News from the Eastern Prelacy


His Holiness Catholicos Aram I urged Prelacies to become more actively involved in the Catholicosate’s mission as the General Assembly ended on Friday, Dec. 9, after three days of busy sessions and panels that discussed key issues for the development of the Church, Armenia, and the Diaspora.  

“The Catholicosate are our Prelacies and people,” the Catholicos said. “Our work must get to the people by way of the Prelacies and it has to conform to the local conditions.”  

Click here to read more



The banquet celebrating the 65th anniversary of the Eastern Prelacy was an affair to remember. Voice of Armenians TVNY has just featured it in its weekly program. To watch the news report, click here



His Holiness Catholicos Aram I of the Great House of Cilicia has proclaimed 2022 the YEAR OF THE DIASPORA, continuing and enriching tradition of designating every year with a theme, which he started a quarter of a century ago.

In view of the pandemic and the threats against the Motherland and the Diaspora, His Holiness, considering all facets of Armenian religious, political, cultural, and social life, and with his experience, wisdom, and farsightedness, with this proclamation calls on our organizations to turn the Diaspora the focus of their plans and activities. The premise is the profound conviction that a strong Diaspora means a strong Homeland and, conversely, a strong Homeland is the precondition for a strong Diaspora.

On this occasion, the Prelates of the Eastern and Western United States and Canada instruct the churches in their jurisdictions to read His Holiness’ proclamation, infused with a positive and inspiring vision. The Prelates also urge every community to turn the precepts contained in the proclamation into a reality within their possibilities, for the progress of the Armenian Church and the glory of Almighty God.

ARCHBISHOP ANOUSHAVAN, Prelate, Eastern Prelacy of the United States
ARCHBISHOP PAPKEN, Prelate, Armenian Prelacy of Canada
BISHOP TORKOM, Prelate, Western Prelacy of the United States



Dear parishioners and friends of the Armenian Prelacy,

The very bitter calamities of 2020 have caused irreparable scars in the world, especially in the Armenian people and on its course of action in 2021. At any rate, with the guidance of Providence, Christian faith and the iron will of our people and their secular experience, the Armenian Prelacy, along with the clergy and the lay staff of the communities in its jurisdiction, was driven to a new strategy to persist, overcome and continue our service with new visions.

As a year-end balance, we present to our community an overview of our annual activity, to continue the mission entrusted to us with our mutual collaboration:

  • On a weekly basis (Tuesday and Thursday), our Pastors have dedicated an hour to pray online for the wellbeing of the world and our people. On Mondays, Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian and Rev. Fr. Vahan Kouyoumjian offered the online educational series “Faith and Family,” whereas on Fridays the Pastors took turns to share their reflections, offering additional spiritual nourishment to the faithful.
  • The Religious and Executive Councils of the Armenian Prelacy meticulously reviewed and spearheaded the activities of the Prelacy and the Parishes.
  • In collaboration with the Parishes, auxiliary bodies and sister organizations, the Pastors managed to maintain a vibrant community life despite the existing constraints, organizing social and cultural events in addition to religious ceremonies as much as was possible.
  • The Christian Education Department offered Bible studies on different opportunities and topics. In addition to it, the Department has also offered an ongoing monthly course for Sunday school teachers.
  • The Armenian National Education Committee, in collaboration with ARS and support from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, continued the teachers’ recertification course, with the participation of educators from different countries.
  • The deacons’ seminar was continued on every Tuesday and Thursday under the direction of Dr. George Leylegian.
  • Youth programs Datev, Siamanto, and Salt & Light continued their activity online.
  • Through the Prelacy’s St. Nerses the Great Charitable Fund in Yerevan, 1,187 children on our list orphaned in the tragic war of Artsakh and other circumstances were sponsored by our generous benefactors. Also, the Happy Family program continued to provide benefits to the families of 15 veterans of the Artsakh war, with the sponsorship of the Aslanian family.
  • Our community responded promptly and generously to the social, political and economic crisis of the Lebanese Armenian community, raising $162,000 this year. In this regard, we constantly encouraged the supporters of this charitable initiative with our messages.
  • All the books of our bookstore are now available for purchase online. We also advertise the books in stock on a weekly basis.
  • Our weekly newsletter Crossroads was enriched this year with a new section devoted to Jewels of Armenian Literature. The names of all our donors were also publicized, to share our collective success.

All this, and more, was achieved with the indefatigable dedication of our clergy, members of the National Representative Assembly, members of the Religious and Executive Councils, the staff of the Prelacy and the Pillars, the Executive Boards of the parishes and auxiliary bodies, sister organizations, but especially thanks to the unreserved support of parishioners and friends.

In these days of celebrations of the New Year and the Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ, when we are all filled with the spirit of Caring and Sharing, I appeal to all of you to support with devotion our mission in the service of God and our nation, to help us strengthen our communities modernizing our programs while at the same time we extend a hand to our needy sisters and brothers in Artsakh, Armenia, and the Middle East.

Filled with the positive message of the holidays, I wish that the gates of hope and that the winter of despair leaves our country for good. May God Almighty make us worthy to greet each other in health and joy and sing with the angels, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” (Luke 2:14).

With warm greetings of love,


Eastern United States of America

To make your year-end contribution, click here



We are thrilled to note that, thanks to the wonderful response by parishioners from St. Sarkis Church (Douglaston, New York), who have taken upon the sponsorship of 30 orphans of soldiers who died heroically during the Artsakh war, and other generous sponsors, the waiting list of the Eastern Prelacy’s St. Nerses the Great Organization in Armenia has gone down once again. Now the waiting list has come down from 97 to 60 orphans.

We are grateful to all our sponsors, both individuals and institutions, who make their annual contribution of $250 per child and support our efforts. When you contribute an amount that would buy less than a cup of coffee per day, you alleviate the financial burdens of the recipient and his or her family, but also boost their morale and make them feel that they are not alone. It is with this spirit that we are looking forward to finding new sponsors.

Click here for online sponsorship of minors up to the age of 18.
Click here for online sponsorship of orphans who become students at a higher education institution upon turning 18.


The Prelates of the Eastern Prelacy, His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan; the Canadian Prelacy, His Eminence Archbishop Papken, and the Western Prelacy, His Grace Bishop Torkom met Wednesday, October 6, in the offices of the Armenian Prelacy of New York, following up on their online meeting earlier this year.

Following the opening prayer, His Holiness Catholicos Aram I joined in the meeting by videoconference. His Holiness praised highly the dedication of the Prelates to overcome through joint efforts the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. He also lauded the material and moral support for our Lebanese Armenian brethren displayed by the faithful in our North American communities  as Lebanon faces an unprecedented crisis.

The Catholicos pointed out that the growth of parishes and winning over our youth must be the focal point of the joint efforts. He said that soon four young priests would be arriving in North America to assist the local clergy and expand the spiritual mission of our Church. His Holiness concluded by expressing his wishes for a productive meeting.

The Prelates listened to presentations about religious and Armenian education, as well as activities carried out within the parishes. They also examined the unprecedented situation created by the coronavirus pandemic.

Therefore, the Prelates:

  1. On behalf of the clergy, the lay leadership and the faithful of the prelacies, expressed their loyalty to the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia, that is called upon to serve unconditionally our people, and their filial gratitude to the Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia who leads our people through extremely difficult circumstances with God-given wisdom, energy and vision, and opens new horizons with his fatherly exhortations.
  2. In response to Catholicos Aram I’s appeal, they continue to support the Lebanese Armenian community, focusing their efforts on schools and students at this stage.
  3. The Prelates have decided to:
  • Relaunch His Holiness’ ten-year action plan for the Prelacies.
  • Re-examine the pastoral guidelines for matters of liturgy, sacraments, education, meetings, discipline, and public relations.
  • Hold the next year the joint clergy conference of the three Prelacies convention of clergymen, which was began in 2000 and had to be interrupted because of Covid-19.
  • Extend until further notice the liturgical changes adopted as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Create a joint committee for Christian education which, taking advantage of the modern resources employed in the Prelacies, make the Church present in the life of young people.
  • Making use of modern technological resources, impulse joint educational and editorial programs for the three Prelacies.
  • Hold periodically such meetings with the blessings of His Holiness in order to contribute to the success of joint efforts.

The Prelates hope that the execution of the decisions adopted in the meeting will contribute to give new value to the mission of the Church in Armenian life for the glory of God.




“Throughout the past century, Lebanon has been the fortress of Armenian Diaspora life,” said Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate, in an interview by Aztag Daily with him and Bishop Torkom Donoyan, Prelate of the Western Prelacy, during which they explained how their communities in the United States are responding to Catholicos Aram I’s appeal to help the Lebanese Armenian community as the country goes through an unprecedented financial and economic crisis. “To guarantee the continuity of its mission, it was vital to express our full support to all members of this honorable community.”

The same ideas were echoed by Bishop Torkom, who highlighted “the unique role the Lebanese Armenian community has played in the life of our people, both in Armenia and Artsakh and the different communities of the Diaspora.”

Archbishop Anoushavan explained that after a conversation with His Holiness on August 31, following their arrival to Lebanon, the Prelates intended to familiarize themselves with the situation in the country and learn from Archbishop Shahe Panossian, Prelate of the Armenian Prelacy of Lebanon, how the aid provided by the Prelacies of the Eastern and Western United States would be allocated, so Archbishop Anoushavan and Bishop Torkom convey the information and their impressions to their flocks.

Asked by Aztag reporter Nora Parseghian about the response of Armenian-Americans to the appeals to help both the Lebanon community and Armenia following the second Artsakh war, Archbishop Anoushavan said that the explosion at Beirut’s port “not only Armenians, but the entire world was shocked by it.”

Notwithstanding the adversity visited upon the Armenian nation last year, the Prelate said that “our people is ready to help, despite the daily difficulties it faces, which pale in comparison to the crisis endured by Lebanese Armenians.”

Archbishop Anoushavan said the Eastern Prelacy is organizing fundraisers in addition to those being planned by Pastors and Boards of Trustees in the communities under the Prelacy’s jurisdiction. The proceeds will be transferred by way of the Holy See of the Great House of Cilicia to the Armenian Prelacy of Lebanon to be distributed among the Lebanese Armenians and cover their needs.

The Prelate pointed out that the Eastern Prelacy communities comprise a smaller proportion of Lebanese Armenians than those in the Western Prelacy jurisdiction. Regardless, he said, the community is ready to lend its hand to the community in Lebanon, which has given so much to the Diaspora.

“Our work is for the long term, always cooperating with Archbishop Shahe, the Lebanon Armenians’ Prelate, to create a new source of spiritual strength in that community and come out of this ‘storm’ together,” Archbishop Anoushavan said.

To see the full interview in Armenian, click here.



His Holiness Catholicos Aram I met with His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian and His Grace Bishop Torkom Donoyan, Prelates of the Eastern and Western Prelacies of the United States respectively, on Tuesday, Aug. 31, at the monastery of the Holy Mother of God in Bikfaya. His Eminence Archbishop Shahe Panossian, Prelate of the Armenian Prelacy of Lebanon, was also present.

The main topic on the agenda was the assistance to be provided to the Lebanon Prelacy. His Holiness outlined the dire situation the Lebanese Armenians face, especially due to a lack of food and medicine, and emphasized the duty to assist them. He wanted to learn the Prelates views on the crisis Upon the Catholicos’s suggestion, on Wednesday, September 1, Archbishop Anoushavan and Bishop Torkom met with Archbishop Shahe and the Executive Council of the Armenian Prelacy of Lebanon to get better acquainted with the situation of the community.

In the afternoon, the visiting churchmen participated in the Brotherhood’s meeting held at the monastery of the Holy Mother of God in Bikfaya, presided by His Holiness Aram I.

The Catholicos had appealed to the Eastern and Western Prelacies on August 5 to organize a fundraiser for the Lebanon Prelacy, following which he invited the Prelates to the Holy See for consultations.

On Wednesday, September 1, archbishops Anoushavan and Torkom were received by Archbishop Shahe at the Armenian Prelacy of Lebanon, who thanked the U.S. Prelates for visiting Lebanon to witness firsthand the critical situation in the country, where a socioeconomic crisis has compounded the difficulties created by the covid pandemic, compromising the Lebanese people’s access to basic needs. The three prelates were interviewed by the hosts of Voice of Van radio station and Aztag newspaper.

On behalf of the Religious and Executive Councils as well as their communities, both U.S. Prelates thanked the Catholicos for his initiative, saying not only they had visited to offer their Prelacies’ support but also to express solidarity. In the Christian spirit of “the one who endures to the end will be saved,” as well as the Armenian saying that “bad days come and go,” they stressed the importance of cooperation.

Archbishops Anoushavan and Torkom then met with Archbishop Shahe and the Executive Council of the Armenian Prelacy of Lebanon to learn more about the aid effort carried out by them, which transcends the classical understanding of the Church’s mission. Both U.S. Prelates promised to do their utmost to mobilize their communities to help Lebanese Armenians overcome this dramatic situation.

In the evening, His Holiness briefed the Cilician Brotherhood on the developing situation. Catholicos Aram praised highly the loyalty of both U.S. Prelates to the mission of the Holy See of the Great House of Cilicia.



The Eastern Prelacy Religious and Lay Councils adopted major decisions on spiritual and academic issues concerning the Prelacy on August 18. The meeting resolved the following:

  1. The reopening of all of the Sunday and one-day Armenian Schools under the Prelacy’s jurisdiction will begin with in-person participation by students. Even so, the final decision will be reserved for the Pastors, Boards of Trustees and school Principals of each parish, so that taking local requirements into consideration, they may provide what is best for the students, teachers and parents.
  2. The Siamanto Academy will begin Saturday, September 11, and the Teacher Development workshop on August 28 in a virtual format. Your support is essential for guaranteeing the presence of new participants.
  3. The Clergy “Reflections” series will resume Friday, September 10, in order of clerical rank beginning with the most senior.
  4. The monthly clergy consultations will reconvene on Monday, September 13, and will continue to be held the first Monday of every month.
  5. The “Prayer with the People” program with participation of the clergy will begin on September 13 and will continue every Monday.
  6. The “Faith and Family” program will resume October 4.
  7. The Clergy Convocation/Retreat will take place on October 4-5 in New York.
  8. The “Family and Christian Education” new program will begin October 6.
  9. The virtual sessions A practical guide to establishing a very short discipline of prayer” will be held on October 6 and 13.
  10. Two virtual mini-courses on the first four and last four chapters of the Bible will start on October 27.
  11. In response to the call of His Holiness, Aram I, to provide aid to Lebanon, a fundraising campaign has been initiated at the Prelacy level. We strongly urge our pastors and Boards of Trustees to do likewise at the parish level by organizing events for this purpose.





The National Representative Assembly of the Eastern Prelacy was held last Saturday, May 22, in a virtual meeting via videoconference for second time in a row as the world is slowly emerging from an unprecedented pandemic.

With 65 out of 77 eligible delegates in attendance, a quorum was achieved. Simone Topouzian, Chairperson, called the meeting to order. Janet Haroian served as secretary.

His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate, offered the opening prayer, following which he invited His Holiness Catholicos Aram I to address the virtual assembly.

“We are at a critical juncture in human history,” His Holiness said, in reference to the upheavals, driven by the Covid-19 pandemic, that have radically changed our life as we knew it.

In his address streamed live from Antelias, His Holiness praised “the spirit of dedication of our parishes, under the supervision and leadership of Srpazan and the Prelacy.” The NRA, he said, is “an important occasion, first, for sharing our experiences, perspectives, and expectations; second, for reviewing and assess with a critical spirit the work of the Prelacy; and third, for highlighting and identifying the priority areas of the period forward.”

The Catholicos underscored the role of “witness” the Prelacy and the parishes play in the community. “What the Prelacy does, what the parish does is essentially being a witness… witness in the profound sense of the word, with a strong dedication and commitment.”

His Holiness had words of praise for Archbishop Anoushavan as “a good and dedicated pastor… at the service of his flock.” He also expressed his appreciation for the clergy and Executive Council members, “who did their utmost under these difficult circumstances.” The Catholicos also conveyed his gratitude and blessings to all committees, donors, friends, and supporters, who in one way or another have done their best.

The Catholicos also offered the broad outlines of a roadmap, calling on the Prelacy and parishes to:

  1. Reorganize efforts. He urged “to try to be more selective by identifying programs, concerns, areas of involvement” that “are relevant,” making a more efficient use of resources.
  2. Think, “how can we transform the programs we have into outreach?” A program should not become self-centered and self-contained, His Holiness said. Programs should be people-oriented and community-transforming.
  3. Expand the scope of relations. The pandemic was detrimental to relationships, His Holiness said. “I very much admire that Srpazan has been very active establishing relations with the parishes.” This mattered because, the Catholicos said, “the most important relation of the Prelacy is with the parishes.”

In his closing remarks, His Holiness quoted from the final pages of his book, “Turning to God:”

“In this chaotic world, we have little time to be with ourselves, with our families, even with God. Often, we leave God alone. God always approaches us. Are we disposed to approach Him? God always turns to us. Are we ready to turn to him? Indeed, without God our life is empty and meaningless.”

His Holiness explained:

“Turning to God means turning to the Creator of Creation, to the source of Times, to our Heavenly Father… Turning to God in chaos, turning to ourselves, created in the image of God…”

Following the Catholicos’ message, His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan vowed to continue his mission at the Prelacy, reaching out to every member of the community under its jurisdiction.

The Prelate highlighted the resilience of the church and the community in these daunting times. “While it is true that we were surrounded, attacked, and exposed to multiple threats during the past year, nevertheless we did not surrender, we were not crushed, and we did not lose our ability to deal with these deadly pressures, anxieties, and worries,” Archbishop Anoushavan said. “Yes, this pandemic has separated us physically, yet at the same time, whether driven by fear or by a dormant authentic need to re-establish our relationship with our heavenly Father, it has rekindled in us our Faith and genuine love.”

The remarks by the Prelate were followed by the roll call made by Ms. Haroian, the secretary of the meeting. The Executive Council report and budget, as well as the financial report, were approved as submitted by unanimous consent, after which delegates voted for five new Lay and three Religious Councils members. The outcome of the election saw Houry Daghlian reelected for a new term at the Lay Council, joined by new members Tamar Kanarian, Raffi Ourlian, Hrant Jamgochian, and Hagop Khatchadourian. Rev. Fr. Hrant Kevorkian and Rev. Fr. Kapriel Nazarian were reelected to the Religious Council, joined by new member Rev. Fr. Mikael Der Kosrofian. Earlier this week, His Holiness Catholicos Aram I gave his blessing and ratification to the elections.

Upon the invitation of NRA Chairperson Topouzian, outgoing Lay Council member Karen Jehanian addressed the assembly, evoking her life-enriching experience as the first woman elected to the Council 23 years ago. Ms. Topouzian also thanked outgoing Lay Council members Chris Parnagian and André Markarian for their service.

Archpriest Fr. Antranig Baljian led the closing prayer, following which the meeting ended on a high note with a stirring rendition of “Giligia” by Rev. Fr. Torkom Chorbajian and Rev. Fr. Hrant Kevorkian. Facebook Twitter


His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church, saluted the courageous decision of President Biden to declare the 1915 massacres of 1.5 million Armenians a Genocide and thanked him on behalf of the community and parishes he presides over in the Eastern United States.

“History was made today,” Archbishop Anoushavan said. “In these times of turmoil and despair, President Biden has demonstrated that the first test of leadership is to stand up for justice and the values that make America the land of the free and the home of the brave. By becoming the first sitting U.S. President to recognize the Armenian Genocide, he has taken a huge step towards making the world a safer place, living up to the principles upon which the Founding Fathers built this wonderful country that has been a home away from home for millions of Armenians after the Genocide.”

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The Prelate’s Message, April 4

Today, Christendom celebrates the Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, the awesome victory of the Divine, invincible power over all heavenly and earthly powers, in a most unique and amazing way, as we read in the Scriptures, “My ways are different from your ways” (Isa 55:8). By Friday, Jerusalem, the city of peace, was in turmoil and confusion. Maddened crowds, instigated by their leaders, were yelling, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” (Mt 27:23). The perplexed governor in vain was pretending to have authority to overrule the verdict, and the followers of the betrayed Master were in total despair. By Saturday, the spiritual rulers, not content with the crucifixion, asked Pilate to seal the tomb, claiming that the fearful and hopeless Disciples, who fled away upon their Master’s arrest, might come and steal the body from the guarded tomb. This was the last of all ironies, which Pilate reluctantly accepted and imposed in order to please them. When all human means were exhausted to silence and annihilate the Righteous One, Lo! On Sunday, the Buried One who once taught “I am the Resurrection”, now proclaimed it in action by rising from the dead.

The Resurrection, the eternal dawning of Faith, Hope and Love, girded the dispersed and despairing disciples, who in their turn, illuminated the minds of people everywhere dwelling in the darkness of ignorance. Going out into the world, the disciples transformed mindsets to transcend the visible and material approach to human existence and to understand life’s ultimate goal in the light of Divine perspective. Indeed, the Resurrection unveiled the mystery which lies beyond death, and filled the hearts of the human beings with joy that we, mortals, are rejuvenated in our immortality with our heavenly Father’s Grace, and are pilgrims from life to Life.

And today, here we are to celebrate the renewal of our faith in the spirit of the Risen Lord, who spared nothing for our redemption. He literally took upon Himself our sinful nature and cleansed it with His sacred blood. For our sake He carried the wages of sin (Rom 6:23), and through His death, crushed the stings of death (cf. 1 Cor 15:55), providing us with tangible signs that He is alive and always with us, as He promised to His Disciples (Mt 228:20). Moreover, He speaks to us, and patiently waits for our positive reaction in response to His sacrificial love on the Cross.

In this context, I would like to draw a picture derived from the world of science. One of the marvelous inventions of technology is the GPS, which speaks and helps us to get to our destination, and always recalculates when we fail to follow its instruction. By changing the wording of this wonderful instrument G(lobal) P(ositioning) S(ystem) to G(od) S(peaks) P(ersonally) to us and never gives up when we sin and we distance ourselves from Him, we will discover the harmony between Intellect-Science, and Soul-Faith. Indeed, God always had personally spoken with mankind, the crown of His Creation. In the Garden of Eden, God personally spoke to our foreparents. God personally spoke to the Patriarchs Noah and Abraham. God personally spoke to the Prophets Moses, David, Isaiah, and through them with His people. And in the fulfillment of time, God personally spoke in the very person of Jesus Christ, and through the apostles to the world at large.

It is so amazing that in the Armenian Church we practice a very unique feature: the reading of the Gospels is always preceded by the choir’s brief solemn chant, “ Ասէ Աստուած – God speaks,” reminding us that not only in past but also today, God is speaking to each of us. Yes, my dear brothers and sisters, God always speaks with us through different means, by Mother Nature, our consciousness, the Scriptures and moreover through our Lord Jesus Christ, who solemnly announced, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” (Jn 14:6). Of course, there are many ways to think and to act; there are many religions teaching us about truth; and there are many sciences promising us prosperous life. Yet, as the shining sun, penetrating the very heart of the earth and oceans, gives life to each species and preserves their uniqueness, likewise the Risen Lord, penetrating each person’s life, transforms our personality, character, behavior, and makes us more perfect in our outlook, in our relationship with our spouses, children, peers, neighbors, colleagues, and with society at large.

By committing ourselves to our God-“GPS,” He does not merely lead us from border to border, from land to land, from planet to planet, but from time and space to eternity and infinity, to enjoy and celebrate life forever in Him. With this understanding, let us celebrate the Resurrection of the Crucified and Risen Lord. Let us welcome the Risen Lord and with renewed faith follow Him who promised “That you may have life, and a more abundant life” (Jn 10:10). Let us truly sing the song of Hope and Life “even though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me” (Ps 23:4), and with thankful hearts, let us praise the life-giving All-Holy Trinity, Amen.


An Easter Message

“Sing a new song to the Lord”

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

I greet you all in the sacred love of Whom, out of His love, shed His holy Blood on the Cross, and through His triumphant Resurrection freed us from the terror of death and showered us with the hope of Eternal Life, and Joy.

Click here to read the full 2021 Easter Message of Archbishop Anoushavan

Ordination to the Priesthood

Deacon Roland Telfeyan will be ordained to the holy priesthood of the Armenian Church this Saturday and Sunday, February 13 and 14, at St. Sarkis Church in Douglaston, New York. The ordination services will be celebrated by the Prelate, His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan. Deacon Roland’s sponsor is Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian, pastor of St. Sarkis Church. The Godfather of the ordination is Rev. Fr. Vahan Kouyoumdjian.
The process of ordination will begin Saturday afternoon with Vespers and the Order of Calling to the Priesthood. The candidate walks on his knees down the main aisle of the church as a sign of his humility and readiness to serve God. He is escorted by his sponsor and two priests. Through a series of questions the Prelate confirms the worthiness of the candidate and his willingness and ability to serve as a priest in the Armenian Apostolic Church.

The next morning, in the tradition of the Armenian Church, the ordination service will take place intertwined with the Divine Liturgy, as this is the liturgical context in which the priest will serve most visibly. The ordination will be livestreamed.

Deacon Roland Telfeyan was born and raised in New York and grew up in the Armenian Church.
He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in mathematics and music theory, with concentrations in computer science and church music, and worked as a senior research scientist in semiconductor manufacturing and as a senior trading strategist and quantitative financial mathematician on Wall Street.

In 2019, he was ordained deacon by Archbishop Anoushavan in New York. He has been studying with Archbishop Anoushavan and the brotherhood and scholars of the Armenian Prelacy and the Catholicosate of Cilicia.

He lives with his wife Maro and daughters Anahid and Hasmik in Charlotte, North Carolina, where they all serve as church school servants.


November 19, 2020



Message from His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian

Since Sunday, September 27, the Armenian people worldwide have been fulfilling the national unity that we dreamed of for so long, alarmed over the attack that threatened the existence of Artsakh by Azerbaijan, endowed with superior forces and weaponry. On Monday, November 9, the loyal unity of the Armenian nation unfortunately unraveled following the news of the agreement signed by the present government to stop the current Artsakh war, which went beyond the concessions that had been expected over the past three decades.

The architect of the war was obvious: the executioner nation of the Armenian people, which was prepared for this day to complete its unfulfilled plan. Departing from the current political and military conditions and leaving aside Armenia, it had created the illusion that a dawn of good neighborhood was about to open if the issue of Artsakh was solved. History confirms that trusting the vision of a prosperous Armenia to the “benign” executioner nation would only pave the Yerevan-Der Zor highway.   

Hard as it is to accept the imposed reality, the many aspects of which are still unknown, dear fellow Armenians, without accusing, hurting, threatening each other as individuals who follow different ideologies, creeds or conceptions, with broken hearts but unbreakable will, let us listen and understand each other as members of the Armenian family scattered throughout the world and, perhaps profiting from our errors, we may build the future we all wish. 

If we collectively review the Armenian History of the last 45 days, if we may call it such, our all-Armenian experience following September 27 proved what a great people we are when Artsakh, Armenia and the Diaspora collaborate, earning the admiration of all those nations that silently witnessed the present-day odyssey of our martyred people. The firm support of the people in our homeland to the government and the troops, while in the Diaspora, outside of fundraisers, the volcanic eruption of patriotic spirit in our new generation, the demonstrations and gatherings organized enthusiastically, the prayers and the lighting of candles, the effective work in different countries to prevent foreign companies from supplying armaments and weapon components to our executioner nation; in one word, the realization of “Armenia above everything” was an unprecedented development that amounts to a miracle, which confirms the particular character of our people’s existential struggle and sacred peregrination.

TODAY more than ever, the badly wounded heart of the Motherland and the Diaspora needs the continuation of this new collective life and its further development. The fire that is burning the house will not be put away with criticism and self-justification, but with selfless responsibility to first prevent the calamity from spreading and then to rebuild what was destroyed in a more robust and imposing manner.

The people are masters and servants of the past, the present and the future of the homeland. The farmer, the leader and the epic hero are born of the people. Therefore, every church and lay organization, even when in a leading position, are accountable to God and the people. More than in any other generation, the inner supreme force of the current government lies in the expression of the people, which was fulfilled two and a half years ago with the Velvet Revolution, without spilling blood, earning the admiration of the entire world. If there is anything exemplary in the legacy the previous “corrupted” government left, it would be its acquiescence of the people’s will without any violence. The present, fateful national crisis requires that the government, endowed with the people’s support, accept the people’s will and trust the mobilization for a new collective force.      

The sacred reconstruction mission has been an unabated principle for the Armenian Prelacy of the Eastern United States especially since the tragic earthquake of 1988, through the Nerses the Great benevolent organization set up in Yerevan. Following the way of the Cross to the vision of the Resurrection, we continue that mission with same and even more dedication to make Armenia, the land of Eden, desirable to the entire humankind. 

Archbishop Anoushavan
Prelate, Eastern United States

May 29, 2020

Message from the Archbishop 
A Message from the depths of the heart in faith, in hope and in love, to our beloved parishioners and friends of the Armenian Prelacy, This Sunday, we will be celebrating the Feast of Pentecost, commemorating the Coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles as foretold by our Lord Jesus Christ. It is true that on Easter Sunday we were deterred from celebrating the victorious Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ together in our churches in compliance with universal requirements to maintain social distancing in the midst of the pandemic. Nevertheless, we have remained resilient in our faith and faithful to our Holy Church. Our heartfelt thanks go to our Clergy, Deacons, Choir members and Trustees who offered the Divine Liturgy and arranged for all of us to actively pray via livestream over the last two months. We thank Almighty God who is working through the heroic sacrifice of doctors, nurses, and members of the healthcare communities who are on the front line of this invisible war, as well as through the community of science who supported by different Agencies of governments are in their mission to discover the cure of this pandemic. The 2020 pandemic is indeed unprecedented. Nevertheless, each and every threat against human life, regardless of its harshness, has mobilized the inner abilities of this unique creature carrying the image of his Creator, to face and to conquer challenges in all ages. There is no doubt that our journey through the valley of the pandemic is quite long. However, after two months of lockdowns, full of prudence and vigilance, we salute the decisions of the civil authorities, based upon the instructions and data of healthcare communities, for a gradual return to normal life, and by phases the reopening of the doors of the parish churches for our believers so that they may fully attend services. As Christians, how grateful we are that this good news coincides with our major feast of the Pentecost. The bounties of the Holy Spirit throughout history are innumerable. He has elevated the shepherds to be prophets and kings; the fishermen to be messengers of the King of kings; the imprisoned ones in the dungeons to be Illuminators; the sinners to be saints; and the terrestrials to be celestials. Therefore we do believe firmly that the Holy Spirit, the transforming power of the Divine essence, has always interceded in Creation, for the welfare of Mankind, and likewise can lead us today when we ask His wisdom, guidance and strength. As a community of faith, our top priority is the physical, intellectual, and spiritual wellbeing of each and every member of society. Hence, we take serious consideration of the instructions provided to us by each local civil authority and healthcare professionals, and likewise by Holy Scripture and the guidance of Church Fathers. As such, following extended consultation with His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, as well as with the Prelates of the Western Prelacy and the Prelacy of Canada, the reverend clergy serving in our Prelacy and the honorable members of the Central Executive, we would like to announce procedures for the re-opening our parish churches according to the guidelines and the timeline set by each state. As each state revises local guidelines, each of our parishes is also encouraged to review and to publish revisions to ensure the health and safety of all of our parishioners. We encourage all of our parishioners to contact their local pastor and church office to confirm up-to-date procedures to safely attend church services. The parish church is the home of the entire community, and therefore, each person must feel as safe and as welcome as if in their own home. At long last, public church services will resume this Sunday and hereafter, state by state, and all of the faithful are warmly welcomed to their spiritual home. Church services will continue to be live streamed from each parish to allow those who are unable to be physically present to fully participate in the church services. At this time, we would like to explain some of the temporary adjustments to our traditional Badarak which will allow all of us to better participate and to conform with current healthcare guidelines. These measures are being implemented for the health and safety of the clergy and the laity, and as circumstances change nationally, will be adjusted. First, the Badarak will commence with the “Hayr mer” “Our Father”, followed by the opening of the curtain and the proclamation: “Orhnyal Takavorootyoonun Hor yev Vortvoh yev Hokvoon Srpoh” “Blessed be the Kingdom of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit etc.” Second, the Kiss of Peace. As the deacon invites us to share the Kiss of Peace, the priest shall turn to greet the congregation, saying “Krisdos i mech mer haydnetsav” “Christ is revealed in our midst”. The people shall remain in their places, without approaching others, and shall reply “Orhnyal eh Haydnootyoonun Krisdosi” “Blessed is the Revelation of Christ.” And then the choir will sing the hymn “Krisdos i mech.” Third, Holy Communion will be administered in our parishes. As all of you know, in the Armenian Tradition, Holy Communion is administered by the clean hand of the priest, and is placed directly into the mouth of the faithful. We fully appreciate that some of our parishioners may be hesitant to approach for Holy Communion. We extend our full love and embrace to you, and welcome you in all sincerity. We Armenians believe that Holy Communion is the real, living and life-giving Holy Body and Honorable Blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is distributed in faith, in hope, and in love, and we especially reassure you that it is distributed in accordance with all of the precautions as required by governing laws. We pray that you will resume your participation in Holy Communion. However, for the time being, the Prelacy shall remain cautious and careful in the manner in which Holy Communion is administered to our faithful. As a current adjustment, Holy Communion will be placed into the palm of the hand of the individual. We ask that the person then transfer the Holy Communion directly into the mouth. All who receive are encouraged to please exercise every care, and to respectfully keep their hands clean before and after partaking of Holy Communion. Fourth, the Dismissal. For the time being, the tradition of kissing the Holy Gospel will be suspended. The packages of “mas” will be available at the door of the church for the faithful to take home to those who were not able to attend services. In the current environment, we ask that people respect social distancing and avoid congregating. Until further relaxation, the traditional coffee hour following services is postponed. We are grateful to Almighty God who has led us from darkness to light, and we appreciate all of the efforts of our elected officials to ensure safety and protocol as we re-open our churches. We welcome all of our faithful to attend services, to light candles, to offer prayers, to receive Holy Communion, and to re-energize the Christian Life in all of our parishes with safety and dignity. We know that over time these restrictions will gradually be lifted, and we look forward to that day. In the meantime, we need to work together and exercise due diligence to find a cure for the COVID-19 virus, and we continue to pray for God’s protection and providential care. 
ARCHBISHOP ANOUSHAVANPrelate, Eastern United States 
Taken from the May 28th issue of Crossroads, the e-newsletter of the Eastern Prelacy.
April 9, 2020archbishop-anoushavan
 Prelate’s Easter Message
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, This Sunday we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ: a Feast of the fulfillment of Prophecies and Promises; a Feast of an eternal dawn of Faith and Hope; a Feast of undeniable and unchallengeable victory of Life over Death. The road toward this universal celebration of Faith, Hope, and Life was paved, as predicted by our Lord Jesus Christ, with His Passion, Crucifixion and Entombment (Mt 16.21). Let me ask you a simple question: Have you ever questioned yourself or your Pastor, why we call the Friday preceding Easter, a day of deepest sorrow and lament, disappointment and frustration, insecurity and uncertainty, “Good Friday”? Actually all these and more are valid questions, but from the Human perspective only. Yes, that Friday seemed to be the end of a new Era of goodness and of peace. That Friday seemed to be the day when the dream of the Evil power became true: that “I will ascend to the tops of the clouds / I will make myself like the Most High” (Is 14.14). This is, however, from the Human perspective only. From the Divine perspective, everything was running according to His plan of Redemption. As God says, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways” (Is 55.8). Unlike those who cling to the Human perspective believe, God reminds us that, “My power,” His Power, “is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12.9). Therefore, that Friday was a good Friday, and every year we have a Good Friday, because it is the day that heralded the Resurrection and manifested the absolute truth that the final verdict belongs to God, who said, “Let there be light, and there was light”. It is indeed Good Friday for it ushered in the Resurrection and on it the mortal stings of death were swallowed up in the victory of our Lord (cf. I Cor. 15.55). It is indeed Good Friday because climaxed in the Resurrection, and on that day Mankind was granted eternal life through the unconditional love of the Sacrifice on the Cross.  With this understanding, amid the universal distress, agony, and hopelessness caused by the coronavirus pandemic, let us all pray for Almighty God, Lord of Creation, to shower upon us His wisdom, so that our human perspective does not misguide and perplex us. Let us pray that His perspective will show us the way forward and help us conquer each and every Gethsemane and Golgotha experience in our lives and turn them into victory for His glory. Let us greet each other with the most invigorating and ever-victorious good news, “Christ is risen from the dead” Halleluiah!  
Archbishop AnoushavanPrelate of the Eastern Prelacy of the United States
March 26, 2020
We Shall Overcome
This story has been the subject of countless science-fiction films and TV series, but it is no longer fiction. The memory of the H1N1 pandemic of 1918 (the so-called “Spanish flu”), with 500 million people infected and 50 million victims worldwide, has only survived in the work of historians and scientists. For the first time in living memory—perhaps ever—a large part of the world is quarantined. Humankind, misled by the experience of millennia into believing that it is unstoppable, has come to a sudden halt. A microscopically tiny yet deadly virus, invisible yet omnipresent, has us locked up in our homes, only venturing outside to buy the essentials, many of us wearing protective masks and gloves. Yet as a church and a nation, we shall emerge stronger in our faith from this test. “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair,” as we read in 2 Corinthians 4:8. If history is any guide to the present, we Armenians have learned to find strength in adversity. Faith is our indestructible rock. In every calamity that has befallen us, faith has been the source of our rebirth as individuals and as a nation. And now the coronavirus finds the entire world in the same predicament. One lesson this calamity may teach humanity is how irrelevant are the artificial divisions we create when our lives are endangered by the same threat. The Bible offers the key to understanding a reality that at times may appear incomprehensible and overwhelm us: “For whatever was written in former days for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4). As the Spanish saying goes, hope is the last thing lost. We shall overcome.
March 19, 2020
As a consequence of the recent decision of His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, and His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia, we hereby announce to the Pastors, Boards of Trustees and the pious people of our Prelacy that, for the next three Sundays (March 22, 29 and April 5) either Holy Badarak or Morning Services will be conducted behind closed doors and in accordance with local circumstances. In spite of this, we respect the heartfelt desire of our faithful to light candles and pray within the church and allow it on the condition that their presence does not exceed the limits set by state and local civic and health authorities. Wherever possible, we suggest that Holy Badarak or morning services be live streamed via social media. Also, wherever possible, special morning or evening Lenten services may be performed only behind closed doors, while Bible studies and other gatherings and activities must be canceled. We are certain that our voices, lifted up to God in prayer at home or in church, will be heard by our merciful and loving God and save us from the worldwide pandemic caused by the coronavirus as well as from all visible and invisible threats. In conjunction with the other services, the sacrament of Baptism can only be performed in cases of extreme need and only in the presence of a small number of people. Funerals must be performed with the same understanding.
 +Archbishop AnoushavanPrelateEastern United States
 March 16: Wednesday Lenten services have been cancelled. ***
A Message from the Prelate March 12, 2020 Dear Faithful, In light of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic and the declared state of emergency in many states throughout our Prelacy, I am writing to reassure you that the health and well-being of our church community is our highest priority. For this reason, we wish you to know the following: 
  1. Being the Lenten Season, the parts of the Divine Liturgy which would normally entail direct contact (i.e. Holy Communion; Kiss of Peace and kissing of the Bible) are not performed for the duration of Lent. Further information about the post Lenten period will be forthcoming.We urge you to follow the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control:
  • Clean your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.Avoid close contact with people who are sick.Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash and immediately wash your hands. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
 In addition to the above, I am working with both the Religious and Lay members of the Executive Council of the Prelacy in consultation with the pastors of our various parishes, to formulate an action plan in our churches for the continued health and well-being of all of our faithful after the Lenten season is finished. In the meantime, we ask that the Board of Trustees in each of our parishes take the necessary actions to make sure the church sanctuary is clean and disinfected every week and that hand sanitizer will be available during services. It is our goal that all of our faithful parishioners who attend services and worship in our church will feel comfortable and not fearful or uneasy. If you feel uncomfortable about coming to church, please rest assured that we totally understand if you decide to stay home.Also, if you have recently traveled outside the country or have come into contact with someone who may be infected with COVID-19, you should stay home for at least two weeks to ensure that you have not been infected. Please know that we all need to weather this together as a community of faith, trusting in the Almighty to protect us from all mishap. As we often pray: “Guardian and hope of the faithful, Christ our God, preserve, protect and bless all your faithful people under the shadow of your holy and glorious Cross in peace. Save us from visible and invisible enemies and make us worthy to glorify you with thanksgiving, along with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Amen” Prayerfully,Archbishop AnoushavanPrelate



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