[Congressional Record Volume 140, Number 13 (Thursday, February 10, 1994)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]

[Congressional Record: February 10, 1994]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

                     DR. RAFFY HOVANESSIAN HONORED


                        HON. PETER J. VISCLOSKY

                               of indiana

                    in the house of representatives

                      Thursday, February 10, 1994

  Mr. VISCLOSKY. Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to 
congratulate Dr. Raffy Hovanessian, from Munster, IN, who was recently 
honored with the St. Nersees Shnorhali medal and encyclical from his 
Holiness Vazken I, Catholicos of All Armenians. Dr. Hovanessian was 
honored for his more than 30 years of devoted service to his church, 
community, and Nation.
  At a time when the evening news is filled with reports of the 
crumbling of our social bedrocks like family, church, and community, 
Dr. Raffy Hovanessian's more than 30 years of service burns brightly as 
a shining example for the Chicago metropolitan area and the Nation. It 
is crystal clear that his work and service make northwest Indiana a 
better place to live.
  The official presentation was made at the 10th anniversary banquet of 
the Sts. Joachim and Anne Armenian Church in Palos Heights, IL, by 
Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian 
Church. In his address to the parishioners, the Primate emphasized just 
how fortunate the young people are to have such a wonderful example set 
by Raffy Hovanessian's leadership and service.
  Dr. Hovanessian's dedication to his people is well known throughout 
the Armenian community. Born in Jerusalem 55 years ago, he has been 
deeply involved in Armenian activities from his earliest days as a 
student of medicine at the American University of Beirut, where he 
founded the Armenian University Students' Association of Beirut, which 
is still active today. Emigrating to the United States in 1965 with his 
family, he studied at Johns Hopkins Medical School, and served in the 
U.S. military.
  For the last 23 years, this devoted son of the Armenian people has 
given dedicated service and been a generous benefactor to the Chicago 
Armenian community. He has been intimately involved with the Sts. 
Joachim and Anne Armenian Church from its inception, donating generous 
contributions to its construction, including Hovanessian Hall. A 
Diocesan delegate for 15 years, he has served as chairman of the 
Diocese Assembly for 2 years, and as a board member of the Armenian 
Church Endowment Fund as well as the St. Nersess Armenian Seminary.
  Dr. Hovanessian's concern for his homeland has been just as extensive 
as his devotion to his church. He has served as leader for fund-raising 
efforts for the victims of the Armenian Earthquake, for Karabagh and 
for the Winter Rescue Program. His long list of activities includes 
being a member of NAASR, the Knights of Vartan, the Armenian Missionary 
Association, the AGBU International Board, and the Armenian Assembly 
Board of Trustees. He has also worked at the congressional level to 
seek United States support for Armenian issues.
  In his specialty of internal medicine, Dr. Hovanessian has also made 
a name for himself. He is a member of the Medical Honor Society, and 
sits on several professional boards. His brother, Dr. Ara Hovanessian, 
is a world famous pioneer in AIDS research.
  In 1983, Dr. Raffy Hovanessian was named a Prince of the House of 
Cilicia by Catholics Karekin II of Cilicia, and that same year was 
awarded the Golden Heritage Award by the NAACP.
  Dr. Hovanessian's family includes his wife Vicky, who in her own 
right has given extensive and exemplary service to her church, 
community, and Nation. The Hovanessians have three children: Armen who 
is studying to continue his family tradition and become a doctor; Ani 
who is doing postgraduate work in international law; and Eileen, a 
student at Tufts University.