By Seta A. Buchter
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The women of the Holy Trinity Armenian Church of Greater Boston will host the Women’s Guild Central Council’s Saintly Women’s Day celebration on Saturday, April 16, for the Massachusetts and Rhode Island parishes of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern). This year’s Saintly Women’s Day will honor Saint Mary.
The day’s program, which will take place in the church sanctuary and church complex of Holy Trinity Armenian Church at 145 Brattle Street, Cambridge, will begin at 10:15 a.m., with Coffee and the welcome (in Johnson Hall), followed by a Church Service at 11 a.m. (in the sanctuary), and the Luncheon and Program at 12:00 noon (in the Charles and Nevart Talanian Cultural Hall). The guest speaker will be Sister Bridget Haase, OSU.
The Saintly Woman honoree, Saint Mary, is venerated by the church as the Holy Mother of God (Asdvadzadzin), and is the highest ranking saint. Together with her saintly and noble parents, Joachim and Anna, and her husband, Joseph, Saint Mary belongs to the small group of the immediate forerunners of Jesus Christ. Her picture with the Christ child in her arms adorns the main Altar of all Armenian churches. The Armenian Church celebrates five major feasts of Saint Mary: Conception of the Virgin Mary (December 9), Nativity of the Virgin Mary (September 8), Presentation of Saint Mary at the Temple (November 21), the Annunciation (April 7), and the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (nearest Sunday to August 15).
Sister Bridget Haase, a member of the international Ursuline Order, founded in 1535 by St. Angela Merici in Brescia, Italy, is an educator, author, speaker and storyteller. Her religious vocation was sealed at a high school senior retreat at the Cenacle Retreat House in New Orleans. As an educator, Sister Bridget has taught students who embodied the marvels of southern hospitality in Louisiana, the cliffs and rivers of Missouri, the cornfields of Illinois, and the wide Texas sky. She felt at home for many years with the mountain folks in the hollows of Appalachia and the villagers in the hills of Mexico.
During the famine of the late 1980s, she ministered in the desert of Sudan, East Africa, feeding starving children. She lived in Senegal in an international Ursuline community with sisters from seven different countries of origin.