|St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church|
St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church
|Location||North York, Toronto|
|Denomination||Armenian Apostolic Church|
|Founded||February 28, 1990|
|Diocese||Armenian Prelacy of Canada|
Archimandrite Meghrig ParikianFr. Gomidas Panossian
St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church Established in 1990, St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church is located at 45 Hallcrown Place in Toronto, Ontario in the municipality of North York. It belongs to the Holy See of Cilicia.
After many years of hard work, Toronto's Armenian Community Centre and A.R.S. Day School were realized in 1979 and were committed to preserving the Armenian identity. However, day by day the absence of an Armenian Church under the umbrella of the Holy See of the Catholicosate of Cilicia was evident. At year's end, in 1982, an official petition was delivered to the Prelacy of Canada and Eastern United States. On February 28, 1983 approval was given by the Prelacy in establishing the foundation of a new church for the community in Toronto.
Archimandrite Khajag Hagopian was called to pastoral duties in Toronto and became the church's first pastor. Toronto's St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church was officially established in 1983 and the first Holy Mass was celebrated on Sunday, April 10, 1983. Services were conducted at St. Augustine Anglican Church located on Bayview Ave. in Toronto until a new church was built.
On August 16, 1987, the foundation was laid for the new church building to be built and construction began. On May 27, 1990 the new church building was consecrated and its first Holy Mass was celebrated for its newly built Holy Altar. The Church was officially named St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church.
In the spring of 2012, the church was renovated under the auspices of the Prelate of Canada, Archbishop Khajag Hagopian.
(As of 2013[update] Archbishop and Prelate of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Canada)
April 10, 1983 - November 29, 1994
Prelate Hagopian was born in Syria on June 20, 1946. At a young age, he and his family relocated to Lebanon, where he received his education at Torkomian school and in 1961 entered the Seminary at the Catholicosate of the Holy See of Cilicia in Antelias. In 1965 he is ordained a deacon by then Bishop Karekin Sarkisian, who later became the Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia and the Catholicos of All Armenians.
In 1968, Bishop Hagopian was ordained a celibate priest and later in 1971 he received the title of Very Reverend -Vartabed.
Bishop Hagopian was elected the Locum Tenens of Jezireh, Northern Syria Prelacy. After serving in that capacity for eight years, he returned to Lebanon where he resumed his academic studies at the Middle East Theological institute. In 1981, at the invitation of Arch. Mesrob Ashjian, the Prelate of Eastern US and Canada, Bishop Hagopian relocated to New York where he served as special assistant to the Prelate.
In 1983, he became the first parish priest of the newly established St. Mary Church in Toronto. In 1985 he was ordained a Right Reverend by Arch. Ashjian. In 1994, Bishop Hagopian served as the parish priest of the Holy Martyrs Armenian Church in Encino only to return to New York in 1995, where he led the congregation at the St. Gregory the Illuminator Church.
In June 1997 Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia appointed him bishop, and in 2002 the Catholicos appointed Bishop Hagopian as the Locum Tenens of the Canadian Prelacy.
On May 28, 2003 he was elevated to Archbishop by an Encyclical from Aram in February 2004 he became the Prelate of the Armenian Prelacy of Canada.
On May 11, 2006 he was reelected as Prelate of Canada for another term, during the Canadian Armenian National Assembly Representatives meeting in St. Catherines.
On May 8, 2010, Archbishop Hagopian was reelected for the third time as Prelate of Canada at the Canadian Armenian National Assembly Representatives meeting in Toronto.
Bishop Shahe Panossian was born May 6, 1958 in Kessab, Syria. His baptismal name is Kevork. After receiving his primary education at the United Ousoumnasiratz School he was accepted at the Seminary of the Great House of Cilicia, Antelias, where he completed his academic course and graduated in 1978. During 1978-81, Deacon Kevork held teaching and supervisory positions at the Seminary. At the same time he continued his theological studies at the Near East School of Theology. He was ordained a celibate priest on February 17, 1980, and was given the name Shahe and entered the Brotherhood of the Catholicosate of Cilicia. From 1981-82 he taught at the seminary while serving as administrator of the Catholicosate. Panossian has served the Armenian community in Thessalonika, Greece, and in South Florida. In September 1989, he was appointed as Pastor of the Armenian All Saints Apostolic Church in Glenview, Illinois. He received his Very reverend rite in 1993. In 1994 he was appointed as pastor of the Armenian Saint Mary Apostolilc Church in Toronto, Canada and served his term until 2002. In 2002, he was appointed as the Dean of the Birds Nest orphanage in Jebeil, Lebanon. In 2006 he was appointed Dean of the Theological Seminary in Bikfaya, Lebanon and devoted himself to the difficult task of educating new generations. On 20 April 2008 he was ordained as Bishop by Catholicos Aram I. In 2011 he was delegated to Kuwait, after the retiring of Archbishop Goriun Babian, and is currently the Catholicosal Vicar of Kuwait and Arab States of the Persian Gulf.
From July 2012
Name at birth movses Vahan Panossian, born on August 5, 1951 Andjar Hayavan, Lebanon, where he received his elementary education. Later, he was accepted by the Cilician Clerical school, whence after several ears of residency and after the third seminary, he dedicated himself to teaching and serving as school principal at the Harach national School in his birthplace and at at the local St. Boghos church as principal.
After six years of service in his birthplace, in 1975, pursuant to the Iran–Indian diocesan council and the incumbent prelate, Archibishop Mesrob Ashdjian's invitation, he left for new Julfa in Iran on Oct. 5, 1975 assuming the responsibility for the library and concurrently teaching Armenian history and Religious Studies in the Kananian High School as well as the responsibility for the curricula of the schools of all the churches and organizing church ceremonies.
In the same years, he established Saint Amenaprgich (all saviou) Monaster's Choir, currently known as Gomidas, raising the number of members to 115.
After seven years of residency in New-Julfa, he married Seta Kusbekian from his village, who gave birth to their daughter, named Tsoler, and later to their son Shahan. In August 1982 he returned to his birthplace Andjar where he became Principle at Harach School and the conductor of the local branch of Barouyr Sevag's Gomidas choir.
In addition, he served as Balekjian School's principal of Zahleh for two years, then he returned to his birthplace and in 1993 whilst the principal of Andjar's national School of Lebanon, at the invitation of Archbishop Aram Keshishian's, (recently Catholicos of the Great house of cilicia, Antelias, Lebanon), he was anointed as priest, designated as (Rev. Father) Der Gomidas, and assumes the position of Head of Diocese of Beirut's new district Adana's Sourp Asdvadzadzin's church November 21, 1993.
While performing his priestly duties, Gomidas, at the behest of the Head Prelate, organized the Artzakh choir, the inter-collegial central committee, and taught in the national Cilician and Abgarian schools. He has been a member of the three district religious educational committeee, in one district as the committee chairman, and a long-time member of the Religious Education Committee.
As of 2013[update] he was a member of the religious Assembly and Lebanon's Committee for the 1700th anniversary of the Armenian church.
On May 25, 2002 Father Varant Bedrossian died. With the death of Rev Father Bedrossian Sourp Nishan Armenian Apostolic Church was left without a Reverent; therefore, the Board of Trustees of the church and with the permission of Archbishop Khajag Hagopian invited from Lebanon Gomidas Vahan Panossian to take on the responsibilities of the church.
After leaving his position in Beirut on September 17, 2002 Panossian, his wife Seta, and their son Shahan, came to Cambridge, Ontario, Canada on September 17, 2002 and took over Sourp Nishan. Gomidas was also the principal of the Armenian Relief Society's Saturday cultural language school.
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