Seminary seeking funds to support ongoing programs as four more students prepare to graduate
New Rochelle, NY – St. Nersess Armenian Seminary has launched its second annual direct appeal campaign reaching out to friends and supporters of the Seminary.
In 1961, Archbishop Tiran Nersoyan had the foresight to open an Armenian Seminary in North America with the intent of educating young men to serve the Armenian Church on these shores. Nearly fifty years later, St. Nersess Armenian Seminary has realized and exceeded this vision.
The Seminary has graduated dozens of priests and lay leaders that serve the Armenian Church today. In fact, four more seminarians are graduating this coming spring. And the largest parishes in the United States are pastored by alumni from St. Nersess. Additionally, this prestigious institution has produced numerous scholarly publications, hosts an extensive global classroom on its website, and supports the largest faculty devoted to Armenian Studies in America.
The Seminary, however, may be the most known for its ever-popular summer and winter youth conferences. Throughout the decades, it is estimated that more than 5,000 youth have participated in these conferences, many of whom are serving our parishes today as Parish Council members, Diocesan delegates, Sunday School and Armenian School teachers, youth advisors and more.
“It is these alumni that we now seek to support this institution which impacted their lives as teenagers through these programs,” said the Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan, a summer conference alumnus himself who now serves as the Dean and Professor of Liturgical Studies at St. Nersess. “These conferences and other programs the Seminary conducts are invaluable to the Armenian community helping to preserve and pass on our faith, culture and history in a way that relates to a variety of generations.”
Steve Mekenian, also a conference alumnus who now serves as the treasurer of the Seminary Board of Directors, encourages financial assistance: “It is our duty and also our honor to give back to St. Nersess.” He explains that the costs of operating an Armenian Seminary are substantial, and while expenses have been dramatically reduced in the coming year, it is still not enough. “It is hard to imagine the Armenian community in America without St. Nersess, although that is a real possibility,” said Mekenian. “A majority of our funding comes directly from donations, so I urge you to consider making a generous contribution today or even joining the Guardians or Shepherds of St. Nersess Annual Gifts Program.”
Last year’s appeal brought in $50,000. It is hoped to match and even surpass that figure this year through direct mailings as well as a corresponding online appeal.
To help the Seminary reach this goal, make a secure online donation at www.stnersess.edu/support, call 914-636-2003, or simply mail your tax-deductible donation to St. Nersess Armenian Seminary at 150 Stratton Road, New Rochelle, NY 10804. Please mark in the memo “2009 Annual Appeal.”
Your generous contribution will help to sustain the operations of the Seminary, including many of its successful programs and of course the education of future priests and lay leaders to serve the Armenian Church in North America.