Parish News, Prelacy News


Under the auspices of His Holiness Catholicos Aram I, Very Rev. Fr. Hrant Tahanian has been sent to serve in the Eastern Prelacy. Upon the retirement of Archpriest Fr. Antranig Baljian after a meritorious career of almost half a century, first as pastor of St. Gregory Church of Indian Orchard, Massachusetts, and later as pastor of St. Stephen’s Church of Watertown, Massachusetts, for the past 30 years, the Religious and Executive Councils appointed Very Rev. Fr. Hrant to replace Archpriest Fr. Antranig, who has been named Pastor Emeritus of St. Stephen’s Church. His official installation will take place during the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, June 9, with the participation of Very Rev. Fr. Ardag Arabian, Pastor of Holy Trinity Church of Worcester, Massachusetts, and Chair of the Religious Council, on behalf of His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate.

Very Rev. Fr. Hrant Tahanian, whose baptismal name is Hovhannes, was born on November 10, 1987, in Montreal, Canada, in a family of descendants of Genocide survivors. He graduated from Soorp Hagop Armenian School in 2005 and continued his higher studies in Pure and Applied Sciences at Montmorency College. Upon graduation, he attended the Armenian Theological Seminary in Antelias, Lebanon, and was ordained as celibate priest in 2010.

After serving in various capacities at the Catholicosate of the Holy See of Cilicia, in 2012 he was appointed pastor of St. Gregory Church in Vancouver, British Columbia. Very Rev. Fr. Hrant simultaneously completed his Master of Theology at the University of British Columbia and defended a thesis entitled “Speciesism: The Primordial Sin / A Study of rdh and Lynn White’s Article from an Orthodox Perspective.” In 2015, the rank of archimandrite (Vartabed) was bestowed upon him after defending a thesis about the correspondence of Bishop Yeghishe Garoyan with Catholicos Sahag II of the Great House of Cilicia in 1921-1931. In 2021, he was elevated to the rank of senior archimandrite (Dzayrakuyn Vartabed).

In 2017, he became the Ecumenical and Inter-religious Officer of the Catholicosate of Cilicia, serving and representing our church in various ecumenical bodies and dialogues, most notably the World Council of Churches, where he was re-elected to be on the Central Committee in 2022. In 2024, he was elected to serve as the Co-Moderator of one of the WCC’s Reference Groups (Overcoming Racism, Xenophobia, Casteism, and all forms of Discrimination). 

We wish Very Rev. Fr. Hrant Tahanian success in his new mission for the benefit of the St. Stephen’s parish, the honor of the Armenian Church and the glory of God. The Religious Council of the Prelacy thanks Archpriest Fr. Antranig Baljian for his long decades of dedicated service to our faithful and the Prelacy.