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Fr. Mardiros Chevian Appointed New Seminary Dean

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://stnersess.edu/news/article.php?id=353 Fr. Mardiros Chevian Appointed New Seminary Dean November 15, 2012 When Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2012
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      Fr. Mardiros Chevian Appointed New Seminary Dean
      November 15, 2012

      When Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian
      Church of America (Eastern), invited Fr. Mardiros Chevian to return to
      St. Nersess Armenian Seminary as its new Dean, he accepted the
      invitation after much consideration.

      “Although I have enjoyed immensely being the Dean of St. Vartan
      Cathedral for the past 19 years, I am excited to return to St. Nersess
      and direct the expanded mission of the seminary at its new campus in
      Armonk, NY”, stated Fr. Mardiros recently.

      Second Term as Seminary Dean

      This is not the first time he has answered the call to serve at St.
      Nersess. In 1978, after returning from his studies in Holy Etchmiadzin,
      he went to St. George Armenian Church in Waukegan, IL, as the
      Deacon-in-Charge where he was very happy to start his ministry. But not
      soon after, in 1981, he received a call from Archbishop Torkom
      Manoogian, of blessed memory, to be the Director of Recruitment and
      Programs at the newly purchased St. Nersess Armenian Seminary in New
      Rochelle, NY. Fr. Mardiros later became the Rector of the Seminary where
      he served until 1991.

      New Expanded Mission

      The “pull to meet a new challenge”, according to Fr. Chevian, appears to
      have a continuous theme in his life. As the new Dean, he plans to direct
      the expanded mission of St. Nersess when it moves to its new campus
      location in 2014. “The expanded mission of St. Nersess will serve
      Armenian priests, both in America and abroad”, stated Fr. Chevian. Some
      of the new initiatives and programs of the seminary will include the

      Continuing education of current priests, through planned educational and
      training workshops
      Offering support & training for Armenian priests from abroad who need
      assistance with acclimation and acculturation and are destined to serve
      in the North American dioceses
      Transforming St. Nersess into a center for theological research for
      exchange faculty and students from the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin
      and the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem
      Strengthening the Armenian education of our American born seminarians
      through longer study in our seminaries in Armenia and Jerusalem

      Introducing an undergraduate program that would combine local college
      study and courses, worship, and residence at St. Nersess Seminary

      Continuing and expanding the 50 year tradition of summer youth programs,
      retreats, and altar server programs

      Fr. Daniel to Continue Teaching at Seminary

      But Fr. Mardiros cannot accomplish this alone. He will continue to have
      the services of Fr. Daniel Findikyan, the previous Dean of St. Nersess,
      at the new location. “I give a lot of credit to Fr. Daniel who has done
      an outstanding job as the dean for the past 12 years, and I look forward
      to him continuing as a professor at the seminary, directing the deacon’s
      training program, and serving as academic advisor to the seminarians,”
      stated Fr. Chevian.

      Fr. Daniel agrees. “I am not leaving St. Nersess. My heart and soul is
      committed to this institution,” said Fr. Findikyan.

      Close Cooperation with Armenian Seminaries Abroad

      In order for St. Nersess to succeed in the future, it plans to work
      closely with the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and the Armenian
      Patriarchate of Jerusalem. “These relations are extremely important to
      St. Nersess,” according to Fr. Chevian. Also important is that Fr.
      Mardiros will reside on the new campus, just as he did when he directed
      St. Nersess throughout the 1980s. According to the St. Nersess Board of
      Directors, “it is important for the dean to oversee and supervise the
      daily life of the St. Nersess campus by living on the campus.”

      But for now, as he takes the helm on November 15, Fr. Mardiros’ primary
      mission is to oversee the training of young men to become parish
      priests—what Archbishop Tiran Nersoyan envisioned when St. Nersess was
      founded in 1961.

      “I want to challenge and inspire students who want to pursue the
      Armenian priesthood. Even if a young American-born Armenian does not
      have a good command of the Armenian language, he will learn it. Most
      importantly, he must be confident and comfortable in his ministry as an
      Armenian priest,” said Fr. Mardiros. “In addition to academics, it is
      important for a priest to be able to transmit what he knows and
      demonstrate strong leadership skills.”

      Modern New Seminary Campus in Armonk

      St. Nersess Armenian Seminary is more relevant today than ever before.
      The new 5.5 acre Armonk campus, located approximately 16 miles north of
      the New Rochelle location, will be better equipped to serve the growing
      needs of the dioceses in North America. By staying in Westchester
      County, St. Nersess will maintain important ties with St. Vladimir’s
      Orthodox Theological Seminary, as well as remain close to the Diocesan
      headquarters in New York City. The new site will be a sustainable campus
      to better prepare future priests and lay leaders for service in the
      Armenian Church. And with the ultimate sale of New Rochelle, St. Nersess
      will have a more sound financial foundation. St. Nersess remains the
      only Armenian seminary in the Western hemisphere that has prepared
      leaders for the Armenian Church for the past 50 years.

      Currently, a fundraising campaign is underway for the renovation of
      buildings on the new campus. The three existing structures will be
      renovated and expanded to include housing for single and married
      students and faculty, a Dean’s residence, youth center, and a small
      workout and exercise facility, with an anticipated completion date of 2014.

      Donors will have naming opportunities for the renovation projects and
      the campus grounds. In addition to the renovations, a new
      8,400-square-foot His Holiness Karekin I Theological Center, which will
      include a chapel, library, classrooms, and offices, will be constructed.
      The Theological Center, as well as the purchase of the property, has
      been made possible by the generous donation of Haig and Elsa Didizian of
      London, England.
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