October 29, 2020
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Tuesday, October 27, marked one month since the Turkish-Azerbaijani aggression against Artsakh and Armenia. This has brought with it the unbearable pain of suffering the loss of approximately 1,000 Armenian soldiers, most of them men who had barely turned 18 or were in their 20s. For a country with a population of 3 million, that’s the equivalent of what would be 100,000 people for a country of 300 million people, like the United States.

These are the heroes who are defending not only our homeland but our right to exist as a nation. For make no mistake: the war unleashed on Armenia by a corrupt and criminal dictatorship like Azerbaijan, with a massive arsenal built with petrodollars, supported by the genocidal state of Turkey, is to “finish off the work” of Turks’ ancestors, as Turkish dictator Recep Tayyip Erdoğan proclaimed in an address to the parliament on July 14.

Yet at the same time, the unhealed wounds that this war by our ancestral enemies reopened triggered in Armenians around the world an unprecedented unity in our often painfully fragmented reality. So often have we been under the domination of foreign empires and rulers of alien religions that are incompatible with the values of our Christian faith that the divisions introduced by them among Armenians have outlasted the historical circumstances that gave birth to them.

At this hour of reckoning, we must stand more united than ever in our epic battle against two enemies that we are waging completely alone and forsaken by a world for which democracy and human rights seem to have a mere declamatory value. We shall win and prevail. This is the Vartanants and the Sardarabad of our generation. For our martyred heroes and for the love of our homeland, we say never again to the criminal attack of Turkey and Azerbaijan. We will win. Յաղթելու ենք։
On Sunday, October 25, His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan presided Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon at St. Sarkis Church, in Dearborn, Michigan. Rev. Fr. Hrant Kevorkian was the celebrant. On this opportunity, the community celebrated the 88th anniversary of its foundation, the 68th anniversary of the new building of the church, and the tenth anniversary of the consecration of the Fr. Hrant. 
On Saturday, October 24, Archbishop Anoushavan, accompanied by Fr. Hrant, traveled to Chicago, where he met with the Parish Council of the All Saints Church, in Glenview, Illinois, and sister organizations.
During his stay, the Prelate visited Mrs. Arpine Boghikian Garbooshian, who at the age of 100 is still actively involved in the church’s activities.
On Sunday, November 1, Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate, will preside over the Divine Liturgy and deliver the sermon at St. Stephen's Armenian Apostolic Church of New Britain, CT. Rev. Fr. Taniel Manjikian will celebrate the Divine Liturgy. Our faithful may follow the ceremony via live streaming.

Our faithful can watch the Livestream this Sunday morning by visiting ArmenianPrelacy.org/Livestream
Today, on the seventh Sunday of the Feast of the Holy Cross, according to the Armenian Church calendar, we are celebrating the Feast of the Discovery of the Holy Cross. This is the crowning of the celebrations of the Cross, within the cycle of an entire calendar year. The Apostolic Churches owe this important feast, upon which the other celebrations of the Cross throughout the year are established, to Queen Helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine. In 327, the Queen, who was in her mid-seventies, set out on a long journey to Jerusalem with the primary intention of finding the actual Cross upon which Jesus Christ had been crucified. Following a series of inquiries, with the help of a local person named Jude, the Cross was discovered, and the authenticity of the relic was tested by a miracle. 
When the Cross was unearthed, two other crosses were found in the same place. As we know, Jesus was crucified with two thieves, and when the three crosses were discovered side by side, it raised questions about which was the True Cross. Just then, a funeral procession was passing by. The procession was stopped, and the corpse of the deceased was placed upon the first cross. Nothing happened. The corpse was then placed upon the second cross. Again, nothing happened. Finally, the corpse was placed upon the third cross which happened to be the True Cross. Immediately, the deceased came back to life having touched the very wood upon which Jesus had been crucified.

As much as this is a historical event, yet it energizes our faith today, and so I would like to share the following points:

a. Big dreams, when followed by solid actions, on a short or long term, are accomplished. Just as we have seen during the feasts of the Elevation of the Cross and of Varak Cross, the Discovery of the Cross is the result of setting a priority and of devoted commitment. In her luxurious life, to assume such an obligation to find the Cross, the Queen Mother provides us with a wonderful example that, far more than material acquisition, our soul is in search of higher matters, which pertain to things heavenly and divine.

b. Queen Helena, by planning and actualizing such a plan in her late age, gives us the most positive pulse and energy, that with all its physiological disadvantages, age is not the only decisive factor to realize our dreams. To undertake such a tiresome trip when someone is past the age of seventy indeed makes both young and aged people to think about the power of our soul, which transcends the limitedness of the flesh, and enables us to achieve noble acts for the benefit of the community at large.

c. The pilgrimage of the Queen Mother was motivated by her Faith and was energized by Hope. Under the terrifying circumstances of the persecutions up to that time, it was quite understandable that the believers would not dare to make the least attempt to retrieve this precious relic. However, the passionate engagement of Queen Helena is indeed phenomenal. What were the chances of finding a piece of abandoned and ignored wood, which might have already been destroyed or at least significantly decayed over the previous three centuries? Hope is indeed the power of acting against all odds. And literally, history once again witnessed the mysterious intervention of Providential Care by justifying the blessings of Queen Helena’s hope.

d. As much as the Cross is a piece of wood, we, the believers of the Apostolic Churches, revere it. Any criticism identifying this reverence toward the Cross with the worship of idols is baseless. If the woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years and by touching the fringe of Jesus’ garment was healed and was praised for her faith (Mt 9:20), who can rebuke us for our reverence toward the Altar upon which the Divine sacred Blood was shed for our salvation? We do revere the Cross by worshipping the Crucified One.

e. The miracle of raising a dead person by laying him upon the Cross is evidence that God’s almighty power can be revealed at any time and through all means. As believers, it is our obligation to trust Him, who is the Ultimate Lord. Our faith, our biblical knowledge can never be used as a remote-control mechanism in a feeble attempt to direct God and to cast Him in a frame within our limited knowledge and expectations. If “God can raise from the stones children for Abraham” as Jesus said (Mt 3:9) who are we to challenge the ways and the means of revelation of His power?

Therefore, with this simple yet conscious and deep faith, let us always thank the Lord who for our sake submitted Himself to the worst and shameful punishment on a piece of wood, transforming the instrument of death into the life-giving Tree. Let us always praise so that through visible and invisible things we can have access to His Glory. Amen.   
Please help us sustain our mission in this time of need. We at the Prelacy have redoubled our efforts to serve our faithful in every parish under its jurisdiction and our nation in a year that has seen so many unbearable losses to the Covid-19 pandemic and now to war against our historical enemies. More than ever in our living memory, we need 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.
As of today, 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 $365,014. Your contribution is distributed to our brothers and sisters by the Lebanon Central Coordinating Committee headed by Archbishop Shahe Panossian, Prelate.
To see the twelfth list of donations, click here.
To see the general list of donations, click here.
Bible readings for Sunday, November 1, Eighth Sunday of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, are: Isaiah 22:15-25; Ephesians 1:1-14; Luke 8:17-21.

Luke 8:17-21
For nothing is hidden that will not be disclosed, nor is anything secret that will not become known and come to light. Then pay attention to how you listen; for to those who have, more will be given; and from those who do not have, even what they seem to have will be taken away.”

Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd. And he was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.” But he said to them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”

Ephesians 1:1-14
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus and are faithful to Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.
For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.
Today the Armenian Church commemorates St. John Chrysostom (Hovhan Voskeperan), a notable Christian bishop and preacher in Syria and Constantinople. He is famous for his eloquence—Chrysostom means “golden mouth.” The Orthodox Church honors him as a saint and one of the “three holy hierarchs” (along with Basil the Great and Gregory the Theologian). He is also recognized and honored by the Catholic Church and the Church of England.

John converted to Christianity in 368 when he was barely 21 years old. He renounced a large inheritance and promising legal career and went to live in a mountain cave where he studied the Bible. He was later ordained a priest and soon his sermons were attracting huge audiences. He challenged wealthy Christians, whose generosity was confined to donating precious objects for display in churches. “The gift of a chalice may be extravagant in its generosity,” he said, “but a gift to the poor is an expression of love.”

His outspoken criticism was not appreciated by the hierarchy and he was sent into exile at various times. He had a profound influence on the doctrines and theology of the Armenian Church because he spent the final years of his exile in Armenia. Some of his important works have survived only in Armenian manuscripts.

He was declared a Doctor of the Universal Church at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 and was named patron of preachers by Pope Pius X.
Saturday, October 31, the Armenian Church commemorates the Feast of All Saints, Old and New, Known and Unknown. This is the holiday that compensates for any sins of omission in the list of saints remembered by the Church. The western churches celebrate All Saints Day on November 1. In the Armenian Church tradition, the date is variable depending on the season of the Cross. It can occur in late October or in November. This commemoration is rooted in the belief that there are many saints who are not known to us. Therefore, on this day, all saints are honored.

Also commemorated this week:
Monday, November 2: St. Stephen, Bishop of Rome
Tuesday, November 3: St. Aquiphsimeos the Bishop
It is known that our youth is our future. Based on this premise, following class on Saturday, Siamanto Academy students had the opportunity to enjoy a conference call via Zoom with Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of America, Aram Hamparian. With warm and encouraging words, Mr. Hamparian offered a quick overview of the Artsakh war—the Sardarabad of our day—and about the absolute unity of the Armenian people. He invited students to be actively involved in raising awareness about the war and urged them to do what they can outside the demonstrations, with the consent of their parents.  
Mr. Movses Musaelian, Mr. Armen Morian, Esq., Der Mesrob, Mr. Razmig Arzoumanian and Archdeacon Shant Kazanjian 
On Sunday, October 18, St. Illuminator's Cathedral kicked off a special emergency fundraising drive to support the Armenian Wounded Heroes Fund (AWHF) called the Here for our Heroes Challenge, in which St. Illuminator's pledged to match every dollar donated up to a total of $25,000. The event was sponsored by the Cathedral and held under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate. 
The program was introduced by Der Mesrob Lakissian, Pastor of St. Illuminator’s and moderated by Armen Morian, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. The briefing took place after Soorp Badarak in John Pashalian Hall and was attended by 30 parishioners. The program was also streamed live on St. Illuminator's Facebook page.  
The Challenge began with a briefing on the important work of the AWHF by Razmig Arzoumanian, co-founder of AWHF. Der Mesrob, Mr. Arzoumanian and Mr. Morian each spoke of the Diaspora’s solemn and unconditional duty to support the needs of Armenia’s soldiers as generously as possible. Mr. Arzoumanian emphasized that the U.S. Army-quality first-aid kits that AWHF provides are saving the lives of Armenian soldiers every day during this war. 
So far, Here for Our Heroes has raised more than $50,000, including the match from St. Illuminator’s, and been so successful that St. Illuminator’s has decided to extend the fundraiser by another week. Please continue to donate
AWHF is the only humanitarian support initiative exclusively dedicated to the needs of our soldiers serving on the battlefield. The Here for Our Heroes briefing was the first in-person event that St. Illuminator’s has held in Pashalian Hall since the start of the Covid-19 emergency. Masking and social distancing conventions were observed. 
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 Narek* who is sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Niki Arakelian.

*In order to protect the privacy of the children we use only their first names.
Our dearest sponsors Mr. Niki and Mrs. Lydia,

We gratefully received the letter you wrote to us and it made us very happy. My mother and I are doing well, and my sisters also are well. We always remember fondly our meeting with Lia. We loved her very much. We love you all although we haven't met, and we really hope that one day we will get to meet you.

This Covid-19 situation was very unpleasant here, as it was in the whole world. This school year started with masks, and we go to school every other day, so that we spend less time in the classroom. Half of the class works from home remotely and the other comes to school. It seemed for a moment that the number of sick people was diminishing, but today they announced that new cases emerged.

I am currently in 12th grade in school. After graduating from high school, I will get accepted in the university, then leave to do my service in the Armenian army. Hopefully, by that time we will not have war and I will return from the army and continue my education. I want to become an actor.

We were not even out of the Covid problems when the Artsakh war started here. Our century-old enemy attacked Armenians again. My friends and I pray every day for the end of this cruel war.

I want to thank you again for everything you do for us. May God bless you and your family.

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 Denial examines the attitudes of the State of Israel and its leading institutions toward the Armenian Genocide. Israel’s view of this issue has special significance and deserves an attentive study as a country composed of a people who were victims of the Holocaust. The Banality of Denial seeks both to examine the passive, indifferent Israeli attitude towards the Armenian Genocide, and to explore active Israeli measures to undermine attempts at safeguarding the memory of the Armenian victims of the Turkish persecution.

Such an inquiry into attempts at denial by Israeli institutions and leading figures of Israel's political, security, academic, and Holocaust “memory-preservation” elite has not merely an academic significance, but considerable political relevance.

In The Banality of Denial moral, philosophical, and theoretical questions are of paramount importance. Because no previous studies have dealt with these issues or similar ones, the analysis of the subject employs an original methodology with regard to four domains: political, educational, media, and academic.
Copies of this book may be purchased from the Prelacy Bookstore
(books@armenianprelacy.org or 212-689-7810)


Death of Mikayel Mazmanian (October 29, 1971)
Mikayel Mazmanian was an influential name in Soviet Armenian architecture, and his production, because of Stalinist repression, went far beyond the borders of Armenia.

He was born in Tiflis (Tbilisi), the capital of Georgia, on November 21, 1899. In 1918, he graduated from the Nersisian School. Previously, in 1916, he had participated in the excavations of Ani and copied the frescoes of the church of St. Gregory (built by Tigran Honents), following archaeologist Nikolai Marr’s indications. He also showed his artistic abilities, participating with caricatures and paintings in the first (1917) and second (1919) exhibitions of the Union of Armenian Artists of Tiflis.

In 1921, by the recommendation of painter Martiros Sarian, Mazmanian entered the newly founded Vkhutemas (Higher State Artistic and Technical Workshops) in Moscow. During his years of study, he created series of posters and caricatures, illustrated books, designed plays, and translated books into Armenian. He was friends with the great Armenian poet Yeghishe Charents and in 1924 he was involved with his “left art” group Standard, which was an Armenian equivalent to Communist avant-garde groups like LEF in Moscow.

In 1926 the Vkhutemas was reorganized as Vkhutein (Higher Artistic and Technical Institute) in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) and Mazmanian graduated from there in 1929. He became founding member of the All-Russian Union of Proletarian Architects (1929) and the Armenian Union of Proletarian Architects (1932).

After spending most of the decades in Russia, Mazmanian was sent to Armenia in 1929. He would become one of the organizers of technical education in the country as the first director of the Institute of Construction of Yerevan (1930-1935). The master plans of the cities of Alaverdi (1929-1930), Ghapan (Kapan, 1930), Leninakan (Gumri, 1932-1937), and Kirovakan (Vanadzor, 1934-1937) were designed under his direction. He was also the author of the design of several remarkable buildings of Yerevan in this period, including the Club of Constructors (1928-1929, now the Russian Theater and the Sports Committee), the Book Palace (1935-1940), and the Central Supermarket (1936-1937). Mazmanian and his colleague Gevorg Kochar, both followers of constructivism, headed the architectural studio of the design organization “Giprogor” (1932-1937) and designed the Sevan Writers’ Resort (1932) of the Writers Union of Armenia.

Mazmanian and Kochar were among the victims of the Stalinist purges in 1937. They were arrested and deported to the Arctic Circle in 1939. They would spend fifteen years in the coldest place in the world and turn the permafrost of the camp of Norilag into the city of Norilsk (1939-1954), modeled after Yerevan. They also designed the Siberian city of Dudinka (1949-1954). They were rehabilitated after the death of Stalin in 1953.

Mazmanian returned to Yerevan in 1954. He became the head of the design office of the City Hall in the same year and the head of the department of Urbanism in the Institute of Planning of Yerevan in 1958. He led the design of different neighborhoods of the city (1955-1969) and the detailed plan of the city (1967-1968). From 1957-1971 he was the president of the committee of architecture and construction of the Holy See of Echmiadzin. He earned the titles of Emeritus Worker of Art of Armenia (1959) and Emeritus Architect of Armenia (1968), and was decorated with the Order of Honor and the Red Banner of Labor.

The last project he directed was the master plan for Yerevan with a population of one million inhabitants (1971). He passed away on October 29, 1971. A street of Yerevan bears Mazmanian’s name.
Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site (www.armenianprelacy.org). 
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Avedis Hadjian, the editor of “Crossroads,” has published an important article, “Nagorno Karabagh: Its Meaning to Armenians,” in the online English edition of “Le Monde diplomatique,” where he states: “Because of the memories of genocide that Turkey’s intervention awoke, this war has galvanized Armenians not only in Artsakh and Armenia, but also in the diaspora, in a manner unmatched by any other event in modern Armenian history.”

To read the complete article, click here.
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 items may be edited to conform to space and style)
SIAMANTO ACADEMY— Meets every Saturday via Zoom from 10:30 am-12:30 pm (ET). For information: anec@armenianprelacy.org or 212-689-7231.

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— The 68th Anniversary of St. Gregory Church of Granite City, Illinois, presided by His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan.

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