Archbishop Hovnan Derderian
Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America
Archbishop Hovnan Derderian (baptismal name Vahram) was born on December 01, 1957, in Beirut, Lebanon. He received his primary education at the Forty Martyrs Armenian National School.
From 1970 to 1975, he attended the Armenian Seminary of Antelias.
From 1976 to 1980, he studied at the Gevorkian Theological Seminary of Holy Etchmiadzin.
On May 27, 1978, he was ordained to the Diaconate.
In 1980, he defended his dissertation on the topic "Vrtanes Kertogh".
In 1980, he was ordained as a celibate priest by the Catholicos of All Armenians, His Holiness Vasken I, of Blessed Memory.
From 1980 to 1983, he studied at Oxford University in England, where he earned his Bachelor's degree. Then, at the invitation of the Armenian Pontiff, he lectured at the Gevorkian Theological Seminary.
In 1984 he received the rank of Archimandrite (Vardapet) by the Pontifical Encyclical of His Holiness Vasken I.
Since 1984 he has published 26 books and booklets and has carried editorial responsibilities. Also, since 1984 he has been a member of the Middle-Eastern Council of Churches, and an executive member of the Canadian Council of Churches.
In 1985, he was appointed to serve as the spiritual pastor of the Holy Trinity Armenian Church in Toronto.
In 1986 his services to the Armenian Church were commended by a second Pontifical Encyclical of His Holiness Vasken I, of Blessed Memory.
In 1988, he organized humanitarian aid for the victims of the devastating earthquake in Armenia, by appealing to Sister Churches and other communities. During this same time, he was able to pursue his higher education and receive his Master’s Degree.
In 1989, he received the rank of Senior Archimandrite (Dzayraguyn Vardapet) by a third Pontifical Encyclical of His Holiness Vasken I, of Blessed Memory.
In May 1990, he was elected as a Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Canada. On 7 October of the same year, he was consecrated as a Bishop by His Holiness Vasken I, in the Mother Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin.
In 1992, he was awarded a Medal on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the Federal Republic of Canada by the Government of Canada.
In 1993, he was elevated to the rank of Archbishop by the Pontifical Encyclical of His Holiness Vasken I, and two years later, was re-elected to serve as the Primate of the Canadian Diocese for a second five-year term.
In 1994, a Special Citizenship Award was given by the Federal Government of Canada.
In 2000, he was appointed to serve as the Executive Secretary for the Committee for the 1700th Anniversary Celebrations of Armenia’s adoption of Christianity as the State Religion.
In 2000, he was awarded an Honorary Citation by the International Academy of Informational Technologies of the United Nations. He has served as a member of the Supreme Spiritual Council of the Armenian Church since 2000.
On May 03, 2003, Archbishop Hovnan Derderian was elected as the eighth Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America, which is headquartered in Los Angeles, California.
In 2011, RA President Serzh Sargsyan awarded His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian with a Medal for the services to the Fatherland.