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Armenian Church Primate Barsamian Visits Naples

His Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), headquartered in New York City.

NAPLES, FL – The Armenian Church of Southwest Florida (ACSWFL) was honored to welcome Diocesan Primate Archbishop Khajag Barsamian to Naples from February 25 to 27.

“Unlike the archbishops of most churches, who are tasked with baptizing or confirming or ordaining around their diocese, Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, of the Armenian Orthodox Church, comes to Naples this weekend simply to be with his Southwest Florida flock.

“It will be his first time here since 2006, a cause for major celebration, with two dinners and the church’s service, known as the Divine Liturgy, on Sunday,” the Naples Daily News reported.

A private dinner was held on Saturday, February 25, at the Vanderbilt Country Club, hosted by the parish council.

On Sunday, February 26, the Primate celebrated badarak at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, with 100 faithful taking part in the service. His sermon focused on the observance of Poon Paregentan.

Following badarak, the mission parish organized a banquet to welcome the Primate at Longshore Lake Country Club in Naples, with 75 people attending.

“He’s a real Christian spirit,” FLArmenians.com Naples Contributor Frank Avakian Stoneson told the Naples Daily News. “He has really pushed for ecumenism, and he’s served on interfaith organizations around the world.”

During the banquet, Archbishop Barsamian presented “Certificates of Service” to five members of the parish council who retired last season after eight years of dedicated service.

The honorees are: Carole Meghreblian, chair; Joseph Meghreblian, treasurer; Suzanne Zakarian Szczesny, secretary; Mariam Tatosian, assistant secretary; and Kathy Mekjian, member.

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Naples Armenians Host 3rd Annual Basterma Breakfast

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The Basterma Boys of Naples, FL; 2017.

By Frank Avakian-Stoneson
FLArmenians Naples Contributor

The Armenian Church of Southwest Florida (ACSWFL) celebrated its third annual STAG Basterma Breakfast on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at the home of Nancy and Sam Kazarian. The sold out breakfast attracted 31 lucky men from our Parish community who feasted on unlimited basterma and eggs, mimosas, and other Armenian delicacies.

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Nancy Kazarian, formerly of Racine, Wisconsin, Dolly Matoian from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Alice Boyajian of Palos Heights, Illinois, and Ziba Rezai of Naples, Florida prepared the feast for the hungry gentlemen all morning and afternoon in traditional Armenian style.

The Kazarians and Matoians generously sponsored this event, with all proceeds from admissions donated to the Church. Everyone left for the day asking when the next year’s Basterma Breakfast is to be scheduled, so they can make sure to be in town!

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Armenians in Naples Meet Designer Michael Aram

(L-R) Frank Avakian-Stoneson, Michael Aram, Rev. Fr. Garabed Kochakian

(L-R) Frank Avakian-Stoneson, Michael Aram, Rev. Fr. Garabed Kochakian

By Frank Avakian-Stoneson
FLArmenians Naples Contributor

NAPLES, FL – Members of the Armenian Church of Southwest Florida (ACSWFL) parish community were honored to attend a special showing by Michael Aram, the world-renowned artist and designer of his Spring 2017 fine jewelry and home collection on Friday, February 10, 2017 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Naples. In addition to the preview of his collection, there was an engaging Question and Answer session with the artist, with highlighted discussion about the Noah’s Ark sculpture designed by Mr. Aram for presentation to Pope Francis by the Armenian Catholicos as a gift on behalf of the people of Armenia during the Pope’s visit to Armenia last June.

Mr. Aram also discussed the strong emotions felt during the design and sculpting of ‘Migrations,’ a piece to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, which is displayed on the plaza of the Diocese of the Armenian Church headquarters in New York City for public view.

We all left in awe of the talent and humbleness of Mr. Aram, who is so proud to be an Armenian American. The ACSWFL thanks community member Cherie Dunnigan, herself a jewelry designer, for providing us with the invitations.

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