that exported goods from Great Britain to Mesopotamia, along with two of his brothers. One of them, Thomas, a classical scholar at Trinity College in Dublin, ended up marrying Harriet, Caroline’s sister, who became the mother of H. F. B. Lynch, and the other, Stephen, married a daughter of another Armenian merchant. 

Henry F. B. Lynch was born on April 18, 1862, in London. He was educated at Eton College, the University of Heidelberg (Germany), and Trinity College in Cambridge. He relinquished a career in law in favor of working for Lynch Brothers. In the late 1880s, he was sent to Baghdad to learn the company business and expand it into Persia. He became the company's chairman in 1896.

In the meantime, his Armenian connection—which he avoided to mention in his book—possibly led him to undertake a seven-month trip to Armenia in 1893-1894, where he attended the consecration of Khrimian Hayrig as Catholicos. He would have another four-month trip in 1898, accompanied by F. Oswald, with whom he collaborated in producing a detailed map of historic Armenia and its neighbors. Three years later, he published his two volume book, Armenia . It was reprinted in 1967, 1990, and 2011. The reprint of 1990 was undertaken by the Armenian Prelacy. The two-volume set along with a beautiful color reproduction of his original map were quickly sold-out. The book was translated twice into Armenian (London, 1902, and Constantinople, 1913-1914). He wrote on the Cathedral of Ani, for instance: “The impression which we take away from our survey of these various features is that we have been introduced to a monument of the highest artistic merit, denoting a standard of culture which was far in advance of the contemporary standards in the West.”

Lynch was elected in 1906 as a member of the British Parliament for Ripon, but was defeated in 1910. He suddenly passed away at Calais (France) on November 24, 1913. 
Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site ( ). 
This week’s archive photograph is from May 5, 1994, taken at a Mothers’ Day Luncheon sponsored by the Prelacy Ladies Guild that featured an exhibition / show of Armenian royal costumes, at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City. The appreciative guests were thrilled to get a glimpse of the couture of Armenian royalty through the centuries. Dr. Herand Markarian transported the guests through 3,000 years of Armenian history as he narrated the presentation of the replicas of Armenian royal costumes. The finale was truly spectacular with the flourishing of trumpets playing “Sardarabad,” which blended into a moving rendition of “Mer Hayrenik.” The presentation originated and was organized by the Hamazkayin of Montreal and Mrs. Ani Jessourian was the designer, who conceived the idea of the royal costumes when she read an article in which a Turkish official was quoted as saying, “When did the Armenians have a kingdom, that they are claiming land now?”

The Prelacy’s 2020 pocket diary is on its way and should be received soon. The cover reproduces the official publication of the Treaty of Peace with Turkey signed at Sevres on August 10, 1920. On the bottom, from left are photos of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, who issued the arbitral award that defined the boundaries between Armenia and Turkey according to the Treaty of Sevres, and Avetis Aharonian, who signed the Treaty on behalf of the Republic of Armenia. In between the photos Aharonian’s seal and pen used to sign the Treaty are depicted along with his signature.

The Prelacy has been publishing the pocket diary continuously since 1974. Thank you for your support and encouragement through the years.

Please send your inquiries and comments (English or Armenian) to .

Please remember that the deadline for submitting items for Crossroads is on Wednesdays at noon.

All parish news, photographs, and calendar items should also be emailed to .

( Calendar items may be edited to conform to space and style )
November 23 - Thanksgiving dinner hosted by the Soorp Asdvadzadzin Church Sunday school, Whitinsville, Massachusetts, 5 p.m. in the church hall. For information/reservations please call 508-234-3677.

November 24 —Thanksgiving Luncheon, organized by the St. Illuminator’s Ladies Guild. $30 (under age 12 free) includes lunch, wine and a soft drink. Musical performances and prizes.

December 5 —Presentation of “Gomidas—150,” a publication of the Armenian Prelacy. Details to follow.

December 7— Soorp Asdvadzadzin Church Annual Bazaar in Whitinsville, Massachusetts at the Pleasant Street Christian Reform Church Hall, 25 Cross Street, Whitinsville, 10:00-4:30, dinners served at 11:30.

December 14 —Club 27, featuring Onnik Dinkjian, Raffi Massoyan, Steve Vosbikian, Jim Kzirian, and Ara Dinkjian. John Pashalian Hall at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, New York City. Admission: $25.00.

December 15 —Presentation of the newly published book, “Praying with the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church,” by Archdeacon Shant Kazanjian, immediately after the Divine Liturgy at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27 th Street, New York City.

December 19 —Presentation of newly published book “The Doctor of Mercy: The Sacred Treasures of St. Gregory of Narek,” by Michael Papazian. Details will follow.

December 22 —Christmas Concert at 2 pm, organized by the Board of Trustees of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, New York City, featuring Anahit Zakaryan, Anahit Boghosian, and Anahit Indzhiguyan.

December 31 —Save the date. Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey, New Year’s Eve dinner/dance.

March 15, 2020 —Save the date and watch for details for the Eastern Prelacy’s 37 th annual Musical Armenia concert, 2 pm at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, West 57 th Street at Seventh Avenue, New York City.

March 28, 2020 —“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 Dr. Roberta Ervine and Arpi Nakashian.

May 13-16, 2020 —National Representative Assembly (NRA) of the Eastern Prelacy hosted by St. Gregory the Illuminator 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 31, 2020 —Save the Date. St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York, 30 th Anniversary Banquet.
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