Armenian Church Canadian Diocese Newsonline 03/09/2004

Armenian Holy Apostolic Church Canadian Diocese
Contact; Deacon Hagop Arslanian, Assistant to the Primate
615 Stuart Avenue, Outremont Quebec H2V 3H2
Tel; 514-276-9479, Fax; 514-276-9960
Email; [email protected]
September 3, 2004


On August 27, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos
of All Armenians, received Per Stig Moeller, Foreign Minister of the
Kingdom of Denmark, in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. Mr. Moeller
was accompanied by Vladimir Karmirshalian, Ambassador of the Republic
of Armenia to Denmark.

Welcoming Mr. Moeller to the spiritual and administrative headquarters
of the Armenian Church, His Holiness reflected on the mission of
the Church as well as the close historic ties which exist between
the two countries and peoples. His Holiness also spoke of the
positive relations that have been established in recent years in the
ecclesiastical sphere between the Churches of Denmark and Armenia.

During the meeting, the Catholicos and the Foreign Minister
also discussed the Nagorno Karabagh issue, and the desire of all
parties to see it resolved through peaceful means. His Holiness
informed Mr. Moeller that he has met a number of times with the
spiritual head of Azerbaijan, and confirmed that religious leaders
have a very important role in the resolution of the conflict, by
publicly advocating that disagreements must be solved through mutual
understanding and reciprocal dialogue.

Finally, the Pontiff of All Armenians touched upon the concerns
of Armenians living in Denmark, and their desire to become active,
contributing members of Danish society.

At the conclusion of the meeting, His Holiness extended his gratitude
to the state authorities of the Kingdom of Denmark and to the Danish
people, for the assistance and help they have provided to Armenians,
most notably following the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923 and the
devastating earthquake in Northern Armenia of 1988.

* * *


On Thursday, September 2nd 2004, His Eminence Bishop Bagrat Galstanian,
Primate of the Armenian Church Canadian Diocese hosted a luncheon at
the Diocesan headquarters in Montreal, 615 Stuart Street, in honor of
spiritual and diplomatic representatives of Middle Eastern countries.

Attending the luncheon were Bishop Ibrahim Ibrahim Primate, Greek
Melkite Catholic Church; Mgr. Ephrem Aboodi, Abp. of the Assyrian
Orthodox Church; Mgr. Joseph Khoury, Abp. of the Maronite Church of
Canada; His Excellency Imad El Ahmar, Charge d’Affaires of Syrian
Arab Republic in Ottawa; His Excellency Fadi Zeyn, Consul General of
Lebanon in Montreal; His Excellency Fawzi El Ashmawi, Consul General
of Arab Republic of Egypt in Montreal; Mr. Aamer El Ezabi, Consul
for Tourism of Arab Republic of Egypt in Montreal.

>>From the Islamic communities present among the invited guests were,
Sheikh Samahat Al Sayed Nabil Abbas, Leader of the Shiite Muslim
community of Canada; Imam Said Youssef Fawaz, Leader of the Sunnite
Muslim community of Canada and Sheikh Hassan Aazeddin, Leader of the
Druze in Canada, as well as Mr. Hassan Hamieh from the Islamic Center
of Montreal.

Pastors from Christian denominations in Greater Montreal present to the
reception were Rev. father George Zabarian, Armenian Catholic Church;
Verabadveli Mher Khatchiguian, Armenian Evangelical Church; Rev. Fr
Sharbel Ibrahim, Greek Melkite Catholic Church; Rev. Fr. Kamil Ishak,
Assyrian Orthodox Church; Rev. Fr. Emil Bakhoum, Coptic Catholic
Church; Fr Arsanios Serry, Coptic Orthodox Church; Fr. Raphael
Bishara, Coptic Orthodox Church, as well as Mr Stephanos Mamdouh from
Coptic Catholic community; Mr. Elie Moujaes and Ghassan Agroush. From
the Armenian Church Diocese of Canada present were Diocesan Clergy
and Council members, Very Rev. Fr. Ararat Kaltakjian, Vicar general;
Rev. Fr. Vazgen Boyadjyan, Pastor of St Gregory the Illuminator
Armenian Cathedral in Montreal; Dr Haroutiun Arzoumanian, Mr. Arto
Basmadjian, Mr. Viken Darakjian and Deacon Hagop Arslanian, Assistant
to the Primate.

His Eminence Bishop Bagrat Galstanian led the guests to the St
Gregory Cathedral, where a brief joint prayer was held together with
the ecumenical guests. Diocesan Council Vice Chairman Dr. Haroutiun
Arzoumanian welcomed the guests and Mr. Arto Basmadjian informed
the guests briefly about the history of the Armenian community in
Canada and the establishment of the Diocese in 1984. The guests
were then ushered through the church premises and assembled in the
Vatche Hovseptian Hall where luncheon was served. The invocation
was presented by His Eminence Archbishop Timotehos Ephrem Aboodi,
Primate of the Assyrian Orthodox Diocese of Canada. During the
luncheon Mgr. Zabarian addressed the guests in Arabic and on behalf
of the guests thanked Bishop Galstanian for hosting this meeting and
praised the initiative of these gatherings, whereby spiritual leaders
and diplomatic representatives of Middle Eastern communities get to
know each other better, are encouraged to work together and thus
also love each other better.

Before his closing address, Bishop Bagrat Galstanian, Primate,
presented a small Armenian Khatchkar (Cross-stone) to Mr. Stephanos
Mamdouh, in appreciation of his multiple humanitarian and religious
efforts, and then thanked all the guests for having accepted his
invitation. The Primate said, “We, who have come from Middle Eastern
cultures, bring with us values that are common to us and we are
eager to transmit them to our children who are born and grown here
in this hospitable country. Since we cannot change the global society
of this continent, we have to work hard and work together to be able
to instill our values in our younger generations.” Bishop Galstanian
then blessed all and prayed for success in their respective missions.

* * *


His Eminence Bishop Bagrat Galstanian, Primate of the Diocese of the
Armenian Apostolic Church of Canada, presided at a meeting of the
Department of Christian Education in St. Catharines. St. Gregory the
Illuminator Armenian Church was host to clergy, deacons and department
members from Southern Ontario.

A very productive agenda produced the calendar for the forthcoming
Sunday school sessions, a parent Sunday school schedule, special event
timetable, and various directives for major special events throughout
the coming year.

An art competition will be held throughout the year, entitled “my
vision of Holy Etchmiadzin and the Invention of Armenian Alphabet”. The
judging of all the drawings submitted by the Sunday schools of the
Diocese will take place at the end of the school year with a special
exhibition at the Diocesan Annual 22nd Assembly.

The Sunday school web site will be airing very soon, according to
our webmaster, Alexia Citak, department member from St. Mary’s church
in Hamilton. Discussions will be held for the proposed constitution
of the Sunday schools, led by Taline Gumushdjian, department member
from Holy Trinity Armenian Church in Toronto. The Director of the
Department of Sunday Schools, Mrs. Georgina Sarkisian is distributing
the calendars and the parent schedules to all the Sunday schools in
the Canadian Diocese. A fall meeting will be held to prepare for the
2nd Annual Armenian Children’s Christmas Celebration.

* * *


We hereby would like to present to our faithful the schedule of His Eminence Bishop Bagrat Galstanian for the month of September.

September 7, Tuesday. Holy Cross Armenian Day School of Toronto
September 7, Tuesday.. Meetings with the Representatives of Calgary Armenian Community
September 8, Wednesday. Meetings with the Mayor of Calgary Mr. Dave Broconnier
September 11, Saturday. Celebrating Divine Liturgy in Calgary
September 12, Sunday. Arriving in Vancouver St Vartan Armenian Church
September 16, Thursday. Arriving in New York
September 17-18, Friday and Saturday. Attending the meeting of St Nersess Armenian Seminary Board of Trustees
September 19, Sunday. Presiding over the event of the College Ministry and Armenians for Higher Education
September 24-25-26, Friday-Saturday-Sunday. Church Anniversary Holy Cross Armenian Community of Laval.

We pray the Almighty God grant His Eminence good health and success in his future projects and undertakings.

* * *


On Saturday August 29, 2004 the Primate of the Armenian Church
of Canada His Eminence Bishop Bagrat Galstanian and Very Reverend
Father Ararat Kaltakjian met with both Toronto and Montreal Chapter
Children’s Fund for Armenia (CFFA) executive members. The Annual
meeting of Children’s Fund for Armenia Montreal and Toronto Chapter
took place in Kingston, Ontario.

His Eminence Bishop Bagrat Galstanian, Primate opened the meeting with
a prayer. His Eminence expressed his joy and greeted the participants,
then invited them to introduce themselves.

The Annual Report of CFFA was presented by Very Reverend father
Ararat Kaltakjian, Vicar General and Director of projects in
Armenia. Discussions focused on the report of activities taking place
in the motherland, Armenia. Future plans and project were set for both
committees for implementation during 2004-2005. The next consultative
meeting will be held on Saturday November 13, 2004 in Kingston Ontario.

The meeting was adjourned after Serpazan’s prayer.

* * *


On August 28, 2004 the Women’s Guild Central Council and Regional
representatives’ joint meeting was held under the auspices and presence
of His Eminence Bishop Bagrat Galstanian, Primate, at Ambassador
Hotel Conference Room in Kingston, Ontario.

During the meeting, discussions focused on the role and the mission of
Women in the Armenian Church. Upon the instruction of His Eminence,
future plans and projects were formulated to revitalize the Women’s
Guilds of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of Canada. Regional
representatives then talked about the challenges and the difficulties
facing their mission in local communities and emphasized the importance
of such meetings to further improve the Women’s Guild activities in
local level.

Very Reverend Father Ararat Kaltakjian, Vicar General, Reverend Fr
Zareh Zargarian, Pastor of Holy Trinity Armenian Church, Women’s
Guild Central Council members as well as regional representatives
from Ontario and Quebec Parishes participated in the meeting.

* * *


It is with deep spiritual joy that we announce to the faithful of the
Armenian Church Canadian Diocese that the Armenian College Ministry
Department in conjunction with a group of young Armenians called
“Armenians for Higher Education” have been working hard over the
summer, planning an unprecedented event for all High School graduates
in the greater Montreal area to publicly show how proud the Armenian
community is of the accomplishments of the Class of 2004.

The event will take place on Sunday, September 19th at 6:00 pm in the
Bolsahay Cultural Center. There will be a separate cocktail for the
graduates and another one for the accompanying family members. Each
graduate will receive a certificate of merit from the Primate, His
Eminence Bishop Bagrat Galstanian.

For more information please visit the website at or
contact the Diocesan office at 514-276-9479.

* * *



The Feast of Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Giving Holy Cross
is celebrated each year on September 14 – one of the five major
feasts of the Church, and the most important of the four feasts of
the Holy Cross. The Feast commemorates the finding of the True Cross
of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by Saint Helen, the mother of
the Emperor Constantine.

The Exaltation, known as Khachverats in Armenian, is connected with
several historical events, each of which involves the “raising up” or
glorification of the cross. An early tradition identifies St. James,
the brother of the Lord, one of Jesus’ 12 Apostles and the first bishop
of Jerusalem, as the first to exalt a cross. Taking in hand a likeness
(or perhaps an actual piece) of the original cross of the Crucifixion,
St. James elevated it before the people, and venerated it as a symbol
of “the power of God,” praying: “We prostrate ourselves before your
cross, O Christ.” Those very words in Armenian, Khachi ko, Krisdos,
yergirbakanemk, are still repeated in our church services.

In the twentieth year of his reign (326), the Emperor Constantine sent
his mother Saint Helen to Jerusalem to venerate the holy places and to
find the site of the Holy Sepulcher and of the Cross. Relying upon the
oral tradition of the faithful, Saint Helen found the precious Cross
together with the crosses of the two thieves crucified with our Lord.

However, Helen had no way of determining which was the Cross of
Christ. With the healing of a dying woman who touched one of the
crosses, Patriarch Macarius of Jerusalem identified the True Cross
of Christ. Saint Helen and her court venerated the Precious and
Life-Giving Cross along with many others who came to see this great
instrument of Redemption. The Patriarch mounted the ambo (pulpit) and
lifted the Cross with both hands so that all of the people gathered
could see it. The crowed responded with “Lord have mercy”.

This became the occasion of the institution in all of the Churches of
the Exaltation of the Precious Cross, not only in memory of the event
of the finding of the Cross, but also to celebrate how an instrument of
shame was used to overcome death and bring salvation and eternal life.

The Feast is an opportunity outside of the observances of Holy Week to
celebrate the full significance of the victory of the Cross over the
powers of the world, and the triumph of the wisdom of God through the
Cross over the wisdom of this world. This Feast also gives the Church
an opportunity to relish the full glory of the Cross as a source of
light, hope and victory for Christ’s people. It is also a time to
celebrate the universality of the work of redemption accomplished
through the Cross: the entire universe is seen through the light of
the Cross, the new Tree of Life which provides nourishment for those
who have been redeemed in Christ.

Christians “exalt” the Cross of Christ as the instrument of our
salvation. Adoration of the Cross is, thus, adoration of Jesus Christ,
the God Man, who suffered and died on this Roman instrument of torture
for our redemption from sin and death. The cross represents the One
Sacrifice by which Jesus, obedient even unto death, accomplished our
salvation. The cross is a symbolic summary of the Passion, Crucifixion
and Resurrection of Christ, all in one image.

The Cross, because of what it represents, is the most potent and
universal symbol of the Christian faith. It has inspired both
liturgical and private devotions.

Placing a crucifix (the cross with an image of Christ’s body upon
it) in churches and homes, or wearing this image on our persons,
is a constant reminder, and witness of Christ’s ultimate triumph,
His victory over sin and death through His suffering and dying on
the Cross.

“He who does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of
me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life
for my sake shall find it.” (Mt 10:38-39).

* * *

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress