On February 28th, St. Sarkis Armenian Orthodox Church in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area held a Fundraising Ball to support the building of their future church and community center. The event titled “Growing Our Unified Vision” was held at the Westin Hotel in Frisco, Texas with nearly 300 guests of all ages in attendance. The benefactors enjoyed a sit down dinner, dance and song performances from the youth of the community and singing entertainment by Robert Chilingirian. An auction was held with items kindly donated by Michael Aram and various members of the church. Congratulations to Raffi Ohanian for he was the recipient of 2015 St. Sarkis Steward of the Year Award for his exemplary service and devotion to St. Sarkis Armenian Orthodox Church.
The DFW Armenian community is very fortunate to have the opportunity to build a new church thanks to a very generous parishioner, Elie Akilian. Mr. Akilian has donated the land and will be donating most of the funds to build a new church that is modeled after St. Hripsime Monastery in Armenia. There will also be a community center consisting of an event hall, classrooms and a commercial kitchen to support the church’s long running cultural festival, ArmeniaFest. The buildings will be completely green as well as the grounds will be zeroscaped to reduce costs. The community is contributing a portion of the funds to build the new facilities and is very excited to build this long awaited church which will be the Crown Jewel of Armenian Churches in America. With God's blessing and the generosity of the parishioners, nearly $780,0000 was raised towards the $1,000,000 goal.
by Nina Smith
St. Gregory of Narek is widely revered as one of the greatest figures of medieval Armenian religious thought and literature. Born in the city of Narek in about 950 A.D., St. Gregory came from a line of scholars and churchmen.
St. Gregory received his education under the guidance of his father, Bishop Khosrov, author of the earliest commentary on the Divine Liturgy, and from Anania Vartabed, abbess of Narek Monastery. He and his two brothers entered monastic life at an early age, and St. Gregory soon began to excel in music, astronomy, geometry, mathematics, literature, and theology.
He became a priest at the age of 25 and dedicated himself to God. He lived most of his life in the monastery of Narek, where he taught at the monastic school. St. Gregory began his writings with a commentary on the “Song of Songs,” which was commissioned by an Armenian prince. Despite his reservations that he was too young for the task, the commentary became famous for its clarity of thought and language and its excellence of theological presentation.
He also wrote a number of famous letters, sharagans, treasures, odes, melodies, and discourses. Many of his prayers are included in the Divine Liturgy celebrated each Sunday in Armenian Churches around the world.
St. Gregory’s masterpiece is considered to be his Book of Lamentations. Also known as Narek, it is comprised of 95 prayers, each of which is titled “Conversation with God from the depth of the heart.” A central theme is man’s separation from God, and his quest to reunite with Him. St. Gregory described the work this way: “Its letters like my body, its message like my soul.” He called his book an “encyclopedia of prayer for all nations.” It was his hope that it would serve as a guide to prayer for people all over the world. After the advent of movable type, the book was published in Marseille in 1673, and has been translated into at least 30 languages.
St. Gregory of Narek is remembered by the Armenian Church in October of each year.
Source: Vatican Radio