MARCH 2018
Saintly Women's Day Commemoration

Our annual Saintly Women's Day commemoration took place on March 3. The Women's Guild members and friends gathered to honor two New Testament saintly women, Priscilla, who served as a church leader, a missionary apostle, and a teacher; and Phoebe, a figure of unequivocal authority, who exemplified Jesus' call to all people, men and women, to not only follow Him but then to teach and witness to others. Toward the end of the worship service a special installation of the newly elected executive committee members took place. 

A lavish reception of Lenten food prepared by Women's Guild members brought everyone together in attendance for fellowship and an educational program. Ms. Sarine Zenian gave a wonderful talk entitled: Financial & Spiritual Well-Being: Building a Strong Foundation. Attendees also had an opportunity in the Lenten spirit to support the FAR Ayo program called GameChanger, which advocates for developing women leaders in Armenia through sports. 

Our appreciation went to the Women's Guild Executive Committee for organizing and sponsoring the event. 
Lenten Service

The fourth Lenten gathering took place on March 7. Parishioners and friends came together for a worship service, spiritual presentation and dinner. This year's theme was entitled "Seven Last Words of Christ from the Cross" and concentrates on the last words that Christ uttered from the cross, which provides a window into our Lord's soul, a way to understand what was ultimately important for Him as He was dying on the cross for our sins. 

On the fourth Wednesday, Mr. Eric Ashbahain spoke about our Lord's Fourth Word from the cross where Jesus was quoting the first verse of Psalm 22, a psalm full of predictions of His crucifixion: "And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, 'Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?' which means, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' (Mark 15:34).

Toward the end of the service and presentation the parishioners enjoyed each others' fellowship and dinner hosted by the St. Mary Choir. 
St. Mary Church Welcomed the Armenia Parliamentary Delegation

On Wednesday evening, March 7, St. Mary Church and the Washington community had the honor of greeting  the Armenia Parliamentary Delegation. The reception was hosted by the Knights and Daughters of Vartan at St. Mary Church Hall.  

The five members of the Armenia - U.S. Parliamentary Delegation arrived in Washington, D.C. on March 5, for a week-long series of meetings, organized by the Armenian Embassy, with the Congressional Armenian Caucus, Administration officials, think tank and foreign policy experts, and Armenian American leaders, all aimed at strengthening U.S.-Armenia political, economic and military relations, deepening the enduring friendship between the American and Armenian peoples, and encouraging continued constructive engagement by the United States on a range of regional development and conflict resolution priorities, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

The Armenia-U.S. Parliamentary Delegation is headed by Arpine Hovhannisyan, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Armenia and includes Parliamentarians Armen Ashotyan, Edmon Marukyan, Aghvan Vardanyan, and Naira Zohrabyan.

Mid-Lenten Luncheon

On March 11, St. Mary Women's Guild hosted the annual Mid Lenten or Michink Luncheon. Michink is celebrated during the middle of Lent, symbolizing that the first half of the period of Great Lent has already passed and encouraging believers in their journey through Lent. It inspires and encourages steadfastness, so that the faithful will continue on through the second half, to its end, on Easter Sunday.

One particularly beautiful Armenian traditional was celebrated during Michink, as unleavened cake was baked and a coin put in it while baking. The current year will be successful for the member of the family who receives the slice of pastry with the coin in it and would receive good luck. 

Our Women's Guild members volunteered their time and talent by making delicious Lenten dishes and desserts for all to enjoy. Special thanks to Ani Derderian, Hripsime Sivaslian and Alis Chubuk for coordinating the Michink Luncheon. 
Lenten Service

The fifth Lenten gathering took place on March 14. This year's theme is entitled "Seven Last Words of Christ from the Cross" and concentrated on the last words that Christ uttered from the cross, which provides a window into our Lord's soul, a way to understand what was ultimately important for Him as He was dying on the cross for our sins. 

On the fifth Wednesday, Mr. Ara Stepanyan spoke about our Lord's fifth and sixth words. Right before our Lord committed His soul He asked for a drink and after drinking he said it is finished. This is how John describes the seen: "After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), "I am thirsty." A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the wine, he said, "It is finished." Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." (John 19:28:30)

Toward the end of the service and presentation the parishioners enjoyed each others fellowship and dinner hosted by the St. Mary ACYOA. 

U.S. Congratulated the Pontiff on his Fifth Anniversary as Catholic Leader

On March 13, as the world celebrated and recognized His Holiness Pope Francis on his 5th year as the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, Der Hovsep participated in a celebratory reception at the Vatican Embassy to the United States in Washington, DC.

On behalf of our Diocese, Der Hayr congratulated the Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio, on the occasion of His Holiness Pope Francis Anniversary of the election to the See of Rome.

Many congressmen, ambassadors, diplomats and other dignitaries also attended this event to offer their congratulations.   

St. Mary ACYOA Jr. Lock-in 

Our ACYOA Juniors shared a fun and spiritually fulfilling evening at St. Mary Church on the evening of March 16. Eight Junior members gathered for activities, games and spiritual connection, facilitated by Mr. Yervant Khoranian and Mr. Eric Ashbahian. 

In the evening they participated in a beautiful peace service led by Der Hovsep. Teens enjoyed pizza and snacks while they played games and relished in one another's company before returning home on Saturday morning. Our appreciation goes to Mr. Edvik Alexandrian and Ms. Becky Bagdasarian for chaperoning overnight.  

Special thanks to Yn. Jennifer and Ms. Becky Bagdasarian for organizing the lock-in event for our ACYOA Juniors. 
President of Artsakh Visits St. Mary Church 

We were honored on March 18 by the visit of the Republic of Artsakh President Bako Sahakyan at Badarak. During the Requiem Service, a special homage was payed to the Freedom Fighters and Soldiers who sacrificed their lives to protect the boarders of Armenia and Artsakh, Archbishop Vicken Aykazian gave welcoming remarks as he greeted President Sahakyan and emphasized the importance of his visit. 

Fr. Hovsep Karapetyan also made welcoming remarks stressing that the visit of the president was historical for St. Mary Church since it was for the first time a President of the Republic of Artsakh has visited St. Mary. Then Der Hayr presented President Sahakyan with an icon of St. Mary wishing and praying that the Holy Mother would guide and protect the President, our soldiers and the people of Artsakh. 

The President offered words of his appreciation to the congregation and highlighted the celebration of growth and of Artsakh's ties to the US, its enduring commitment to peace, its thriving democracy, and the importance of diaspora's role in its development.
Palm Sunday Celebration at St. Mary Church

St. Mary ACYOA Srs. and Jrs. collaborated and joined their efforts to host a memorable Palm Sunday celebration on March 25. After the Badarak an installation of the new ACYOA Executive Committee Officers took place. We congratulated the new committee members Simon Shahinian, Maral Arslanian, Mariam Khaloyan, Seerun Cubuk and Arec Jamgochian and wished them a productive year in the service of our church and community. 

The day's celebration continued at the church hall as parishioners and friends gathered for a luncheon and program. The year's ACYOA Outstanding Service Award was given to Dn. Mark Krikorian for his dedication and love to the youth, Sunday School and St. Mary Church. The day's program included a musical performance by Nareg and Armen Boghosian, violin and Alene Boghosian, piano, as well as welcoming remarks on behalf of the Parish Council by Sarine Zenian. Words of appreciation were given by Ruben Karapetyan, Aren Avetisyan and Simon Shahinian who spoke about Dn. Mark and his contributions as their Sunday School teacher and mentor. Der Hayr presented the award to Dn. Mark and in his remarks mentioned that "Dn. Mark is a true example of a dedicated and loving servant of the church and a great role model for the younger generation." 

Many thanks to Yn. Jennifer Karapetyan, Becky Bagdasarian and Nadya Chubukian as well as all of the parants who helped organize ACYOA Day. 
Women's Guild Easter Choreg Sale 

Our beloved Women's Guild never cease to amaze the church community with this annual and much anticipated Easter choreg sale. Somehow they make their beautiful and delicious holiday presentation look effortless, and we are grateful for their continued hard work and dedication to St. Mary Church and the congregation.
Hokehankists - Requiem Services

March 4, 2018
For the Soul of: Emil Yeghiazarian (40 Days)
Requested by: Gayaneh Yeghiazarian Contos (Sister)

March 11, 2018
For the Soul of: Jack Andonian (26 years)
Requested by: Mrs. Clara Andonian and Family

March 18, 2018
For the Souls of: The Freedom Fighters and Soldiers who sacrificed their lives to protect the boarders of Armenia and Artsakh

For the Soul of: Julietta Gevorkian (40 days)
Requested by: Karine and Ashot Nazarian ,Daughter, Son-in-Law, Brother, and Grandsons David, Alex, and Michael

For the Soul of: Haykazyan Petros Asatouri - Distinguished Teacher of the
Republic of Armenia
Requested by: Leonid Harutyunyan and Harutyunyan's Family Members

For the Soul of: Varuzhan Yenokyan
Requested by: Son-in-Law Artak Azizyan, Daughter Karine Yenokyan, Grandsons David Azizyan and Tigran Azizyan

May God rest Their souls in peace and may His loving favor be with the loved ones.  
Baptism and Confirmation

March 10, 2018
George Kevork
Son of Robert and Lauren Boggio
Godparents: John Paul Garry and Jessica Garry

March 17, 2018
Taleen Masih
Daughter of Jack and Kelly Masih
Godparents: Joseph Masih and Heather Spindel

March 24, 2018
Celine Lorri Khachaturian
Daughter of Alex and Tamar Khachaturian
Godparents: Chris Darakjian and Alis Asadurian

May God bless our newly baptized with His love and may His protection and guidance always be with them.

March 8, 2018
Mardiros Shafakian
Beloved Husband of his Wife Mari; Loving Father of Rober (Annie) Shafakian; Rudi (Rita) Shafakian; Proud Grandfather of Micaela Shafakian and Talia Shafakian
Siblings, Hagop Shafakian (deceased), Sahak Shafakian; Araxi Tunc, Ohannes Shafakian, and Takuhi Hallajian along with their spouses and children.

May the Lord rest His soul in peace and grant comfort to the family members and friends.
St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church  
Rev. Fr. Hovsep Karapetyan, Pastor
4125 Fessenden Street N.W, Washington, DC 20016 
202-363-1923 /