Over the past few years, the Eastern Diocese has welcomed many new young clergymen with families to serve in our parishes. Transitioning to life in a new country, with a young family can be overwhelming. The challenges of ministering in a new parish, balancing the responsibilities of pastoral and family life and finding time to take care of oneself is difficult without a support system in place. Only those "walking in the same shoes" can fully understand the challenges of being a clergyman in America.
In order to help our young clergy families, Abp. Khajag Barsamian has initiated informal gatherings so that our young clergymen, their yeretzgins and children can meet and get to know each other better. On Monday, November 18, Abp. Barsamian joined Fr. Abraham Malkhasyan and Yn. Karine in welcoming Fr. Hakob Gevorgyan (Holy Trinity Church of Cheltenham, PA), Fr. Arakel Vardazaryan (St. Mary Church of Livingston, NJ), Fr. Sevak Gabrielyan (Intern at St. Gregory the Enlightener of White Plains, NY) and their yeretzgins and children for a day of prayer and fellowship at Holy Martyrs. The day began with a jhamergootyoon in the church sanctuary followed by a meal in Kalustyan Hall prepared by women from the parish. Students from the Holy Martyrs Armenian Day School graciously entertained Surapzan and the clergy families with songs and recitations. As the clergy families enjoyed each other in a relaxed atmosphere, they were reminded that their ministries are teamwork. Strengthening bonds with each other is just as important as their bonds with their parishioners. More such gatherings are planned in the future to help nurture the bonds of our young clergy families.