Primate of Eastern Diocese meets with Seminarians
His Eminence Abp. Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America and President of the Board of Directors of St. Nersess Seminary, visited the seminary on Thursday, November 6. The Primate meets with the seminarians on a regular basis at the seminary and at the Diocesan Center. He was accompanied by Jacob H. Yahiayan, the new Director of Administration for the Eastern Diocese.
Sprazan Hayr joined the seminarians in their evening worship in the chapel. Following worship, he shared the evening meal with the seminarians. During dinner, the dean, Fr. Mardiros Chevian, welcomed His Eminence and thanked him for his unrelenting support and leadership of the seminary and its mission, as well as his ever enthusiastic encouragement of the seminarians. Also present were Fr. Yeprem Kelegian, spiritual director, and Dn. Levon Altiparmakian, administrator.
In his remarks to the seminarians, Srpazan Hayr focused on the theme of preaching the Gospel of Christ, as well as living together as a seminary family and having love and respect for each other. “St. Paul has taught us very clearly,” the Archbishop said, referring to the exquisite discourse on love in 1Corinthians 13, “That no matter what achievements an individual or an institution may make, if they are not rooted in love, they are worthless.” Second year student Dn. Narek Garabedian and first year student Dn. Ivan Gyadayan each spoke poignantly about their respective journeys that have led them to St. Nersess. Second year students, Arpi Nakashian and Kathryn Ashbahian, added how fortunate they feel to be able to study at an institution such as St. Nersess and how each looks forward to utilizing what they have learned and experienced in future positions in the Diocese’s youth and education departments. Finally, first year student Harry Kezelian added how Armenians are blessed to have a strong community spirit that helps to bond them together no matter where they are.
Srpazan Hayr elaborated on the need for educated and qualified clergy throughout the Armenian diocese and church, and was pleased that such a wonderful group of seminarians is assembled and studying together in a nurturing and spiritual environment. Following this closing prayer, His Eminence spent time meeting privately with the seminarians.