This past holiday season, our Prelacy was made aware of an important undertaking by the Christian Education Department of the Catholicosate of Cilicia. Under the leadership of department chair Very Rev. Fr. Zareh Sarkissian, a program was put in place in which needy Armenian families would be given food and groceries during the holiday season. This takes into consideration the difficult economic circumstances in Lebanon and the struggle for many Armenian families to get by with limited opportunity for employment.
An appeal was made to all the Prelacies of the Catholicosate for support of this program, by which a donation of $100 (U.S.) would sponsor a family with sufficient groceries for the home.
Archbishop Anoushavan asked all of the churches of the Eastern Prelacy for a pledge of sponsorship. The Pastor and Board of Trustees decided to sponsor five families for a total donation of $500.
Separately, out of the funds raised during last year's National Representative Assembly a donation in the amount of $500 (authorized by the NRA 2018 Steering Committee) had been sent to Saint Michael's Church (our next door neighbors), expressing our appreciation for their generous donation of use of the church's meeting hall for one of the sessions of the Assembly. The donation was designated for one of their ministries or charitable outlets.
Shortly after this donation was made, the Board received a letter from Fr. Kevin Deeley, pastor of the church, kindly returning the check and stating that the joy of helping neighbors and brothers-in-Christ was more than enough compensation for the parish.
In light of this, a discussion about this occurrence came up at our parish's General Membership Meeting on February 10 of this year, during which it was suggested that the $500 donation that was returned from St. Michael's be allocated to cover the donation that was made to the Lebanese-Armenian food program, in honor and appreciation of the parish's generosity and neighborliness. This motion was unanimously approved.
Below, we provide a copy of the thank you letter received by our Prelate, His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian. A letter has also been sent to Fr. Deeley of St. Michael's, once again expressing our gratitude and informing him of our membership's decision to honor St. Michael's parish in this way.