eNewsletter of the Eastern Diocese – 02/15/2012

Diocese of the Armenian Church of America
630 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Tel: (212) 686-0710
Fax: (212) 779-3558
Email: [email protected]

TOP STORY February
15, 2012

Sts. Vartanants Day
A detail of St. Vartan Mamigonian from Krikor Khandjian’s 1981

Sts. Vartanantz Day

Every year on the Thursday preceding Great Lent, Armenians worldwide
commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Avarayr (451 A.D.), in
which Christian Armenia, under the leadership of St. Vartan Mamigonian,
fought against the Persian empire, which aimed to convert the country
to Zoroastrianism.

On the field of Avarayr, outnumbered Armenian fighters faced a mighty
Persian army. St. Vartan and his companions saw a military defeat, but
their unyielding commitment to defend their faith ultimately thwarted
the Persians, and ensured that Christianity would endure in Armenia.
Click here to read more about the Battle of Avarayr, and download the
[5]Diocese’s iBook (see story below) to rediscover this historic battle
on a new, interactive platform.

Lent in the Armenian Church

Great Lent Begins Monday, February 20

The Armenian Church calendar designates Monday, February 20, as the
first day of Great Lent: the season when Christians consciously turn
away from worldly matters and make the effort-through prayer, fasting,
study, and introspection-to prepare for the spiritual drama of Holy
Week and Easter Sunday.

The Scriptural basis for Lent resides in the 40-day period Christ spent
in the wilderness following his baptism. In the words of St. Matthew’s
Gospel (4:12): “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness
to be tempted by the devil. And he fasted forty days and forty nights,
and afterward he was hungry.”

During Lent we are called to follow the Holy Spirit to confront our own
`inner wilderness’-the realm of spiritual emptiness engendered by sin,
laziness, and vanity. Through prayer, fasting, Bible-reading, and
self-examination, we are given an opportunity to renew our commitment
to God, and gain the strength to work at being more loving, humble, and
gentle. [6]Click here to learn more about the Armenian Church
traditions concerning Great Lent.

Every year the Diocese’s Christian Education staff produces a Lenten
family resource for distribution to families in our Diocesan Sunday
School programs. In past years, these resources have included
calendars, bookmarks, and Bible memorization charts.

This year’s resource is a Family Lenten Calendar, which features prayer
ideas, Bible verses, suggested daily activities, a Lenten glossary, and
more. A limited number of these resources are still available, and may
be requested by contacting Elise Antreassian, coordinator of Christian
Education, at [7][email protected].
7. mailto:[email protected]

Also this year, the Diocese will introduce a video series on Lent;
check our homepage next week for the first video in the series.

Scripture of the Week

Is 58:1-14
Rom 13:11-14:25
Mt 6:1-21

Prayer of the Week

Jesus, Wisdom of the Father, grant me wisdom, that I may, at all times,
think, speak, and do before you that which is good in your sight. And
save me from evil thoughts, words, and deeds. Have mercy upon your
creatures and upon me, a great sinner. Amen.

Upcoming Saints & Feasts

15 February: St. Vartan the Warrior and His Companions

18 February: 150 Fathers of the Holy Council of Constantinople (381

19 February: Great Barekendan

20 February: First Day of Lent


Blessing of Newlyweds at Holy Etchmiadzin
His Holiness Karekin II blesses a newlywed couple at Holy Etchmiadzin.

Presentation of the Lord Observed at Holy Etchmiadzin

The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord to the Temple was observed at
Holy Etchmiadzin earlier this week. On Tuesday, February 14, His
Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All
Armenians, presided over the celebration of the Divine Liturgy.

Following services, His Holiness blessed newlywed couples, and
encouraged them to remain involved in the life of the Armenian Church
and to pass on Christian values to future generations of Armenians.

The celebration was preceded on Monday, February 13, with a special
Antasdan service (Blessing of the Fields) at Holy Etchmiadzin.


Primate to visit the Armenian Church of Atlanta
The mission parish in Atlanta, GA, regularly gathers for the
celebration of the Divine Liturgy.

Leadership Meeting to be Held in Atlanta, GA

A weekend-long leadership workshop will be held at the Armenian Church
of Atlanta mission parish in Roswell, GA, on February 17-19.

Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Diocesan Primate, will preside over the
workshop sessions, which will focus on the structure of the Armenian
Church, parish administration, fundraising and membership, and Diocesan
resources, among other topics.

In addition to the Primate, presentations will be made by the Rev. Fr.
Tateos Abdalian, the Diocese’s director of Mission Parishes; Dr. Raffy
Hovanessian, Diocesan Council member; and Dr. Sam Mikaelian, the
Diocese’s development coordinator. The Diocese’s Music Ministry
director, Maestro Khoren Mekanejian, will lead workshops for choir
members and altar servers.

On Sunday, Archbishop Barsamian will celebrate the Divine Liturgy. A
Great Barekendan luncheon will follow services.

Gevontians Day Celebrations

Ghevontiantz Day Observances

Each year on the Feast of St. Leontius (Ghevont) the Priest and His
Companions, clergy of the Eastern Diocese gather for the Divine
Liturgy. Earlier this week three regional gatherings were held in
Watertown, MA; Fair Lawn, NJ; and Greenfield, WI. In addition, the
feast day was observed at St. Nersess Armenian Seminary.

[8]Click here to view photos of this week’s observances.

St. Ghevont is one of the great exemplars of the Armenian priesthood,
remembered for his courage and resolution at the Battle of Avarayr in
451 A.D. He and his brother clergymen stood with the Armenian soldiers,
under the leadership of St. Vartan Mamigonian, in defense of Armenia’s
continued existence as a Christian nation.

Armenian Church iBook

Download our new iBook

This Vartanantz Day the Eastern Diocese is proud to introduce the
first-ever Armenian Church iBook designed for the iPad. Hagop
Nersoyan’s `The Story of Sts. Vartanants’ is brought to life on your
iPad with interactive features, including photo galleries, video and
audio, an interactive map, and more.

This compelling digital book invites readers to revisit St. Vartan’s
stand against the Persian army in defense of Armenia’s continued
existence as a Christian nation. The book is free and available on
iTunes and the iBookstore. [9]Download it, and begin your adventure

St. Nersess Seminary online lectures

St. Nersess Seminary Offering Online Course

The Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan, dean and professor of liturgical
studies at St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, is teaching an online course
titled “Patristic Commentaries on the Armenian Divine Liturgy.” The
course explores how the fathers of the Armenian Church interpreted the
Divine Liturgy.

The weekly course is offered on Wednesdays from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., and
is accessible via the seminary’s Global Classroom.

[10]Click here for more information.

[11]Mesrob Mashdots Institute Sping Classes

Learn Armenian with the Mesrob Mashdots Institute

The Eastern Diocese’s Mesrob Mashdots Institute, an Armenian language
course for adults organized by the Armenian Studies program of
the Diocese’s Department of Youth and Education, will begin its spring
semester on Wednesday, March 14.

The Mesrob Mashdots Institute offers sessions at beginner,
intermediate, conversation, and literature-appreciation levels. The
two-hour sessions are held at the Diocesan Center in New York on

The registration deadline is Friday, March 2. [12]Click here to view a
flyer for more information.

Fund for Armenian Relief
CME participants at a recent cardiology workshop.

FAR’s CME Program Focuses on Cardiology

Last December, the Fund for Armenian Relief organized a two-day
intensive cardiology workshop for cardiologists working in Armenia’s
regional hospitals. Held as part of FAR’s Continuing Medical Education
program (CME), the workshop featured clinical case presentations and a
review of protocols by the country’s leading cardiologists.

The focus on cardiology will continue throughout 2012, which has been
announced as the `Year of Cardiology’ for the CME program. [13]Click
here to visit FAR’s blog and to learn more.

The Continuing Medical Education program is made possible with the
support of the Armenian American Health Professionals Organization
(AAHPO). CME gives doctors access to free workshops and seminars at
Yerevan State Medical University and at leading medical centers in
Yerevan. More than 285 doctors have completed CME since its inception
in 2005.

Diocesan Center News

Diocese Seeking Development Director

The Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern) is currently
seeking candidates for the position of Director of Development.

The Development Director will report to the Diocese’s Executive
Director. He or she will be responsible for planning and implementing
all fundraising strategies for the Eastern Diocese. Responsibilities
include the areas of donor research, cultivation, and solicitation;
leadership identification and planning; reporting to donors and the
public; among other areas.

Qualified applicants should have a bachelor’s degree (advanced degree
preferred) and a significant record of success in fundraising. Please
consult the job description and list of qualifications posted on the
[14]Eastern Diocese’s website.

Send résumé and cover letter via e-mail to
[15]di[email protected]. Only those applicants meeting
the requirements for the position will be interviewed. The review of
applications will begin immediately.
15. mailto:[email protected]


Fr. Oshagan Gulgulian
Fr. Oshagan Gulgulian was ordained to the holy priesthood in 1987.

Wynnewood, PA, Parish Honors Pastor

On Sunday, February 12, St. Sahag and St. Mesrob Church of Wynnewood,
PA, honored its pastor, the Very Rev. Fr. Oshagan Gulgulian, on the
25th anniversary of his ordination to the holy priesthood.

Fr. Gulgulian celebrated the Divine Liturgy. Archbishop Khajag
Barsamian, Diocesan Primate, delivered the homily and presided over the
banquet following services.

During the banquet, remarks were made by the Primate, Archbishop
Yeghishe Gizirian, and the Rev. Fr. Hakob Gevorgyan. Archbishop
Barsamian presented Fr. Gulgulian with a plaque in recognition of his
milestone. The program also featured musical performances.

Check our website next week for an article and photos.

St. Vartanants Church, Chelmsford
Zarouhi Alice Bogosian (center) was honored in Chelmsford, MA, last

Women’s Guild Member Recognized in Chelmsford, MA

On Sunday, January 8, parishioners of Sts. Vartanantz Church of
Chelmsford, MA, gathered to celebrate Christmas and to honor
parishioner Zarouhi Alice Bogosian as `Woman of the Year.’ The Rev. Fr.
Khachatur Kesablyan, parish pastor, presided over the event, which drew
175 people.

Women’s Guild chair Mrs. Milka Jeknavorian served as the master of
ceremonies. Mrs. Nancy Kassabian, a member of the Women’s Guild Central
Council, addressed Mrs. Bogosian on behalf of the Central Council. Mrs.
Bogosian was awarded a `Certificate of Appreciation’ signed by
Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Diocesan Primate, and a plaque of
gratitude from the Sts. Vartanantz Women’s Guild.

Mrs. Bogosian has been a member of the Women’s Guild for more than 60
years. She has also served in the church choir. In reflecting on this
year’s Diocesan theme of lay ministry, Fr. Kesablyan said that Mrs.
Bogosian has truly answered God’s call through her involvement in the
Armenian Church. He presented her with a khatchkar from Armenia on
behalf of the parish.

The luncheon was prepared by the Women’s Guild. The program also
included performances by the parish Armenian School students.

St. James Church ACYOA
ACYOA Seniors at the Friday Night Supper Program in downtown Boston.

Watertown ACYOA Seniors Perform Service Project

On Friday, February 10, the ACYOA Seniors of St. James Church of
Watertown, MA, performed a service project at the Friday Night Supper
Program in downtown Boston.

Under the guidance of Maria Derderian, parish youth minister, the young
people helped serve a meal to some 150 people. Later they cleared
tables, washed dishes, and cleaned the hall. In addition, the ACYOA
members assisted the Boston organization in organizing items donated to
its clothing drive.

A group dinner and reflection session followed the volunteering
Armenian Church of Baton Rouge
Fr. Tateos Abdalian with children at St. Garabed Church in Baton Rouge,

Parish Assembly Held in Baton Rouge, LA

Parishioners at St. Garabed Church mission parish of Baton Rouge, LA,
gathered for their monthly celebration of the Divine Liturgy on Sunday,
February 12.

The Rev. Fr. Tateos Abdalian, the Diocese’s director of Mission
Parishes, visited the community last weekend. He met with the choir on
Saturday morning to review the music of Holy Week in preparation for
his visit on Easter. The church recently acquired a new organ-a gift
from St. Kevork Church of Houston, TX-and the local choir has been
preparing for upcoming feast days.

On Sunday, Fr. Abdalian celebrated the Divine Liturgy. The annual
Parish Assembly followed services. Sami Khobrossi was elected to the
Parish Council. Cyn D. Reynaud and Khatchig Moutafian were re-elected
for another term.

Upcoming parish events include a Great Barekendan dinner and an
Armenian Martyrs Day program. For more information, contact Fr.
Abdalian at [16][email protected].
16. mailto:[email protected]

Upcoming Parish Events

St. Vartan Cathedral | New York, NY
Sts. Vartanantz Day will be observed at New York’s St. Vartan Armenian
Cathedral on Thursday, February 16. The day’s events are being
organized under the auspices of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian
Church of America, with the participation of the Knights and Daughters
of Vartan Mid-Atlantic Region.

Beginning at 6 p.m., a Festal Divine Liturgy will be celebrated in the
St. Vartan Cathedral. The Vartanantz activities will continue at 7:30
p.m., with dinner in Haik and Alice Kavookjian Auditorium of the
Diocesan complex. This will be followed by a program featuring
presentations by students of the Diocese’s Khrimian Lyceum and a
performance by the Shnorhali Choir of Holy Martyrs Church of Bayside,
NY. For information, call (212) 686-0710.

St. John Church | Southfield, MI
St. John Church of Southfield, MI, will host a Great Barekendan event
on Sunday, February 19, at 12:30 p.m. in the church hall, to benefit
its Baku Memorial Monument fundraising effort.

Enjoy Armenian food and music by Harry Hovakimian. A live auction will
be held featuring Armenian paintings and other items. [17]Click here to
view a flyer.

St. Hagop Church | Pinellas Park, FL
St. Hagop Church of Pinellas Park, FL, will host a Winter Bazaar on
Sunday, February 19, from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Enjoy Armenian food and music, crafts, games for children, and other
activities. [18]Click here to view a flyer for more information.

Holy Cross Church | Union City, NJ
The Women’s Guild of Holy Cross Church of Union City, NJ, will host a
Lenten luncheon on Wednesday, February 22, at 12:30 p.m. [19]Click here
to view a flyer for more information.

Armenian Church of Southwest Florida
The Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at the Armenian Church of
Southwest Florida mission parish on Sunday, February 26, at 1 p.m.
Services are held at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Bonita Springs, FL.
Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, the Diocese’s Ecumenical Director, will be
the celebrant. A Lenten luncheon will follow in the Parish Life Center.

For more information, contact Parish Council chair Carole Meghreblian
(239) 348-3804, or via e-mail at [20][email protected].
20. mailto:[email protected]


ACYOA Lenten Retreat
ACYOA Juniors at a retreat last year in Contoocook, NH.

ACYOA Juniors Retreats Begin Next Week

Beginning next week Jennifer Morris, the Diocese’s Youth Outreach
coordinator, will facilitate weekend-long regional retreats for ACYOA
Juniors. Below is a schedule of upcoming retreats. To register, contact
your parish pastor or youth minister.

February 24-26 Michigan and Ohio (Chardon, OH)
March 2-4 New England (Contoocook, NH)
March 9-11 Wisconsin and Illinois (Ingleside, IL)
March 17-18 Florida (St. Petersburg, FL)
April 13-15 New York, New Jersey, and the Mid-Atlantic (Stony Point,
April 21-22 Texas (Dallas, TX)

Summer Camps

Register for Summer Camp

The Diocesan Summer Camp season is less than five months away. Below
are important dates for this year’s program:

St. Vartan Camp, Ararat Youth and Conference Center, Greenville, NY
Staff Training: Wednesday, June 27 – Saturday, June 30
Session A: Sunday, July 1 – Saturday, July 14
Session B: Sunday, July 15 – Saturday, July 28
Session C: Sunday, July 29 – Saturday, August 11

Hye Camp, Camp Hickory, Ingleside, IL
Staff Training: Wednesday, July 25 – Saturday, July 28
Camp Session: Saturday, July 28 – Saturday, August 4

St. Vartan Camp online registration is available for campers (CIT and
staff applications are available for download). [21]Click here to
register now. Hye Camp applications will be available for
download beginning March 15.

For more information, contact Jennifer Morris, the Diocese’s Youth
Outreach coordinator, at [22][email protected].
22. mailto:[email protected]

Khrymian Lyceum
Dr. Anny Bakalian (right) and Gilda Buchakjian during last week’s
lecture at the Khrimian Lyceum.

Khrimian Lyceum to Mark 25th Anniversary

Dr. Anny Bakalian, associate director of the Middle East and Middle
Eastern American Center at the City University of New York, was invited
to speak at the Diocese’s Khrimian Lyceum on Saturday, February 11. Dr.
Bakalian spoke to students, parents, teachers, and guests about her
recent trip to historic Armenia. [23]Click here to view photos.
23. !i=1712907026&k=d7BQpPq

Following the lecture, the students rehearsed for their upcoming
celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Khrimian Lyceum. The
celebration will highlight the lyceum’s focus on Armenian art, dance,
theater, and writing. A special issue of the Khrimian Lyceum yearbook
will be published on this occasion.

The Khrimian Lyceum is a language and cultural program for Armenian
students ages 12-18. For more information, contact Gilda Buchakjian,
the Diocese’s Armenian Studies coordinator, at (212) 686-0710, ext.