Strengthening Bonds and Building Hope: Connecting With Our Missions in Armenia

Publish Date: 
Thursday, June 29, 2023

In the spirit of building deeper ties with charitable and evangelical initiatives in Armenia, Fr. Mesrop Ash recently visited Armenia. This impactful trip involved visiting several missions and programs which are proudly supported by St. John Armenian Church of San Francisco, under the auspices of the Western Diocese, with guidance and blessing by His Eminence Abp. Hovnan Derderian.

Fr. Mesrop made a special visit to Arev Yerakhaner, an organization dedicated to serving families with children that have Down Syndrome and nurturing their children's development. He also participated in the 10th Anniversary of Mer Hooys, a sanctuary providing crucial support for severely at-risk girls. He also met with Fr. Margos Mangasaryan, director of the Social Services Department of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin to learn more about social welfare initiatives being implemented by the Church.

Another highlight of his visit was meeting and working closely with numerous chaplains of Armenia's Armed Forces (Chaplaincy Support Fund). With the support and coordination of Senior Chaplain Rev. Fr. Varazdat Najaryan, Fr. Mesrop had the opportunity to gain deeper insights into the tireless efforts of the priests and deacons serving as military chaplains. They toured the Syunik province and met with military staff to better understand the vital role of the chaplaincy program.

As part of this initiative, Fr. Mesrop visited a military hospital in Yerevan that specializes in treating soldiers suffering the psychological impact of military service. He celebrated the Divine Liturgy and preached at the hospital's St. Grigor Narekatsi chapel.

The trip was an enlightening and spiritually fulfilling experience that further solidified the bond between parish, diocese, and homeland.