The 33rd Annual Assembly of the Armenian Diocese of Canada, hosted by Holy Cross Armenian Church of Laval was held on May 27-28, 2016 in Laval, Quebec. Delegates from parishes across Canada, from Vancouver to Montreal, attended the Assembly held under the presidency of His Grace Bishop Abgar Hovakimian, Primate, and the chairmanship of Mr. Jack Stepanian, former Chairperson of the Diocesan Council.
His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, Mr. Philippe Couillard, Premier of Quebec, and His Worship Marc Demers, Mayor of Laval, had sent their blessings and congratulations, welcoming the delegates and expressing their wishes of success to the Diocesan Assembly.
On Thursday May 26, the diocesan clergy conference was held where the clergymen from coast to coast across Canada gathered to evaluate and discuss various aspects pertaining the advancement and continuous progress of parish life in all the communities.
The following day, delegates visited the building that has recently been acquired by a community donor with the intent to donate the said property to the Diocese for its future transformation into a church.
During the Assembly, annual reports of the Primate, Diocesan Council, the Board of Trustees, the Nominating Committee, and the Auditing Committee, the Endowment Fund, Diocesan ministries (Women’s Guild Central Council, Canadian Youth Mission to Armenia, Children’s Fund for Armenia, Canadian Armenian Association Performing Art, and Ararat Summer Camp), and the Chancellor’s Office were presented to the delegates’ attention. Appropriate resolutions were proposed and approved.
The Primate presented a detailed report concerning the new diocesan projects, and introduced the Diocesan Yearbook. His Grace highlighted the importance of the canonization of the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide and the Blessing of the Holy Chrism that took place during the centennial of the Armenian Genocide at the spiritual center of all Armenians, Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.
Rev. Archpriest Fr. Zareh Zargarian, Parish Priest of Holy Trinity Armenian Church of Toronto was appointed by His Grace as the Vicar of the Armenian Diocese of Canada.
One of the main tasks on the Assembly’s agenda was to review the changes of the Diocesan Bylaws, which were discussed and approved by the Delegates.
In application of the Diocesan Bylaws, the Assembly elected Rev. Fr. Komitas Mirzakhanyan to serve in the Diocesan Council as a clergy representative, and Mr. Antranik Sirinyan, Mr. Aram Isnar, and Mr. Jirayr Dolar as lay members of the Council, the highest executive body of the Diocese.
On Saturday evening, the Parish Council of Holy Cross Armenian Church of Laval organized a banquet for the participants of the Diocesan Assembly.
In order to enhance transparency of the Diocesan activities, leaders of the Canadian Armenian organizations and political parties, were invited by the Primate to attend the Assembly.