Featured, Prelate's Message


In his message to the National Representative Assembly, His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate, outlined his vision for the year ahead, inspired in the pathbreaking proclamation of His Holiness Catholicos Aram I about the Year of Human Resources and in his four decades of pastoral experience as a servant of Christ and of the Armenian Church.  

Below is the full text of Archbishop Anoushavan’s message to the National Representative Assembly gathered in Dearborn, Michigan: 

Dear All, 

I wish I were with you and addressed this message not only as Prelate but a humble servant of Christ who has walked for forty years with you as Preacher, Pastor, and Vicar. However, due to health reasons, I join you spiritually. 

I would like to greet you all in Motown, the capital of the automobile industry, where we are gathered as a large family of the Eastern Prelacy, under the jurisdiction of the Holy See of the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia, to analyze the results of our annual service to our people and to explore new avenues by which to implement them in order to strengthen our mission for the revitalization of our communities and for the glory of Almighty God.  

Bearing in mind the global picture of the current wars in Europe, the Middle East, and other regions, and within Armenia and Artsakh in particular, we witness that society, with all its progress, has not changed much since the Armenian Genocide in 1915, because amid the passivity of world powers, after nine months of brutal blockade, in September 2023, the two dictators of Azerbaijan and Turkey meticulously orchestrated and executed the second genocide of Armenians in Artsakh. 

Along with all the experiences we are going through, I would like to thank the Almighty Lord for providing us with visible and invisible bounties, and for galvanizing our Armenian Christian identity. God enables us constantly to be renewed, and to reorganize ourselves for outreach to our brothers and sisters in need, and to fulfill the traditional mission of the Armenian Church. I would like to express my filial respect to our Catholicos, His Holiness Aram I, whose leadership during this critical period of history is indeed praiseworthy. My heartfelt gratitude goes to all my colleagues, the Religious and Executive Councils, the Prelacy staff, the Pastors, the National Representative Assembly Delegates, the Boards of Trustees and church Auxiliary Bodies, as well as our partners, the Sister Organizations, and the faithful at large, for their superb collaboration in the flourishing of Armenian life in the Eastern United States.    

His Holiness Aram I has proclaimed the year 2024 as “the Year of Human Resources.” Thus, he invites us to focus on our communities by objectively evaluating our resources in all our fields of activity. His Holiness has eloquently analyzed the different aspects of this topic in full detail. I am sure that all of you have either heard His Holiness’ message on January 14 in your respective communities when your Pastor presented it from the altar, or you have read it in “Crossroads”. 

I would like to share with you a few additional thoughts derived from a pastoral perspective. 

a) Human resources cannot be contemplated without full understanding that God created and sustains humanity. As we read in the Book of Genesis, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Gen 1:27). This scriptural statement makes us all conscious of the ultimate truth that there is an implementation of divine grace in each person. Therefore, we are called upon to respect one another, not from only a human perspective, but within the context of divine Creation. One should remember that, had Albert Einstein been judged for his personal and social skills, perhaps today we would not have the achievements that we owe to his inquisitive mind and insatiable scientific curiosity.  

b) Thus, our priority should be to disclose the hidden talents of every member in our community and bring both the person and the talent to the forefront. Bearing in mind this fundamental principle, we should always respect everyone’s abilities, regardless of their merits, status, or position, as Our Lord himself told us in His teachings and His deeds. To put it in an earthly context, I would like to quote a phrase from a celebrity who has expressed this fact in a more immediate and compelling way: “I was raised to treat the janitor with the same respect as the CEO.” With the same spirit, Einstein has said: “I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.”

This minor exercise of humility makes us the imitators of the Almighty Lord and more aware that everyone has their role in the fabric of Creation. Moreover, it goes a long way to create an attachment and connect the person to the community. This approach is useful to attract those who, for different reasons, remain on the margin of community life. In this regard, a gesture of appreciation may foster a new momentum in commitment and dedication.  

c) There is no doubt that all of us are volunteering in our community-building service. I am glad to say that, during my visits to our parishes, I have witnessed that in certain communities the Pastor and the Board of Trustees host a special day of appreciation for all auxiliary bodies on their annual calendar. This simple and practical program may cement our bond and energize our service as a large but single family.  


2) The second point I would like to highlight is the fact that God instills in men and women the values of rationality and free choice, and He always motivates us to pursue the highest of all values. His conciliatory sacred act on the cross encourages us to fulfill our mission as our Lord Jesus Christ says: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).  

a) Sharing: With the understanding that God shares unique aspects of His essence with His creatures, when we follow in His example, the more and more our life becomes harmonious for our own benefit and progress. I am delighted to say that in some of our communities, leaders in different fields are always willing to share their responsibilities with the younger generation, and even to pass the baton in the race set before all of us to win victory for the Church. It is a joyful experience to witness events where young people are the driving force, be they spiritual, social, educational, cultural, or political. To build up the future today, I believe, is the key for growth, progress, and a vibrant community.

b) Conciliation: Our Lord Jesus Christ, as the role model of selflessness and reconciliation, shows us that when we are engaged selflessly in the good works of our communities, then the road of unity and strength is opened to everyone. I am sure that all of you have witnessed how, as the result of minor misunderstandings, active members resign and create a vacuum in community life. If only, in the footsteps of our Lord, we could put aside our egos and nourish our collective ego, then Lost Paradise could be discovered in our lifetime.

c) Encouragement: It is said that one day Thomas Alva Edison’s mother read to her son a letter from the school principal telling how proud he was of her son as an exemplary student with intellectual abilities. Years later, after his mother’s funeral, Edison found the actual letter in the drawer and started to read it. It made him cry. The letter said that he was a failure in school and should be transferred to a lower-level school. This is a small lesson on how encouragement from superiors may work miracles.

Encouragement is a multidimensional virtue. It has been the moving power of our Prelacy and community life. For instance, it is a fact that all our Prelates have encouraged our clergy to pursue higher education and cope with a demanding environment. The Prelacy has also encouraged our teachers, our deacons, and our choirmasters to expand their knowledge, and has promoted regional seminars to raise the awareness of our Board of Trustees about our church structure. At the same time, it is empowering to see that our communities appreciate our programs: Charity Outreach and St. Nerses the Great, Diary, Membership Dues, Musical Armenia, Pillars, Thanksgiving celebration, Youth programs, etcetera. Thus, reciprocal encouragement only showers blessings and makes us soar from height to height and greet new horizons of victorious achievements. 

3) With my third and last remark I would like to highlight that Almighty God, by creating us in His own image and likeness, grants us a map for our existence with a clear vision and goal, which transcends time and space. The Universal Church is commissioned to enlighten, inspire and lead all her members in this direction. Hence the Eastern Prelacy, ever faithful to her calling, strives to gather all her human resources as pilgrims to follow God’s map in The Way, the Truth and the Life.  By fulfilling this vocation, we can truly strengthen the resilience of each and every member, community as well as Diaspora, Armenia and Artsakh.  

May the Almighty Lord unite us in our common goal to pave the road of Justice, Peace, and Prosperity for the people of Mount Ararat and for Mankind.       

Under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate, and the chairmanship of Very Rev. Fr. Sahag Yemishian, Vicar, the Episcopal Conference of the Prelacy convened its annual meeting on May 15 at St. Sarkis Church, in Dearborn, Michigan. After the opening prayer, Rev. Fr. Hrant Kevorkian, Pastor of the hosting church, welcomed all the spiritual brothers and wished them a pleasant and productive meeting. On the request of Fr. Sahag, a prayer was said for the speedy recovery of the Prelate as he recovers from surgery, following which the meeting’s chair was elected, with Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian voted chairperson and Rev. Fr. Samuel Adjemian, secretary.   

Upon the motion of Fr. Nareg, an election was called for the religious delegates, with the votes going to Very Rev. Fr. Ardag Arabian; Very Rev. Hrant Tahanian; Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian; Rev. Fr. Taniel Manjikian, and Rev. Fr. Samuel Adejmian.  

The clergy was addressed by especially invited speaker Renea Quire, a human resources expert who discussed about “Thriving versus Surviving,” exposing her audience to new notions to enrich their experience as they carry out their spiritual mission. Following the Ms. Quire’s two-part talk, the clergymen exchanged questions and ideas about their pastoral life.   

The program ended with a vespers service, followed by a reflection led by Fr. Sahag.