Thank You Der Stepanos!
Der Stepanos Doudoukjian has been a vital part of St. Nersess Seminary for years. Below you will find his impact on Jonathan Dadekian, St. Peter Armenian Church, Watervliet, NY.
Der Stepanos, we wish you well on your journey!
Written by Jonathan Dadekian
“The beginning of an end, which in turn brings a new beginning”, reads as a simple yet intriguing statement. Our lives that we live every day with God are filled with endings, which will ultimately bring about something new, fresh, and exciting. As far back as I can remember, Der Stepanos Doudoukjian has directed the St. Nersess Armenian Seminary summer conferences. Over the last decade, he has poured his time, heart, love, energy, and soul into the summer programs. Many people can attest to the impact that these programs have had on their lives. He has helped nurture a safe, spiritual place for the Armenian youth from junior high through college-aged students, so that they may retreat and recharge their batteries.
I remember before my first experience at St. Nersess, Der Stepanos suggested I go to the summer programs. Like several others, I thought it was crazy to spend part of my summer at a seminary. I mean, come on! Who wants to spend their summer at a seminary? I was nervous when I walked through the big wooden front door, but Der Stepanos quickly eased my worries. I had a wonderful time with my new-found friends while learning about God, the Bible, and myself. Despite my hesitation, my stay at St. Nersess Armenian Seminary ended up being the best part of my many summers there.
Der Stepanos has provided me with many memories from St. Nersess that I will forever cherish. The memories range from him challenging me to a fierce game of pinball, to challenging the way I think about life. He has been a guiding force in my life, which has led me to where I am today. I am grateful for his dedication to the youth in our Diocese, and I wish him much luck, love, and good health as he once again takes charge of the St. Peter Armenian Church in Watervliet, NY, where he was ordained. I am sure that I speak for everyone when I say that he will be missed, and that this new beginning will be yet another successful chapter in his life.