Buenos Aires, Argentina (Wednesday, July 4, 2018, Gaudium Press) The new Armenian Eparch (Bishop) of San Gregorio de Narek in Buenos Aires and Apostolic Exarch for the Armenian Catholics for Latin America and Mexico is not only someone much loved by the Armenian community of the subcontinent, but also a person with a strong academic formation. Mgr. Pablo Hakimian, 64 years old, until now parish priest of the Armenian Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Narek, in Buenos Aires, has studies in Armenian Patrology and Liturgy done at the Pontifical Armenian Seminary in Rome, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Theology from the Pontifical University Saint Thomas Aquinas, known as the Angelicum. There he also did his specialization in Social Pastoral.
Mons. Hakimian succeeds Mons. Vartan Waldir Boghossian, from whom the Pope accepted the resignation for age reasons, as he is 78 years of old, after being ate the head of the Armenian Catholic Church in Argentina for nearly 30 years.
Mons. Hakimian was born in Cairo in 1953. He emigrated to Argentina when he was only 13 years old. After finishing high school, he worked for five years at the headquarters of the Bank of Boston in the Argentine capital. Feeling that God wanted him as a pastor of souls, he entered the Pontifical Armenian Levonian Seminary in Rome in 1976, where he began his studies for the priesthood in 1981 at the Armenian Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Narek, Buenos Aires, of which it would be later parish priest.
Together with Bishop Vartan Boghossian, he made multiple pastoral visits to Armenian communities in several Latin American countries and was Vicar General of the same bishop in the Armenian Eparchy of Argentina. He was also chaplain of the Armenian Mekhitarist College of Buenos Aires.
The life of the Armenian people is quite long. After the persecutions of the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II, the Armenians began arriving in Argentina between 1894 and 1896. Between 1909 and 1913 another wave of Armenians arrived as a result of massacres perpetrated by the so-called Young Turks, persecutions reaching a climax with what that today is known as the Armenian genocide, between 1913 and 1923.
It is estimated that only in Argentina there are 16,000 Catholics of Armenian origin who have as their head Mons. Hakimian as their Eparch, in addition to the many who are located in different countries of Latin America, to whom Mons. Hakimian is now the Exarque.
With information from Aica