Primate of Eastern Diocese meets with Seminarians
His Eminence Abp. Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America and President of the Board of Directors of St. Nersess Seminary, visited the seminary on Thursday, November 6. The Primate meets with the seminarians on a regular basis at the seminary and at the Diocesan Center. He was accompanied by Jacob H. Yahiayan, the new Director of Administration for the Eastern Diocese.
Sprazan Hayr joined the seminarians in their evening worship in the chapel. Following worship, he shared the evening meal with them. During dinner, the dean, Fr. Mardiros Chevian, welcomed His Eminence and thanked him for his unrelenting support and leadership of the seminary and its mission, as well as his ever enthusiastic encouragement of the seminarians. Also present were Fr. Yeprem Kelegian, spiritual director, and Dn. Levon Altiparmakian, administrator.
In his remarks to the seminarians, Srpazan Hayr focused on the theme of preaching the Gospel of Christ, as well as living together as a seminary family and having love and respect for each other. "St. Paul has taught us very clearly," the Archbishop said, referring to the exquisite discourse on love in 1Corinthians 13, "That no matter what achievements an individual or an institution may make, if they are not rooted in love, they are worthless." Second year student Dn. Narek Garabedian and first year student Dn. Ivan Gyadayan each spoke poignantly about their respective journeys that have led them to St. Nersess. Second year students, Arpi Nakashian and Kathryn Ashbahian, added how fortunate they feel to be able to study at an institution such as St. Nersess and how each looks forward to utilizing what they have learned and experienced in future positions in the Diocese's youth and education departments. Finally, first year student Harry Kezelian added how Armenians are blessed to have a strong community spirit that helps to bond them together no matter where they are.
Srpazan Hayr elaborated on the need for educated and qualified clergy throughout the Armenian diocese and church, and was pleased that such a wonderful group of seminarians is assembled and studying together in a nurturing and spiritual environment. Following this closing prayer, His Eminence spent time meeting privately with the seminarians.
Student Body Grows
St. Nersess welcomed three new seminarians to its student body on September 1, bringing its total to ten seminarians (nine full-time and one part-time). “It is exciting to begin our new school year with ten students,” remarked Rev. Fr. Mardiros Chevian, Seminary Dean. “To help them get better acquainted with each other and with St. Nersess, all the students enjoyed an orientation retreat at the Ararat Center led by the Rev. Fr. Yeprem Kelegian,” he added.
New seminarian Dn. Ivan Gyadayan was born in Armenia and is a graduate of the Seminary of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem. He is enrolled in the joint Master of Divinity Program at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary and St. Nersess Armenian Seminary. Lazarus Kevorkian was born in Jerusalem and is a graduate of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Lazarus is also pursuing the Master of Divinity degree. The third new student is Harry Kezelian. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Michigan Law School, and will concentrate on Armenian studies (language, music, liturgics).
The remaining seminarians who are continuing their studies from last year, are: Dn. Vahe Bagdasarian, Dn. Narek Garabedian, Levon Asdourian, Kathryn Ashbahian, Edgar Gevorgyan, Arpi Nakashian, and Eric Vozzy, a part-time student. Eric is now working at the Eastern Diocese's Department of Christian Education. Subdeacon Saro Kalayjian graduated in May 2014 and is now interning at St. Leon Armenian Church in Fair Lawn, NJ.
Construction Continues On New Armonk Campus
Since March 2013, our new 5.5 acre campus has been transformed from a beautiful farm property to a state of the art Armenian seminary complex! The new Karekin I Theological Center and Chapel is being built from the ground up, the Single Students Residence structure is being renovated and modernized, a new Married Students and Faculty Residences and Dining Hall is being transformed from an old historic barn, and the Dean’s Residence has been completed. We are proceeding with the completion of the Single Students Residence, after which we will continue the work on the Married Students and Faculty Residences. Full completion of the construction project will be contingent upon the sale of our New Rochelle property.
Construction Photos >>
New Campus Site Plan >>
Jerusalem Students Attend Summer Conferences for 9th Successful Year
On the lovely grounds and in the serene atmosphere of St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, two bright and enthusiastic 16-year old students from the Sts. Tarkmanchatz School of Jerusalem’s Armenian Patriarchate took part in the annual summer conferences.
“Our two weeks here has been a deeply enriching experience,” said Nanar Nakashian, and Dikran Enoyan, speaking almost simultaneously. “We made friends and bonded with the 36 other students. They believe the same as I do,” says Nanar. “We made friends quickly. We related to each other quickly,” adds Dikran.
This is the ninth year that this unique program has been in successful operation. It was created, and continues to be organized by Rev. Fr. Mardiros Chevian, Dean of St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, to enable promising students from Sts. Tarkmanchatz to enhance their spiritual life and knowledge, and meet their counterparts in America.
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We are grateful to Haig and Elza Didizian of London, England, who are the primary benefactors of the new seminary project in Armonk, NY. The Didizians have generously donated our new 5.5 acre property and 8,400 sqft the Karekin I Theological Center and Chapel. Click here to view a site plan of the new theological center and chapel.
We are thankful to all our donors who continue to give so generously towards our new campus buildings.
Seminary Board of Directors Meeting
Members of the St. Nersess Board of Directors met on Saturday, September 27, for their semi-annual board meeting. The meeting was presided by His Eminence Abp. Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern) and President of the St. Nersess Board of Directors.
During the morning meeting, the board reviewed the finances and construction progress of the new St. Nersess campus in Armonk, NY. A lengthy discussion took place on fundraising for the general operations of the seminary, and the status of the New Rochelle property was also reviewed. In his report, Rev. Fr. Mardiros Chevian, Dean, announced that three new students have joined the St. Nersess student body for the 2014-15 academic year.
In addition, three new members were elected to the board: Laurie Onanian (RI), Richard Papalian (CT) and Oscar Tatosian (IL). We thank our outgoing board members, Stephen Mekenian, Dr. Raffy Hovanessian, and Andy Ouzoonian who have faithfully completed their service to St. Nersess. The board will gather again in the spring.
Library Goes Digital
The Abp. Tiran Nersoyan Library at St. Nersess Seminary has entered the digital age! Thanks to the ongoing hard work of Librarian Aida Pisani of St. Gregory Armenian Church (White Plains, NY) and her volunteer assistants, anyone can search for a particular subject or book and find all the books that St. Nersess has on that subject in its library. We are grateful to Mrs. Pisani for her countless hours spent cataloging our collection, and are equally grateful to a grant from the Women's Guild of St. Gregory Armenian Church that enabled necessary materials to be purchased for the cataloging.
To access the OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog) for the Abp. Tiran Nersoyan Library, click here.
New Training Programs Further Distinguish St. Nersess Seminary
New Rochelle, NY – St. Nersess Armenian Seminary will be offering continuing education programs to clergy serving within our dioceses in the coming months. Beginning this fall, St. Nersess will roll out an Acculturation Program for priests who will be serving in our diocese but are trained abroad. Additional programs that will be offered to parish priests will include: Preaching, Bereavement Counseling, Marriage Counseling, and Parish Administration. The Rev. Fr. Mardiros Chevian, Dean of St. Nersess, presented the new Acculturation Program to members of the St. Nersess Board of Directors in May, where it was received enthusiastically. “When someone asks what St. Nersess offers to our Armenian community, we can now add to our list of degrees, lectures, seminars, deacons’ training, and summer conferences… that person’s parish priest can receive further training on relevant topics,” remarked Fr. Mardiros.
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Have You Left Your Legacy?
St. Nersess is pleased to present its fundraising brochure, LEGACY. This informational piece explains the seminary’s expansion of mission through the construction of a new Theological Center and Chapel and the renovation of four existing buildings on its new Armonk campus. We are so thankful to those who have contributed to our new campus. Won't you consider making a donation to help secure the future of St. Nersess?
2014 Summer Conferences
Click here to view photos from the St. Nersess Summer Conferences!