Weekly News – October 19, 2012


The Governing Council of the Holy See of Cilicia Brotherhood hereby issues the following announcement.  Given;

1.- Very Rev. Fr. Barthev Gulumian’s demonstrated disobedience

2.- His deception of the Catholicosate of Cilicia by not returning to his current assignment in Venezuela and later to his future assignment in Canada, but rather remaining in the United States

3.- His inappropriate expressions during a recent sermon in a Los Angeles area Armenian Church

4.- Refusing a final opportunity to offer a written apology

In accordance with the by-laws of the Brotherhood of the Holy See of Cilicia, the Governing Council unanimously appealed that His Holiness defrock Fr. Barthev.

On October 16, 2012, through an official decree His Holiness Catholicos Aram I declared Very Rev. Fr. Barthev Gulumian defrocked, reinstating him as a lay person with his baptismal name Berj.

October 16, 2012



On Saturday, October 13, 2012, which coincided with the Feast of the Holy Translators,  Sunday School directors, teachers, and volunteers gathered at the Prelacy “Dikran and Zarouhie Der Ghazarian” Hall to participate in a one-day seminar.  The seminar was held under the auspices of H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate and was organized by the Sunday Schools’ Directorate.  The Prelate presided over the seminar and conveyed his message to the participants.

Also participating were Very Rev. Fr. Muron Aznikian and Pastors.

The day began with a meeting of the Directorate.  After the opening prayer, the newly appointed members of the Directorate were introduced.  The election of the officers followed with Mr. Raffi Torossian (St. Garabed Church, Hollywood) and Mr. Hagop Tchagaspanian (St. Mary’s Church, Glendale) elected Co-Chairs, and Deacon Khatchig Shannakian elected Secretary.  Directors then gave a report on the activities of their local Sunday Schools.  Very Rev. Fr. Muron Aznikian followed with a presentation on the activities of the Directorate in the previous year.  Deacon Khatchig then spoke on how to draw Sunday school students closer to the Armenian and spiritual literature.  After members offered their suggestions for the coming year, the meeting concluded with the Prelate’s message and benediction. The Prelate highly commended the mission of our Sunday Schools and the dedication of Sunday School teachers in fulfillment of that mission, and urged them to continue their service with unwavering faith, devotion, and collaboration for the religious and national instruction of our youth.

Following a lunch break, the seminar convened with the participation of teachers and volunteers from various Sunday Schools.

The seminar began with a collective prayer, the singing of the Sunday school anthem and a hymn dedicated to the Feast of the Holy Translators.  Welcoming remarks were delivered by Fr. Muron.

A spiritual meditation followed by Co-Chairman Mr. Raffi Torossian on Matthew 7:6-12. Mr. Torossian emphasized the strength of prayer and the hope which we have as Armenian Christians. This was followed by Co-Chairman Mr. Hagop Tchaghatsbanian’s report on the outcome from the morning’s Directorate meeting.

Deacon Khatchig Shannakian then addressed the participants, speaking on the Feast of the Holy Translators.

Participants exchanged ideas and information and offered suggestions for the current school year.

The seminar closed with the Prelate’s message and benediction.  The Prelate noted that the Feast of the Holy Translators is one of the greatest feasts for Armenian Christians and an opportunity to be reinforced in our Christian faith and to lead our lives according to God’s commandments.  One of the greatest institutions devoted to this mission is our Sunday Schools.  The Prelate stressed that our Sunday School teachers have the noble mission of enhancing our Church through their service, and their work is not merely instructing individuals but rather instructing the collective, because we are not a group of individuals. We are one body as the children of God and of the Armenian Church, and we are led by our faith and spiritual heritage to the successful realization of our endeavors and mission for the collective good.

Following the benediction, the participants were invited for a group photo and presented with a gift bag which included; Mr. Garo Bedrossian’s new book “Journey to the Armenian Heritage,” Archbishop Nareg Alemezian’s book “The Armenian Church’s Responses to Non-Orthodox Objections,” a copy of the latest issue of the Prelacy Spiritual Spectrum, and a set of illustrated cards of Biblical stories and parables.



On Saturday, October 13, 2012, the Armenian Apostolic Church celebrated what is regarded as one of its greatest feasts, the Feast of the Holy Translators.  The feast celebrates the invention of the Armenian alphabet, the life of St. Mesrob Mashdots, Catholicos Sahak, and King Vramshabouh, and the culture and national benefits brought about by the work of the host of translators.

The eve of the Feast was celebrated on the evening of Friday, October 12, with a spiritually moving service held at Holy Martyrs Church in Encino, presided over by H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, and with the participation of Clergy members.

The Prelate began his sermon with the following prayer; “O Lord, through the Holy Translators divine knowledge and spiritual wisdom was spread throughout the Armenian Church, through which our nation was enlightened by knowing You and Your Word”.  “Tonight we observe the memory of our translator forefathers.  This Feast is not only a religious feast, it is a national feast; a feast of identity and faith.  Our translator forefathers established our national identity and formed the legacy for our future.  By translating the Holy Bible, they brought the Word of God to our hearts and souls”.  His Eminence then reflected on the opening of the new academic year at the Seminary of the Catholicosate of Cilicia.  He stated that students will soon return to the Seminary to convene the 83rd school year.  “For years it was a tradition within our Prelacy to celebrate the invaluable mission of the Seminary with a banquet held after evening services on the Feast of the Holy Translators.  Last year, we had the distinct privilege and honor to celebrate the 82nd anniversary of the Seminary with the blessed presence of His Holiness Catholicos Aram I, and our community lent their great support for the mission of the Seminary”.

Continuing his message on the legacy of our translator forefathers, the Prelate referred to them as “the faithful students of God’s Word and commandments”.  Through their works and actions, they lived God’s Word and commandments, stated the Prelate.  “St. Mesrob Mashdots, Catholicos Sahak, and King Vramshabouh were not only students, they became our greatest teachers so that we too could learn from them and live in their example.  Today they remain our heroes of faith.  They renewed and revolutionized the lives of the Armenian people and nation and brought us closer to God.  God and the prophets spoke to our hearts and souls in our own Armenian language.  Tonight is an opportunity for us to renew our pledge to remain the faithful students of God’s Word and commandments.  This feast is an opportunity for parents also to renew their pledge to remain instructors of good for our youth.  Whenever to set out to change, let us change for the positive; for the benefit of our Church and communities, and for the glory of God”.  The Prelate concluded his message with a prayer asking for the Lord to have mercy on us.  To cleanse and purify us, mind and soul, as we serve for the splendor of our faith, church, and most of all as we serve for His glory.



October is designated as Armenian Culture Month.  Each October, the Administration and Parent-Teacher Organization of Ari Guiragos Minassian School in Orange County organize a book fair on the occasion of Armenian Culture Month and the Feast of the Holy Translators to celebrate our language and heritage and honor the legacy of our translator forefathers.

This year’s book fair was held on Sunday, October 14, 2012, at “Gugasian” Hall.

The day began with Divine Liturgy at Forty Martyrs Church presided over by H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate.  A.G. Minassian School Kindergarten to fifth grade students attended the service and received Holy Communion.

After the service, the Prelate was led in a procession to “Gugasian” Hall where he conducted the blessing and opening ceremony of the book fair.

In her opening remarks Principal Mrs. Kohar Zaher reflected on the unique contributions of our translator forefathers in the preservation and fostering of our Church, language, and culture, then invited the Prelate to deliver his message to the parishioners and students.

Speaking on the Feast of the Holy Translators, the Prelate highlighted that through their great works, our translator forefathers united and strengthened our people.  Reflecting on the blessings granted to us by God, the Prelate noted that the greatest blessing and gift is the ability to lead with corresponding words and actions.  And the foundation of this blessing is to demonstrate and express our abilities through good works, and not use them for destabilization.  The holy translators, continued the Prelate, were students, and they never strayed from their path as students.  And when they became teachers, they did not stray in their teachings. When they changed the lives of the Armenian people, they brought about a revolution; but it was a positive revolution for the betterment of our people, for the unity, strength and splendor of our people.  They bequeathed to us national and spiritual riches, and bestowed upon us our Armenian identity, our national legacy.  The Prelate also encouraged the students to become the worthy children and heirs of St. Mesrob Mashdots by learning the Armenian language and history and reading Armenian books.

The book fair also featured an artistic program, presented by A.G. Minassian School students.  Given that the year 2012 is the 500th anniversary of Armenian printing and also proclaimed the “Year of the Armenian Book” by His Holiness Catholicos Aram I, students presented the history of Armenian printing through a play.  They also recited poetry dedicated to the Armenian language, book, and St. Mesrob Mashdots.  At the conclusion of the program they sang a number of songs.  Dressed in traditional Armenian garb, they were photographed in front of a depiction of an Armenian village, then listened to Armenian children’s stories presented by Ms. Taline Artinian.

A reception followed, the proceeds of which will fully be allocated to assisting Armenian Schools in Syria.



On Saturday, October 20, the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry will hold its 7th annual “Walk of Life”.  The walk begins at 9:00 a.m. and will start from Glendale Memorial Hospital, to Central-Lexington-Brand, and back to the hospital.

The Prelate is among this year’s Honorary Chairs.

St. Mary’s Church Pastor Rev. Fr. Vazken Atmajian will participate on behalf of the Prelate.



On the evening of Saturday, October 20, the Prelate will attend a dinner in honor of Dr. Charles Elachi, Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The dinner is hosted by Lebanese Consul General Johnny Ibrahim and his wife.

Executive Council member Mr. Vahan Bezdikian and his wife will accompany the Prelate.





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