Armenian Catholics have been living in the New York area for many decades before they had an Armenian Catholic bishop in the USA. In fact, as early as the year 1896, and upon the order of His Beatitude Stepan-Bedros X Azarian, the first Armenian Catholic priest, in the person of Msgr. Mardiros Megerian, arrived here as pastor of Armenian Catholics of the New York area.
Later, the same priest was nominated as Patriarchal Vicar for the USA, an assignment which he faithfully carried out until 1921. Msgr. Megerian was especially instrumental in helping out the survivors of the Armenian Genocide (1915-1921) who fled to this country.
On August 13, 1921, Msgr. Haroutyoun Maldjian arrived in the USA, succeeding Msgr. Megerian. Msgr. Maldjian diligently worked in this country shepherding the Armenian Catholic community for an amazing 50 years! Even the hard years of the American Great Depression (1929-1933) did not extinguish his zeal and enthusiasm.
Meanwhile various parishes were formed in Paterson, New Jersey (1909), Philadelphia (1923), Boston (1940), Los Angeles (1945), Detroit (1948), New York (1984), Little Falls (formerly in Paterson) (1991), Glendale, California (1999).
Two parishes were successively constituted in Canada: Montréal, Québec, in 1966 and Toronto, Ontario, in 1974.
On July 3, 1981, upon the recommendation of the Congregation for Eastern Churches and the Armenian Catholic Patriarchate, Pope John Paul II established the Apostolic Exarchate for Armenian Catholics in the USA and Canada, with a pontifical Bull entitled “Divini Pastoris”. The Holy Father appointed Msgr. Nersess Setian, Rector of the Pontifical Armenian College in Rome, as the first bishop of the Exarchate.
Bishop Nersess Setian, according to the instructions of the Pontifical Bull cited above, transferred the Exarchate to New York with a Pontifical Mass on Christmas Eve, 1983.
In September I993, because of his advanced age of 75, Bishop Nerses M. Setian resigned from his position as the first Exarch of the Armenian Catholic Church of the United States and Canada, but continued to manage the exarchate until January 6, 1995, when His Holiness John Paul II appointed Father Hovannes Tertsakian former Abbot of the Mekhitarist Fathers as Bishop Exarch to the Armenian Catholics of the United States and Canada.
On January 3, 2000, Bishop Tertsakian resigned from his position and moved to Boston.
On November 30, 2000, His Holiness John Paul Il appointed Bishop Manuel Batakian the General Vicar of the Armenian Catholic Patriarchate in Beirut-Lebanon, as Exarch to the United States and Canada. Bishop Batakian took office on January 20, 2001.
Upon the request of the Synod of Armenian Catholic Bishops, headed by His Beatitude the Catholicos Patriarch Nerses Bedros XIX, Pope Benedict XVI, on September 12, 2005, raised the Apostolic Exarchate for Armenian Catholics to Eparchy. Bishop Manuel Batakian became thus the first Eparch, the Eastern Churches’ term for Bishop.
On May 21 2011, His Holyness Pope Benedict XVI appointed the Very Rev. Father Mikael Mouradian, Vicar General of the Patriarchal Clergy Institute of Bzommar and Superior of the Monastery of Our Lady of Bzommar-Lebanon, as the fourth bishop of the Eparchy. In January 2013, Bishop Mouradian transferred the see of the Eparchy from New York to the Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator in Glendale-California.
The Armenian Catholics in the United States and Canada today number 53,000 approximately. They have nine parishes and three missions, 10 priests and 4 religious nuns. The Armenian Catholic Eparchy of the United States and Canada also oversees 3 schools, two of them in the U.S. and one in Canada. Additionally, a Saturday school was established in Toronto in 1980.
The Eparchy of Our Lady of Nareg is a constitutive part of the Armenian Catholic Patriarchal Church and Bishop Mouradian is a member of the Patriarchal Synod of Bishops. However, in conformity with the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, the Eparchy is under the direct jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff.
Msgr. Mardiros Megerian arrives to pastor Armenian Catholics in New York
Paterson, New Jersey Parish Formed
Msgr. Haroutyoun Maldjian arrived in the USA
Philadelphia Parish Formed
Boston Parish Formed
Detroit Parish Formed
Montréal, Québec Parish Formed
Toronto, Ontario Parish Formed
Pope John Paul II Established The Apostolic Exarchate For Armenian Catholics
Bishop Nersess Setian, transferred the Exarchate to New York with a Pontifical Mass
New York Parish Formed
Little Falls (formerly in Paterson) Parish Formed
Bishop Nerses M. Setian resigned
John Paul II appointed Father Hovannes Tertsakian as Bishop Exarch to the Armenian Catholics of the United States and Canada
Glendale, California Parish Formed
Bishop Tertsakian resigned
John Paul Il appointed Bishop Manuel Batakian as Exarch to the United States and Canada
Pope Benedict XVI raised the Apostolic Exarchate for Armenian Catholics to Eparch, thus Bishop Batakian became the first Eparch, the Eastern Churches’ term for Bishop.
Pope Benedict XVI appointed Rev. Father Mikael Mouradian as the fourth bishop of the Eparchy
Bishop Mouradian transferred the see of the Eparchy from New York to the Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator in Glendale-California.