St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church, Toronto

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St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church
St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church
43°46′15″N 79°19′23″W / 43.77097°N 79.323022°W / 43.77097; -79.323022
Location North York, Toronto
Country Canada
Denomination Armenian Apostolic Church
Founded February 28, 1990
Diocese Armenian Prelacy of Canada

Bishop Meghrig Parikian

Archpriest. Fr. Gomidas Panossian

Established in 1990, St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church is at 45 Hallcrown Place, Toronto, Ontario, Canada in the municipality of North York. It belongs to the Holy See of Cilicia.[1]


Toronto's Armenian Community Centre and A.R.S. Day School were realized in 1979. However, there was no Armenian Church under the umbrella of the Holy See of the Catholicosate of Cilicia. At the end of in 1982 an official petition was delivered to the Prelacy of Canada and Eastern United States regarding establishing the foundation of a new church in Toronto. On February 28, 1983 approval was given by the Prelacy.

Archimandrite Khajag Hagopian became the church's first pastor. The 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 . On May 27, 1990 the new building was consecrated and its first Holy Mass was celebrated for its newly built 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.


Archimandrite Khajag Hagopian[edit]

As of 2010 Archbishop Hagopian was the Prelate of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Canada. On May 10th 2014, Archbishop Hagopian retired from Prelate duties and His Eminence Bishop Meghrig Parikian was elected Prelate of the Armenian Prelacy of Canada.[2]

Archimandrite Shahe Panossian[edit]

As of October 2013 Bishop Panossian was the Primate of Lebanon's Armenian Apostolic Church's diocese. (December 9, 1994 - December 19, 2002)

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. On October 7th 2013, Lebanon's diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church elected Bishop Shahe Panossian as the new Primate of Lebanon.

Archimandrite Meghrig Parikian[edit]

From December 2002 - May 2014

On 27 April 2014 Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia elevated Archimandrite Meghrig Parikian to the rank of bishop.

On 10 May 2014, the Canadian Armenian National Assembly of Representatives voted His Eminence Meghrig Parikian as the Prelate of the Armenian Prelacy of Canada.

Archpriest Gomidas Panossian[edit]

From August 2012 - Present

Name at birth Movses Vahan Panossian, born on August 5, 1951 Anjar Hayavan, Lebanon, where he received his elementary education. Later, he was accepted by the Cilician Clerical school, whence after several years 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 of Anjar, and 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, Archbishop Mesrob Ashdjian's invitation, he left for new Julfa in Iran on Oct. 5, 1975, assuming responsibility for the library and concurrently teaching Armenian History and Religious Studies in the Kananian High School as well as the responsibility for the curriculum of the schools of all the churches and organizing church ceremonies.

In the same year, he established Saint Amenaprgich (all savior) 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 of Anjar where he became the Principal 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 while still the principal of Anjar's National School of Lebanon, at the invitation of Archbishop Aram Keshishian (later Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, Antelias, Lebanon) he was consecrated and ordained as priest, designated as (Rev. Father) Der Gomidas, and assumed the position of Head of Diocese of Beirut's new district Adana's Sourp Asdvadzadzin's church November 21, 1993.

Father 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 committees, in one district as the committee chairman, and a long-time member of the Religious Education Committee.

As of 2013 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; the Board of Trustees of the church appointed Fr. Gomidas Vahan Panossian from Lebanon to take his place. On September 17, 2002 Fr. Panossian, his wife Seta, and their son Shahan, came to Cambridge, Ontario and took pastoral responsibilities over Sourp Nishan Armenian Apostolic Church. He was also the principal of the Armenian Relief Society's Saturday Cultural Language School.

In August 2012 Fr. Gomidas Panossian was sent to St. Mary's Armenian Apostolic Church has a Pastoral Assistant to the Pastor.


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