Armenian Church Canadian Diocese Newsonline – 10/01/2004

Armenian Holy Apostolic Church Canadian Diocese
Contact; Deacon Hagop Arslanian, Assistant to the Primate
615 Stuart Avenue, Outremont Quebec H2V 3H2
Tel; 514-276-9479, Fax; 514-276-9960
Email; [email protected]
October 2, 2004
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On Thursday, September 30, 2004 the Primates of Eastern and Western USA and
Canada met at Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church of Toronto. This is the
third meeting of the Primates.

His Eminence Bishop Bagrat Galstanian (Diocese of Canada), His Eminence
Archbishop Khajag Barsamian (US Eastern Diocese) and His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan
Derderian (US Western Diocese) had discussions over various issues concerning
the role and the mission of the Armenian Church in North America and Canada.

The Primates agreed to further organize and cooperate in making the mission
of the Armenian Church more vibrant. Discussions focused on Christian
Education, Youth, the 90th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, 1600th anniversary of
the creation of Armenian Alphabet as well as pilgrimages both Inter-Diocesan
and to the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.
* * *


Under the auspices of H.E. Bishop Bagrat Galstanian, Primate of the Diocese
of the Armenian Church of Canada, and according to a precedence set last year
as well as in collaboration with Armenian community organizations, on the
weekend of September 25-26, the Holy Cross Armenian Apostolic Church of Laval
organized a large-scale celebration of the Church’s 11th anniversary and of
Armenia’s 13th anniversary of independence.

The main celebration took place on Saturday, September 25, when a candle
light dinner and dance was held under a large tent set on the church grounds. In
attendance were the Primate, Federal MP Raymonde Folco, Mayor of the City of
Laval Mr. Gilles Vaillancourt, a representative of Quebec Minister of Education
and Social services Mrs. Michelle Courchesne, representatives of
municipalities, Vicar General of Canada Rt. Rev. Fr. Ararat Kaltakdjian, Rev. Fr. Hayrig
Apegha Hovhannisian, Rev. Fr. Vazken Boyadjyan, pastor of St. Gregory
Illuminator Cathedral, Mr. Stephanos Mamdouh from the Coptic community, Diocesan and
Parish Council representatives, and community organization representatives. The
invocation was offered by Fr. Ararat and welcoming words were presented by Mr.
Shahan Keushgerian, chairman of the organizing committee. Me. Vartan
Dellekian, chairman of the Parish Council, spoke in French and acknowledged the
presence of the dignitaries. Fr. Ararat Kaltakdjian, Pastor of Holy Cross, took the
podium to hand out plaques of appreciation to a score of dedicated
parishioners of the church. He then invited Bishop Galstanian to deliver his message.

The Primate congratulated all those present on the dual anniversary occasions
and wished continued success and prosperity to Motherland Armenia and to the
Holy Cross Church.
His Eminence had special words of gratitude to Mayor Vaillancourt for his
compassion and understanding towards the needs of the Church, and expressed
optimism that working closely with the Mayor’s office, hopefully next year this
celebration will be held in the new church. “The sea hates cowards,” said the
Primate, and added, “we are in the sea and are prepared to face the challenge of
owning our church building and our community center to be able to serve better
our enlarging community in Laval.”

Mayor Vaillancourt thanked the community for the invitation and expressed
appreciation of the Armenian community in Laval for their diligence and
participation in the rapid development of this city. He then assured that everything
will be done to clear any obstacles by way of this community’s dream of a new
church building to come true. The Mayor’s words were received by a thunderous
applause. In her address, Liberal MP from Laval Raymonde Folco expressed her joy
that for the second year she is sharing the joy of the Armenian community in
the dual celebration of the anniversaries of Armenia’s independence and of
Holy Cross’ establishment.

Following a sumptuous dinner, the music was started by Arthur Apkarian’s
dynamic band, and soon the platform was filled with dancers. At the height of
jubilation, even Mayor Vaillancourt joined the Armenian popular “shourchbar”

The next morning, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated by His Eminence Bishop
Bagrat Galstanian, assisted by Fr. Ararat and Fr. Vazken. The altar servers and
the joint choirs of both churches conducted the singing. At the end of the
Divine Liturgy, a special ceremony of Grace and Thanksgiving was conducted to
celebrate the 13th anniversary of Armenia’s independence.

The congregation was then led by a procession of the clergy and the choir to
the front yard of the church where the scouts of AGBU had erected a wooden
Cross and were prepared for the blessing of Armenia’s flag. Following special
prayers and songs of hymns, everybody joined to sing Armenia’s anthem “Mer
Hairenik”, while the flag was being raised slowly. The Primate spoke
enthusiastically thanking the scouts for their patriotism and invited everyone to join in the
major effort of building our new church in Laval and to work toward the
prosperity of the Diocese and the Armenian community in Canada.

Shortly after, the tent area was set up for lunch, and more celebrations with
music, songs and dances brought this festive occasion to a happy ending.

On Sunday, September 19, 2004 Holy Trinity Armenian Church of Toronto
celebrated the 13th Anniversary of Independence of the Republic of Armenia. Upon the
directives of His Grace Bishop Bagrat Galstanyan, Primate of the Armenian
Church of Canada, all churches were instructed to celebrate this event with the
blessing of the national flag. Four students representing the Armenian Schools
of Toronto from Holy Cross School, Zaroukian School, St. Sahak & St. Mesrob
Saturday School and the Holy Trinity Armenian Church Sunday School, carried the
national flag to the altar where Rev. Archpriest Fr. Zareh Zargarian blessed
it and delivered his sermon to the faithful. In his sermon, Fr. Zareh called
upon everyone to love, cherish and support our beloved homeland, Armenia.
Following his sermon Fr. Zareh invited Mrs. Rebecca Sevazlian, asking her to say
a few words to the faithful. Mrs. Sevazlian, who is 95 years old, is the
beloved mother of our church. She is a survivor of the Armenian Genocide and
dedicated her life to the Armenian Church by working voluntarily, and giving both
moral and monetary support over the years. In a very emotional moment, Mrs.
Sevazlian proclaimed “Keep and honor our flag, for this flag represents our
beloved Armenia”, she said.
* * *


On Sunday September 26, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and
Catholicos of All Armenians, ordained the Chancellor of Holy
Etchmiadzin, Fr. Arshag Khachatryan, as a bishop in a ceremony in the
Cathedral of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.

His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians has assigned Very
Reverend Father Megerditch Apegha Broshian as the Dean of Vazgenian Theological
Seminary in Sevan. Fr. Broshian is a graduate of Gevorkian Theological Seminary.
During the year 2001-2004 he studied at Mir field College-Leeds University and
earned the degree of Masters in Theology from the University of Cardiff.
* * *


Upon the directive and instruction of His Eminence Bishop Bagrat Galstanian,
representatives from the Canadian Armenian Diocese Talar Chichmanian, Shogher
Melengutchian, Armen DiMaria, David Kaprielian will participate in Pan North
American Youth meeting in Greenville, New York at Ararat Center (October 1-3).

The intent of this initiative is to bring together four young adult
representatives from each of the three North American Dioceses (Canadian, Eastern and
Western US) for a meeting to discuss common concerns and challenges related to
youth involvement in the Church. The meeting will be an appropriate occasion
to explore the possibility of a joint event that would assemble youth from the
three Dioceses as well as to investigate the feasibility of sponsoring a joint
pilgrimage to Armenia. Participants will draft a document to present to the
respective Primates and Diocesan Councils on ways to involve youth in the life
of the church.
* * *


Yeretsgin Marine Zouloyan-Boyajyan

Sunday, 26 September was a memorable day for the Sunday School students of
St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral of Montreal. Organized by the Parents’
Committee of the School, the students enjoyed a day in nature by apple picking.

Following breakfast hosted in the residence of the School’s principal, Mrs.
Houri Hakimian, the children headed by bus to the orchards in the suburb of St.
Eustache, accompanied by members of the Parents’ Committee. It was a joy to
see the happy children going from tree to tree, engaged in picking apples and
filling the baskets they were carrying. Some had to stay in line to climb the
ladders to be able to pick the more attractive apples.

Besides giving the children of our Sunday School a happy and memorable day,
the aim of the trip was to bring the children in contact with the God given
nature and its blessings. At the end of the day, the children expressed their
heart-felt thanks to Mrs. Hakimian for the love and care she lavishes on each and
every of them.
* * *


On Tuesday September 14, 2004, Rev. Archpriest Fr. Zareh Zargarian and the
Parish Council of the Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church held a joint
meeting with the newly appointed board members of the Toronto Armenian General
Benevolent Union.

The purpose of the meeting was to re-establish cooperation between the two
organizations and coordinate activities towards strengthening the Toronto
Armenian identity for future generations.

Rev. Archpriest Fr. Zareh Zargarian stated that the time has come for these
two pillar organizations to exert a concerted effort in bringing back the
* * *


On Sunday, September 19, 2004 the Multi-Faith Peace Coalition celebrated its
20th anniversary. The celebration began at 12:00 p.m. in Nathan Phillips
Square at Toronto’s City Hall and continued into the late evening. The
celebration was full of performances by singers and musical bands. At 3:00 p.m.
spiritual leaders from the coalition stepped up to the stage and began prayers and
readings from Holy Books. Following the prayers a tree planting ceremony was
held as a symbol of peace and friendship. Dn. Vrej Berberian, Assistant to Rev.
Archpriest Fr. Zareh Zargarian, represented the Armenian Holy Apostolic
Church of Toronto, and expressed the respect and homage of the Armenian Church
towards all martyrs.

Twenty years ago on March 5, 1984 Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau
turned the sod to begin the construction of the Peace Garden. On October 2, 1984
Queen Elizabeth II dedicated the Garden. On September 14, 1984 the flame in
the Toronto Peace Garden was lit by Pope John Paul II from and ember that Rev.
Fr. Massey Lombardi, Chairman of the Multi-Faith Peace Garden Coalition,
carried to Toronto from the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. He also poured the water
from Nagasaki into the pool of the Toronto Peace Garden. The Peace Garden
was erected as a remembrance of the nuclear conflagration that engulfed both
Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but also to remind all of us of the dangers of hatred and
the importance of tolerance and mutual respect. As such the Peace Garden is
both a somber memorial and shining reminder that we must pursue peace with all
of our strength and determination for it is surely within our grasp.

Twenty years after its completion, the flame of commemoration still burns
brightly, as does the dream of peace in the hearts of men and women of good will.
But events in Canada and around the world show that peace is a delicate
thing that must be cultivated with care and diligence. It is in that spirit of
stewardship that a collation of more than 20 faith communities has recently been
formed with the Honorable Art Eggleton as Honorary Chairman, to develop a
program that would celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Peace Garden. On
Sunday, September 19, 2004, thousands of Torontonians from all walks of life came
together to celebrate the diversity that is one of our city’s greatest
strengths, and through fellowship, reaffirm our commitment to peace in this city, in
this country and in this world. Everyone was confident that the commitment of
the coalition would make this a successful event. At the same time, they hoped
that they could count on the assistance of the City of Toronto to make this
celebration a meaningful occasion for all participants.
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