Archbishop Aris Shirvanian
Archbishop Aris Shirvanian (baptismal name Armenag) was born on July 23, 1934, in Haifa, Palestine (now Israel).
He received his primary education at the St. Yeghia Primary school in Haifa, then, at the St. Karasoonk Mangantz School in Bourj Hammoud, Lebanon.
From 1952 to 1957, he studied at the Jarankavoratz Theological Seminary of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, becoming a member of the Brotherhood of St. James.
In 1954, he was ordained to the diaconate by then Locum-Tenens of Jerusalem His Eminence Archbishop Yeghishe Derderian.
In 1957, he was ordained as a celibate priest by then Patriarch-elect of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, Archbishop Tiran Nersoyan, and given the priestly name of Aris. In the same year, Father Aris served as the Vice Dean and a lecturer at the Jarankavoratz Theological Seminary of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem; while also serving as the staff bearer to His Beatitude Tiran Nersoyan.
In 1958, he was assigned to serve as the spiritual pastor of the Armenian Church in Amman, Jordan. He also served as the principal of the local Armenian school, the Hetoumian Primary School.
In 1964, he studied at the Faculty of Theology of the University of Durham, England, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theology. After graduating from the University, he received the rank of Archimandrite (Vardapet) by His Grace Bishop Asoghig Ghazarian.
From 1964 to 1966, he pursued his doctorate degree at the Catholic Institute in Paris.
In 1966, he was appointed to serve as the parish priest of the St. James Armenian Church in Los Angeles.
In 1972, he was elevated to the rank of Senior Archimandrite (Dazyraguyn Vardapet) by then Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America.
From 1972 to 1974, he lectured at the Gevorkian Theological Seminary of Holy Etchmiadzin, serving first as the Vice Dean and then Dean of the Seminary.
In September 1974, he was consecrated as a Bishop by His Holiness Vasken I.
From 1975 to 1979, by the order of His Holiness Vasken I, Catholicos of All Armenians; he served as the Vicar General of the Armenian Diocese of Canada.
From 1979 to 1980, he was sent to serve as the Pontifical Legate to India, where he also served as the Dean of the Armenian College in Calcutta. He departed from India and went on to serve as visiting clergy to the Armenian faithful in Sweden and Germany.
From 1982 to 1998, he was assigned to serve the faithful at the St. John Armenian Church in San Francisco.
From 1998 to 1999, he served as the Dean of the Jarankavoratz Theological Seminary of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
In 2006, he was elevated to the rank of Archbishop by the Pontifical Encyclical of His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians.