RUSSIA – Church runs holiday camp for Armenian Catholic children
Once again this year 50 young people aged between 9 and 17 from the Armenian Catholic community of Venyov were able to take part in a youth summer camp. They were able to spend a week together with their friends in a pretty holiday location, have lots of fun and also deepen their faith.
Armenian Catholics make up only a small minority in their native country, among a population that is overwhelmingly Armenian Orthodox. in Russia they are only a tiny group. In this vast country they have just four parishes, so it would be easy for the children to lose their Catholic identity. In the Church-run summer camps they have an opportunity to share their language, their faith and their customs, to learn more about the history of their Church and their homeland and become more deeply rooted in the life of their Church. The programme includes not only painting, dancing, singing and gymnastics, but also lessons in their own Armenian language, history and traditions. During the eight days of the camp they have daily Mass, and the younger participants are helped to prepare for their First Holy Communion.
The summer camps held in previous years have always been a huge success. Their parish priest, Father Sedrak Khitaryan writes, “The Church plays an immeasurably important role in the upbringing of these children and in the formation of their value system. Their religion forms the inner world of these children.“
He is delighted that these young people are able to receive spiritual nourishment during the summer camps, while at the same time relaxing, having fun and enjoying an unforgettable experience. The camps are organised with the help of young volunteers from the parish.
But without the help of ACN it would be impossible to fund and organise these events, and so this year once again we are helping with a contribution of 4,000 Euros, thanks to your generous support.