Dean Returns from Pilgrimage to Armenia
V. Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan, Dean of the Seminary, returned today from a one week pilgrimage to Armenia, where he met with dignitaries and presided at the marriage of one of the seminarians, and the baptism of the child of one of the Seminary's alumni.
Meeting with Catholicos
Fr. Findikyan stayed in Holy Etchmiadzin, where he is a member of the brotherhood. In a series of meetings with His Holiness Catholicos Karekin II, the dean updated His Holiness on the progress of the Seminary. He and the Vehapar discussed opportunities for further collaboration between St. Nersess and the Armenian seminaries in Armenia. His Holiness was pleased to learn that three new students will begin their studies at St. Nersess this Fall, making a total student body of ten. He expressed particular enthusiasm at the fact that nine of the students are from local Armenian Church parishes of the United States and that all of them are preparing for ordination as priests.
Two Seminaries Two Deans
The dean also met with V. Rev. Fr. Sahak Mashalian, Dean of the Gevorgyan Seminary of Holy Etchmiadzin. The two Seminary deans compared programs of study, challenges, as well as opportunities for collaboration and mutual growth. In many ways, the the academic programs of the two sister seminaries complement one another.
While much of Fr. Findikyan's time was taken up with meetings and Seminary business, there was time as well for celebration. The dean presided over the marriage of third-year St. Nersess seminarian Justin Avedis Ajamian on July 18 at Holy Trinity Armenian Church [Սուրբ Երրորդութիւն] in Yerevan. Rev. Fr. Arakel Aljalian, Pastor of St. James Armenian Church (Watertown, MA) also participated in the wedding, along with the parish priest, Rev. Fr. Yesayi Altenyan. Fr. Arakel, who is a St. Nersess alumnus and past dean, was leading a parish pilgrimage to Armenia. Avedis and his wife Hasmik will return to the United States soon so that he can finish the last two years of his studies at St. Nersess in preparation for ordination as a priest.
Another celebration was the baptism of Mariam Karapetyan, the daughter of St. Nersess alumnus Rev. Fr. Hovsep Karapetyan and his wife Jennifer. Fr. Hovsep is the pastor of St. Mary Armenian Church (Washington, DC). Fr. Findikyan baptized little Mariam on Sunday, July 20 at the Holy Mother of God [Սուրբ Աստուածածին] Church in Etchmiadzin.