The Eastern Prelacy’s St. Gregory of Datev Institute, under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan, the Prelate, started its annual Summer Program for youth ages 13-18, on Monday, June 28, and will conclude on Friday, July 2, 2021, with the participation of 51 students from 12 communities, and 13 instructors. Sponsored and organized by the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council, the Datev Program is directed by Very Rev. Fr. Sahag Yemishian, Vicar of the Eastern Prelacy and pastor of Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church (NJ).
On Monday, His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan opened the weeklong Program with an encouraging message to the youth, reflecting on his experience of the pandemic through the eyes of faith. Before his presentation, Srpazan Hayr invited the youth to share their positive experiences during the pandemic, things that they have learned. Here are some of their comments:
“Learned to appreciate every moment.” “I was given the opportunity to be with my family more… and we got to bond more.” “I learned to always have faith and that there is light at the end of the tunnel.” “The pandemic has encouraged and gave more time to invest in my faith…[reading] the Bible.” “I learned the importance of family and how to appreciate every moment.” “Be patient.” “I learned to appreciate the little things in life that we take for granted…” “I got to spend more time with my family.” “Learned to be patient and not take anything in life for granted.” “Spending time with friends and family.” “Learned to always stay hopeful and remember that good things will come.” “Tolerance!” “Trust in God always. Try to not take things for granted.” “I learned to have faith in God during the difficult times in life.”
Each day, the program begins with a short prayer followed by two consecutive 30-minute lectures for three different age groups. The classes for all three groups are held concurrently. The instructors of the Institute this year are: Very Rev. Fr. Sahag Yemishian, Very Rev. Fr. Ghevont Pentezian, Archpriest Fr. Antranig Baljian, Archpriest Fr. Gomidas Baghsarian, Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian, Rev. Fr. Stephan Baljian, Rev. Fr. Hrant Kevorkian, Rev. Fr. Torkom Chorbajian, Rev. Fr. Mikael Der Kosrofian, Rev. Fr. Kapriel Nazarian, Rev. Fr. Vahan Kouyoumdjian, Archdeacon George Leylegian, and Archdeacon Shant Kazanjian.
It is our hope and prayer that next year, God willing, the Institute will be able to resume its annual weeklong Summer Program on site at St. Mary of Providence Center in Elverson, Pennsylvania.