The Primate is the Head of the Diocese and the representative of His Holiness Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians in Canada.
He is the President and supreme executive officer of the Diocesan Assembly, the Diocesan Council, all Diocesan organizations and committees.
His decisions in all religious, ritual and disciplinary matters are final within the general requirements of the statutes and canons of the Armenian Church.
As the representative of His Holiness the Catholicos of All Armenians, he maintains official relations with other churches, institutions, organizations and with civil authorities.
HIS GRACE BISHOP ABGAR HOVAKIMYAN
Primate of the Armenian Holy Apostolic Church Canadian Diocese
His Grace Bishop Abgar Hovakimyan (baptismal name Samvel) was born on July 23, 1972, in Batumi, Republic of Georgia.
In 1979-1989 he studied at Stepan Shahumian Armenian school in Batumi.
In 1989-1995 he studied at the Theological Seminary of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, where he defended thesis on “The Echoes of the Armenian Doctrinal Thinking in the Interpretation of the Gospel of Matthew by St. Nerses the Graceful”.
In 1995, he was ordained deacon by His Grace Bishop Anania Arabajian.
On June 2, 1996, he was ordained as celibate priest by His Eminence late Archbishop Shahe Ajemian, and given the priestly name of Abgar.
In 1996-2001, following his ordination as a celibate priest Father Hovakimyan served at the Armenian Diocese of Georgia as Pastor of Soorp Prgitch Church of Batumi, Republic of Georgia.
In 2001-2004, by the Pontifical Order of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, he continued his higher education at the Theological University of Salzburg, Austria, where he received a Master’s Degree in Theology. In 2006 he defended his dissertation entitled “Dionysius Areopagite in the Armenian Bibliography” and received the rank of Archimandrite.
In 2005-2010 he served as Vicar General of the Diocese of Syunik in Armenia, assisting the Primate in the evangelization and successfully organizing youth ministry within the Diocese.
In 2010-2011, Very Rev. Fr. Abgar Hovakimyan served at the Diocese of Canada as Pastor of St. Mary Armenian Church of Hamilton and St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Church of St. Catharines.
In 2011, he was appointed Locum Tenens of the Armenian Diocese of Bulgaria.
In May 2014, he was elected as Primate of the Armenian Holy Apostolic Church Canadian Diocese.
On November 16, 2014, in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, he was consecrated, ordained and elevated in the rank of Bishop, by His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.
Bishop Abgar speaks Armenian, English, German, Russian, Georgian and Bulgarian.