No: 32/2019
St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church  
Rev. Fr. Hovsep Karapetyan, Pastor
Address: 4125 Fessenden St. NW, Washington, DC 20016 
Tel: 202-363-1923


The Feast of "Shoghakat" of Holy Etchmiadzin commemorates the inauguration of the Cathedral of the Mother See, and this year is celebrated on August 17. The fifth century Greek historian Agathangelos tells us of St. Gregory the Illuminator's divine vision, wherein our Lord Jesus Christ descends from Heaven and strikes the ground with His golden hammer. In view of biblical Mount Ararat, in the city of Vagharshapat, the place where the Only Begotten descended identified the site for the foundation of the new cathedral of the Christian Armenian Nation. The vision of Gregory became known as "Shoghakat", as the Saint saw a fiery column descending from the sky. 

The foundation was laid in 301 A.D. and the Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin was consecrated in 303 A.D. on the day of the Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God. We learn from Archbishop Malachia Ormanian that as the Mother Cathedral of the Armenian Church and Nation is dedicated to St. Mary, the feast of her foundation and inauguration is celebrated in the Armenian Church on the Saturday preceding the Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God.

For 1,700 years, the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin has been, and continues to be, the spiritual heart and center of the Armenian Church, and is her most sacred sanctuary. Her spiritual, national and historical significance has only increased through the centuries. Through the vision of St. Gregory, God Incarnate descended upon the soil of Armenia and predetermined her future, making Armenia the first nation in the world to adopt Christianity as its official religion.
The Icon of St Gregory of Narek

An icon of one of the greatest Saints of our church St Gregory of Narek will be completed soon and placed above the side entrance door of the sanctuary. 

St. Gregory of Narek was an Armenian mystical and lyrical poet, monk, and theologian. He is a saint of the Armenian Apostolic Church and was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Francis in 2015.

Our appreciation goes to Dr. Ara and Magy Avedisian for their sponsorship.
The official consecration and blessing of the newly painted icons will take place in the future by our primate His Grace Bishop Daniel Findikyan.
Remembering His Holiness Vasken I (1908-1994)

His Holiness Vasken I presided over a period of historic importance in the Armenian Church. Indeed, he made history through the heroic way he faced the great challenges and opportunities of his time. But he was also able to make deep, personal connections in the individual hearts of his people. After serving 38 years on the pontifical throne, he was regarded simply as the Catholicos of All Armenians: as the living embodiment of the Armenian Church. Most people had never known another catholicos, and could hardly imagine anyone else as their vehapar.
His service to those people had begun long before he took the vows of a clergyman. He was already a mature and highly-regarded intellectual in Romania when he decided to devote his life to the church. But God had chosen the man born Levon Baljian for a special role, and he embraced his destiny as Catholicos Vasken I.
At his ascension to the Throne of St. Gregory in 1955, he assumed the full burden of our entire church. He went on to become the vital bridge between homeland and diaspora. He was a shrewd, daring force behind the Karabagh movement. He brought balance to our nation at a dark time, and his voice inspired calm in moments of crisis.
Catholicos Vasken I passed away on August 18, 1994, at the age of 86—25 years ago (fittingly, the anniversary will fall on the Feast of the Holy Assumption). At the news of his death, the line of mourners flowing through the grounds of Holy Etchmiadzin did not abate for three whole days, and included people from around the world, and from all walks and stations of life.
Inscribed upon his tombstone in the courtyard of the Holy See are the words Ser Voch Yerpek Angani: “Love Never Falters.” It was the epitaph chosen by the blessed Catholicos Vasken himself—the words he wished to inscribe in stone, to express the totality of his life and work. They are the words he wanted future generations to remember, whenever they thought of him.
We invoke those words on the 25th year of his passing. In life, Catholicos Vasken I opened the door to many new realities for our people. His enduring memory should likewise inspire us to open our hearts, and follow in his footsteps along the path of love. For Love never falters.

New Choices Video

In the latest episode of the video series Choices, Fr. Tateos Abdalian considers the question that troubles so many hearts, as we confront the parade of violence, suffering, and injustice in our world: “How could any of this be the plan of a loving God?”
It’s not a question that has a simple answer. But the way we think about it—especially as Armenian Christians—can be an important step along the path to understanding. Fr. Tateos offers some words of guidance in “What’s the Plan?"
AUGUST 11, 2019
Morning Service 
10:00 AM

Holy Badarak 
10:30 AM

Very Rev. Fr. Simeon Odabashian

Mrs. Anna Seferian and Mrs. Nora Shafakian

Parish Council Members on Duty
Mr. Ohannes Sivaslian,  Dr. Ara Avedisian, Mr.  Eric Ashbahian

Dr. Hratch Semerjian 

Mrs. Karine Muradyan

Bible Reading 
Isaiah 7:1-9, 1 Corinthians 13:11-14:5, 
Mark 2:1-12.

For the Souls of:
Arch​p​riest Father Vertanes Kalayjian (3rd anniversary)
Zvart Samuelian (Yn. Kalayjian's Sister) (40 days)
Requested by:
Yn. Anahid Kalayjian, Rev. Father Avedis Kalayjian and Family
Berj Kalayjian, Zaven Kalayjian and Family
For the Soul of:

Karine Ter-Ohanyan

Requested by:

Hrach Topalyan

Hospitality Table Hosted by:
The Kalayjian Family in memory of Father Vertanes Kalayjian and
Zvart Samuelian

To request a Hokehankist/Requiem Service 
Please contact the Church Office
by 12:00 Noon on Thursday
202-363-1923 or 
Click the here  to see the hokehankist form
Every Tuesday
Bible Study

August 18
Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother-of-God

September 5-26
Who is the Master Backgammon Tournament

September 8
Book Signing and Presentation By: Rosemary Hartounian Cohen

September 15
Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

September 29
Feast of Holy Cross of Vara k

October 3 – 6
Fall Food Festival

October 11
Tribute GOMIDAS celebrating his 150th birthday
concert by Şahan Arzruni at French embassy at 7:30pm
Details will follow

October 27
Book presentation by Matthew Karanian : The Armenian Highland: Western Armenia and the First Armenian Republic Of 1918

October 27
Feast of the Discovery of the Holy Cross

November 21
Presentation of the Holy Mother-of-God to the Temple

December 9
Feast of the Conception of the Holy Virgin Mary

January 13-22, 2020
Pilgrimage to Jerusalem
Sunday Schools Help Fight Malnutrition in Armenia

Every Lenten season for more than 50 years, Sunday School students, staff, and families throughout the Diocese join efforts to raise money for the world’s needy. Refugees of war and famine, America’s poor, children in distress on every continent, and dozens of campaigns in Armenia including foster care, war victims, domestic abuse, and the elderly have all been recipients of these Lenten collections.
This year, 23 Sunday Schools contributed close to $21,000 to FAR’s “First Thousand Days” campaign, which addressed child malnutrition through healthy food packages, parent and teacher education, and school meal programs.
As usual, Sunday schoolers were ambitious and creative in their fundraising. They prepared and served food at parish fellowships, washed cars and cleaned houses, memorized Bible verses, made and sold Easter baskets, and simply passed the hat at family gatherings.
Diocesan Christian Education director Elise Antreassian congratulated the students by echoing the words of the Gospel: “Well done, good and faithful servants!”

FAR Helps Vulnerable Children Build Resilience

A hiking trip organized by the Fund for Armenian Relief Children’s Center enabled 16 disadvantaged youth—among them asylum-seekers, refugees, and survivors of violence—to build resilience and confidence.
The three-hour hike took place on the 2,528-meter-high Mount Hatis in Kotayk province—a 40-minute drive from Yerevan. For the young hikers, ages 12 to 16, the excursion was a test of their problem-solving and cooperative skills.
When asked what motivated him to move forward when the rocky path seemed impassable, one participant said: “I thought about my friends who are refugees, who have crossed difficult roads and passed hundreds or thousands of miles through formidable challenges.”
2 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2 They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them.3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, "Son, your sins are forgiven."6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 "Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?"8 Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, "Why are you thinking these things? 9 Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins." So he said to the man, 11 "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this!" 
(Mark 2:1-12) 

Մի քանի օր յետոյ, երբ նա դարձեալ Կափառնայում մտաւ, լուր տարածուեց, թէ տանն է. 2եւ շատեր հաւաքուեցին, այնպէս որ այլեւս տեղ չմնաց, ոչ իսկ դռան առջեւ։ Եւ նրանց քարոզում էր Աստծու խօսքը։ 3Եւ եկան նրա մօտ՝ բերելով մի անդամալոյծի, որին տանում էին չորս հոգով։ 4Եւ երբ ամբոխի պատճառով Յիսուսին չկարողացան մօտենալ, քանդեցին երդիկը այն տան, ուր գտնւում էր նա. եւ բացելով առաստաղը, իջեցրին այն մահիճը, որի մէջ էր անդամալոյծը։ 5Եւ Յիսուս, տեսնելով նրանց հաւատը, անդամալոյծին ասաց. «Որդեա՛կ, քո մեղքերը քեզ ներուած են»։ 6Օրէնսգէտներից մի քանիսը, որ նստած էին այնտեղ, իրենց մտքում խորհում էին. 7«Այս ի՞նչ է խօսում, սա հայհոյում է. ո՞վ կարող է մեղքերին թողութիւն տալ, եթէ ոչ՝ միայն Աստուած»։ 8Եւ Յիսուս իր հոգում իմացաւ, որ այնպէս են խորհում իրենց մտքում. ուստի ասաց. «Ինչո՞ւ ձեր մտքում այդ էք խորհում. 9ո՞րն է աւելի դիւրին. անդամալոյծին ասե՞լ՝ քո մեղքերը քեզ ներուած են, թէ՞ ասել՝ վե՛ր կաց, ա՛ռ մահիճդ եւ գնա՛ քո տունը։ 10Բայց որպէսզի իմանաք, որ մարդու Որդին երկրի վրայ իշխանութիւն ունի ներելու մեղքերը, - ասաց նա անդամալոյծին, - 11քե՛զ եմ ասում, վե՛ր կաց, ա՛ռ քո մահիճը եւ գնա՛ քո տունը»։ 12Եւ վեր կացաւ ու անմիջապէս վերցնելով մահիճը՝ բոլորի առաջ դուրս ելաւ, այնպէս որ ամէնքը զարմացան եւ փառք էին տալիս Աստծուն ու ասում. «Այսպիսի բան երբեք չենք տեսել»։ 
(Մարկոս 2:1-12)
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Our gift shop is furnished with distinctive and unique items from Armenians all over the world. 
Some of the items are Armenian crosses, jewelry, paintings, religious tiles and tapestry icons, children and adult books, T-shirts, hats, bags, Armenian CDs, Armenian artwork, and much more. 
The Gift Shop is open every week after Sunday Church services and by appointment.
St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church 
Serves the Greater Washington, DC and Baltimore communities. Our mission is to proclaim and grow together in our Apostolic Faith in Christ Jesus and to sustain our Christian Armenian identity. We celebrate our long and enduring legacy, 
the beautiful traditions of our religious and national heritage, with Christian servitude, and with love and reverence towards our Church. 
We invite you and welcome you to be a part of our church,worship with us, and experience the true love of Christ as we grow together as a community.
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St. Mary Armenian Church, 4125 Fessenden St. NW, Washington, DC 20016 | stmarychurchdc@gmail.com | 202-363-1923 | www.stmaryaac.org