Pilgrims visiting the holiest site in Christendom, Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre, found its doors shuttered this week, in a protest against proposed legislation that would enable the government of Israel to tax and even confiscate properties owned by the city’s Christian churches.

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Sunday of the Prodigal Son

Perhaps the holiest moment in the Armenian Divine Liturgy is when the congregation fills the church with the singing of the Lord’s Prayer. We begin with the words Hayr Mer—“Our Father”; but what really do we mean by referring to God as a “father” Do we mean that God brought us into this world? That He is responsible for our welfare until we can go off on our own? Do we think of God as a stern disciplinarian, who will punish us if we go astray? Or do we expect Him to treat us with fatherly favoritism, and turn a blind eye to our faults and misdeeds?

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This year’s Midwest Lenten Retreat, held at the Cardinal Stritch Retreat House in Mundelein, IL, took place February 12-14 with the participation of 15 clergymen from the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America.

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