By Pontifical letter, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, confirmed that Rev. Fr. Abgar Hovakimyan, Member of the Brotherhood of the Mother See and Locum Tenens of the Armenian Diocese of Bulgaria, was elected as the Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Canada.
On May 30 and 31, in the St. Vartan Church of Mississauga, Canada, under the presidency of His Eminence Nathan Hovhannisyan, Locum Tenens of the Diocese, and chaired by Mr. Jacques Stepanyan; the 31st Diocesan Assembly elected Rev. Fr. Abgar Hovakimyan as the Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Canada.
The Armenian Diocese of Canada was established in 1984, by the Pontifical Encyclical of His Holiness Vasken I Catholicos of blessed memory. The Diocese currently includes seventeen church communities.
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Rev. Fr. Abgar Hovakimyan (baptismal name Samvel) was born on July 23, 1972, in Batumi, Georgia. He attended the Stepan Shahumyan Armenian Secondary School in Batumi from 1979-1989. Father Abgar continued his education in the Gevorkian Theological Seminary in Etchmiadzin. He graduated in 1995 after successfully defending his thesis entitled “Reflections of the Armenian Doctrinal Concept in the Interpretation of Matthew by St. Gregory the Graceful”. In October of the same year Father Abgar was ordained into diaconate by the hand of His Grace Bishop Anania Arabajyan, and was appointed to serve in the Mother See.
On June 2, 1996, he was ordained as a celibate priest by His Eminence Archbishop Shahe Ajemian, joining the Members of the Brotherhood of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.
Father Abgar served as the visiting priest from 1996 to 2001 in Ajaria, Georgia. He studied at the faculty of Theology in the University of Salzburg. In 2004 he defended a thesis entitled “Relationships between Armenian and Latin churches during the 11th and 12th centuries” and received a Masters Degree in Theology.
By the Pontifical order of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, Father Abgar was appointed to serve as Vicar General in the Armenian Diocese of Georgia from May of 2004 to October of 2005. On October 11 the Catholicos of All Armenians assigned him as Vicar General at the Diocese of Syunik.
In April of 2006 Father Abgar defended his doctoral thesis entitled “St. Dionysius the Areopagite in the Armenian Bibliography” and in May, in the St. Mesrop Mashtots Church of Oshakan, he received the rank of Archimandrite by His Grace Bishop Yeznik Petrosyan. Father Abgar left for Canada in 2010, to take a one- year course there.
His Holiness Karekin II appointed him to serve as the Locum Tenens of the Armenian Diocese of Bulgaria in 2011.
Rev. Fr. Abgar masters the Armenian, Russian, Georgian and German languages.