LOS ANGELES — The Western Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church reported on Sunday, December 18 the passing of former Primate Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian. He was 92 years old.
Archbishop Hovsepian (baptismal name Hovsep) was born on June 11, 1930, in Beirut, Lebanon. He received his primary education at the Armenian Mesrobian School in Lebanon. Upon his graduation, he entered the Theological Seminary of Antelias.
On June 24, 1951, he was ordained as a celibate priest by Bishop Terenig Poladian, and given the priestly name of Vatche. Upon his ordination, he was appointed to serve as the Dean Assistant and Instructor at the Seminary.
In 1953, he went to study at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
In 1956, he was assigned as the spiritual pastor of the Holy Cross Armenian Church of Union City, NJ. Here he continued his studies at the New Brunswick Theological Seminary at Rutgers and received a Bachelor’s of Divinity degree.
In 1967, he was appointed as the Vicar General of the Diocese of Canada. There he organized new parishes and facilitated the implementation of a new constitution for the Canadian Diocese, bringing it into compliance with Canadian requirements.