Abp. Hovnan Derderian poses with Western Diocese seminarians (L-R) Deacons Mkrtich Ksachikyan and
Deacon Ryan, age 25, is the son of Carolyn Tellalian and Deacon Randy Tellalian, and the stepson of Karen Tellalian. He was born and raised in central California in the parishes of St. Mary (Yettem, CA) and St. Paul Armenian Churches (Fresno, CA). He is a 2004 graduate of California State University, Fresno, where he earned a B.A. degree in Pscychology. After graduating college he lived in Armenia for 2 months volunteering at the Narekatsi Art Institute and Manana Center for Children in Yerevan. He was ordained deacon in 2006, following his first year of seminary, by His Eminence Abp. Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of America.
"St. Nersess has provided me a wonderful opportunity to grow spiritually and intellectually--not only over the past four years as a seminarian, but from my first St. Nersess encounter as a 15-year old participant of the Deacons' Training Program in 1999," said Deacon Ryan.
The Commencement ceremony will follow immediately afterward on the patio. A reception will follow.
The Commencement activities are free and open to the public. RSVP by calling the Seminary office at (914) 636-2003 or by emailing email@example.com.
St. Nersess Seminary's 2009 Commencement ceremony will take place this Saturday, May 16 at the Seminary. This year the Seminary will graduate Deacon Ryan Esras Tellalian. He will receive a certificate in Armenian Church Studies on Saturday morning from St. Nersess before receiving his Master of Divinity in the afternoon from St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary.
Ceremonies will begin at 9:00AM with the Divine Liturgy celebrated in the Seminary chapel by Rev. Fr. Stepanos Doudoukjian, Director of Youth and Vocations, with the participation of the seminarians, clergy, faculty and guests. His Eminence Abp. Yeghishé Gizirian, the Seminary's Spiritual Father, will preside.
Deacon Ryan Tellalian will be graduated at Commencement ceremonies this Saturday.
October 30, 2008
St. Nersess Seminary alumni Fr. Arakel Aljalian and Fr. Vazken Kouzouian will welcome the St. Nersess Seminarians, led by Fr. Daniel Findikyan and Fr.Stepanos Doudoukjian into their Boston-area parishes for a weekend of spiritual, social and youth activities at Holy Trinity Armenian Church (Cambridge, MA) and St. James Armenian Church (Watertown, MA) this weekend, November 7-9.
10 Enthusiastic St. Nersess Seminarians at Holy Trinity Cambridge
On Friday night college students from throughout the Boston area are invited to Holy Trinity Armenian Church in Cambridge, MA for an evening of friendship, good food and stimulating discussion with this year's class of 10 enthusiastic seminarians.
Saturday at St. James Watertown
Junior High School and High School students will enjoy the same type of environment on Saturday, November 8, this time at St. James Armenian Church in Watertown, MA. The theme for both gatherings will be: Want to Change the World? It all comes back to You. Participants and seminarians will explore the theme from a 21st -century Hollywood angle: a movie about Noah's Ark and the great flood. Evan Almighty, starring Steve Carell, is a movie whose theme is about listening to God's call and making changes in our lives. But the movie has a modern day twist…
What changes do I need to make in my life and in the world I live in? How do I go about making changes in my life? How does making changes involve listening to God's voice in our lives? Join the St. Nersess community at St. James on Saturday for insights and fun.
Sunday Badarak With Seminarians in Cambridge and Watertown
On Sunday, Fr. Daniel Findikyan will celebrate the Divine Liturgy and preach the sermon at St. James Armenian Church while Fr. Stepanos Doudoukjian will be the Badarakich and preacher at Holy Trinity. The seminarians will split up between the two parishes.
Each semester the St. Nersess seminarians go on the road to visit Armenian Church parishes, meet with clergy, youth and faithful, participate in the local Badarak, and share their enthusiasm for our Lord and his holy church. If you would like to schedule a St. Nersess visit to your community, contact the Dean.
Meet Our Future Priests
Which seminarian has a Master's degree in Accounting?
Which seminarian was working the beat as a policeman 4 months ago?
Which seminarian is one-quarter Irish?
Come to Boston this weekend and find out!
September 1, 2008
After bidding farewell to 200 teenagers who made St. Nersess their home for one of this summer's youth conferences, the Seminary has shifted gears for the start of the new school year. Ten seminarians moved into the Ouzounian House, the main building on St. Nersess Seminary's lush, 9-acre campus to begin the 2008-2009 academic year.
Deacon Hayk Tigranyan is one of four new seminarians arriving at St. Nersess to prepare to become priests.
A New and Promising Breed
"I've been waiting for this day for months," he said with a broad smile, as he dragged six bulging suitcases up the Seminary's grand stairway looking for Room 4, which will be his home for the next four years. Hayk just graduated Magna Cum Laude from Cal State University-Northridge with a B.A. in Psychology. He is one of a new breed of St. Nersess seminarians: born in Armenia, he immigrated to the United States as a young boy, and looks forward to serving as a priest in the Western Diocese.
"Seminarians like Hayk and Mkrtich (Ksachikyan) have the unique and innate ability to reach out to American-Armenians of different backgrounds because they are equally at home with recent immigrants from Armenia as well as American-Armenians who have been in the U.S. for generations," said the Dean, Fr. Daniel Findikyan. "They will do good work for the church," he added.
God Has Brought Us Together for a Reason
After a quick week of classes, the seminarians loaded into the seminary van for the two-and-a-half hour trip to the Ararat Center in Greenville, New York. There they spent Labor Day weekend on their annual Orientation Retreat. The retreat was led by Director of Youth and Vocations, Fr. Stepanos Doudoukjian and the Seminary's Spiritual Director, Fr. Yeprem Kelegian.
"The Orientation Retreat gives us the opportunity to start the new Seminary year off on the right foot," Fr. Daniel said at the outset of the retreat. "We do well prayerfully to ask ourselves why God has put these individuals together at St. Nersess this year," he said, adding, "God has a plan for each one of us, and a plan for all of us as a group."
Living the Dream
Joining that group this year, in addition to Deacon Hayk, are three more new seminarians. Stanton Sheridan was baptized at St. Mesrob Armenian Church by St. Nersess alumnus Fr. Garabed Kochakian (currently Pastor of St. John's Armenian Church, Southfield, Michigan) and raised in the church by another St. Nersess graduate, Fr. Yeprem Kelegian, who has been the Pastor of St. Mesrob in Racine for eleven years. A leader of the ACYOA both in his parish and on the national level, Stan is a veteran of the Seminary's summer study conferences. He graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee this May with a B.A. degree, majoring in Criminology and Law and minoring in Theology. After a short stint as a Greenfield, Wisconsin police officier, Stan's heart pulled him to St. Nersess. Now preparing to become a priest, he likes to tell people, "I'm living the dream."
Serving the Youth
Vahagn Azizyan comes to St. Nersess from Armenia on the eager recommendation of Dr. Thomas Samuelian, Emeritus Professor of Armenian Language at St. Nersess and Founder of Arag-29, a charitable organization based in Yerevan. Vahagn already has substantial experience in Armenian Church life. After receiving a graduate degree from Yerevan State University's Department of Theology, he was admitted to the Gevorgyan Seminary of Holy Etchmiadzin with advanced standing, graduating from the Seminary after two years. For two years he served as Deacon-in-Charge of the Arabkir Youth Center, a ministry established by the Holy See. Vahagn has a special interest in youth ministry. While in Armenia he organized numerous pilgrimages, mission trips, Bible Studies and Sunday Schools for young people.
New Program for Late Vocations
Vahagn is enrolled in the new St. Nersess the Greatprogram at St. Nersess, a streamlined clergy-training program intended for mature men who already have significant experience and/or education in the Armenian Church. The program is based on the example of the fourth-century Catholicos St. Nersess the Great, a self-made man who, later in life, applied his significant life experience as a military leader, administrator and teacher to the church as a priest and pastor.
Joining Vahagn in the St. Nersess the Great (or Medzn Nersess) program are Deacon Leon Khoja-Eynatyan, a musician and educator from Washington, DC, and Deacon Kevork Esayan, an engineer from New York City. If all goes according to plan, these three candidates could complete their program and be ordained priests in as little as 18 months from now. All were invited by His Eminence Abp. Khajag Barsamian to serve the Eastern Diocese.
On Sunday morning, the seminarians closed their retreat at St. Peter Armenian Church (Watervliet, NY), where they participated in the Divine Liturgy at the invitation of the Pastor, Fr. Bedros Kadehjian.
Full House and Prospective Graduates
Returning to the Seminary to continue their studies are fourth-year seminarians Deacon Ryan Tellalian (Fresno, CA), Benjamin Rith-Najarian (Bemidji, MN); third-year seminarians Justin Avedis Ajamian (Waldwick, NJ), Gregory Andonian (Cleveland, OH) and second-year student Deacon Mkrtich Ksachikyan (North Hollywood, CA). St. Nersess anticipates two graduates next May and two more the following year, plus the students in the St. Nersess the Great program.
The seminary community is even further blessed this year by the presence of two future priest's wives. Vahagn Azizyan, who arrived from Armenia barely two weeks ago, is a newlywed. He married his wife Arpine last October. An even more recent newlywed is third-year seminarian Justin (Avedis) Ajamian, who was married to his wife Hasmik this summer in Yerevan.