Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin
On July 11, in the “Hratch and Suzanne Toufayan” Youth Center of Vagharshapat, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, presided over the opening service of the soup kitchen. Present for the service were the Members of the Brotherhood of the Mother See, Mrs. Jema Baghdasarian, Republic of Armenia Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Ministry employees and the elder clients of the kitchen.
The charitable soup kitchen operating under the auspices of the Mother See and sponsored by Benefactors Mr. and Mrs. Hratch and Suzanne Toufayan, will serve and assist 200 vulnerable members of society each day.
Following the blessing service of the newly opened soup kitchen, Rev. Fr. Mushegh Babayan, Director of the Administration Department of the Mother See and Deputy Minister Jema Baghdasarian reflected on that important mission of the Church in social services. Mrs. Anahit Grigorian conveyed words of appreciation on behalf of the recipients.
His Holiness Karekin II Catholicos gave his blessings and message to those present. In his message His Holiness stated that a soup kitchen which had been operating for many years in the town of Vagharshapat had closed due to challenging conditions. “Today is the day of grand consolation and contentment that the doors of the soup kitchen are open before our sons and daughters who are in need. A place where 200 people will come to receive a daily meal. Care of the needy is a commandment by God to His Faithful, and our Church has assisted, helped, and supported those in need since the fourth century”, the Pontiff of All Armenians stated in part.
His Holiness mentioned that establishing soup kitchens in the Youth Centers had an additional purpose, to teach the children of the Youth Center to offer their care and concern for the elderly, and to learn to respect and convey love from their souls to them.
On this occasion, His Holiness expressed his appreciation to Mr. and Mrs. Toufayan, benefactors of the soup kitchen, who had graciously taken on the responsibility to sponsor the charitable institution.