A spirited group of retreat participants pause for a photo with Fr. Stepanos Doudoukjian on the grounds of St. Nersess Seminary
By Gregory Andonian
On Saturday January 12, the soon-to-be Sunday School graduating class of the Armenian Church of the Holy Martyrs in Bayside, NY, attended a retreat at St. Nersess Armenian Seminary in New Rochelle, NY. During the retreat the students enjoyed fellowship and fun activities geared around exploring the true meaning of Christmas and struck up a list of the top 10 reasons to continue celebrating the season. The students, along with Fr. Stepanos Doudoukjian, Director of Youth and Vocations, second-year Seminarian Gregory Andonian, and the Sunday School teachers, were all moved by testimonies shared during the retreat. Students were given opportunities to explore the Seminary's beautiful and spiritual grounds, which provide a unique taste of ancient Armenia transplanted into modern day New York.
The group also witnessed a home blessing and analyzed the prayers and procedures of an Armenian baptismal service. It was very moving for many of the students to revisit the meaning of their own births, and the significance of their baptism into the longstanding Armenian Apostolic Church.
The students enjoyed watching the movie Evan Almighty and sharing references to the story of Noah's Ark from the book of Genesis. Following the movie, everyone participated in the traditional Evening Office (Yeregoyan Zhamerkootyoon) in the Seminary's chapel. The weekend concluded with the celebration of the Badarak at St. Gregory the Enlightener Armenian Church in White Plains, NY.
A discussion led by Seminarian Gregory Andonian
"Kreesdos Dznav yev Haydnetsav!" "Christ is Born and Revealed!"