The group were greeted with generous hospitality by Deacon Nishan Basmajian and Bishop Haigazoun Najarian. Bishop Najarian shared his wealth of knowledge and his personal role in Pope Francis’ visit to Armenia in June.

After a Persian and Armenian lunch, the group walked to Beauchamp Park to gather at the Katch-kar, the ‘cross-stone’, which memorialises the Armenian Genocide of 1915. This beautiful carved stone, a feature of Armenian culture, was erected in 2015 as a symbol of the relationship between the City of Willoughby and a district in Yerevan, the capital of the Republic of Armenia.

The group spent some time in prayerful reflection before returning to school, enriched by a fresh perspective on their neighbourhood and Armenian heritage. The day was a practical embodiment of Pope Francis’s call to “work on a small scale, in our local neighbourhood, but with a larger perspective” (Joy of the Gospel, #234-5).