Because of the civil war and the economic crisis in Lebanon in 1975, many Lebanese, both Armenians and Arabs, were forced to immigrate to the United States or Canada. The late sister Alice Gubeyan who led prayer meetings in Lebanon had to immigrate as well to Canada with her family. Filled with love for God, sister Alice Gubeyan knocked on the doors of Armenian families to invite them to pray and hear the word of God in her home. To face the challenges of immigration and life in a foreign country and to have the strength and power to overcome them, the only power and the only hope is to keep faith in God through prayer; with this ideal the prayer meeting gains momentum. The number of believers present increase day by day, the prayer meeting moves from one neighborhood to another, from one apartment to another, and faced with the big problem caused by the difficulty of these trips, sister Alice decides to bring the matter to the priest of Sourp Hagop Church at the time, Der Armen Ishkhanian, and to propose that Armenian women come together and pray every Thursday under the church roof. The proposal was warmly accepted and implemented.
In 1979, the Sourp Hagop Church council of sisters of the Prelacy is established with its activities and its various branches. Every Tuesday at 10 am the study of the Holy Book takes place for young people. Every Thursday at 11 am a general prayer meeting is conducted, and every Friday night is a communication meeting for couples. Sister Alice begins this sacred mission with faith, she puts all her efforts, remains patient when facing concerns as a wise person, vigilant and efficient and continues her sacred work until her last breath; May 3, 2003.
The apostle Paul also prays: “I am confident of this very thing, that He which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1.6.
This good sacred work continues since 1979. Laborers have come and gone, will come and go. And the laborer will always lead in a selfless, courageous way and willingly the sacred mission to work for the harvest and the glorification of God and the clarity of our Holy Armenian Apostolic Church.
The board of the Sisters of Sourp Hagop meets every Thursday morning from 11 am to 12 pm 30 to pray and reflect. This prayer meeting provides additional spiritual food to the women of Sourp Hagop community. The board of the sisters has its committee that organizes various events, pilgrimages and outings during the year. In addition, it provides financial help to needy Armenian families.