Armenian Church Mission Parishes Director Visits Jacksonville Community
May 24, 2011
The mission parish of Jacksonville, Florida, gathered earlier this month to welcome the Rev. Fr. Tateos Abdalian, director of the Armenian Church Diocese’s Department of Mission Parishes.
On Saturday evening May 7, over 25 people took part in Bible study sessions led by Fr. Abdalian in the homes of various parishioners. Fr. Abdalian focused on Sunday’s Gospel passage, offering an explanation of its meaning and on how it relates to the traditions of the Armenian Church. The Bible study was followed by a meal prepared by the participants.
“Fr. Abdalian is a great asset to our community, training the next generation of faithful Armenian community leaders,” stated Elmira Grigoryan, Chairwoman of the Jacksonville Mission Parish. “He has a unique relationship with our community and our youth; we all love him,” Grigoryan told FLArmenians.
On Sunday May 8, following the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, the community celebrated Mother’s Day. Also, as has become the custom in Jacksonville, all those who are celebrating birthdays during the month of May were recognized, including a young high school graduate. Parish children presented a program of recitations, singing, and a fashion show.
Rev. Fr. Abdalian spoke on the Diocese’s theme of lay ministry, and stressed that all faithful are called to take an active part in the life of the Armenian Church.
In March of this year, Fr. Abdalian visited the Armenian Church of Southwest Florida, in Naples.
“Being with the people is truly a blessing for me,” Rev. Fr. Abdalian told FLArmenians. “The Armenian community in Florida has a deep appreciation for the Armenian Church, as many immigrated to the United States from the former Soviet Union. We have wonderful people down there,” stated Fr. Abdalian.
In addition to the three Armenian Churches in Florida (Boca Raton, Tampa/St. Petersburg, and Hollywood), communities in Jacksonville, Naples, Ocala and Orlando each have mission parishes. Rev. Fr. Tateos Abdalian conducts religious services in the Jacksonville mission parish monthly, while he visits the other mission parishes three to four times a year.