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Seminarians Travel to St. John Armenian Church for Palm Sunday

Seminarians Travel to St. John Armenian Church for Palm Sunday

Over the Palm Sunday weekend, March 22 -24, Fr. Mardiros Chevian, dean, Dn. Yervant Kutchukian, spiritual director, and the seminarians traveled to St. John Armenian Church in Southfield, MI, where they were treated to a packed but fulfilling schedule, thanks to the efforts of Fr. Aren Jebejian, pastor, who helped to arrange the activities and kind hospitality. “Every time I visit a different Armenian community, I learn something from the spirit of that community that leaves a lasting impression. Detroit’s Armenian community calls to mind a few terms: Innovation, Unity, and Resilience. The legacy of Alex Manoogian is felt very strongly, and it’s a testament to how just one person – following a single intuition – can affect the lives of so many, for generations to come,” shared seminarian Zareh Mirzayan.

The group had the opportunity to visit classrooms at the AGBU Alex & Marie Manoogian Charter School as well as view artifacts in the Alex and Marie Manoogian Museum and books in the Edward and Helen Mardigian Library on the St. John Armenian Church campus. Parishioner Harry Kezelian eagerly led their tour.

They also visited the elderly residents of the Manoogian Manor, where the seminarians performed a few songs for the residents. They were warmly hosted by David Karapetian, director.

On Saturday morning, the seminarians held an acolyte training session for all the acolytes of the parish.

The group was treated to a driving tour of Detroit where they stopped to see the prominent statue of Gomidas. On Friday evening, they had the opportunity to view a new PBS documentary called “Detroit: City of Faith Documentary” which featured Fr. Aren Jebejian and the St. John Church community. And on Saturday evening, Lisa Mardigian, Youth Director, organized a young adults evening out.

On Palm Sunday, two seminarians – Zareh Mirzayan and Karo Boyadzhyan – spoke to the high school Sunday School students. “Visiting St. John parish for Palm Sunday was a wonderful way to meet the youth and future of the Armenian community in Detroit. I especially enjoyed meeting the high school students during Sunday school, where we discussed various topics concerning our Christian faith and tradition and our calling to the priesthood,” shared Karo Boyadzhyan.

In church, the seminarians sang in the choir and served at the altar with Hayr Aren who celebrated Badarak; Der Mardiros was the guest homilist. Following Divine Liturgy and procession into the church hall, everyone gathered to celebrate ACYOA Day/Palm Sunday. Both Fr. Mardiros and Dn. Garen Hamamjian spoke during the Palm Sunday lunch and highlighted the seminary and its mission. In the afternoon, the seminarians participated in the Trnpatzek (Opening of the Doors) service.

“After Badarak, it was humbling to meet Violet, the widow of Martin Cholakian, the first student of St. Nersess in Evanston, IL, which connects all of us at St. Nersess – from the founders to that first student, to everyone who has been touched by the mission and light of this God-established institution. This instills both great pride and great responsibility in continuing our important work in serving our people throughout the world,” proclaimed Dn.Yervant Kutchukian.

 “It was wonderful having the Dean and seminarians once again visiting St. John Armenian Church. It was uplifting to see such dedicated future clergyman not only willing to learn about parish life, but also to inspire our younger generation by spending time with our ACYOA and Sunday School students. We continue to pray for the mission and ministry of St. Nersess Seminary,” shared Fr. Aren Jebejian