Final Summer Conferences in New Rochelle
In 1963, the tradition of hosting summer conferences for youth began at St. Nersess Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. When the seminary relocated to New Rochelle in 1978, the summer conferences continued to attract thousands of young people for 37 years. On July 26, we bid farewell to the attendees of the last summer conference at 150 Stratton Road. Starting next summer, the seminary will continue to host the conferences at the new Armonk Campus.
From June 24 – July 2, the Deacons’ Training Program, led by the Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan, welcomed a group of 22 young men who gathered together to learn more about participation in liturgical services of the Armenian Church as deacons and altar servers. During their stay, Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern Diocese and President of the St. Nersess Board of Directors, hosted the Deacons’ Training participants for an afternoon at the Diocesan complex in New York City. The Primate spent time with the young deacons-in-training discussing the newly-canonized martyrs of the Genocide, challenges to living a life of prayer, and ministries and projects of the Eastern Diocese before sharing dinner together.
Then, from July 3-12, High School Summer Conference A welcomed 16 participants led by the Rev. Fr. Ghevond Ajamian, director of both High School Summer Conferences A and B. During this session, two students from the Sts. Tarkmanchatz School of Jerusalem’s Armenian Patriarchate attended. This is the 10th year that the Rev. Fr. Mardiros Chevian, Dean, has welcomed students from Sts. Tarkmanchatz. With the help of sponsors who fully fund their travel and tuition, these students have an opportunity to enhance their spiritual life as well as meet their peers in America.
The final session, High School Summer Conference B, welcomed 35 participants from July 17 – 26. During this conference, Fr. Ghevond Ajamian was assisted by Yn. Danielle Der Asadourian, wife of the Rev. Fr. Samuel Rith-Najarian. Archbishop Khajag Barsamian traveled to the seminary to visit with the participants and speak about the commemoration of the centennial year of the Armenian Genocide. The Primate called on the young people to think about what role they might play in preserving the legacy of the Holy Martyrs of 1915. He also answered questions and joined the conference participants for dinner.
The summer conferences are a unique religious, social, and educational experience that brings young Armenian Americans together from the North American dioceses and abroad for worship, study, fellowship and recreation. Registration forms for the 2016 summer conferences will be available this winter.