ARCHBISHOP HOVNAN DERDERIAN

His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, named Vahram at his baptism, was born on December 1, 1957 in Beirut, Lebanon.

 

1970: At the age of 13, Vahram attended the theological seminary of the Cilician Catholicosate, in Bik­faya; Lebanon and graduated from the seminary in 1975.

1976: He traveled to Etchmiadzin, Armenia to continue his theological studies at the Gevorkian se­minary.

1980: Vahram completed his studies at the Gevorkian seminary. He was ordained as a celibate priest by His Holiness Vasken I, Catholicos of All Armenians, and was renamed Hovnan. In the same year, by the recommendation of His Holiness Vasken I, Very Rev. Father Hovnan travelled to Oxford University, England, to enhance his studies in the theological field.

1983: Upon graduating from the Oxford Theological School, Very Rev. Father Hovnan obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Theology. In the same year, he retuned to the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and began teaching the following subjects; Armenian Church History, General Church History and liturgical music. In addition to his teaching assignments, he worked on his doctoral thesis in theology, by comprising an in-depth study on the topic, "Guides to Church Feasts."

1984: Very Rev. Father Hovnan is elevated to the rank of a Vartabed (Doctor of Theology). During the same year, he was appointed pastor of the Holy Trinity Armenian Church in Toronto, Canada. He served the Toronto community for the following 6 years. Through his efforts, the Armenian Church Youth Organization of Canada (ACYOC) was re-established and became an active and vibrant group.

1987: Very Rev. Father Hovnan organized the consecration of the newly built church, which was conducted by His Holiness Vazken I. In addition, he received a Master's Degree in Theology from Oxford University. Also, on the occasion of the conferment of the rank of Dzairakuyn Vartabed, he presented and published a work entitled "A Practical Manual of Pastoral Theology."

1990: On May 25-26, during the meeting of Diocesan Delegates held in St. Catharine's, Ontario, Very Rev. Father Hovnan Derderian was elected Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of Canada. On October 7, in the Cathedral of St. Etchmiadzin, he was ordained and consecrated as a Bishop by His Holiness Vasken I.

1993: February 18, His Grace was elevated to the rank of Archbishop by His Holiness Vazken I.

1995: His Eminence was re-elected as Primate of the Armenian Church of Canada for his second term.

2000: His Eminence was re-elected as Primate of the Armenian Church of Canada for his third term. 

2003: On May 3, His Eminence was elected as the Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America by the 76th Annual Assembly.

2004: Archbishop Hovnan Derderian consecrates St. Kevork Armenian Apostolic Church in Glendale. Changes are implemented in the Diocesan structure. A younger generation of professional Diocesan staff is hired.

2005: His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians pays Second Pontifical Visit to the Western Diocese and presides over the official opening ceremony of the “Aga-Sargsyan” Library of the Diocese. The Christian Education Department of the Western Diocese is formed. “The Voice of the Armenian Church” television program is launched.

2006: On January 29-30 the Kirkjan Family Hall of the Armenian Church of the Desert is dedicated. The Office of Executive Director is created in efforts to effectively plan and execute out all administrative matters related to the Diocesan Headquarters. The architectural blue print of the Diocesan Cathedral is submitted.

2007: His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians presides over Groundblessing Ceremony of the Cathedral while on his Fourth Pontifical Visit to the Western Diocese. The Pontiff consecrates the newly constructed St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church in Pasadena. The Baidzar Terpanjian Bookstore of the Western Diocese opens its doors to the faithful.

2008: His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian ordains four priests into the Sacred Order of the Priesthood. The priests are Rev. Fr. Khajag Shahbazyan, Rev. Fr. Avedis Abovian, Rev. Fr. Nerses Hayrapetyan and Rev. Fr. Diran Avagyan. The vision of Archbishop Hovnan Derderian to bring together ACYO members from the Dioceses of the world is realized as ACYO youth gather for the first time in Holy Etchmiadzin.    

2009: On May 1, Archbishop Derderian gets re-elected as the Primate of the Western Diocese for the second 7 years term by the 82nd Annual Diocesan Assembly. In the same year, Archbishop Derderian ordains Rev. Fr. Krikor Zakaryan into the Priesthood. The Primate consecrates St. Kevork Armenian Church in Portland, St. Apkar Armenian Church in Scottsdale and St. Sarkis Armenian Church in Santa Clarita. His Eminence receives official recognition from Oxford University.

2010: Construction efforts of St. Leon Armenian Cathedral are completed. The spiritual center of the Western Diocese is consecrated on September 11, 2010 by His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians. The Diocese celebrates the Primate’s 30th anniversary of Ordination into the Sacred Order of the Priesthood and the 20th anniversary of his elevation to the rank of Bishop. The “Zorayan Museum” opens its doors to the public.

2011: His Excellency Serzh Sargsyan, President of the Republic of Armenia, honors Diocesan Primate Archbishop Hovnan Derderian with the honorary medal of the second rank for services contributed to the Motherland.

2012: Primate consecrates St. Garabed Armenian Church in Rancho Mirage on January 7. Holy Resurrection Armenian Church in Seattle is consecrated by the Primate on January 14. On April 29, Archbishop Derderian ordained and consecrated Dn. Matthew Ash into the Sacred Order of the Priesthood renaming him Father Mesrop. On August 11, the Primate presided over the Blessing and Dedication ceremony of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Crescenta Valley. On October 20, the Groundbreaking Ceremony of the Armenian Church Complex of Las Vegas was held.

2013: Primate presides over the Blessing and Dedication ceremony of the new church property of St. James Armenian Church in Sacramento. On May 5, the Headquarters of the Western Diocese was renamed “Turpanjian Diocesan Building of the Western Diocese” in honor of the Turpanjian family. At the Primate’s initiative, on July 15, the Summer Camp of the Western Diocese was renamed after Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian. The year also marked the 10th anniversary of the Primacy of Archbishop Hovnan Derderian. In September, Archbishop Derderian was appointed by His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians as the Chair of the 100th Anniversary of Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide Committee of the Armenian Apostolic Church. 

2014: On June 17, Archbishop Hovnan Derderian was honored by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations with the Ellis Island Medal of Honor for his invaluable contributions to the Armenian nation while exemplifying the values of the American way of life. At the initiative of His Eminence, an ecumenical conference was organized to be held at St. Leon Armenian Cathedral. The conference was historic as it marked the first time in over six decades that it was held in Southern California. Ecumenists from the United States of America and Canada took part in the conference which was held from September 26-28.    

2015The Rev. Fr. Yeghishe Ksachikyan was ordained and consecrated into the Priesthood on January 25th. The Diocese marked the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide with a number of commemorative events at the local, state and national levels. The Primate presided over the Blessing of the Foundation of the Armenian Church of Las Vegas. Western Diocese celebrates the Primate's 35th Anniversary of Ordination and Consecration into the Priesthood and 25th anniversary of his elevation to the rank of Bishop.