He met with His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese and Vice President of the St. Nersess Board of Directors, at the diocesan headquarters in Burbank. During the meeting, Hovnan Srpazan presented four potential candidates for the priesthood, whom Der Hayr met with individually. He also met with the committee of the Western Diocese that assists and guides candidates for the priesthood.
During his three-day stay in southern California, Fr. Mardiros took the opportunity to visit with potential supporters of the seminary and explain its mission. He was accompanied by the Rev. Fr. Shnork Demirjian who is the parish priest at St. Peter Armenian Church in Van Nuys and a graduate of St. Nersess Seminary.
Fr. Mardiros also visited the Ararat Home Assisted Living facility in Mission Hills, where he met the St. Peter Sunday School Superintendent Derik Ghookasian, who works as the Chief Operating Officer of the facility. Derik presented a check to St. Nersess on behalf of the Sunday School and expressed their commitment to donate annually.
Der Hayr was able to meet with the St. Peter Ladies Society Executive Committee and the Parish Council Chairperson Barkev Hamalian, who also expressed his parish's decision to include St. Nersess in their annual budget.
Fr. Mardiros then traveled north to Hye Camp located in the Sierra Nevada mountains, an hour outside of Fresno, to serve as the retreat leader of the 2018 ACYO Senior Retreat over the Veterans Day Weekend. Seminarian Dn. Albert Hambardzumyan accompanied Fr. Mardiros and assisted at the retreat.
The weekend retreat schedule included bible studies, reflections, evening and morning services, and the celebration of the Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning. Nearly 60 young adults were in attendance and engaged in enlightening discussions, fellowship, prayer and worship throughout the weekend.
"The Central Council would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to Fr. Mardiros and Dn. Albert for traveling from New York to join us and all who helped make our weekend one we will remember always," remarked Nataline Jindoian, ACYO Central Council chairperson.