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 February 5, 2015
St. Vartan
A stained glass window at St. Vartan Cathedral depicts the
fifth-century hero.

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

On the field of Avarayr, outnumbered Armenian fighters faced a mighty
Persian army. St. Vartan and his companions saw a military defeat, but
their unyielding commitment to defend their faith ultimately thwarted
the Persians, and ensured that Christianity would endure in
Armenia. Click here
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to read more about the Battle of Avarayr on our website, or download
the Diocese's iBook
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for an interactive introduction to St. Vartan's historic campaign.

Two days prior to the Feast of Sts. Vartanantz, the Armenian Church
remembers the sacrifice of St. Leontius (Ghevont) the priest and his
companions. St. Ghevont is one of the great exemplars of the Armenian
priesthood, remembered for his rare courage and resolution at the
Battle of Avarayr.

On the eve of battle, Ghevont celebrated the Divine Liturgy, conferred
the sacrament of Holy Communion on the soldiers, and baptized those
who had not yet been received into the church. His stirring sermon
assured the soldiers that their mystical union with Christ would
survive even physical violence and death. In observance of
Ghevontiantz Day, the clergy of the Eastern Diocese hold regional
gatherings every year. Click here
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to learn more about St. Leontius and his companions.

Presentation of the Lord to the Temple
The Presentation at the Temple from The Gospel of Khizan (1499).

** Feast of the Presentation of the Lord to the Temple
On Saturday, February 14, the Armenian Church will observe the Feast
of the Presentation of the Lord to the Temple, a beautiful story from
the infancy of Jesus, in which he is confirmed as the Holy Messiah or
Christ-the world's long-awaited savior. In Armenian, it is known as
Dyarnuntarach, or "the bringing forward of the Lord.'

Forty days after Jesus' birth, Mary and Joseph brought their baby to
the temple, as was the pious custom at the time. There they
encountered Simeon, an elderly and devout man who had prayed to God to
keep him alive until he could see the savior promised to mankind.

When Simeon saw Mary and her baby, he sensed God's presence, and said:
"Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy
word. For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared
in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the
Gentiles, and for glory to thy people Israel" (Luke 2:29-32).

Click here
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to read more, and to find activities and resources for children and

Lent Begins

** Great Lent Begins on February 16
This year, the Armenian Church calendar designates Monday, February
16, as the first day of Great Lent: the season when Christians
consciously turn away from worldly matters and make the effort-through
prayer, fasting, study, and introspection-to prepare for the spiritual
drama of Holy Week and Easter Sunday.

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

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

** Scripture of the Week

Is 63:18-64:12
Ti 1:1-11
Jn 7:37-52

** Prayer of the Week

My soul is always in your hands and I place my hope in your Holy
Cross, O Heavenly King. May the multitude of your saints intercede on
my behalf.

You who are patient with everyone, do not neglect me who trusts in
you, but keep me in peace with your precious and Holy Cross. Amen.

** Upcoming Saints & Feasts

7 February: Catholicos St. Sahag Parthev

10 February: St. Leontius the Priest and His Companions

12 February: St. Vartan the Warrior and His Companions

14 February: Presentation of the Lord to the Temple

15 February: Great Barekendan

16 February: First Day of Lent

Abp. Barsamian Visits Rome
Archbishop Khajag Barsamian with His Holiness Pope Francis.

** Catholic and Oriental Orthodox Churches Meet
The 12th meeting of the International Joint Commission for Theological
Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox
Churches took place in Rome from January 24 to 31, 2015. Meeting at
the Vatican, delegates from the Roman Catholic Church met with
representatives of the Armenian, Antiochian Syrian, Coptic, Ethiopian
Tewahdo, and Malankara Syrian churches.

Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Diocesan Primate, was part of the
delegation representing the Armenian Church. Also representing the
Catholicate of the All Armenians was Bishop Hovakim Manukyan,
Ecumenical Officer of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin; and the
Rev. Fr. Shahe Ananyan, Etchmiadzin's director of publishing. The See
of Cilicia sent Archbishop Nareg Alemezian and Bishop Magar
Ashkarian. Among the Roman Catholic delegation were Armenian churchmen
of the Armenian Catholic order: Archbishop Boghos Levon Zekiyan and
Archbishop Peter Marayati.

His Holiness Pope Francis personally received the Joint Commission
participants on the afternoon of Friday, January 30, at the Vatican's
Apostolic Palace.

During their time in Rome, Archbishop Barsamian and Bishop Manukyan
met separately with Cardinal Kurt Koch; Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, the
Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches; and Cardinal
Pietro Parolin, the Vatican's Secretary of State. In the course of
those meetings, they discussed the April 12 mass that Pope Francis
will conduct at St. Peter's Basilica, in memory of victims of the 1915
Armenian Genocide. They also continued discussions begun last year by
His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All
Armenians, regarding the possibility of a papal visit to Armenia
during the current centennial year of the Genocide.

Click on the following links to read more
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and to view photos
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Dr. Edgar Housepian
Dr. Edgar Housepian (1928-2014).

** Memorial Service for Dr. Edgar Housepian
On Saturday, February 14, the Eastern Diocese and the Fund for
Armenian Relief will host a memorial service for the late Dr. Edgar
Housepian=80'an internationally-renowned neurosurgeon and a founding
member of the Fund for Armenian Relief, who passed away on November
14, 2014.

Dr. Housepian was heir to a remarkable family tradition of
compassionate involvement in Armenian life. In an earlier era, his
parents Dr. Moses and Makrouhi Housepian were pioneers in humane
outreach to our homeland. The warmth of their family life in New York
was memorably portrayed in the novel A Houseful of Love, by Dr. Edgar
Housepian's late sister Marjorie Housepian Dobkin.

Days after the 1988 earthquake in Armenia, Dr. Housepian joined the
late Archbishop Torkom Manoogian and the late Kevork Hovnanian on a
visit to our homeland to assess the damage and formulate a
response. From that trip, the seeds of the Fund for Armenian Relief
were planted. For more than 20 years, Dr. Housepian led FAR's effort
to restructure the health care system in Armenia. Thanks to his
foresight, a new generation of Armenian physicians would enjoy
invaluable opportunities for training and education.

A memorial service for Dr. Housepian will be held at St. Vartan
Armenian Cathedral on Saturday, February 14, at 11:00 a.m. It will be
followed by a memorial luncheon and a special program of remembrance,
beginning at 1 p.m. Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Diocesan Primate,
will preside.

Armenian Genocide Cintennial

** Resources for the Genocide Centennial
With the 100th year of remembrance of the Armenian Genocide advancing
rapidly, the Eastern Diocese has created a special section on its
website for downloadable resources. Parishes, community groups, and
anyone else can obtain materials to help them inform local press and
reach out to their surrounding communities. Click here
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to access these resources.

In the meantime, the Armenian-American community is building towards a
national observance in Washington, DC, in May 2015. Special events are
scheduled for May 7 to 9-including an ecumenical prayer service at the
National Cathedral, a Pontifical Divine Liturgy, a memorial concert,
and an awards banquet honoring those who helped the survivors. His
Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All
Armenians, and His Holiness Aram I, the Catholicos of the Great House
of Cilicia, both will journey to the United States to lead the
Washington commemoration. They will be joined by Armenians from across
the U.S., under the auspices of the Eastern and Western Dioceses, and
the Eastern and Western Prelacies. Click here
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to learn more about the May events in the nation's capital.

The Eastern Diocese's Annual Diocesan Assembly and Clergy Conference
will convene in Washington that same week. Click here
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to view information for clergy, delegates, and Parish Council chairs.

People in the New York metro region should also reserve the dates of
April 24, 25, and 26 for commemorative events in New York City. These
will include a Divine Liturgy at St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral on
Sunday, April 26, with the participation of Archbishop Khajag
Barsamian and Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan. The annual Times Square
program sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Knights and Daughters of Vartan
will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. on April 26.

Archbishop Khajag Barsamian has appointed George and Lorraine
Marootian as Diocesan liaisons to the Genocide commemorative
committees. They will be working with established committees at the
national, regional, and local levels, and have begun reaching out to
our parish communities. Contact them via e-mail at
[email protected] (mailto:[email protected]) .

Never Forget 1915

** Support the Genocide Awareness Campaign
The Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee of America (Eastern Region)
is planning a creative national campaign spanning public relations,
social media, and print and broadcast outlets to raise awareness about
the Armenian Genocide in this milestone year.

The committee is raising funds to finance the national
campaign. Please consider supporting this ambitious outreach
effort. Click here
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to make a donation.

In addition, the Centennial Committee (Eastern Region) has launched a
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-which will soon offer a listing of events organized nationwide in
commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. They are asking all local
committees to share their contact information to assist in this

Concert at St. Vartan Cathedral
Yeghishe Manucharyan performs at St. Vartan Cathedral.

** St. Vartan Cathedral Hosts Opera Concert
St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral hosted `An Evening at the Opera' on
Friday, January 30. The concert featured Armenian and Western opera
music, performed by internationally-acclaimed artists Narine Ojakhyan
and Yeghishe Manucharyan. Lusine Badalyan accompanied on the piano.

The Very Rev. Fr. Mamigon Kiledjian, cathedral dean, and Jacob
H. Yahiayan, Diocesan director of administration, welcomed guests, who
included Armenia's Ambassador to the United Nations Zohrab

The concert was made possible by the Dadourian Family Foundation, in
memory of Haig Dadourian. Click here
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to view photos and a video of the January 30 program.

Lenten Resources

** Download the Lenten Family Resource
Every year the Diocese's Department of Christian Education produces a
Lenten family resource for distribution to Diocesan Sunday
Schools. This year's publication is an informational booklet about
Great Lent, accompanied by 20 double-sided bookmarks, each bearing a
Scripture verse and a daily activity.

The packet has been mailed to parishes for distribution to Sunday
School families and staff, but it can also be downloaded by clicking
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Mothers at the Stepanakert maternity ward.

** FAR and AAHPO Train Doctors in Karabagh
The Fund for Armenian Relief recently organized Continuing Medical
Education (CME) seminars in Nagorno-Karabagh. The seminars focused on
modern trends in obstetrics and gynecology and were led by lecturers
Dr. Hripsime Apresyan and Dr. Rusadan Vardanyan.

Participating physicians from Stepanakert and other regions of
Nagorno-Karabagh said they appreciated the opportunity to discuss
local cases and raise questions with other medical
professionals. Click here
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to read more on FAR's blog.

Working with the Armenian American Health Professionals Organization
(AAHPO), FAR has been implementing Continuing Medical Education
sessions in Nagorno-Karabagh since 2011.

Holy Trinity Church, PA
Parishioners Dr. Garo Garibian and Merle Santerian share recollections
of their pastor's first five years at Holy Trinity Church.

** Cheltenham Parish Celebrates Pastor's Milestone
On Sunday, January 25, Holy Trinity Church of Cheltenham, PA, honored
the Rev. Fr. Hakob Gevorgyan on his fifth anniversary as Holy
Trinity's pastor. Some 350 people attended the celebratory event in
the church's Santerian Hall.

The program included a video message from Archbishop Khajag Barsamian,
Diocesan Primate, who congratulated Fr. Gevorgyan and Yn. Anna on this
milestone. A surprise video message was recorded by Fr. Gevorgyan's
father in Armenia, and a slide show of photographs showed the young
priest's journey through seminary in Armenia and his tenure at the
Cheltenham parish. Other activities included music, dancing, and games
for children.

Also celebrating with the community was the Rev. Fr. Karekin
Kasparian, the recently retired pastor of St. Gregory the Enlightener
Church of White Plains, NY, who mentored Fr. Gevorgyan when the latter
first arrived in the Eastern Diocese from Armenia.

`For me, there is no greater joy than to serve God and His people,'
Fr. Gevorgyan said. `This service gives me happiness and lots of

Click here
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to view photos.

New Britain Armenian Church
Hary Mazadoorian Esq., acolytes Matthew and David Marottolo, and
Fr. Kapriel Mouradjian.

** Two Altar Servers Honored in New Britain
Two acolytes were honored at Holy Resurrection Church of New Britain,
CT, on Sunday, January 25. Brothers Matthew and David Marottolo
received the `Deacon Charles N. Mazadoorian Memorial Altar Server
Award' in recognition for their service and their dedication to
learning the worship traditions of the Armenian Church.

The award was established in 2008 by Harry Mazadoorian, Esq. in memory
of his late brother, Deacon Charles Mazadoorian. The Rev. Fr. Kapriel
Mouradjian, parish pastor, presented the award recipients with an
honorarium and copies of the Deacon's Guidebook to the Divine Liturgy.

Fr. Tateos Abdalian
Fr. Tateos Abdalian at a service honoring police, firefighters, EMTs,
and other first-responders.

** First-Responders Recognized in Pennsylvania
The Rev. Fr. Tateos Abdalian, the Diocese's director of Mission
Parishes who also serves as a police chaplain for the Police
Department of Cheltenham, PA, attended a service honoring local
police, firefighters, EMTs, and other first-responders last month.

The service was held at Queen of Peace Roman Catholic Church in
Ardsley, PA, on Friday, January 30, as part of `Catholic Schools
Week,' during which students, faculty, and staff of Good Shepherd
Regional Catholic School honored first-responders.

Fr. Abdalian has been serving as a police chaplain for the past 10
years. His duties include making hospital visits to officers and their
families, personal counseling, and responding to critical
incidents. He also is an instructor in the Community Policing Program
for civilian personnel.

Saint Egidio Community at St. Vartan Cathedral
The annual Christmas dinner for the Catholic lay community of

** Reaching Out to the City's Elderly
On December 25, St. Vartan Cathedral hosted the annual Christmas
dinner for the Catholic lay community of Sant'Egidio. With the support
of Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Diocesan Primate, Diocesan staffers
Jennifer Morris, Eric Vozzy, and Lorie Odabashian organized volunteers
from local Armenian parishes to assist at the dinner.

Sant'Egidio's guests included the elderly, nursing home residents, and
the homeless. The community was especially grateful for the presence
of the Rev. Fr. Bedros Kadehjian who blessed the meal and helped serve

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has a long history in New York City, and has been hosting its
Christmas dinner at the Diocesan Center for the past three years.

Upcoming events

** Upcoming Parish Events

St. Gregory the Illuminator Church | Chicago, IL
St. Gregory the Illuminator Church of Chicago, IL, will host a Poon
Paregentan dinner and dance on Saturday, February 14. Highlights
include music by the Kevork Artinian band and a magic show for
children. Click here
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to view a flyer for information.

Church of the Holy Ascension | Trumbull, CT
The Church of the Holy Ascension of Trumbull, CT, will host a
=80=9CMardi Gras Fun Night' on Saturday, February 14, from 6 to 10
p.m. Enjoy music, dance performances, and more. Click here
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to view a flyer for information.

Armenian Church of Southwest Florida | Naples, FL
The Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan will celebrate the Divine Liturgy
at the Armenian Church of Southwest Florida on Sunday, February 8. The
service will take place at 1:30 p.m. at St. Paul's Episcopal Church
(3901 Davis Blvd. in Naples). The parish's annual bake sale featuring
Armenian breads and pastries will follow; a light luncheon will be
served. For information, contact Carole Meghreblian at (239) 348-3804,
or via e-mail at [email protected]
(mailto:[email protected]) .

St. Mary Church | Livingston, NJ
The Jewish Federation of Greater Metrowest New Jersey, in
collaboration with St. Mary Church of Livingston, NJ, is hosting an
exhibit in commemoration of the 100th year of remembrance of the
Armenian Genocide. The exhibit will open on Monday, February 9
(rescheduled from Jan. 26), with the screening of a film about the
Armenian Genocide. It will run through April 30. Click here
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for information.

St. George Church | Hartford, CT
The Sunday School of St. George Church of Hartford, CT, will sponsor
special guest Stepan Piligian on Sunday, February 8. Mr. Piligian will
present his "Time Machine" program on St. Vartan Mamigonian. Click
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to view a flyer for information.

The St. George Women's Guild will sponsor a "Poon Paregentan Family
Fun Day" with dinner, a student talent show, and raffle prizes on
Sunday, February 15. Click here
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to view a flyer for information.

The Women's Guild is also hosting a Lenten Dinner on Saturday,
February 28, with guest speakers Ted and Marianne Hovivian from `NY
Friends of Gavar Special School in Armenia.' Click here
( ocese+E-Newsletter&utm_campaign=cca4ad6711-September_4_20149_4_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term =0_3f0172fcf2-cca4ad6711-159688434)
to view a flyer for information.

Sts. Sahag and Mesrob Church | Providence, RI
Sts. Sahag and Mesrob Church of Providence, RI, is sponsoring a
=80=9CFamily Fun Night' on Friday, February 6. Enjoy dinner and
activities for children and families. Click here
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to view a flyer for information.

The church will host a Vartanantz Day commemoration on Thursday,
February 12. Services will be followed by a dinner and program. Click
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to view a flyer for information.

St. Leon Church | Fair Lawn, NJ
Musicologists Krikor Pidedjian and Å=9Eahan Arzruni will give a talk
on Armenian composer Kristapor Cara-Murza at St. Leon Church of Fair
Lawn, NJ, on Thursday, February 19, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Krikor
Pidedjian and Å=9Eahan Arzruni will place the work of Cara-Murza in
historical and social contexts and bring to life exchanges with
personalities of the time, such as Khrimian Hairig. They will share
new discoveries, including a Divine Liturgy composed by Cara-Murza
that was found by Krikor Pidedjian. Click here
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to view a flyer for information.

St. Leon Church is sponsoring a course for high school students on the
Armenian Genocide. Sessions will be held on Monday evenings, beginning
on March 9. Instructor Khatchig Mouradian will guide participants as
they investigate the political, social, and economic environment in
the Ottoman Empire on the eve of the Armenian Genocide, and consider
questions pertaining to genocide denial, resistance, and
awareness. Mr. Mouradian, a Ph.D. candidate at Clark University, has
lectured widely on the Armenian Genocide and its aftermath. Click here
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to view a flyer for registration information.

Diocesan Summer Camps

** Get Ready for the Summer Camp Season
Mark your calendar for a summer filled with friendship, fellowship,
and fun at St. Vartan Camp and Hye Camp. St. Vartan Camp is housed at
the Ararat Youth and Conference Center in Greenville, NY. Hye Camp is
located at Camp Hickory in Ingleside, IL.

Online registration is now open through the new camp website: Brochures and flyers can be picked up at
your local parish or downloaded on the new website.

To add your name to the camp e-mail list, or for more information,
contact Jennifer Morris, the Diocese's director of Youth and Young
Adult Ministries, at [email protected]
(mailto:[email protected]) .

St. Vartan Camp Dates
Staff Training: Wednesday, June 24 - Saturday, June 27
Session A: Sunday, June 28 - Saturday, July 11
Session B: Sunday, July 12 - Saturday, July 25
Session C: Sunday, July 26 - Saturday, August 8

Hye Camp Dates
Staff Training: Thursday, July 23 - Sunday, July 26
Two-week session: Sunday, July 26 - Saturday, August 8
One-week session: Sunday, July 26 - Saturday, August 1 (all
One-week session: Sunday, August 2 - Saturday, August 8 (for those
unable to attend week 1)

St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral

** Vartanantz Day Program at St. Vartan Cathedral
Sts. Vartanantz Day will be observed at New York's St. Vartan
Cathedral on Thursday, February 12.

The Rev. Fr. Hagop Gevorgyan, pastor of Holy Trinity Church of
Cheltenham, PA, will celebrate the Divine Liturgy beginning at 6
p.m. A dinner and program will follow services.

Christopher Sheklian, a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at the
University of Chicago, will be the evening's keynote speaker. The
program also will include a performance by soloists of the St. Vartan
Cathedral Choir.

The Vartanantz Day commemoration is organized by the Eastern Diocese
with the participation of the Mid-Atlantic Knights and Daughters of
Vartan. Click here
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to view a flyer for information.

Farah Siraj
Fusion artist Farah Siraj will perform during the dinner and music
program on February 14.

** Artist Farah Siraj to Perform at Diocesan Center
The recently-formed St. Vartan Cathedral Community of New York City is
hosting an exciting evening of dinner and music featuring the talented
fusion artist and humanitarian, Farah Siraj.

Farah Siraj has performed around the world, including in Europe, the
Middle East, Southeast Asia, and the United States. She uses her music
to raise awareness for urgent humanitarian causes around the world,
among them the genocides in Darfur and the Republic of Congo, as well
as the military conflicts in Gaza. Click here
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to read more about her music and humanitarian work.

The event will be held in Haik and Alice Kavookjian Auditorium (630
Second Avenue, New York City). Tickets are $50 for adults; $35 for
seniors and college students. Advance reservations are required by
February 12; tickets will not be available at the door. Click here
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to purchase tickets.

The Diocese's e-Newsletter will not be published on Sts. Vartanantz
Day , Thursday, February 12. We look forward to resuming e-Newsletter
publication on Thursday, February 19.