Tag Archive for: Domestic Violence

Love Conquers

Armodoxy for Today: Love Conquers

St. Mary, who’s assumption is remembered in the month of August, is referred to with many titles that are also descriptors. Blessed Mother, Asadvadzadzin, the Bearer of God, Our Lady and Queen of Heaven, are among some of the more conventional names. They all point to the unique place she occupies in human history.

She said “Yes” to God and thereby Christ was made incarnate. She bore and delivered Pure Love to the world.

A few years ago, while serving as a parish priest in Glendale, I became aware of the problem of domestic violence within the local community. Like many other places, denial was widespread. Some even shunned me for daring to voice a concern about domestic violence.

As priests we often become the first point of contact for people in need. One night, after a violent scene between a husband and wife, and after hours of counseling and finding a safe haven for a young mother and her children, I asked her if we could pray together before I turned her over to the shelter. Of course, she wanted that bit of solace in her upside-down world. Instinctively, she reached out her hand so I would hold it during prayer, and instinctively I did. She screamed! I let go only to find her hands were crushed and disfigured by the act of her husband.

The domestic violence problem grew with very little mention of it by community leaders. The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back came one night when a lady who had been on the receiving end of domestic violence for 20 years finally had the nerve and the strength to escape from her husband’s tortures and left the house, knocking on the doors of neighbors, asking – begging – for help. She was told by neighbors that “amot eh!” as in, “Don’t bring shame to the family… Go back home before you bring disgrace to your family… This is not something we Armenians do…”  From home to home this continued for 15 minutes until she finally reached a house that did not close the door on her and took her in. She was an African American woman who recognized the seriousness of the situation and immediately called the police. That night we met with her in a sanctuary area.

That was the marking moment when as a community we could no longer stay quiet. We established a grass-roots organization called, “Datev Outreach.” Datev is the name of a celebrated saint in the Armenian Church, it also was a play on words, da-tev, that is, to “give wings.”

During the short-lived life of Datev Outreach we heightened awareness tremendously within the Glendale area. We organized walks through the streets of Glendale where we received the support of many families who came out to voice their oneness with us and the scorn of others who heckled us as we walked by: “There’s no such thing! You’re making it up!” Datev Outreach organized classes for women, gave women opportunities to educate and self-determine their lives. It was a powerful program in the community.

Like many good things, politics got into the way and we closed up our offices after two years, but not before establishing firm ties with the YWCA and ensuring that victims would have a place to find sanctuary.

One of the remaining treasures of Datev Outreach is the beautiful icon of the Blessed Mother. Artist Gregory Beylerian created this icon which cried out to the world the double message that Violence Hurts – there’s no denying it – and Love Conquers – providing the solution! The icon, with the Asdvadzadzin and the Baby Jesus, is a new icon for the contemporary world. It is an icon of Armodoxy because it has a double message boldly proclaiming the horror of violence and articulating the solution in reference to St. Mary, the bearer of Love.

Saints are living today. They are active in our lives today. While many descriptors are ascribed to the Blessed Mother, we must never forget that she takes away pain (cf. Gyumri’s Yot Verk Church) and answers with solace in her capacity to bring Love to the world.

Let us pray, the prayer of intercession of the Armenian Church, Christ, our God, who chose and embraced those who witnessed You and partakers in Your passion. We ask for the intercession of all saints in order that through their fervent prayers and mediation You may grant us peace and protect us from enemies both visible and invisible. Grant us, O Lord, the vision to follow in their path. Amen.

Candle & Prison Fires

Next Step #558:
Dyarnuntarach – the Presentation of the Lord: Candles, Fires and all. Fr. Vazken dissects the story of the Presentation (Luke 2) and gives the lesson for purpose and meaning in life. Simeon the just and righteous man – and finding that righteousness in life. The beginning of the “Revolution.” Back from Prison – domestic violence victim who is being punished behind bars. Prayer with an active and action plan. A Prayer Quilt that places action with prayers – lessons from sisters and brothers. Secrets of the Neck.
Candle Dance by Richard Hagopian
Fr. Vazken’s Dyaruntarach Sermon 2019 at St. Leon Armenian Cathedral (Armenian)
Bishops Prayer for singles
Prayer Quilt in Memory of Diramayr
Presentation of the Lord (Scripture)
Statue of Liberty
Cover: Miniature of Dyarnuntarach by Gayane Maragarian
Technical Director: Ken Nalik
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
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Whole Enchiladas

Next Step #436: Whether you bite into an enchiladas or Armodoxy, take the time to make sure it’s the entire package. Incident at the YWCA re: Domestic Violence – playing with statistics and hearing what they want. Adapting to the challenges of technology-savvy religion. Changing metaphors – is it possible in world climate today? Politics turns nasty in the Clinton/Trump debates and a new peek at “Designated Survivor.”  The full meal through Armodoxy.
Manuella by Sarkis on Songs and Dances of Latin America
Growing Young
Fr. Vazken on Youth
AC101 Vides:  www.youtube.com/armodoxy
Embracing Our Faith Conference
Fr. Arshag Khatchadourian honored
Gomidas Badarak – Western Diocese production
Gala on the Next Step
Next Step in  Armenia at Domestic Violence Demonstration
Designated Survivor
Engineered by Ken Nalik
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
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Epilogue to a Visit and a Blessing

Next Step #382: Wrapping up and connecting dots between the Pope’s US visit and the Miuron Blessing. Domestic violence victim Zarouhi Petrosian remembered; Separating the messenger from the message; St. Thaddeus: Oil to King Apkar; Miuron of “Victory”; Absorbing Energy, The Golden Rule in context and today… and much more.
Armen Donelian “Hymn”
Pope Francis remarks to Congress
Harry Hagopian Blog
Miuron Blessing in Etchmiadzin
Zarouhi Petrosian
Golden Rule comparison chart
Shakira “Imagine
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Engineered by Ken Nalik
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
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The Human Condition: Sex, Pentecost & the Church

Next Step #313 – June 5, 2014

From the death of a young girl on the streets of Glendale, opens a discussion about domestic violence and personal sexual imaging. The Pentecost – the birth of the Christian Church – opens a candid discussion about marketing and selling the Body of Christ. Keeping the message of Christ and salvation real and accelerating the revolution. Continuing on the road to Ascension. Themes in this episode may be disturbing to listeners.
Dr. Maya Angelou: “It’s Sacred: Church
One More Important part of Sex
Fr. Vazken’s Blog: http://www.armodoxy.blogspot.com/
Engineered by Ken Nalik
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for epostle.net
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Kinetic Update via Artsakh

Next Step #281 – October 24, 2013

Fr. Vazken prepares for the annual walk against Domestic Violence through the streets of Glendale & Burbank. Hear his thoughts as organizations and political parties turn their heads from the menacing and ugly realities in the community. Next – a discussion with Gala Danilova, from Artsakh on a variety of life & death issues, violence & peace, the value of life and updating to Windows 8.1 and life beyond the iPhone. Candid & meaty discussions help make way for the Step.
Song: “New Life” by Gor Mkhitarian
Landmine Free Artsakh: http://landminefreeartsakh.com
Datev Outreach: www.datevoutreach.org
Fr. Vazken’s blog: www.armodoxy.blogspot.com
Engineered by Ken Nalik
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for epostle.net
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Fr. Vazken and Gala Danilova

Unraveling and Weaving God & Chaos

Next Step #254 – April 18, 2013

Finding God in the chaos. Fr. Vazken unravels the events of the week, which included the worst of the worst – domestic violence, terrorism and Genocide – and even finds God as the antithesis of chaos.  Don’t be afraid to point him out, he says. Datev Outreach, the Boston Marathon bombing, and the screening of Bared Maronian’s “Orphans of the Genocide” are woven together in this interesting journey from chaos to order. It is a mystery and it is deep.
Anush’s Inside the Pomegrante – Finding the Helper
Song – Isabel Bayrakdarian “Khorhoort Khorin”
Slipstream http://jethrotull.com
Datev Outreach http://datevoutreach.org
Boston Marathon: Where Was God During the Boston Marathon?
Orphans of the Genocide (7 minute trailer); Order the full-length DVD
St. Peter Youth Ministry – 10th Anniversary
St. Peter Booklet form
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for epostle.net
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Purifying the Dogs of Midwinter

Next Step #191 – February 2, 2012

The Church comes alive as it lives its mission in creating awareness for Domestic Violence and a shelter for the abused. Religion meets relevance, as Fr. Vazken takes the discussion from the Groundhog’s Day, to Diaruntarach to purity. Can you preach what you don’t believe? Then, how can Christians light a candle, pray to pictures and close their eyes to abused women and hungry children? Add some dessert to the cafeteria menus of religion in this one. Maternity leave according to the Bible. A farewell to Ken.
Walk for Domestic Violence: http://inhisshoes.org
Jesuit College Leader
Song: Rouben Hakhverdian “Poetner yev shuner” (Poets & dogs)
Engineered by Ken T. Nalik
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for epostle.net
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New Media to Domestic Violence

Next Step #123 – October 14, 2010

On the eve of the New Media Expo, the Epostle.net staff steps in the shoes of the Holy Translators and looks for the means to simplify the complex. Tigran translates the Nicene Creed to American Sign . Domestic Violence is brought to forum with the tragic story of Zaruhi. Sign the petition to bring legislation in Armenia and DO something more. Fr. Vazken outlines a plan for a women’s shelter where safety and spirituality are both priorities. The nonsense of the church doilies and the absurdity of women subjecting to men. We’re off to New Media Expo.
Human Rights Now – Armenia’s Domestic Violence Legislation is Overdue
Petition for Armenia to Pass Domestic Violence Legislation: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/armenia-must-pass-domestic-abuse-law/
Song: “Magdalene Laundries” by Joni Mitchell
Ani’s Bubbles: Mother Teresa on the poor feeding the poor
Produced by  Suzie Shatarevyan for Epostle.net

Magdalen Laundry in England – Early 20th Century