The Eastern Prelacy held a two-day Datev Reunion Program at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral in New York City with a sleepover at the church on Saturday, December 17 and Sunday, December 18. Twelve students participated from Washington DC, Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. The Reunion provided a miniature version of the week-long Datev Summer Program for youth ages 13-18 with its three-pronged objectives: Christian education and formation, prayer and worship, and fellowship and recreational activities.
The Program included a panel discussion with the participation of Very Rev. Fr. Sahag Yemishian, Vicar and pastor of Sts. Vartanantz Church (NJ), Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, pastor of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, and Dn. Ari Nalbandian, M.D., a member of the teaching staff of the Institute. Der Mesrob gave a brief tour of the Cathedral, highlighting its historic Altar dedicated to the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. Dn. Shant Kazanjian (Director of Christian Education at the Prelacy) presented a Bible Study. The students enjoyed the festive atmosphere of New York City including a visit to the famous Rockefeller Christmas Tree, Bryant Park, and the headquarters of the Armenian Prelacy. They participated in a short evening service on Saturday and in the Divine Liturgy (Soorp Badarak) on Sunday at the Cathedral.
After Soorp Badarak, St. Illuminator’s hosted a fundraising luncheon for the St. Gregory of Datev Institute raising $3,500. During the luncheon, four “datevatsies”—Katrina Arvestian, Taleen Lakissian, Antranig Tatarian, Paul Tatarian—gave impressive testimonies about the role of the Datev Institute in their lives.
The Prelacy is grateful to Der Mesrob and the Board of Trustees of the Cathedral for their gracious hospitality, for sponsoring the Reunion Program and for their generous donations. Special thanks to the following for their donations and support: St. Illuminator’s Ladies Guild, ARF Armen Garo Gomideh, ARS “Mayr” Chapter (NY), Prof. Nicholas and Janine Economides, Arsen and Karine Garabedian, Anahid Grigorian, Serge and Mireille Hanna, Avedis and Ani Kechichian, Taleen Lakissian, the Lakissian Family, Armen Morian, Esq., Antranig Tatarian, Paul Tatarian, plus anonymous donors. We also extend our appreciation to the following supervisors of the Reunion Program—Dn. Dr. Ari and Ani Nalbandian, Tamar Lakissian, and Aram Kouyoumdjian.