This is the first time the program has welcomed participants from Armenia. Davit Antonyan, Georg Vardanyan, and Tigran Petrosyan are from Etchmiadzin and serve on the altar at St. Gayane Church in Etchmiadzin. They were recommended by the Very Rev. Fr. Anania Tsaturyan, who has been residing at St. Nersess while taking English language courses at Westchester Community College. "As their mentor and teacher at St. Gayane Monastery in Armenia, I am proud that these three dedicated teenagers traveled to St. Nersess to attend the Deacons' Training Program, as the first students from Armenia to this program," commented Fr. Anania. He added, "God willing, we hope to arrange attendance for two participants from Armenia every summer."
Their participation was supported by a generous donation from the Rev. Fr. Karekin Kasparian, retired pastor of St. Gregory the Enlightener Church in White Plains, NY, and faculty & board member of the seminary. This arrangement is similar to the program in place for students from the Sts. Tarkmanchatz School in Jerusalem who attend the High School Summer Conference. "We are happy to offer our American students the opportunity to learn from their peers from Armenia and Jerusalem," remarked the Rev. Fr. Mardiros Chevian, Dean.
Assisting on the staff were the Rev. Fr. Daniel Karadjian, Pastor of St. Stepanos Armenian Church (Elberon, NJ) and the Rev. Fr. Tateos Abdalian. Deacon Ari Terjanian of St. Gregory of Narek Armenian Church (Richmond Heights, OH) served as Assistant Director. The Program concluded with Badarak celebrated in the seminary chapel with the participation of all of the staff and participants.