CNEWA Canada

Vision, Big Hearts Drive Armenian Church

CNEWA Programs Director Thomas Varghese and Communications Director Michael J. La Civita concluded their nearly two-week journey through the Caucasus on 18 June. The trip included visits with partner organizations and opportunities to meet with church leaders and establish new relationships in view of furthering the pastoral and humanitarian mission of the church in the region. 

Their final stops included visits with CNEWA’s close partners at the Armenian Catholic Ordinariate and Caritas Armenia in the northwestern city of Gyumri. 

CNEWA Communications Diretor Michael La Civita (center) and Programs Director Thomas Varghese (second from right) enjoy freshly brewed coffee at the CNEWA-funded Aregak Cafe in Gyumri, Armenia, which assists children with special needs. (photo: Sarah Stites, Aregak Center)

The Aregak Cafe and Center, which focuses on children with special needs — who happen to make the best coffee and pastries in Gyumri — was among the CNEWA-funded programs they visited. Others included a center for the elderly and a visit to the campus of Our Lady of Armenia Center, administered by the Armenian Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, led for many years by the indefatigable Sister Arousiag Sajonian. 

“Although the Catholic Church in Armenia is tiny, and its resources, few, it is fortunate to have men and women in crucial places with vision, big hearts, creativity, persistence, faith and the drive to make a difference in the lives of all who live in this ancient and proud land,” said Mr. La Civita. 

The Armenian Sisters of the Immaculate Conception run the Our Lady of Armenia Center. (photo: Michael La Civita)

The CNEWA directors also visited with home beneficiaries, single mothers and their children primarily. At the start of the pastoral visit, the apostolic nuncio to Georgia and Armenia in Tbilisi said it is good CNEWA is here, reported Mr. La Civita, making this important work of the church possible.

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