Weekly News – August 31, 2012


The crisis in Syria and as a consequence, the perilous daily lives of the Syrian Armenians, have alarmed and deeply concerned the Armenian community.

The historical record reminds us the past and present destiny of nations; making assumptions on past history may lead us to uncertainty and anxiety; and that is why we should move with practical considerations, determination and a spirit of service.

The spiritual heads, and the leaders of the political and humanitarian organizations in the Western U.S.A., as alert guardians of the community, came together to collectively bring together the “Syrian Armenian Relief Fund Executive Committee” with the task of planning activities and coordinating fundraising, and distributing funds as needed to save lives, and to provide moral and emotional support for our sisters and brothers living in difficult conditions across Syria, and sustenance for their Armenian institutions.

The Syrian Armenian Relief Fund Executive Committee includes the following organizations, their representatives and the roles that they have accepted within the committee:

Armenian Evangelical Union of North America (AEUNA), Zaven Khanjian, Chairperson
Armenian Relief Society of Western U.S.A. (ARS), Sona Madarian, Secretary
Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU), Harry Balian, Vice Chairperson
Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, Meher Der Ohanessian, Treasurer
Catholicosate of Cilicia, Central Executive Board, Khajag Dikijian;
Western Diocese of the Armenian Church, Barkev Hamalian
Armenian Catholic Church, Ara Aroyan
Armenian Democratic Liberal (Ramgavar) Party, Khachig Janoyan
Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Western U.S.A. (ARF), Vartkes Nalbandian and
Social Democrat Hunchakian Party-Western U.S.A., Harout Fakjian

The abovementioned Executive Committee members are committed to do their outmost to reach out to community at large, to make the impossible possible and to extend a helping hand for the sake of the survival of the Syrian-Armenians.

The Executive Committee has also received the blessings of the Armenian Apostolic Churches, His Eminence Archbishop Mousheg Mardirossian, Prelate, and Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate, as well as the leaders of the Armenian Catholic and Evangelical churches, and has already taken effective first steps.

We appeal to the Armenian people, to follow our announcements in the print and TV media, the web site www.syrianarmenianrelieffund.org, and Facebook page, and to make the most generous contribution that you could possibly make.

Please send your check payable to the Syrian Armenian Relief Fund, P.O. Box 1948, Glendale, CA 91209-1948, or make an online contribution at www.syrianarmenianrelieffund.org.




H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, and the Executive Council joyfully announce that at the start of the 2012-2013 academic year, the second installment of allocations are being awarded to Prelacy Schools from funds raised during the Pontifical Visit of H.H. Catholicos Aram I to the Western U.S. in October of 2011.

During the Pontifical Visit of His Holiness to our Prelacy, fundraisings were held specifically for Prelacy Schools and an endowment fund with a principal balance of $800,000 was established with the donations.  The first installment of allocations to our Schools were awarded by the Prelacy in November of 2011.

Given the ongoing economic crisis and the resulting challenges faced by our Schools, this fund, which was established through the generosity of our sponsors and donors, is helping to alleviate some of the financial burdens of our schools. On this occasion, we remind our community that the endowment fund is open to new donations and we are hopeful that the fund will continue to grow so that we may continue to provide for the needs of our schools.



In honor of the “Year of the Armenian Book” as proclaimed by H.H. Catholicos Aram I, throughout this year all Prelacies, including the Western Prelacy, have undertaken special events and projects to celebrate the Armenian Book and its role in our national life, especially in the lives of our youth.

Events celebrating the “Year of the Armenian Book” are already taking place in Prelacy Churches.  In addition, the Prelacy, by the ordinance of H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, and in conjunction with the Executive Council, has special publication projects planned on this occasion.

The first book, Garo Bedrossian’s Journey to the Armenian Heritage was published in the beginning of the year.  The presentation of the book was held at the Prelacy earlier this year.  The author’s earlier work, Feasts and Traditions of the Armenian Church, which was originally published by the Prelacy, is currently being republished.  The Prelacy is also collaborating with poet Jacques Hagopian on a book of poems dedicated to the Armenian book and language, and also on a volume of the poet’s research studies and memoirs.  The Prelacy has previously collaborated with Mr. Hagopian on many occasions and has published a number of his works.

With these publications, the Prelacy aims to celebrate the value of the Armenian written word through which our history, language, and heritage is transmitted from generation to generation.



Last week, a number of Prelacy Schools re-opened their doors to welcome students to the 2012-2013 academic year.  Each year, Prelacy Schools resume the new school year with a traditional opening ceremony.  Administrators, teachers, students, and parents gather at the school, joined by Pastors, Boards of Trustees, Board of Regents, School Boards, and Executive Council members, to start the new year with prayer and well wishes.  H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, visited a number of schools and conveyed his blessings for a successful school year.  Local Pastors also read the Prelate’s message to the students and administration.

Monday, August 27, 2012, was the first day of school for Ari Guiragos Minassian School in Orange County and Mesrobian School in Montebello.

At AG Minassian, the school year began with the opening prayer by Forty Martyrs Church Pastor Archpriest Fr. Hrant Yeretzian, who also read the Prelate’s message.  Welcoming remarks and well wishes were conveyed by Principal Mrs. Kohar Zaher and School Board member Mr. Kevork keshishian.  After the prayer and national anthems, the students went to their classrooms, after which they headed to the Church where they received Holy Communion.

At Mesrobian School, the administration and students were joined by At Mesrobian, Holy Cross Cathedral Pastor Rev. Fr. Ashod Kambourian and Executive  Council Chair Mrs. Rima Boghossian, Board of Regents member Mr. Chris Keosian, School Board Chair Mr. Berj Babikian and members, Montebello City Council member Mr. Jack Hadjinian, and Cathedral Board of Trustees Chair Mr. Shiraz Savoian and members.  Welcoming remarks were delivered by Principal Mr. Seto Boyajian and Mrs. Rima Boghossian.  Fr. Ashod read the Prelate’s message and the ceremony concluded with the benediction.



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