Seminarians Attend Annual Winter Retreat
The seminarians gathered on Enders Island in Mystic, CT, for their annual retreat on February 9-11, led by Dn. Yervant Kutchukian, Spiritual Director, and Professor Roberta Ervine. The theme was “Being Grounded in the face of Chaos: How do we Respond to the Unexpected.” Dr. Ervine drew from the Old Testament account of the Tower of Babel and the nature of sand to illustrate how we can both respond to the unexpected as well as influence the outcomes of the unexpected.
The participants included Dn. Garen Hamamjian, Dn. Serop Krajekian, Sdn. Daniel Bullock, Zareh Mirzayan, Arin Parsanian, Arman Shirikyan, Vardan Sargsyan, and Rhonda Boyajian. Following the conclusion of the retreat, the retreatants, together with seminary dean, Fr. Mardiros Chevian, were joined by Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, Ecumenical Director and Diocesan Legate of the Eastern Diocese and Fr. Khachatur Kesablyan, pastor of Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Church in Chelmsford, MA, for dinner on Saturday evening in Chelmsford. They had the opportunity to learn about Vicken Srpazan’s work and mission with the National Council of Churches, the World Council of Churches, and many other ecumenical and governmental organizations as well as receive wisdom he imparted from his many years of service as a priest of the Armenian Church. Fr. Khachatur serves as the seminary’s appointed mentor for seminarian Arman Shirikyan and provides liturgical, pastoral and educational guidance and direction during his preparation for the priesthood.
The weekend’s activities concluded on Sunday with the ordination of seminarian Arman to the subdiaconate in his home parish of Sts. Vartanantz. Two acolytes were ordained as well, including Arman’s son, Neo. Abp. Vicken Aykazian was both the guest celebrant and ordaining bishop, exhorting all to remember that only Christ can quench the thirst of every human being. The St. Nersess seminarians served at the altar, in the choir, and assisted with the ordination services.
Following the services, the seminarians and Fr. Mardiros Chevian enjoyed the opportunity to share in fellowship at a lovely luncheon prepared by parishioners in honor of the ordinations and guests present. Der Hayr expressed his gratitude to Fr. Khachatur and the entire parish community for their role in the formation of Sdn. Arman and for their love and care for Arman and his family.
Fr. Mardiros presented Der Khachatur with a beautiful olive wood carving from Bethlehem of fishermen pulling in their nets, recalling Christ’s proclamation that he would make his disciples fishers of men, and thanked him for the way he has lived out this calling in his parish ministry.
Parishioners had a chance to meet and speak with the seminarians and to learn about the mission of St. Nersess.