Very Rev. Aren Jebejian Elected Primate of Canada


MONTREAL — On Saturday, May 25, during the annual diocesan meeting, the pastor of St. Gregory the Illuminator Church of Chicago, the Very Rev. Aren Jebejian was elected the Primate of Canada.

The annual meeting took place at the St. Gregory the Illuminator Church of Montreal, where the Primate is based. The meeting was attended by all members of the clergy of all the churches of Canada. There were two representative each of East and West coast Dioceses.

As the by-laws dictates, there were three candidates approved by His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians. They were the actual primate Archbishop Bagrad Galstanian, Archbishop Dajad Yardemian and Very Rev. Aren Jebejian.

Jebejian was born on January 24, 1966, to Fr. Nersess and Yn. Aurora Jebejian in Detroit. At the age of 4, following his father’s ordination to the priesthood, the Jebejians moved to the Springfield, Mass., suburb of Longmeadow. In 1983, his family moved to Florida, where he attended St. Thomas University in Miami, a private Augustinian School. He served on the editorial board of the university’s newspaper and worked as a resident assistant. While at college, he was one of 30 students who spent a semester studying in El Escorial, Spain.

After graduating, he studied at Holy Echmiadzin from 1989-1990, where he was ordained as a deacon by Archbishop Nersess Bozabalian on June 24, 1990. Jebejian returned to the United States and graduated in 1994 from St. Nersess and St. Vladimir Seminaries with a Master of Divinity degree. He has also completed a three-month clinical pastoral education internship at Jean’s Hospital in Philadelphia and studied classical Armenian and liturgics in Jerusalem.

He served as a steward at the 1991 Central Committee Meeting of the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland; at the WCC Faith and Order Meeting in Santiago de Compostelia, Spain, in 1992; and as a youth representative at the WCC Central Committee Meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1994.

In January of 1996, he was tasked with working to revive the ACYOA Seniors. During his two-year tenure working in the Diocesan Department of Youth Ministry, he oversaw the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the ACYOA and worked to revitalize the seniors, juniors, and the ACYOA Armenian Studies Program.

In January of 1998, he was assigned to the St. Gregory the Illuminator parish of Chicago, IL, as its deacon-in-charge. He serves on the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago and was a founding member of the Chicago Ecumenical Millennium Committee. Since 1991, he has been a member of the National Oriental Orthodox–Roman Catholic Dialogue.

In September 1999, Jebejian served as a delegate from the Eastern Diocese to the National Ecclesiastical Assembly to elect the 132nd Catholicos of All Armenians, His Holiness Karekin I.

He was ordained as a priest April 24 and 25, 2004, by Archbishop Khajag Barsamian at St. Vartan Cathedral in New York City.

Jebejian serves on the Hye Camp board of directors as well as the Midwest Regional Council of Armenian Churches.