On Sunday, February 28, a memorial service was held in every church under the jurisdiction of the Eastern Prelacy for all deceased founders, members, and benefactors of the Armenian Relief Society. On this occasion, His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate, shared the following reflections with the faithful at Sts. Vartanantz Church (Ridgefield, New Jersey):
In the history of the Armenian people, the contribution of women is an undeniable truth. Thus, the spirit of education that is embodied by princesses Dzvik and Zarmandukht; the spirit of promoting culture, represented by queens Keran and Khosrovanush; the spirit of beneficence, irradiated by Queen Zabel; patriotism, expressed by Sose Mayrig; all of this is condensed in the dozens of branches of the ARS throughout the world.
Indeed, I have often said and repeated, because I have believed it, that in the same way that the Araxes river irrigates the Armenian lands, the ARS, as a river of reason and wisdom, enriches the Armenian life only with positive, good and sublime values, in mother Armenia, Artsakh, Javakhk, and the Diaspora.
Today, as we pray for those who made their contribution and passed away, we also lift our prayers and invocations for the devoted ranks of this praiseworthy organization, who serve the Armenian nation with generosity and selflessness.
By a beautiful coincidence, we have learned with great joy that Mr. and Mrs. Karnig and Alice Alajajian have donated the princely sum of $250,000 to the ARS, establishing a fund to support Armenian students from the Middle East who pursue higher education in the United States, in the noble understanding that they will serve our nation after they fulfill their dreams.
We hope that such conscious and generous, honorable Armenians will come forward and encourage the ARS, our churches, institutions and associations, to make us stronger in this part of the world and, moreover, succeed in our nation-building initiatives, continuing our close cooperation with the homeland, Artsakh, Javakhk and our people all over the world.
May the Almighty always lead us with His wisdom, enabling us and all our structures to overcome the challenges we face, in the knowledge that we are God’s servants, as the Apostle Paul says in his letter to the Corinthians that we read today. May we use our talents to best serve the progress of our people, the wellbeing of the entire world, and the glory of God. Amen.