September 2023
"Shnorhali" school celebrates the “Day of Knowledge and Education”

August 27th marked the beginning of the new academic year and St. Mary’s Shnorhali Armenian School once again opened its doors to our community. We heralded the beginning of the year with the celebrations of the Day of Knowledge and Education and following the tradition, we commenced the first day of the academic year by testing and evaluating the student's knowledge of the Armenian language, history, and culture.
Thereafter, the children and parents, full of excitement and anticipation, met with the teachers and spent a fun day getting to know each other.
The registration day concluded with the students and their parents participating in the Holy Patarag, during which Father Hovsep Karapetyan performed a special blessing ceremony, stressing the importance of religion, language, culture, and heritage in our lives. He also stressed the significance of the patriotic mission of teaching these values to our children and wished everyone wisdom to make the new academic year a successful year full of new achievements.
Parents participated in the first parents’ meeting of the year, during which the school’s mission, vision, and values were shared. The school’s principal Nunik Nishanian and Father Hovsep stressed the importance of parents’ participation in the school’s activities to build a strong school community to provide a safer, and more improved learning environment for our children. They emphasized that the parents’ presence in their children’s school life will amplify their self-confidence, improve self-esteem, and enhance their desire for academic participation.
The school's academic curriculum has been developed to serve the needs and demands of our community. School administration and teachers have painstakingly developed this specialized curriculum in order to provide each student with an individualized approach to learning. This year, a new learning platform, Conversational Armenian, will continue to be a part of the curriculum. This class provides interested students with the opportunity to develop fluency in the Armenian language and practice verbal communication with a native Armenian speaker. History lessons are being taught as a separate subject. And, since music and art are an integral part of our Armenian heritage and culture, the school also
offers music and art classes. Educating our children in religion, Armenian language,
Armenian history, and culture and the desire to raise and educate a new generation of Armenian students that will help to preserve our heritage and culture, is the primary mission and priority of Shnorhali school.

A Spiritual Journey: St. Mary ACYOA Visits the Museum of the Bible

On Saturday, September 9th, the ACYOA (Armenian Church Youth Organization of America) members of St. Mary Armenian Church embarked on a unique spiritual journey. The group was graciously welcomed at the Museum of the Bible by the curator and staff. The experience proved to be uplifting and inspirational for all participants, enriching their understanding of the sacred texts that serve as the bedrock of their faith.

Upon arrival, the curator and staff member of the Museum of the Bible greeted Fr. Hovsep and the ACYOA members warmly. Their hospitality set the tone for an immersive and educational tour, offering an intimate look into the history, context, and impact of the Bible through various exhibitions and artifacts.

The Museum of the Bible holds a wide array of biblically significant artifacts, interactive displays, and thought-provoking exhibitions that appeal to both the devout and the curious. For the ACYOA members, the visit was not just informative but also deeply spiritual.

As a special treat, the group had the chance to explore an exhibition focused on the ancient traditions of manuscript illumination, including Armenian. "Seeing our Armenian heritage intertwined with the broader Christian tradition was awe-inspiring," said one of the members.

As they wrapped up their visit, ACYOA members left the Museum of the Bible with a renewed sense of purpose and spiritual enrichment. The staff member of the museum, with her wealth of knowledge and gracious hospitality, made the group's visit a memorable one.

The experience reminded all attendees of the timelessness and universal appeal of the Bible's teachings. Fr. Hovsep summarized the visit succinctly, saying, "Today, we not only explored the history of the Bible but felt its living presence among us. It was a visit that inspired us to delve deeper into our faith."

The journey to the Museum of the Bible was not just a day trip; it was a pilgrimage of sorts that brought the ACYOA members closer, fortified their faith, and left an indelible mark on their spiritual lives.
Pakhlava , Bourma and Simit Workshop

On Saturday, September 9, members and friends of the St. Mary Women's Guild gathered to make trays of baklava and bourma for our upcoming Food Festival in October. In all, 650 pieces of pakhlava, 622 bourma and 697 simit were made. Thanks to all the hard-working women who made this possible!
Prayers for Healing and Bible Study

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds" (Psalms 147). With these words in mind, St. Mary parishioners gathered on September 12th, 2023, for the first Prayer of Healing and Bible Study.

In this ancient Armenian Church tradition, we embarked on a unique journey. Together, we engaged in a brief and meaningful prayer service that sought to invite God's presence into our lives, to heal the pains of our bodies, minds, and souls, and to bestow upon us a deep sense of peace.

As we joined our voices in prayer and received the blessing of holy water, we humbly opened ourselves to the healing power of our Lord. We offered our intentions and supplications for ourselves, our loved ones, and the greater community.

Following the beautiful Prayer of Healing service, we transitioned into the enlightening Bible Discussions focused on the Healing miracles performed by our Lord Jesus Christ. In this study, we delved deeper into the meaning of Matthew 8:1-4 discussing the healing power of our Lord, and explored how it resonates in our lives today. Through lively conversations and heartfelt reflections, we found guidance, inspiration, and hope.

This powerful evening of unity and faith was just the beginning. We are thrilled to announce that the Prayer of Healing and Bible Discussions will continue to be offered every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. 

Everyone is invited to join us on this transformative journey. Whether you seek solace, physical healing, emotional restoration, or spiritual renewal, we extend our open arms to you. Together, we can uplift and support one another on our unique paths toward wholeness.

Let the healing power of prayer bring us closer to the divine, creating an unwavering bond within our church community and beyond. Come and experience the profound grace and love of God as we gather, week after week, to seek healing and enlightenment together.

A Special Thank You to Avak Permian and Raffi Sahakyan

We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Avak Permian and Raffi Sahakyan for their recent act of service to our church. They took it upon themselves to wash and seal the wooden carved door at the main entrance of our beloved St. Mary Armenian Church, in addition, power washed the stairs and patio.

For years, Avak Permian has been tirelessly dedicating his time and efforts to maintain the beauty and longevity of our church doors. This year, Raffi Sahakyan joined him in this noble task, ensuring that the intricate woodwork continues to welcome parishioners and visitors alike for years to come.

Their labor of love not only preserves the physical structure of our church but also serves as a testament to the enduring spirit of community and service that thrives within our parish.

Thank you, Avak and Raffi, for your dedication and for providing such a tangible expression of your love for our church. May God bless you abundantly for your kindness.
Fresh New Look for St. Mary's Social Halls

If you visit St. Mary this Sunday and join us at the church's cultural hall after the Liturgy, you will notice a drastic change. We are thrilled to announce that both our large and small halls have recently received a beautiful painting facelift!

The transformation has given a fresh and uplifting aura to the spaces where we gather for fellowship, celebrations, and community events. The new paint has revitalized the halls, making them even more inviting and conducive to spiritual and social gatherings.

A special word of thanks to Emma Hakobian for her invaluable contributions to this project. Emma's designer skills were instrumental in helping us pick the perfect colors that both complement our church's aesthetic and create a warm, welcoming atmosphere.

We invite all parishioners to experience the rejuvenated spaces!
St. Mary Armenian Church Celebrates Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, one of the five Dominical Feasts in the liturgical calendar of the Armenian Chruch, was observed with great reverence and joy at St. Mary Armenian Church on Sunday, September 17. The day was filled with prayer, fellowship, and the rich traditions of the Armenian Church.

The day commenced with the morning service, setting a solemn and reflective tone. This was followed by Badarak, where parishioners filled the sanctuary to partake in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. The spiritual highlight of the day was the blessing for the four corners of the world service, a unique and profound ritual that involves the Cross and sweet smiling basil, signifying the spread of Christ's blessings to all corners of the earth.

Following the Divine Liturgy, the fellowship hour allowed parishioners to connect and share their experiences. It was during this time that the blessing of the Madagh took place. The Madagh, a traditional Armenian sacrificial meal, was generously donated by St. Mary Church Young Professional Group. This act of giving not only reflects the spirit of the feast but also underscores our young professionals' commitment to our church's life and mission.

The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross serves as a reminder of the Cross' central role in Christian faith and salvation. It is a day to reflect on the love of Christ, His sacrifice, and the hope it brings to all believers.

We express our gratitude to the St. Mary Church Young Professional Group for their generous donation and to all the parishioners who participated in this sacred celebration. We look forward to many more such events that strengthen our faith and bring us together as a community.

St. Mary Armenian Church Hosts Second Prayer for Healing Service

On Monday, September 19, St. Mary Armenian Church held its second service of Prayer for Healing, gathering parishioners for a time of prayer, reflection, and healing.

The evening began with a brief healing prayer service, with the blessings of holy water, asking God's intervention to ease the pains of the body, mind, and soul and to bestow His peace upon all present. 

The primary focus of the day was to fervently pray for the peace, justice, and well-being of Artsakh and its people during these perilous times.

Following the Prayer for Healing service, those present engaged in a Bible Study focusing on Matthew 8:5-13. This passage, which narrates the faith of the Centurion and the healing of his servant, served as a fitting conclusion to the evening, reinforcing the message of faith and divine healing.

We are thrilled to announce that the Prayer of Healing and Bible Discussions will continue to be offered every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. 
A Prayer for the Republic of Armenia

During this tense, disheartening time for all Armenians, we cannot forget that September 21, marks the 32nd anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Armenia. The rebirth of the Armenian homeland remains one of the most momentous developments in the history of the Armenian people. Armenia’s citizens voted for independence from the Soviet Union on September 21, 1991, and the resulting free republic became a member of the United Nations on March 2, 1992.
On Sunday, September 24, parishes of the Eastern Diocese will conduct the “Order of Thanksgiving Prayer of the Republic of Armenia.” Click here to download the prayer booklet.
In typical times, the occasion is marked by celebrations in the Armenian Republic and in our communities across the diaspora. In light of recent developments, our hearts are intensely focused on the well-being of Artsakh and Armenia, the health and safety of our people, and the enduring security of our homeland. Our prayers in this cause have never been so urgent—or so meaningful.
May our risen Lord bestow his eternal grace upon our homeland and keep it strong under his loving protection. May He bless the souls of all who have sacrificed in its cause and guide all its citizens in their heroic efforts to overcome adversity and endure.
St. Mary Armenian Church Hosts Third Prayer for Healing Service

The third Healing Prayer and Bible Study at St. Mary’s Armenian Church was held on Tuesday, Sep. 26, at 7:30 p.m. This session was especially poignant as prayers were said for the refugees of Artsakh. The Bible Study delved into the compassionate healing of Peter's mother-in-law as described in Matthew 8:14-15. While focusing on the healing miracles of Jesus, it also highlighted the importance of service and compassion.

The Bible study commenced with the reading of Matthew 8:14-15, where Jesus, upon entering Peter's house, heals his mother-in-law, who was bedridden with a fever. Touched by Jesus, the fever left her, and she rose to serve him. This miracle not only showcased Jesus' healing powers but also emphasized the significance of service.

Understanding the context was a crucial aspect of this Bible study. The group delved into the significance of Peter, one of the most prominent figures among Jesus' disciples. Originally named Simon, Peter was often referred to as the 'rock' on which Jesus would build his church (Matthew 16:18). He was seen as the first among the apostles, not in a sense of superiority, but in terms of leadership and influence. 

The healing of Peter's mother-in-law serves as a powerful lesson on compassion and service. Jesus' healing touch demonstrated his deep compassion, while the immediate response of Peter's mother-in-law to serve Jesus after being healed emphasized the importance of service in the Christian faith.

In light of the tragic circumstances in Artsakh, the prayer service and Bible study served as a poignant reminder of the power of compassionate service and the healing it can bring. The group lifted prayers for the refugees from Artsakh and for peace in Armenia, embodying the lessons of compassion and service learned from the study. 

This Bible study was not only a journey through the Scriptures but also a call to action - to serve with love, to embody compassion, and to pray for healing in our world.

We are thrilled to announce that the Prayer of Healing and Bible Discussions will continue to be offered every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. 
On Saturday, September 23, the Women's Guild held its Eggplant Workshop, cutting, slicing and cooking 21 cartons of eggplants. Thanks to the many women who came out to help and special thanks to our invaluable two male helpers: Raffi Sahakian (who could peel faster than anyone!) and Vartan Karapetian (who washed nearly all the eggplants that day).
Baptism and Confirmation

August 28, 2023
Raffi Roman Mahoney Bishara
Son of Ahmed Bishara and Karina Mahoney
Godparents: Aram Sahakyan and Shoghig Sahakyan

September 23, 2023
Amelia Tatyana Tatevosyan
Daughter of Samvel Tatevosyan and Anzhelica Torosyan
Godparents: Arshavir Tatevosyan and Anna Sungurtian

September 23, 2023
Carter Wesley Mangasarian
Son of Eric Thomas Mangasarian and Crystal Ann Mangasarian
Godparents: Philip Faris Ahad and Lena Christine Ahad


August 16, 2023
Abbey Baker

August 31, 2023
Jennifer Cipolletti

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

September 16, 2023
Nareg Bakirci and Abbey Baker
Parents: Zaven & Sona Bakirci and David & Eleanor Baker
Best Man: Nathan Bakirci
Maid of Honor: Emily Bechara

September 16, 2023
Nareg Sagherian and Jennifer Cipolletti
Parents: Garabet & Mayda Sagherian and Terry & Karla Williams
Best Man: Vartivar Sagherian
Maid of Honor:

Congratulations and may God make the newly married couples worthy of the desirable crown of Holy Matrimony.

September 12, 2023
Ronald Baldadian
Ronald is survived by his sister Dolores and brother George Baldadian

May the Lord rest his soul in peace and grant His comforting Holy Spirit to the family members and friends. 

Hokehankists - Requiem Services

September 3, 2023
For the Soul of:
Asdghig Margossian Kazanjian
Requested by:
Hrayr, Suzanne, Ari Kazanjian, Chris, Aline, Araxi Lylozian Vartkes, Houry, Tamar, Alex Kazanjian

September 10, 2023
For the Soul of:
Barkev Kibarian
Requested by:
Mary Ann Kibarian, Maral Skelsey and family
September 24, 2023
For the Soul of:
Victims of Azerbaijan's aggression
Requested by:
Robert and Elvina Avetisyan

For the Soul of :
Zhora Azizyan
Requested by:
Artak and Karine Azizyan

For the Soul of :
Berjouhi Kazanjian
Requested by:
Ani Kazanjian

For the Souls of:
Alphonse Tomasian (14th anniversary)
George Dunyan (13th anniversary)
Requested by:
Fr. Hovsep Karapetyan and the Parish Council 

For the Soul of:
Qajik Stepanyan
Requested by:
Stepanyan- Zenyan Family 

For the Soul of:
Kevork Bolat (40 Days; Australia)
Requested by:
Krikor Bolat (brother), nephews and nieces

For the Souls of:
Stephen Berberian, Jean Berberian, Tatos Bazoian, Hripsime Bazoian, Krikor Berberian, Hripsime Berberian, Krikor Mahakyan
Requested by:
Brenda and Debora Berberian

For the Souls of:
Albert (60 anniversary) and Dorothy (6 anniversary) Chakarian
Requested by:
Dale Chakarian Turza and Peter Turza

May God rest their Souls in peace and may His loving favor be with their Loved Ones. 
St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church 
Rev. Fr. Hovsep Karapetyan, Pastor
4125 Fessenden Street N.W, Washington, DC 20016 
202-363-1923 /