St. Nersess Offers Customized Deacons’ Training Program
The seminary has been offering liturgical training to altar servers for over 40 years, including a customized one-on-one deacons’ training program to help subdeacons prepare for ordination to the diaconate.
This past March, Dr. Greg Kazanjian, a subdeacon at St. Leon Armenian Church in Fair Lawn, NJ, was contacted by Fr. Mardiros Chevian, dean, to consider spending a week at St. Nersess to receive further training through the customized program. Fr. Mardiros had observed Greg on a Zoom livestream serving at the altar during the Sts. Ghevontiantz service at St. Leon Church. When Greg received Der Hayr’s call, he realized this was an opportunity to further his training. “My first thought was there is no way I could stay at St. Nersess for a week and not work,” commented Greg. “But then I realized that this was the opportunity of a lifetime, so it was important to seize it,” he continued.
Greg, Vice President of Recruiting and Operations at Starpoint Solutions in New York City, stayed at St. Nersess from March 15-19 and worked with Dn. Alex Calikyan, a 2019 seminary graduate. They worked together for six to seven hours a day in the chapel, practicing and choreographing the deacon’s parts for weddings, baptisms, and funerals, and brushing up on Greg’s Armenian pronunciation. He also participated in the seminary’s morning and evening services.
“While I resided at the seminary, I had a firsthand glimpse into the life of a seminarian. It was a tranquil, peaceful, and spiritual five days,” recalled Dr. Kazanjian. “Most surprisingly, I found an inner peace on the campus as I studied with Dn. Alex.”
Greg is planning to sit for the deacon exam soon and hopes to be ordained by Bishop Daniel Findikyan in the early fall. “It was a pleasure to meet and bond with all of the Seminarians, and I would like to thank Fr. Mardiros for giving me the opportunity to study under Dn. Alex in preparation toward achieving the Diaconate. I also appreciate Wilma Petrossian, Manager of Food Services, for her delicious meals, and Dn. Levon Altiparmakian, Facilities & Operations Manager, for all his support,” exclaimed Greg Kazanjian.