Journey of Compassion and Solidarity: Our Mission in Armenia

An Update from Fr. Mesrop
Publish Date: 
Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Dear Beloved Members of Our Parish Community,

As I prepare to return from our Diocesan delegation's mission in Armenia, my heart is filled with profound emotions and reflections that I am eager to share with you. Our seven-day journey to better understand the Artsakh refugee crisis has been an eye-opening experience, deeply connecting us to our Armenian roots and faith. We are grateful that this opportunity was provided under the auspices of His Eminence Abp. Hovnan Derderian.

During our delegation's time here, we have had the humbling opportunity to visit many displaced families, listening to their poignant stories and understanding their needs and dreams for the future. These encounters have been heartrending yet inspiring, showcasing the resilience and dignity of the Armenian spirit in the face of adversity.

In a significant meeting with His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, we discussed the pressing issue of supporting displaced families. His Holiness emphasized the crucial role of the Armenian Church in this humanitarian crisis. We also met with several Diocesan bishops, pastors, program managers, organizational representatives, and social workers. These discussions helped us gain a current understanding of the crisis and the vital role our church can play in serving those in need.

A particularly moving element of this mission was delivering Christmas gifts to children on behalf of our faithful parishioners, and letters on behalf of our children. We reassured these precious souls that they are constantly in our prayers and that we, as a church community, are committed to supporting them.

From the moment we arrived, our expectations and preconceived notions were challenged as we immersed ourselves in the reality of the situation on the ground. This experience has not only been a testament to the power of faith but also a call to action for us as a community.

Upon my return, we will prepare a detailed report to be presented to our Diocesan Primate, the Diocesan Council, and, of course, our parish. This report will not only chronicle our journey but also propose ways we can continue to support our brothers and sisters in Armenia.

I look forward to rejoining you in worship and fellowship, sharing the blessings and insights from this journey, and discussing how we can further contribute to these crucial efforts.

May the Lord bless you and keep you until we meet again.

With heartfelt blessings,

Fr. Mesrop Ash

Visit the Western Diocese on Facebook and Instagram to see the daily updates our delegation posted. Please share these posts so that our community can be aware of the work that we are doing.