Friday, February 27, 2015

"Where is your Christian God?" Documenting An Armenian Genocide Survivor, Alma Sakaian:

"Where is your Christian God?" Alma Sakaian, a fifteen year old Protestant Christian Armenian, recalled hearing this question mockingly asked by perpetrators of heinous crimes upon her caravan. Alma was among the one hundred and fifty survivors of a sixty-five day forced march that witnessed over 17,850 casualties. I have documented two generations of Alma's immediate and extended family life, as well as recreating her caravan ordeal. The research includes hundred rare pictures, newspaper and magazine articles dating 1873 – 1924. In honor of the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide I am providing links to the research for those interested in this important historical era and personal story.

Alma Sakaian, 1915 Armenian Genocide Survivor: "From Aghin" a Remembrance

1873 Armenians in Baku

1876 Early Protestant Missions and Missionaries in Harpoot (Kharpert)

Rev. Crosby H. Wheeler, D.D. founder Euphrates College 1878

Susan A. Wheeler, Crosby H. Wheeler & Emily C. Wheeler, Missionaries to Armenia

Friends of Armenia, Boston, Massachusetts USA 1894

1896 American Red Cross Relief Expedition to Armenia 1896 Part 1

1896 American Red Cross Relief Expedition to Armenia 1896 Part 2

1896 Letters From Scenes of the Recent in Armenia

Armenians celebrate first Thanksgiving, November 26, 1896 in Boston, Massachusetts

1898 "Illustrated Armenia and the Armenians"

1900 Maps of Armenian Plateau: From "The Crime of Christendom"

1900 Travel Through Five Turkish Provinces

Anatolia College: Marsovan, Turkey 1901

Armenia College: Renamed Euphrates College 1852-1915

Hamidian Massacre Orphans in Marsovan, Turkey 1901

1903 Armenian Pictures: Rare Pictures from 1903 Missionary Herald at Home and Abroad

Christmas 1904 Armenian Prayers and Fears

Emily C. Wheeler, Susan A. Wheeler & Rev. Crosby H. Wheeler: National Armenia & India Relief Association & Euphrates College

Moses Gulesian, Armenian Immigrant saves "Old Ironsides"

1906 Armenian Pictures: Rare Pictures From Missionary Herald

1907 The Desert and the Sown (Aleppo Governorate)

1908 Armenian Pictures: Rare Pictures Missionary Herald Magazine

1910 Armenian Pictures: Rare Pictures

1912 Armenian Pictures: Rare Pictures Missionary Herald at Home & Abroad

Murder of Rev. Charles H. Holbrook: Turkey, August 13, 1913

1913 Armenian Pictures: Rare Pictures from Missionary Herald at Home and Abroad

Late 1914 War I in Turkish Armenia Pictures: Missionary Herald at Home and Abroad

100 Year Old Armenian Refugee to America November 1914

Turkish Deportation Proclamation: June 28, 1915

1915 Martyred Professors of Euphrates College, Harpoot

Alma (Sakaian) Shahabian: 1915 Genocide Survivor

Alma Sakaian: 1915 Deportation Caravan Rte. PART I : The First 13 of 65 Days Forced March; Aghin to Malatia

Alma Sakaian: 1915 Caravan PART II Malatia to Samsat

Alma Sakaian: 1915 Caravan PART III Samsat to Ras Al Ayn

Photographs Sakaian Aghin Caravan Deportation Route June-Sept 1915 Aghin to Aleppo

Rare Armenian Postcards circa 1915

1915: The Railways of Syria and Palestine

1912-1915 Taurus Mts. & Adana [Construction of the Berlin to Baghdad Railway]

1915 Boston Globe Armenian Massacre Headlines April - October

1916 Armenian Pictures : Rare Pictures from Missionary Herald at Home and Abroad Magazine

Khanem Ketenjian (Armenuhi) - Armenian Resistance in Urfa 1915

Armenian Legion 1916 - 1920 : Legion d’Orient

Captain Jim Chankalian, Leader U.S. Volunteer Armenian Force WWI

America Aids Armenian Christmas 1896-1920

"The Helping Hand": National Armenian Relief Committee

1917 American Physician in Turkey Pictures: War & Peace

The New Armenia Magazine 1917 January - December Issues

Armenian Relief Pictures 1920-1922: The New Near East, Volumes 6-8
First Armenian Slave Girl Rescued February 1920

Armenian Girls Forced in Harems and Servitude

Secrets of the Harems: The Last Stronghold of Slavery

AUCTION OF SOULS:Aurora Mardiganian

American Cities Adopt Armenian Orphans

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Fr. Patrick H. Callanan: 1895 Centurry Souvenir Medal Found a Priest Rememberd

Last summer an antique dealer struck gold while browsing wares in Miamitown, Ohio. During a routine excursion through the local flea market, Terri Ziepfel came across an item in the discounted pile, a plastic holder with two careworn inserts. The inserts caught her eye: an ornate tintype of St. Francis adjacent to an elegant typesetting of the Prayer of St. Francis. Content with the purchase, she was astonished to later discover a wonderfully crafted gold medal tucked away behind the tintype.

Intrigued by the compelling treasure, Ziepfel kept it in her wallet for nearly six months until deciding to learn who the enigmatic priest was. The decorative script emblazoned across the medal was a clue for where she could start: ‘Souvenir of 15th Anniversary of my Ordination to the Holy Priesthood, Rev. P.H. Callanan.’

Zeipfel located a blog posting I had written on Fr. Patrick H. Callanan, a former St. Mary's, Foxboro pastor (1885-1890). After reading the essay she forwarded the medal along to me writing, "I want this historical honor to find its way home."

1885 Picture

 Fr. Callanan was born on February 4, 1856 in New York City, the son of Irish Immigrants, Michael and Catherine Callanan, natives of County Cork. In September 1870, at the age of 14 he entered Boston College and was a member of the first graduating class in 1877.  He earned both a bachelor’s and a master of arts and was the first "College Historian". Later that year, he entered St. Joseph’s Seminary in Troy, New York and on December 18, 1880 he became the first Boston College graduate to be ordained a priest. In March 1885, at the age of 29, he became the youngest priest and the first Boston College alumnus to be appointed a pastor in the Archdiocese of Boston.

Fr. Callanan's first pastorate was St. Mary's in Foxboro. It was a very challenging task to say the least. But his accomplishment in Foxboro was an early demonstration of many future pastoral successes. The twenty-five year old parish in Foxboro was broken in spirit. It was also one of the financially poorest in the archdiocese due to two previous churches destroyed by fire. The church building at the time of his assignment was described as "barn-like." On the occasion of his 10th anniversary of ordination, Fr. Callanan remarked to his parishioners, "I found you six years ago a disunited, a discontented, and forgive me for saying it, a rather luke-warm people, and I found you without a church, fit to be called a house of God. I look on you tonight a happy, united, and practical Christian people, with a church worthy of your faith, worthy of your generosity, worthy of being called a house of God." 
1887 Foxboro Reporter

Leaving Foxboro in 1890, Fr.  Callanan was appointed pastor of St. John’s in Newton Lower Falls. In 1906 he established the mission of St. Paul’s in Wellesley Hills and in May 1912, he was assigned pastor of St. Peter’s in Cambridge. He remained here for the rest of his life. In 1927, the year Boston College first graduates reached their golden jubilee; Father Callanan was awarded an honorary doctor of laws. At the time of his death, on October 29, 1933, Rev. Dr. Patrick H. Callanan was the oldest living Boston College graduate.

Truly, Fr. Callanan was one of most remarkable pastors to serve St. Mary's parish, the town, and the Archdiocese of Boston. The finding of its way home of the medal offers a historical window to view and celebrate our collective community history and the life of a noteworthy Catholic priest.

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1885 St. Marys

1890 Remodeled Curch

1905 at 15th Ordination

1877 BC First Graduating Class Callanan back row far right

Tin Type Behind which medal was found