By Frank Avakian Stoneson
FLArmenians Naples Contributor
The Armenian Church of Southwest Florida (ACSWFL) in Naples celebrated Father’s Day on June 18, 2017, with residents of the local Armenian Church community enjoying brunch and fellowship at a nearby country club. It was the latest event in the community’s ongoing outreach effort to the Armenians in Southwest Florida.
NAPLES, FL – Earlier this month, Elsie Nigohosian of Marco Island, FL wrote a letter to the editor of the Naples Daily News entitled “Armenians Marked the 102nd Anniversary of Genocide.” Nigohosian’s column, which appeared in the May 10, 2017 edition of the paper, gracefully and concisely articulated the facts and significance of the Armenian Genocide to southwest Florida readers.
“Often referred to as the first genocide of the 20th century, it spanned the years between 1915 and 1923 when 1.5 million Armenian men, women and children were mercilessly slaughtered on their ancestral lands by the Ottoman Turkish Empire,” she wrote.
Nigohosian touched on historical aspects, as well as former U.S. Ambassador Samantha Powers’ recent apology to Armenian Americans. Nigohosian also highlighted the feature film ‘The Promise’ and the Turkish government’s attempt at artistic denial.
“We Armenians will continue to fight for the truth to be told. And we implore all of humanity to join us,” Nigohosian wrote.
You can read Elsie Nigohosian’s entire letter to the editor here.
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.