Featured, Parish News, Prelacy News


Mourad Armenian School of Providence, Rhode Island, marked its 90th anniversary in grand style on Saturday, April 6. His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan presided the celebration, which was attended by Rev. Fr. Kapriel Nazarian, Pastor of Sts. Vartanantz Church, and Archpriest Fr. Gomidas Baghsarian, as well as other community dignitaries and around 200 guests.

Following the opening prayer by Archbishop Anoushavan, school graduates Taline Donoyan and  Rostom Mkrtschjan sang the anthems of the United States and Artsakh and were joined by the current students of the school in singing the national anthem of Armenia.

The senior and junior groups of the “Artsakh” dance group of Hamazkayin’s Providence branch performed the Vartavar and Hzor Hayastan dances, led by choreographer Mrs. Shushan Avagyan.

The Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Mourad School, Hagop Khatchadourian, addressed the audience and thanked the members of the school’s anniversary committee, the sponsors, and all those who helped organize the evening. He also expressed his gratitude to the founders of the school, the principals, and teaching staff who, under difficult conditions, were able to establish the school.

Referring to the importance of the Armenian language, Khatchadourian remarked on the importance of a collective effort to keep the Armenian language alive in our daily lives, especially at home. “Every Armenian is a light, and when we don’t preserve our history, language, faith and homeland, those lights will go out and we will remain in the dark.” He called on schools, churches, community organizations, parents and students to keep the candle burning.

Levon Attarian, chairman of the Sts. Vartanantz Church Board of Trustees, praised the central role the school plays in the community and noted how difficult it was to keep an Armenian school continuously working for 90 years. The school was much more than an educational institution, he said. It was a place associated with fond memories and where friends were made, those who are the parents of the current body of students, and he reaffirmed the commitment of the church’s board of trustees to supporting the school.

Under the conduction of Raffi Rachduni, the students enlivened the evening with a repertoire of Armenian songs.

Afterwards, Fr. Kapriel invited Archbishop Anoushavan, the principals of the Saturday and Sunday schools and the chairman of the Board of Trustees to hand over to the Prelate the total of $3,380 raised for Artsakh Armenian schoolchildren in fundraisers organized by both schools.

Co-principal Lala Attarian outlined the educational programs and successes implemented in the last four years and the current challenges. She also highlighted the sister-school agreement between Mourad Saturday School and Nor Oughi School in Armenia. Emphasizing the role of the Armenian school in our lives, she said that the anniversary celebration was an opportunity to renew the covenant to preserve generations with Armenian education and national spirit.

Co-principal June Mangassarian also conveyed her message, expressing her gratitude to the teaching staff, Church bodies, the Armenian Relief Society, the Armenian National Education Council of the Prelacy, parents and students. “All of us wish that our children become exemplary Armenians, valuing the Armenian language, history and culture,” she said. “This goal is the particularity of our school, which is passed on from generation to generation.”

On behalf of the ARS Eastern Regional, Anoush Barghamian, a Mourad School graduate herself, emphasized that she proudly celebrates the school’s 90th anniversary, in which her family made a great contribution. She also referred to the important support of the ARS to the school.

Finally, Fr. Kapriel thanked the greater family of his parish that made this possible. “After 90 years, this school is flourishing and developing, keeping pace with the needs of the present generation,” he said.

He then invited the Prelate to address the public. “I am proud of the church bodies, sister organizations, schools and youth of Sts. Vartanantz,” Archbishop Anoushavan said. The Prelate also mentioned that keeping the Armenian language means being conscious and proud of our identity. “I am happy to see young parents; this means longevity,” he said. “The people who believe and dedicate themselves to the vision are the ones who deserve to live.” His Eminence concluded his message saying that we in the Diaspora will be the custodians of the Armenian character and Armenian history, literature and language, and we will thus inspire our people everywhere.