Bishop Bagrat Galstanyan – Primate of Tavush Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Director of Office of Ecclesiastical Liturgical Issues at Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.
PRIMATE OF TAVUSH DIOCESE
Bishop Bagrat Galstanyan, (born on 20 May, 1971), Primate of Tavush Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Director of Office of Ecclesiastical Liturgical Issues at Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.
Born on 20 May, 1971, in Gyumri. The parents are Persian-Armenians from the Iranian village of Sangibaran. In 1971 the whole family immigrated and settled in Gyumri, then moved to Yerevan in 1977.
From 1978 to 1988, he studied at school No. 156 in Yerevan.
From 1988 to 1994, he studied at Gevorkian Theological Seminary.
In 1994, he was ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Anania Arabajyan.
In 1995, he graduated the seminary with “excellence” by defending his graduate thesis on “The Commentary and Theology of Bishop Khosrov of Andzrev on Daily Prayers in our Church (with the latest manuscripts and bibliographic research)”.
After graduating Gevorkian Theological Seminary, on 23 July of the same year, on the Feast of Transfiguration of Jesus Christ, he was ordained as a celibate priest by the Catholicos of All Armenians, His Holiness Karekin I.
From his ordination to 1998 he was the mace-bearer of the Catholicos of All Armenians, Karekin I.
In 1996, he was appointed as Editor-in-chief of “Etchmiadzin”, a monthly official publication of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. Also, being the vice-president of the Christian Education and Preaching Centre, he provided trainings to teachers in five regions of Armenia (Armavir, Masis, Artashat, and Aparan) and in the American University in Armenia. He is one of the founding members of “Gantegh”, the first Christian TV program.
From 1996 to 1998, he gave lectures about Commentary to Divine Liturgy, Theory of Church Hymns (Sharakan) and General Church History at Gevorkian and Vazkenian Theological Seminaries.
From 1998 to 2008, he studied at University of Leeds. He attended studies at the Holy Resurrection Theological College of Mirfield, at the same time assuming the position of visiting priest of Manchester’s Holy Trinity Armenian Church.
From 1996 to 2000, he was a member of the Central Committee organizing the celebrations for the 1700th Anniversary of the adoption of Christianity in Armenia.
In 2000, the Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin I appointed him as the Principal of the Vazkenian Theological Seminary, in Sevan. At the seminary he lectured Commentary of the Gospel of St. Paul, Commentary of the Gospel of St. John, General Church History, and Church Hymns. He has founded the “Lousavorich” choir.
In 2002, upon the successful defense of his thesis “The Problem of Sacrament of the ‘Anointing the Sick’ in the Armenian Church”, he received the rank of Archimandrite (Vardapet).
In 2002, along with position of Principal, he was appointed as the Head of the newly founded Office of Media, News and Public Relations at Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. He was also included in the Board of Directors of “Shoghakat” TV company. He founded and hosted the TV series “Let’s learn the Gospel”.
In 2002, he was appointed as the Locum Tenens of the Diocese of Aragatsotn. During this short period he founded a children’s dance group and choir in Oshakan, expanded and restructured the Christian Education Center of the diocese, and founded a “Youth Center” in Talin.
On 31 May 2003, during the 20th Anniversary of the Armenian-Canadian Diocese, the Diocesan Assembly of the Armenian Church Diocese of Canada elected him as the Primate of the Armenian Church Diocese of Canada. On 22 June of the same year, during the Feast of Holy Etchmiadzin, he was consecrated as a Bishop by Catholicos of All Armenians, Karekin II.
During his leadership years, he founded the “Hay Tun” charity organization to help helpless elderly people and the sick, as well as to support Iraqi-Armenians who immigrated to Canada from Iraq due to the war, to form youth groups, children’s choir, etc.
In 2012, he defended his doctoral thesis (M.A) in theology and biological ethics in Montreal’s Concordia University, entitled “Armenia’s healthcare system: historical, social and theological rim, the past, the present and the development prospects of the future”.
In 2013 he returned to Armenia, since when he was appointed to serve as the Director of Office of Ecclesiastical Liturgical Issues of the Mother See.
In 2013, he was awarded the Diamond Jubilee medal of Queen Elizabeth II.
He has published numerous theological, social, sermonic and cultural articles, and a spiritual-contemplative booklet “Thoughts”.
In 2015, by order of Karekin II, the Catholicos of All Armenians and the Supreme Head of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Bishop Bagrat Galstanyan was appointed as the Primate of the Tavush Diocese.
On 21 September 2015, at the initiative of Bishop Bagrat, the first Congress of the Youth Union of the diocese was held in Hagartsin, and the Central Council of the Youth Union was formed.
“Ijevan” TV Company aired his author program “The Bible in Our Lives”.
He implemented the “One Community, One School” program in Tavush, within the framework of which Sunday schools were opened in 43 communities of Tavush.
On 25 July 2017, by order of the Supreme Patriarch His Holiness Bagrat was appointed as a member of the Supreme Spiritual Council.
Bishop Bagrat Galstanyan regularly visits the military units and communities on the Armenian border and implements many other programs.