MAY 2021
Ararat Avak Society & St. Mary Gift Shop Joint Event

The two organizations joined forces and produced a food extravaganza featuring dishes influenced by Middle East cuisine on May 2nd, 2021. Yn. Jennifer's Special Falafel was the highlight of the event.
We would like to extend our utmost gratitude to Yeretzgin for her unconditional support and generosity. She took it upon herself to produce the Falafel dish from start to finish. We would also like to thank our volunteers who worked tirelessly and answered the call to service; Mrs.Clara Andonian, Mrs. Seta Sivaslian, Ms. Talin Habibian, Ms. Anie Jamgochian, and Ms. Arda Kanderian-Hebert. A great deal of success was also due to the popularity of Armenian products purchased through St. Mary’s gift shop.
As always, our appreciation goes beyond words could express to our community’s relentless support whose expressions of love were materialized in their responses to this event.
This will mark the first affair of its kind and we declare it our 1 st Annual Diaspora Influence Event featuring cuisines from around the globe where the Armenian Diaspora has flourished.
This year we especially celebrate our accomplishments and take pride in our strength as a collective group. A community in which we contribute heavily and enrich the experience of what it means to be unified with the Armenian diasporic body.
We look forward to continuing to serve you all in our future upcoming events.
AVAK and Gift Shop Committees

Feast of the Ascension of the Lord

The Feast of the Ascension of our Lord was celebrated at St. Mary on Thursday, May 13, with a special service and message delivered by Fr. Hovsep.

This beautiful feast is sometimes forgotten because it always falls on Thursday (40 days after Easter). The Feast of Ascension celebrates the bodily ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ into heaven. We are told that the disciples who witnessed the ascension of our Lord did not leave the scene broken-hearted. They had a definite promise of the soon-to-be-given Holy Spirit. Ascension marks a new beginning to live our lives anew and outwardly, becoming witnesses of our Lord Jesus Christ.
New Parish Council Officers

The Parish Council during the meeting on May 11th elected new officers for 2021.
With great joy, we announce the new officers:

  • Ms. Shoghig Sahakyan - Chair
  • Mr. Artur Sivaslian - Vice Chair
  • Mr. Jack Guiragossian - Treasurer
  • Mr. Robert George - Vice Treasurer
  • Dn. Mark Krikorian - Recording Secretary
  • Dr. Hratch Semerjian - Assistant Recording Secretary

We would like to take this opportunity to express our utmost gratitude to the outgoing members for their dedicated service Mr. Onnik Sivaslian, Treasurer, Mr. Bagrat Bayburtian, Vice Treasurer, and Mr. Ara Stepanyan, Advisor. We look forward to seeing them serve our parish in other capacities.

We would also like to extend our appreciation to Dr. Ara Avedissian for his leadership role during the past year with its unprecedented challenges. We are blessed to have dedicated individuals such as Dr. Avedissian who will remain an integral part of our church family and continue to serve our community.

Last but not least, we congratulate and welcome our newly elected council members as well as continuing members wishing them a rewarding experience serving our parish and community at large. We pray they will flourish, serve, and enjoy their new parish roles.

Lawn Games and Sr. High Grad Party Social 

On May 15th, the ACYOA Juniors youth group gathered at nearby Ft Reno Park, for a lawn game/graduation party. The teens signed graduation cards for the students who are graduating from High School. In addition to enjoying lawn games, the students played some party games; and everyone enjoyed cake and watermelon.

Each graduating senior was given a card, balloons, and an Icon. The event was closed out with a time of prayer. Despite this less than typical senior year, our 12th graders have completed their coursework and are heading out into the world of adulthood.

We are proud of you all and look forward to seeing our ACYOA Juniors again - as ACYOA Seniors!
Shnorhali School Year End Hantes

On May 29 the Shnorhali School held its year-end Virtual Hantess. Students from grades 1-5 celebrated the end of the school year by holding a special Zoom Virtual session where students, families, and loved ones joined together one last time in fellowship. 

After an opening prayer from Der Hovsep and a special message from Lower School principal Ruben Harutunian, the Armenian teachers shared their thoughts and congratulations to the students and families. Armenian Teachers Tatevik Mkrtchyan, Hranush Gyurjinyan, Tsoler Shkhrdmian then shared a special video presentation of students reciting poems and singing songs. 

Special appreciation goes to the Armenian teachers, who despite the extreme conditions and difficult circumstances in Armenia this past year, were able to build a community of parents and students for this successful virtual program. Deep appreciation also goes to Ruben Harutunian for spearheading and implementing this incredible program and leading us through this last year of virtual learning. 

As we look to the future, we hope to build upon this program and implement many of the successes to make the Shnorhali School program modernized and effective in future years.
Shnorhali School Graduation Hantes

The Shnorhali School commemorated the Graduation ceremony of Digin Julia's Armenian class on Sunday, May 30.

The students received a special Graduation Blessing from Der Hayr at the conclusion of Badarak and then families and parishioners gathered together downstairs for the Hantes and ceremony. Students recited Armenian poetry and expressed thanks to those who helped them through their studies. Welcoming remarks were made by Parish Council charlady Shoghig Sahakyan. Yerestkin Jennifer presented gifts of appreciation to Digin Julia and Becky, Bagdasarian for their role in the development of the children over the past ten years. Finally, a slide show, prepared and led by Yervand Khoranian, was presented. It was a celebration of many years of hard work by students, parents, and teachers. 

The students were presented with the Armenian Language School graduation certificates by Der Hovsep and Digin Julia. A small pizza party followed the ceremony, where the families were able to visit, many for the first time since COVID 19.

We congratulate all of the students and their families for this amazing accomplishment! Congrats to Alek Tekeyan, Anahit Harutyunyan, Angela Shekoyan, Ani Grigorian, Hayasa Khoranian, Madeleine Movsessian, Mariam Karapetyan, Monika Mkrtchyan, Rafayel Sargsyan, Tagouhi Gomtsyan, Varick Mikayelyan, Yeva Grigorian. May God bless you as you continue on this next stage of your journey in life!
Armenian Food Festival

The Spring 2021 Food Festival, although held as a carry-out event, was a 3-day Affair. Its success was the result of the hard labor of numerous individuals. Women’s Guild members once more came together and prepared multiple dishes and desserts. The grill station was yet again the gathering place for the master grillers and up-and-coming master grillers. It was heartwarming to see old and new volunteers answering the call to service. 
The highlight of the weekend was the presence of our vendors, accompanied by St. Mary Gift Shop, who were set up alongside the church. Unfortunately, due to continued COVID restrictions, we were able to accommodate only 5 vendors. Now that COVID restrictions are expected to be fully lifted in the near future, we hope and pray to resume our usual in-house food festivals.
We extend a special Thank You to the Jr. ACYOA members who came to help even though it was short notice.
Additionally, we would like to recognize our sponsors who have contributed generously. Last but certainly not least, we have much gratitude for our parishioners and community members who really supported the food festival.
Baptism and Confirmation

May 22, 2021
Liam Ash Tahmassian
Son of Vahe Tahmassian and Kelly Tahmassian
Godparents: Robert Shallcross , Nadia Chopitea and Taline Morais

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

May 15, 2021
Ara Sardarbegian and Lillian Assatourian
Parents: Hamazasb Sardarbegian and Armine Moumjian , Vazgen Assatourian and Ofelya Hartonyan
Best Man: Nigol Keurkunian
Maid of Honor: Catherine Barbosa

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

May 16, 2021
Avak Akopov
A loving husband to his wife Aida and the most wonderful father to daughter Laoura and son Albert. He is survived by his brother Valeri along with his family Asmik, Sima, and Kristina. His cousin Gregory and his family Nadia, Victoria, and Vladimir.

May 20, 2021
Grace Jelalian Shahinian
Grace Jelalian Shahinian was the daughter of Rev. Fr. Vahan Jelalian and Yeretzgin Zarouhi Berberian Jelalian. She was the wonderful wife of Dr. Paul Shahinian and devoted mother of Dean Vahan Shahinian, Esq. 

Hokehankists - Requiem Services

May 7, 2021
For the Soul of:
Aida Kechichian Najarian
Requested by:
Nevart and Khajag Tahmazian,
Nyrie Tahmazian, Garine Tahmazian

May 16, 2021
For the Soul of: 
Col. Andre J Kevork
Requested by:
Mitch and Annie Hammond and family
& Jackie Kevork( mother)

May 23, 2021
For the Soul of:
Roy Cory Webster ( 3 Week Anniversary)
Requested by:
Dr. Ara Anthony Avedissian and Family

For the Soul of:
Sossy N. Zenian ( 7th Year Anniversary)
Requested by:
Mr. & Mrs. Vartan & Eva Zenian
Mrs. Arda Z. Belt
Mr. & Mrs. Steve and Zarmine Everklian and Family

May 30, 2021
For the Soul of:
His Beatitude Krikor Bedros XX Gabroyan, Catholicos-Patriarch of the Armenian Catholic Church

For the Soul of:
Viola Davitian ( 40 Day Anniversary)
Requested by:
Her only child and daughter, Artemis Davitian-Derk, and son-in-law Darryl E. Derk

For the Soul of:
Mary Pashayani (40 Day Anniversary)
Requested by:
Renee Nalbandian(daughter), Hagop Nalbandian, Harout Nalbandian, Zohrab Nalbandian (sons) and Family

For the Soul of:
Elmas Ozkanian( 40 Day Anniversary)
Requested by :
Ozkanian Family

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 /