Our Youth

Youth on a Foreign Mission

Nooshin Nassiri, a former parishioner from St. Mary’s Nativity and St. Andrew Avellino, Flushing; traded beauty school to study early childhood intervention. She serves with the mission house in Peru – Comunita Cenacolo America. (Photo: courtesy of the Nassiri family)

By Sonia Pelmoka-Mohr

From the excitement, glitter and sophistication of New York City to the slums of Lima, Peru, deep in poverty, dirt and garbage, Nooshin Nassiri has chosen to live in the latter as a young lay missionary for abandoned children at the Community Cenacolo’s Villa El Salvador Mission House called Help and Hope. 

Her former interest of being a student at the Brittany Beauty School for Hair and Cosmetology was replaced with the study of early childhood intervention.

For three years, she has been a nurse, mother, and a teacher to children ranging from newborns to three years old. Under her care are children who were abandoned on the streets of Lima – from public transportation to garbage bins – children who are victims of poverty, family feuds, illness and crimes. 

Her work also includes finding adoptive parents for the orphans. She also engages in the mission’s outreach to the poor, the sick, and the handicapped. It is a 24-hour job. She breaks her sleep to attend to a crying child, or to comfort one having a nightmare.

“It is hard work, but prayer in adoration for 30 to 60 minutes daily rejuvenates my strength to persevere,” she told media. She exudes love and joy, peace and hope when she speaks of her missionary works. 

Recently, she raised funds from family and friends to fix a leaking roof that adversely affected the children. 

“Nooshin,” meaning “lovely and sweet” in Farsi, has proved prophetic by her deeds. 

Nooshin resided in Flushing, Queens; Tehran, Iran; and Roslyn, Long Island. She was, for many years, a parishioner of St. Mary’s Nativity, St. Andrew Avellino in Flushing and St. Mary’s in Roslyn.

She is one of three children of a Filipino mother and an Iranian father. Her maternal family is an active patron of orphanages in the Philippines. In a family with international flavors, she speaks English, Tagalog, Spanish, Italian and Farsi, which she utilizes as an interpreter in the orphanage.

Nooshin is a wonder youth. It is God’s wonder how one in her twenties can contribute to change in that part of Lima whichthe world seems to have forgotten.

Pelmoka-Mohr is a retired lawyer in the Diocese of Brooklyn.

One thought on “Youth on a Foreign Mission

  1. Thank you for writing such a beautiful story , let me know if you want me to write anything personally on my experience . I hope many can contribute to the poor,