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Saintly Women’s Day Across the Diocese

Saintly Women’s Day was marked in several locations across the Eastern Diocese on March 23. Thematically, the day revolved three saintly women of the Gospels: the woman who touched Jesus’ cloak (Mk 5), the woman who anointed Jesus’ head (Mk 14, Mt 26), and the Syrophoenician woman (Mk 7).

Faithful from seven Illinois and Wisconsin parishes gathered at the St. James of Nisibis Church in Evanston, IL, for a worship service with readings by Women’s Guild members. Fr. Tavit Boyajian of Sts. Joachim and Anne Church (Palos Heights, IL) presented a meaningful talk on the three saintly women, and how each of them could inspire one’s faith.

At a Lenten luncheon prepared by Women’s Guild members, guest speaker Dr. Artin Göncü spoke on “The Language of Love in Mother-Child Interaction.” The commemoration drew 80 people, and its proceeds will benefit programs of the Fund for Armenian Relief: the Children of Armenia Sponsorship Program (CASP) and Vanadzor Old Age Home (VOAH). Click here to view photos.

The St. John Church of Southfield, MI, and its Women’s Guild observed the day with a service led by Michigan-area clergy, where the gospel stories of the day were read by Yn. Maran Bagdasarian, Yn. Roberta Kochakian, and Yn. Shakeh Ohanesian.

Later, participants viewed a dramatic presentation “Because of My Son”: a touching, one-woman play featuring Naomi Abajian Rogers in the role of St. Mary, reflecting on her experiences as the mother of Jesus Christ. The 72 participants enjoyed a Lenten lunch prepared by guild member Jacqueline El Chemmas. Click here to view photos.

Philadelphia-area churches sent some 50 women to the Holy Trinity Church in Cheltenham, PA, for a day-long retreat hosted by the parish Women’s Guild, chaired by Liz Barone. Elise Antreassian, who directs the Diocese’s Department of Christian Education, led the retreat. Her multimedia, interactive presentation highlighted the way Jesus himself was affected by the courage of the three saintly women, and how he heralded them as exemplars of faith to all who stood by as witnesses, including his disciples.

Pastor Fr. Hakob Gevorgyan was a joyful participant in the retreat, proceeds of which will benefit CASP and the Vandazor Old Age Home. Click here to view photos.

Finally, the Holy Cross Church of Union City, NJ, hosted a very large gathering of faithful women and men from the New Jersey parishes. Pastor Fr. Vazken Karayan welcomed his brother clergy and led the participants in a prayer service, after which the parish Women’s Guild served lunch in the church hall. Click here to view photos.

The annual Saintly Women’s Day observance is a project of the Eastern Diocese’s Women’s Guild Central Council. Some parishes will mark the day on March 30 and April 6.

Above: Faithful from several New Jersey parishes came together at Union City’s Holy Cross Church to mark Saintly Women’s Day.

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