CELEBRATING THE 86TH ANNIVERSARY OF
HOLY TRINITY ARMENIAN CHURCH PARISH &
WELCOMING HIS GRACE BISHOP ABGAR HOVAKIMIAN
The Holy Trinity Armenian Church of Toronto celebrated the 86th anniversary of the establishment of the parish and the Episcopal ordination & consecration of His Grace Bishop Abgar Hovakimian on the weekend of December 6 & 7, 2014.
On Saturday, December 6th, the art lovers and parishioners of the community enjoyed an art exhibition in the “Maral Ishkanian” hall. This was made possible thanks to the generous contribution of donors and artists alike.
Following the national anthems of Canada and Armenia, His Grace Bishop Hovakimian said grace. The guests were invited to watch a slide show covering the history of the church from its start to the present days. This was followed by a video presentation depicting His Grace Bishop Hovakimian’s ordination and consecration ceremony by His Holiness II at the Holy See of Etchmiadzin, and the celebration of his first Divine Liturgy as Bishop in Armenia.
Mr. Ohan Ohanessian, chairman of the Holy Trinity Armenian Church Parish Council, also the godfather of Bishop Hovakimian as well as Bishop Hagopian, addressed the guests.
Talented young members of the church, vocal solo artist Mineh Satourian, Araz Tokdjian (violin) and the Sassoun Dance Ensemble created joy and enthusiasm amongst the guests during this celebratory evening. Special thanks to Mrs. Tatyana Mirzoyan for accompanying the soloists on the piano.
Mr. Haig Selian, president of the Babayan Foundation, addressed the clergy and the guests with heartfelt congratulations and praised Fr. Zargarian for his dedication and strong leadership over the years and announced the annual contribution of Babayan Foundation and Canadian Armenian Church.
Mrs. Apet Alpay, chairperson of the event’s organizing committee, extended her heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to Bishop Hovakimian and thanked the committee members.
The guest of honour, His Grace Bishop Datev Hagopian, Primate of the Armenian Church Diocese of Romania, delivered his congratulatory message to Bishop Hovakimian on the latter’s ordination and to Fr. Zargarian and parishioners of the church on the 86th anniversary celebration. Bishop Hagopian, being a close friend of the Primate’s, spoke of the latter’s true devotion to God Almighty, the Armenian Church, culture and the Armenian cause. He invited all to support the newly ordained Bishop in his important and challenging mission leading the Armenian Church Diocese of Canada.
Mr. Corneliu Chisu MP, Pickering–Scarborough East, representing the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, read the congratulatory message from the Prime Minister of Canada addressed to Bishop Hovakimian on his ordination and wished him well.
In his address, His Excellency Mr. Armen Yeganian, Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia, wished a successful journey to Primate Hovakimian and congratulated the parish priest, Fr. Zargarian and all the parishioners on the 86th anniversary of the church. Mr. Yeganian referred to the Armenians’ amazing history, striving for thousands of years, still strong and independent in the 21st century.
The Parish Priest, Rev. Archpriest Fr. Zareh Zargarian, started his address by praising the Lord and thanking His Holiness Karekin II. He extended the congratulations of the parish to the newly ordained Primate. He also acknowledged the presence of three previous chairpersons of the Diocesan Council amongst the guests: Mr. Takvor Hopyan, Mr. Jack Stepanian and Mr. Ara Boyadjian.
He also welcomed all the distinguished guests, clergy and politicians to the church. Fr. Zareh’s appreciation was directed also to all the benefactors, supporters, and friends of the church for supporting their church financially and by inputting their time and hard work. He thanked the members of the organizing committee for putting together a beautiful weekend of celebration.
Following the tradition, the annual awards and recognitions were announced. The following received recognition plaques and flowers from Bishop Hovakimian for their outstanding contributions:
Mr. Stephan Ekmekjian, previous Parish Council
Mr. Krikor Apel, previous Parish Council (absent)
Young Lady of the Year: Sylvia Chouldjian
Young Man of the Year: Raffi Boyadjian
Woman of the Year: Alice Akcasu
Man of the Year Dn. Sevan Ishkhanian
Family of the Year: Choirmaster Shahe, Maria and Daron Altounian
For her long years of devoted services, Mrs. Zarmine Yeretsian received the highest order of the Holy Trinity Armenian Church: The Golden Cross.
Mr. & Mrs. Ohan and Anita Ohanessian were invited to present gifts to both Primates on behalf of their family as godfather to Bishop Hovakimian and Bishop Hagopian.
Mr. & Mrs. Garabed and Yeghisapet Zakarian presented Bishop Hovakimian with a beautiful Panagia, which was Mr. Zakarian’s work of art and a gift from their family.
In his address to the audience, Bishop Hovakimian praised God for all His blessings. He expressed appreciation to H. H. Karekin II, Supreme Catholicos of the Armenian Church. He spoke of the visionaries who worked hard to establish Holy Trinity Armenian Church 86 years ago in Toronto and praised the generations who came after them, continuing the mission. He invited all to stay with their church and be loyal to the Lord Almighty.
Bishop Hovakimian also appreciated the leadership of Fr. Zargarian and the devotion of his family, the church parish council, auxiliary bodies and all parishioners and members. Primate Hovakimian’s encouraging words and message of appreciation ended with a closing prayer. See more photos…
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On Sunday, December 7th, 2014, Divine Liturgy started with “HRASHAPAR”, a welcoming hymn.
His Grace Bishop Abkar Hovakimian celebrated Divine Liturgy, assisted by Rev. Archpriest Fr. Zareh Zargarian and Rev. Fr. Datev Menengichian, as well as the deacons and acolytes. The Holy Trinity Armenian Church Choir was led by Mr. Shahe Altounian.
Also present during the Liturgy were His Excellency Mr. Armen Yeganian, Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia and Mr. Joe Daniel, MP Don Valley East, who was representing the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada and The Hon. Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism.
On behalf of the Diocesan Clergy, the Church Parish Council, Auxiliary Bodies, and the faithful, Fr. Zargarian congratulated Bishop Hovakimian’s ordination and welcomed Bishop Datev Hagopian, Primate of the Armenian Church of Romania to Holy Trinity Church and invited him to address the faithful. Datev Serpazan extended His Holiness Karekin II’s congratulatory message and spoke of Bishop Abgar’s devoted services, offered his brotherly prayers and support, and wished him well in his new mission.
In his sermon Bishop Abgar touched upon the mission of the church and congratulated the 86th Anniversary of the foundation of the church. He appreciated and acknowledged the hard work of the founders, parish councils, auxiliary bodies and the faithful led by the Pastor Fr. Zareh. As a token of appreciation for his devoted leadership and on behalf of the Armenian church Diocesan Council, Bishop Hovakimian presented Fr. Zareh with a silver hand cross (Ձեռաց Խաչ).
Following Divine Liturgy, parishioners congratulated Serpazan on his ordination and attended a reception that took place at the “Magaros Artinian” hall.