eNewsletter of the Eastern Diocese – 10/17/2014

Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern)
630 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Contact: Chris Zakian
Tel: (212) 686-0710 or (973) 943-8697
E-mail: [email protected]

** TOP STORY October 16, 2014
St. Gregory Illuminator Church, Chicago, IL

** Chicago Parish to Celebrate 50th Anniversary
This weekend Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Diocesan Primate, will visit
St. Gregory the Illuminator Church of Chicago, IL, as the parish
celebrates its 50th anniversary at the present location.

Arriving on Friday, October 17, Archbishop Barsamian will ordain eight
acolytes during an event to welcome the Primate. On Saturday,
Archbishop Barsamian will visit elderly parishioners. Later that
evening, the Primate, Very Rev. Fr. Aren Jebejian, parish pastor, and
several Diocesan Council members will meet with parish leadership.

On Sunday, Archbishop Barsamian will celebrate the Divine Liturgy. A
banquet will follow in the church hall. Roman Catholic Archbishop of
Chicago Francis Cardinal George will be the special guest.

Click here
to visit the parish website for information.

** Scripture of the Week

Is 20:2-21:6
Gal 4:3-18
Lk 4:14-23

** Prayer of the Week

In faith I confess and bow down to you, Father and Son and Holy
Spirit, uncreated and immortal nature, creator of angels, of men, and
of all things. Have mercy upon your creatures, and upon me, great
sinner that I am. Amen.

** Upcoming Saints & Feasts

18 October: Holy Evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John

Syrian Patriarch in Armenia
His Holiness Ignatius Aphrem II and His Holiness Karekin II confer
their blessings at Holy Etchmiadzin.

** Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Visits Holy Etchmiadzin
His Holiness Ignatius Aphrem II, the Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox
Church, visited Armenia this month, at the invitation of His Holiness
Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians. Upon
his arrival on October 10, a prayer of thanksgiving was offered at
Holy Etchmiadzin.

His Holiness Karekin II spoke on the centuries-old friendship between
the Armenian and Syriac churches, and said that the Syriac Patriarch’s
courageous leadership in war-torn Syria is an `encouragement for all
people of faith.’ His Holiness Ignatius Aphrem II expressed his
gratitude for the warm reception, and went on to speak about the
perilous situation of Christian communities in the Middle
East. Together they prayed for peace in the Middle East, and asked God
to protect the two sister churches.

On October 11, the two spiritual leaders visited the Armenian Genocide
memorial at Dzidzernagapert, where they placed wreaths and offered a
requiem service. Later they visited the center’s Armenian Genocide

At the conclusion of His Holiness Ignatius Aphrem II’s visit on
October 13, he and His Holiness Karekin II signed a document
condemning `the activities of all terrorist groups and religious
extremists, and all violence committed against Christians, Muslims,
Yazidi people and other minorities’ in the Middle East.

The document also called on the international community to recognize
the annihilation of the Armenian and Syriac people during World War I:
=80=9CWe offer prayers for Armenian and Syriac martyrs as well as
other victims of World War I. We invite the entire Christian world to
unite in prayer at the Armenian Genocide and the Syriac Sayfo
centennial commemorative events in 2015.’

Click on the following links to read the statement in full
and to view photos
from the visit.

Jocob Yahiayan
Jacob H. Yahiayan is the Diocese’s new Director of Administration.

** New Diocesan Director of Administration
The Eastern Diocese is pleased to announce that it has hired a new
Director of Administration, who will function as the chief
administrative officer of the Diocesan Center in New York City, its
affiliated parishes and organizations.

Mr. Jacob H. Yahiayan has accepted the position effective
immediately. An official announcement from Archbishop Khajag
Barsamian, the Primate, and the Diocesan Council was broadcast to the
leadership of the Eastern Diocese on October 9.

Mr. Yahiayan will bring his leadership experience in international
finance and on the boards of major universities and cultural
institutions to the management of the Diocese. Immediately prior to
taking on the position of Diocesan Director of Administration, he was
a managing member of Continental Advisory Services, LLC, a New York
State-based family office.

During his 25-year career in international banking, Mr. Yahiayan has
lived in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Prior to embarking on his
international career, Mr. Yahiayan enjoyed a long personal
relationship with the Diocese and St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral, were
he was married and where his two children were baptized. He also has a
strong family connection to the Diocese through his wife, the former
Sylva Svajian, daughter of the late Dr. Stepan and the late
Dr. Pergrouhi Svajian-both pillars of the Armenian Church in America
throughout their generation.

Click here
to read more.

Annual Appeal

** Support the Diocese’s 2014 Annual Appeal
The Eastern Diocese has launched its 2014 Annual Appeal-the only
Diocesan-wide fundraiser conducted each year to help the Diocese
undertake the many ministries, programs, and resources that enrich
life in our parishes.

Your thoughtful gift brings light to our local churches. It supports
Christian education, Armenian language instruction, summer camps,
youth programs, mission parish outreach, and the use of new
communication technologies.

To our past and prospective donors, we are deeply grateful for your
support of the creative, educational, and inspirational programs that
lift up Armenian communities throughout the Eastern Diocese.

Please accept this invitation to strengthen our efforts. Your generous
contribution to the 2014 Annual Appeal will help spread the good work
of the Armenian Church across our local communities-and across the

Follow this link to donate now
to the 2014 Annual Appeal.


** Building Walls of Support
`Ayo!’-the Fund for Armenian Relief’s crowdfunding platform-has
launched its U.S. campaign to raise funds for Armenian schools
threatened by cross-border shootings from Azerbaijan.

The Protective Walls Project
will build barriers around a kindergarten and school in Armenia’s
northeastern Tavush region, where ceasefire violations have become
part of everyday life, with sniper fire regularly aimed at civilian

The campaign was initially launched in Yerevan last summer, but Ayo!
recently expanded the effort to include fundraising in the U.S. Visit
to learn more about the Protective Walls Project and
to donate.

St. Sarkis Church, Charlotte, NC
Gilda Kupelian and young parishioners hold up handmade Armenian
alphabet cookies at St. Sarkis Church.

** St. Sarkis Church Makes Plans for New Armenian School
Gilda Kupelian of the Diocese’s Armenian Studies Department visited
St. Sarkis Church of Charlotte, NC, last weekend, where she met with
the local Armenian teachers and made presentations in recognition of
`Armenian Cultural Month.’

On Saturday, October 11, she met with Dn. Benjamin Rith-Najarian,
deacon-in-charge of the Charlotte parish, and teachers of the soon to
be re-launched St. Sarkis Armenian School. The group visited the
Charlotte-area Alphabet Museum to view its exhibit on the Armenian
alphabet. In the afternoon, they discussed methods and materials for
organizing the Armenian language school. At the conclusion of the
meeting, Gilda Kupelian gave a presentation on Armenian expressions.

On Sunday, October 12, the Rev. Fr. Mampre Kouzouian celebrated the
Divine Liturgy. Following services, the Parish Council presented the
newly dedicated Armenian library and classroom. Parishioner Puisant
Torigian wanted to create a space for the community to learn about
their Armenian spiritual, cultural, and linguistic
heritage. Mr. Torigian donated to the library many books and works of
art that he and his father had collected over the years.

The community then gathered in the church hall for a program
celebrating the creation of the Armenian alphabet. Young people
recited poetry and Ms. Kupelian gave a presentation on St. Mesrob,
St. Sahag, and their disciples. She spoke about the flourishing of
Armenian culture during the period beginning with the invention of the
Armenian alphabet in the 5th century through the 12th century.

Click here
to view photos.

St. Sarkis Church, Dallas, TX
Dancers perform at the “ArmeniaFest” celebration in Dallas.

** ArmeniaFest in Dallas
St. Sarkis Church of Dallas, TX, held its 19th annual `ArmeniaFest’
last weekend, as the parish celebrated the Feast of the Holy

ArmeniaFest, held on church grounds, celebrated the culture,
traditions and history of the Armenian people, and featured food,
activities for children, and cultural presentations. A highlight of
the weekend were performances by the `Hayasdan’ and `Groung’ song and
dance groups.

The Rev. Fr. Ghevond Ajamian, parish pastor, thanked parishioners for
their hard work and encouraged them to be `translators of the Armenian
faith and culture’ to others.

Click here
to view photos.

Sts. Sahag and Mesrob Church, Wynnewood, PA
Wynewood Sunday School students with the breakfast bags they assembled
for a local charity.

** Wynewood Sunday School Reaches Out to Elderly
On Sunday, October 12, students and teachers of the St. Sahag and
St. Mesrob Sunday School of Wynnewood, PA, gathered to assemble 200
breakfast bags for a local charity.

Each bag included a package of oatmeal, a package of crackers, a
cereal bar, a juice box, a box of raisins, and tea. After the bags
were assembled, they were blessed by the Very Rev Fr. Oshagan
Gulgulian, parish pastor. The bags will be distributed by `Aid for
Friends,’ an organization that delivers meals to elderly shut-ins in
the Philadelphia area.

This service project was made possible thanks to generous donations
from Sunday School families and teachers.

St. James Church, Watertown, MA
Some of the walkathon participants outside St. James Church in

** A Walk for Healing
St. James Church of Watertown, MA, participated in the third annual
New England walkathon for the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry
(ABMDR) on Saturday, September 27. The walkathon followed a 2.2-mile
route through Watertown, and came to a close at the local `Faire on
the Square’ festival.

More than 250 supporters, including more than 100 children and young
adults, and 22 local and national organizations, took part in the
event. This year’s walk was dedicated to Gabriel Aljalian, the young
son of the Rev. Fr. Arakel Aljalian and Yn. Natasha Aljalian of
St. James Church, who was diagnosed with leukemia in 2012. He has
since undergone therapy at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and his
leukemia is currently in remission, with his final dose of
chemotherapy scheduled on December 24.

`I can’t say enough about this child,’ Yn. Natasha said, referring to
Gabriel’s courage while receiving chemo and steroid therapy. She also
thanked the parishioners of St. James Church and Gabriel’s classmates
and teachers for their ongoing support.

At last month’s walkathon, St. James Church and the local ACYOA were
recognized as the team which raised the most funds, and they were
awarded the top prize-a new cluster of trees will be planted in
Armenia by the Armenia Tree Project in their honor. Click here
to view photos.

Established in 1999, ABMDR is a non-profit organization which helps
Armenians and non-Armenians worldwide survive life-threatening
blood-related illnesses by recruiting and matching donors to those
requiring bone marrow stem cell transplants. To date, its annual
walkathon has raised more than $18,000, and the the registry has
recruited over 26,000 donors in 22 countries across four continents,
identified 3,150 patients, and facilitated 20 bone marrow
transplants. For more information, visit

Professor Diane Der-Hovanessian
Poet and translator Diana Der-Hovanessian speaks at Holy Trinity

** Diana Der-Hovanessian Speaks on “Our Martyred Poets”
Renowned poet and translator Diana Der-Hovanessian shared her thoughts
on the poets lost in the Armenian Genocide, during an `Armenian
Cultural Month’ gathering at Holy Trinity Church in Cheltenham, PA, on
Sunday, October 12. As the 125 people from the greater Philadelphia
community entered the dramatically-lit church auditorium, photos of
Armenia’s martyred poets were projected to the accompaniment of the
Der voghormia (`Lord, have mercy’).

`We usually don’t think of poets as dangerous,’ Professor
Der-Hovanessian said, `but they were-and they sustained the Armenian
spirit in 1915.’ She reflected on the irony of Daniel Varoujan’s
prison diary, which instead of being bitter, was filled with sweet
reminisces of home, of haystacks and of tilling the soil-all written
while waiting to be stoned to death.

Professor Der-Hovanessian concluded with poetic readings from Varoujan
and other great poets, including herself. The program included a
performance by Ashot Petrosyan of a Gomidas song, and Anton
Balasanyan’s recitation of a Siamanto poem.

Diocesan Primate Archbishop Khajag Barsamian offered closing remarks,
thanking the sponsoring committee for promoting Armenian culture, and
touching briefly on the upcoming 100th year of remembrance of the
Armenian Genocide. A reception followed.

The event was sponsored by the Armenian Inter-Communal Committee of
Philadelphia, made up of pastors and lay representatives from the five
Armenian churches in the region, as well as the Armenian Sisters’
Academy. Host pastor the Rev. Fr. Hakob Gevorgyan reminded attendees
that the committee’s mission is to commemorate Vartanantz, the
Genocide and Cultural Month.

Click here
to view photos.

Sts. Vartanantz Church, Chelmsford, MA
Fr. Kesablyan blesses the new kitchen pantry at Sts. Vartanantz

** A New Kitchen Space for Sts. Vartanantz Church
Sts. Vartanantz Church of Chelmsford, MA, celebrated the opening of
its new kitchen pantry on Sunday, September 21.

The Rev. Fr. Khachatur Kesablyan, parish pastor, blessed the new
facility and expressed his appreciation to the pantry committee for
their hard work. `Our expanding outreach programs will benefit from
the operation and efficiency of the new, bigger, and well organized
pantry,” he said.

The committee included Richard Madanjian, who served as overall
project coordinator, along with the following Women’s Guild members:
Armig Ferris, Sandra Boroyan, Milka Jeknavorian, Pricilla Der Ananian,
Alis Peretzian, and Amy Vartoukian. Special contributions were made by
Roupen Roupenian and George Kritikos. A large number of volunteers
helped move, clean, and re-shelve the extensive inventory of kitchen

Click here
to view photos.

Holy Resurrection Church, CT

** New Britain Parish to Open Newly Renovated Hall
The Church of the Holy Resurrection of New Britain, CT, will mark the
73rd anniversary of the church’s consecration on Sunday, October
19. On this day, the parish will also celebrate the opening of its
renovated church hall. A Home Blessing service will follow the Divine

Diocesan Council member Tom Ashbahian will meet with the
Rev. Fr. Kapriel Mouradjian, parish pastor, and members of the Parish
Council on Saturday evening and will be the guest speaker at Sunday’s

`The facelift of Abrahamian Auditorium came about to meet the present
and future needs of the parish,’ said Fr. Mouradjian. =80=9CIt will
also be welcomed by many of New Britain’s non-profit organizations,
with whom Holy Resurrection partners on various projects.’

Dr. Gerard Roy and his son, Jack, led committee members
Fr. Mouradjian, Gail Onanian, and Diane Roy during the renovation

Upcoming events

** Upcoming Parish Events

St. Leon Church | Fair Lawn, NJ
St. Leon Church of Fair Lawn, NJ, will host its 78th annual Food
Festival from October 17 through 19. The annual event draws more than
2,000 guests for a weekend of Armenian food and music. One highlight
will be presentations of “tasting menus” by select chefs and
restaurateurs. Food enthusiasts will have a unique opportunity to meet
Armenian chefs and taste their culinary creations. Other activities
include performances by Armenian dance groups, Armenian cooking
lessons, talks on Armenian history, an art exhibit, and basketball and
tavloo tournaments. Click here
to view a flyer for information, or call (201) 745-1999.

Professor George Bournoutian will give a talk at St. Leon Church on
Friday, October 17, beginning at 8:30 p.m. Titled `Russo-Iranian
Relations and the Formation of Modern Armenia,’ the lecture will
consider Russia’s annexation of Yerevan and Nakhichevan from Iran and
the foundations of present-day Armenia. Click here
to view a flyer for information.

St. James Church | Watertown, MA
St. James Church of Watertown, MA, will host its annual bazaar on
Friday, October 17, and Saturday, October 18, from 11 a.m. to 9
p.m. Enjoy a full menu of Armenian dishes and sweets, including kebab,
kheyma, boreg, yalanchi, baklava, choreg, khadaif, and more. The
bazaar also features a farmer’s market, attic treasures, silent
auction, raffles, and jewelry vendors. Children’s activities include
games, clowns, and crafts. Click here
to view a flyer for information.

St. George Church | Hartford, CT
St. George Church of Hartford, CT, will host its annual Armenian Food
Fest on Friday, October 17 (5 to 8 p.m.) and Saturday, October 18 (11
a.m. to 6 p.m.). Enjoy Armenian dinners, baked goods, a Country Store,
Attic Treasures, and other activities. Click here
to view a flyer for information.

Sts. Sahag and Mesrob Church | Providence, RI
Sts. Sahag and Mesrob Church of Providence, RI, will host a
`Centennial Ball’ gala to conclude this year’s celebration of the
church’s centennial. The event on Saturday, October 18, will feature a
`Battle of the Bands.’ Joe Kouyoumjian’s “All Star Armenian Ensemble”
will face-off the “Sevan Armenian Band.” Click here
to view a flyer for information.

Holy Trinity Church | Cheltenham, PA
Holy Trinity Church of Cheltenham, PA, will host its 2014 Harvest
Bazaar from Friday, October 24 through Sunday, October 26. Highlights
include Armenian food, music, a Country Store, vendors, displays of
Armenian art, and activities for kids. Click here
to view a flyer for information, or call the church at (215) 663-1600.

Hye Pointe Church | Haverhill, MA
The ACYOA of Hye Pointe Church of Haverhill, MA, will host a “Harvest
Hayride and Apple Picking” on Saturday, October 25, beginning at 2
p.m. The afternoon of activities, which includes a pizza lunch, will
be held at Smolak Farms in North Andover, MA. Click here
to view a flyer for information, or call the church at (978) 372-9227.

Armenian Church of Jacksonville | Jacksonville, FL
The mission parish of Jacksonville, FL, will host a costume party for
kids on Saturday, October 25. Click here
to view a flyer for information.

St. Thomas Church | Tenafly, NJ
The Cultural Committee of St. Thomas Church of Tenafly, NJ, and the
TCA Mher Megerdchian Theatrical Group will present a concert by the
Huyser Music Ensemble
on Saturday, October 25. The ensemble will give an encore performance
of its “CLASH-Reloaded” program, featuring violinist Diana Vasilyan
and percussionist Raffi Massoyan. For ticket information and
reservations, contact Marie Zokian at (201) 745-8850, or Talar
Sesetyan Sarafian at (201) 240-8541.

On Sunday, October 26, the Cultural Committee of St. Thomas Church and
Tekeyan Cultural Association will host `Armenian Antiques and
Artifacts: A Presentation and Appraisals by Krikor Markarian.’ The
event will begin at 1:30 p.m. Parishioners are invited to bring their
antiques for appraisals. For information, call Maral Kalishian at
(845) 729-1888 or Talar Sarafian at (201) 444-2478.

St. Peter Church | Watervliet, NY
St. Peter Church of Watervliet, NY, will take part in Albany’s
“Festival of Nations” at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center on
Sunday, October 26. The parish’s Renee Dearstyne will compete for the
title of `Miss Festival of Nations.’ Click here
for more information.

Holy Trinity Church | Cambridge, MA
The Holy Trinity community will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the
priestly ordination of its pastor, the Rev. Fr. Vasken Kouzouian, on
Sunday, October 26 (following church services), in the church’s
Charles and Nevart Talanian Cultural Hall. Click here
to view an invitation. For information on reservations, and to reserve
online, click here

Holy Cross Church | Union City, NJ
Holy Cross Church of Union City, NJ, will host its annual bazaar and
food festival on Saturday, November 1. The day will begin with a
Children’s Halloween Party at 5 p.m, followed by dinner service at 6
p.m. Enjoy khavourma, keshkeg soup, kufteh, luleh kebob, cheese boreg,
yalanchi dolma, and desserts. The day will also feature a raffle, a
performance by the Antranig Dance Ensemble, and music by DJ
BERJ. Click here
to view a flyer for information, or contact the church office at (201)
864-2480, or via e-mail at [email protected]
(mailto:[email protected]) .

Zohrab Information Center

** An Evening of Poetry at the Zohrab Center
On Thursday, October 23, the Diocese’s Krikor and Clara Zohrab
Information Center will host an evening of poetry readings.

Three Armenian-American poets-Nancy Agabian, Lola Koundakjian, and
Alan Semerdjian-will read works that have been inspired by the Zohrab
Center’s rich book collection. Click here
to visit the Zohrab Center’s blog for information.

The event will take place at the Zohrab Center beginning at 7 p.m. A
reception will follow the program.

Violinist Sami Merdinian will give a concert on October 24.

** A Concert at St. Vartan Cathedral
St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral will host a concert by violinist Sami
Merdinian on Friday, October 24 at 7:30 p.m. He will be accompanied by
pianist Riko Higuma.

The program will include music by Khachaturian, Komitas, Tartini,
Saint-Saëns, and Beethoven. Tickets are $20 for adults, and $10 for
students and seniors. Click here
to view a flyer for information, or call (212) 686-0170.

Ararat Center

** Ararat Center Boston Harbor Cruise
The Ararat Center will host a Boston Harbor cruise on Saturday,
October 25, beginning at 7 p.m.

Guests will enjoy dinner, dancing, and a silent auction aboard the
Odyssey. Proceeds help benefit the Ararat Center, the Diocese’s
conference and recreation facility in upstate New York.

Click here
to view a flyer for ticket information.

ACYOA Sports Weekend
ACYOA Juniors take a break from their volleyball game to pose for a

** ACYOA Juniors Gather for Fall Sports Weekend
Last weekend, some 265 young people from 18 parishes around the
Diocese gathered for the ACYOA Fall Juniors Sports Weekend, hosted by
St. Leon Church in Fair Lawn, NJ.

Lorie Odabashian, the Diocese’s coordinator of Youth and Young Adult
Ministries, and members of the St. Leon parish welcomed participants
on Friday, October 10, and directed them to their respective host

Saturday began with morning service, followed by an `Insights’ program
led by sub-deacon Saro Kalayjian. Sports competitions followed at the
parish’s Grace and Charles Pinajian Youth Center. Team sports included
co-ed volleyball and boys’ and girls’ basketball. Individual
competitions included chess, tavloo, Connect Four, and ping pong. On
Saturday evening, participants enjoyed a dance in Abajian Hall.

On Sunday, the group took part in the Divine Liturgy. The
Rev. Fr. Diran Bohajian, parish pastor, celebrated the Divine Liturgy
and gave a sermon on the Holy Translators. The afternoon continued
with sports finals, followed by an awards banquet and dance in Abajian

The weekend came to a close on Monday with a farewell breakfast, where
the participants and parishioners alike remarked on the spirit of
Christian fellowship present throughout the weekend. Click on the
following links to view photos
and to read more
and to view a list of sports winners.


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