Rev. Archpriest Fr. Zareh Zargarian,
Parish Priest of Holy Trinity Armenian Church
Vicar of the Armenian Holy Apostolic Church Diocese of Canada
Rev. Archpriest Fr. Zareh Zargarian was born in Iran on May 1, 1966, under the baptismal name of Alvand to parents Yeznig and Shoghig Zargarian. He is the youngest of six children; he has three brothers and two sisters. In 1972, the Zargarian family’s love for their homeland beckoned them to settle in the Etchmiadzin, Armenia.
From 1972 to 1982 Alvand received his primary and secondary education at the St. Mesrob Mashtots School. In 1982, following in the footsteps of his beloved grandfather Reverend Archpriest Father Meguerditch Zargarian, he started his studies at the Kevorkian Seminary in Holy See of Etchmiadzin.
From 1984 to 1986, young Alvand served in the Soviet Army in Kazakhstan. In 1988, he graduated with honours from the Seminary and was ordained Deacon in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin by His Eminence Archbishop Housig Santourian. From 1988 to 1991, under the fatherly supervision of His Holiness Vasken I, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of all Armenians, the newly ordained deacon became Executive Secretary of the Catholicosate.
In 1991, Deacon Alvand exchanged wedding vows with Naira Samvelian at St. Hripsimé Church in Etchmiadzin. His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Canadian Diocese of the Armenian Church, performed the wedding ceremony.
God blessed this marriage with three sons, Nareg, Aren and Araz.
Shortly after their wedding, Deacon Alvand was invited to serve as Assistant Pastor at the St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral in Montreal. In 1992, His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian ordained Deacon Alvand to priesthood. He was given the ordination name Zareh, to signify a new life.
In 1993, Father Zareh Zargarian was appointed Pastor of St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral in Montreal. During his pastoral years, he founded the Sunday School, weekly Bible studies, the Ararat Summer Youth Camp, senior citizens’ weekly events and other key community programs. He led the inaugural Canadian Youth Mission (CYMA) to Armenia. Fr. Zargarian taught Religious Studies at AGBU Marie Manoogian School.
Parallel to his pastoral duties in Montreal, from 1992 to 1996, Fr. Zargarian served as Visiting Pastor at St. Mesrob Armenian Apostolic Church in Ottawa.
In 1996, by the request of the Toronto Parish Council, Primate Derderian appointed Fr. Zargarian as the Pastor of the Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church. Since then, he has been a driving force in the creation of the majority of the over 30 committees and auxiliary bodies working under the umbrella of the Holy Trinity Armenian Church.
Fr. Zargarian has played an important role in establishing a common understanding and a working relationship among the Armenian churches and organizations. He continues to promote unity and solidarity within the community. Since 1996, Fr. Zargarian has been an active member of the Interdenominational Committee of Armenian Churches in Toronto.
Fr. Zargarian is very much involved in ecumenical relations. Since 1998, he has been a member of the Governing Board of the Canadian Council of Churches, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Council of Churches, Toronto Council of Churches, and the Ontario Multi-Faith Council. Fr. Zargarian has maintained close relationships with the Federal, Provincial, and Municipal Government bodies as an exemplary representative of the Armenian church. Fr. Zargarian speaks Armenian, English, Russian, and French.
Fr. Zargarian has had significant impact on Armenian communities in Montreal & Toronto. He has extended a warm welcome and a helping hand to all, especially to newcomers to Canada by welcoming them into the parish and involving them in community affairs, thereby facilitating a smooth transition into the Armenian-Canadian culture.
A committed and devoted leader, Father Zareh Zargarian is a compassionate spiritual advisor and leads his parish with utmost dedication. His unwavering faith in God and his commitment to his calling are inspiring to all.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND MILESTONES
- Received the honour of wearing the clerical Cross (Lanjakhach) from His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian – 1993
- Received the honour of wearing the Floral Cloak from His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian – 1995
- Received the honour of wearing the Purple Cloak from His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian – 2000
- Was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Golden Jubilee medal in appreciation of his services to the Armenian and Canadian communities from the Governor General of Canada – 2001
- Promoted to the rank of Archpriest, at the 10th anniversary celebration of his priesthood, by His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians – 2002
- Received his Master of Theological Studies degree in 2007 from St. Augustine Catholic Seminary, affiliated with the University of Toronto.
- Received an Encyclica from his Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, for his devoted service and achievements at Holy Trinity Armenian Church of Toronto – 2007
- Celebrated the 20th anniversary of his ordination to priesthood – 2012
- Was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee medal for his continued exemplary service to the Armenian and Canadian communities from Governor General of Canada – 2012
- The creation of The Rev. Archpriest Zareh Zargarian Fund. The proceeds provide further assistance to support the church programmes – 2012
- Was awarded the Eleos Award for Ecumenism in Social Justice from Canadian Council of Churches – 2013
- His Grace Bishop Abgar Hovakimyan, Primate, in application of the Diocesan Bylaws article 92, during the 33rd Annual Diocesan Assembly, appointed Rev. Archpriest Fr. Zareh Zargarian, Vicar of the Armenian Holy Apostolic Church Diocese of Canada. – 2016
- On the occasion of 25th Anniversary of the founding of Armenia’s Armed Forces and by the order of the Republic of Armenia’s Minister of Defence, Mr. Vigen Sargsyan, His Grace Bishop Vrtanes Abrahamyan, Head Chaplain of the RA Armed Forces awarded Rev. Archpriest Fr. Zareh Zargarian, Vicar of the Canadian Diocese and Parish Priest of Holy Trinity Armenian Church with the Medal of “Andranik Ozanyan” of the Armed Forces for his considerable input and assistance in the betterment of the Armenian Army. – 2017