When one attends an extraordinary event, at first it seems easy to write about that much- enjoyed event. At first, I said. But once confronted by the blank screen or a white sheet of paper, the simple task of describing the event turns into an insurmountable task. Where to begin and how to describe the depth of the meticulous research, the wealth of painstakingly collected archival material – both textual and visual – the incredible dedication to the subject, the respect to the audience? The danger of gushing is lurking, the fear of overuse of superlatives is real, and yet a disciplined journalistic report simply will not do justice to this particular subject. Perhaps, a word of appreciation to the organizers would be a good start.

Those of us who were present at Hazel Antaramian Hofman’s “Repatriation and Deception: Post World War II Repatriation to Soviet Armenia” lecture/ presentation on Friday, November 8, 2013 first and foremost are indebted to the lecturer, the organizer – New York chapter of Hamazkayin Educational and Cultural Society and the always-gracious host Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, pastor of the St. Illuminator’s Cathedral in Manhattan. Opening remarks were made by Mrs. Asdghig Sevag, vice-chair of Hamazkayin’s New York chapter. Closing remarks were offered by Rev. Lakissian in his usual thoughtful and encouraging manner.

Ms. Antaramian Hofman’s impressive achievements (see www.hazelantaramhof.com) had set the bar of our expectations high, however her actual presentation far exceeded all expectations. The all-encompassing presentation contained information worthy of a book and reflected the focused attention she has given to reconstruction of true stories of Armenians from several countries, who repatriated to then-Soviet Armenian in 1947 and 1949. From the vast historical and political setting of the of time to the national and from the overview of the dynamics of the repatriation plans to experiences of families and even single individuals, Ms. Antaramian Hofman walked us through a significant part of our national history, which has deeply affected both the local population of Armenia, the repatriants and the Armenians in Diaspora. Films, photographs, documents and artistic images enriched the presentation, granting the audience the rare opportunity and pleasure of learning much in only an hour’s time. Generous with her time, Ms. Antaramian Hofman earnestly answered the questions from the audience.

The repatriation, followed by expatriation, are painful subjects for our nation. It is admirable that Hazel had the courage and much patience to research in such depth and record those facts of our history, those personal accounts and narratives, which would undoubtedly have faded within individual families and eventually vanished.

Arevig Caprielian

Hazel Antaramian Hofman during the presentation
Hazel Antaramian Hofman during the presentation
Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian asked for a moment of silence in memory of Roupen Barsoumian, long time member of Hamazkayin of NY, who passed away on Friday, November 8, 2013
Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian asked for a moment of silence in memory of Roupen Barsoumian,
long time member of Hamazkayin of NY, who passed away on Friday, November 8, 2013


On Wednesday, November 13, the Prelacy’s Vahakn and Hasmig Hovnanian reception hall was filled with faithful of the metro area who came to learn more about the recently published bilingual book, Commentary on the Nicene Creed. The book is based on a series of lectures given by Archbishop Zareh Aznavorian, of blessed memory, in Antelias. The lectures, which were originally published in Armenian, are now available in both English and Armenian, thanks to Deacon Shant Kazanjian who undertook the task of translating.

Bishop Anoushavan, Vicar of the Prelacy, opened the evening by welcoming everyone and introducing Dn . Shant who spoke about the late Archbishop and his own journey of translating the work. The Creed (Havadamk) is the official declaration of the Christian faith, written and accepted by the Holy Fathers of the first two ecumenical councils—Nicea (325) and Constantinople (381). Dn. Shant described how he first embarked on translating this important work during his spare time and then set it aside, until a few years ago when he began to complete the project in earnest. Dn. Shant had the opportunity to spend time with Archbishop Zareh during the months he was in New York for medical treatment. He described that time as “a gift” filled with many lessons.

Archbishop Zareh Aznavorian (1947-2004) was a member of the Brotherhood of the Catholicosate of Cilicia. He was a prominent biblical scholar, translator, and specialist in Armenian liturgical music, as well as a composer of religious music. He wrote numerous books, articles, musical scores, and directed the Department of Christian Education at the Catholicosate from 1982-2004.
After a period of questions, the guests enjoyed a reception with refreshments and fellowship, and the opportunity to purchase the new Havadamk book, as well as the many other books written by Archbishop Zareh that are available at the Prelacy Bookstore. The Commentary on the Nicene Creed was under the sponsorship of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral.

Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian presented the first copy of the Creed book to  Fr. Mesrob Lakissian. The book was sponsored by St. Illuminator's Cathedral.
Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian presented the first copy of the Creed book to Fr. Mesrob Lakissian.
The book was sponsored by St. Illuminator’s Cathedral.
Dn. Shant Kazanjian
Dn. Shant Kazanjian


I lift up my eyes to the hills—from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

(Psalm 121:1-2)



The powerful typhoon that killed thousands of people and effectively obliterated the once thriving city of Tacloban and many coastal towns of the Philippine Islands has left an estimated eleven million people in need of immediate help. Many communities in the archipelago of more than 7,000 islands are cut off from outside communication and the full human toll of dead, injured, and homeless is not yet known.

Archbishop Oshagan has instructed all parishes within the Eastern Prelacy to offer prayers for the souls of the victims and for the safety of the survivors during the Divine Liturgy this Sunday, November 17. Donations for relief efforts should be collected and remitted to the Prelacy immediately. All collected funds will be contributed to AmeriCares on behalf of the faithful of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America for immediate lifesaving aid to survivors of Typhoon Haiyan.

Individual donations may also be sent directly to the Prelacy, 138 E. 39th Street, New York, NY 10016. Checks should be payable to “Armenian Apostolic Church of America.” Please indicate “Philippine Relief” in the memo area.
Armenian Prelacy – “Crossroads”