Zaven Tachdjian, Parish Council Chairman of St. Gregory's presents check for $5000 to Fr. Daniel Findikyan to support the Seminary's work. At right is Fr. Karekin Kasparian,
Pastor of St. Gregory's.
"We feel duty bound to support the Seminary since we have been involved in the work of the Seminary from the beginning," said Fr. Karekin Kasparian, Pastor of St. Gregory Armenian Church (White Plains, NY) as his parish council chairman placed a check for $5000 into the hands of the Seminary dean.
Make St. Nersess Flourish
And with that first installment, St. Gregory's becomes the sixth Armenian Church parish in America to make St. Nersess a line item in its annual parish budget. Their annual commitment of $5000 is by far the largest to date among church parishes. In effect, the entire parish has become a Guardian of St. Nersess, the title normally bestowed on individuals who pledge $5000 per year to St. Nersess. The Seminary launched the annual giving program last year as part of a in-depth strategy to secure the Seminary's financial future.
Fr. Karekin, who has served the Seminary in various capacities since its establishment almost 50 years ago, emphasized how readily his parish assembly approved the budget increase in spite of the challenging economic climate. "We offer this as an expression of the parish’s care for the mission and work of St. Nersess," he said.
Laboratory for Seminarians
"The White Plains parish, from the time of its forerunner, St. James, has always served as a sort of laboratory for our seminarians," said Fr. Daniel Findikyan, the dean. "We are fortunate to have a vibrant Armenian Church community just five miles up the road, where our students can practice and apply the skills and knowledge that they acquire at Seminary--whether it be preaching, teaching, serving at the altar, singing, or speaking Armenian."
Currently besides St. Gregory, the following parishes have line items in their budget to support St. Nersess: St. John (San Francicso, CA); Holy Cross (Union City, NJ), St. Leon (Fair Lawn, NJ), St. Gregory (Fowler, CA); and Holy Virgin Mary & Shoghagat Armenian Church (Bellville, IL).