Armenian Jerusalem
This project has been supported by the Gulbenkian philanthropic Foundation, the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and members of the worldwide Armenian community. Reproductions of the genealogical documents [domar’s] are courtesy Photo Garo, Jerusalem. Copyright © 2007 Arthur Hagopian
This project has been supported by the Gulbenkian philanthropic Foundation, the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and members of the worldwide Armenian community. Reproductions of the genealogical documents [domar’s] are courtesy Photo Garo, Jerusalem. Copyright © 2007 Arthur Hagopian

is Beatitude Archbishop Torkom Manoogian was born on February 16, 1919, in a refugee

camp near the desert town of Baquba, north of Baghdad, Iraq. After completing his

elementary education at the Holy Translators Armenian School in Baghdad, he entered

the theological seminary of the Armenian Patriarchate of St. James in Jerusalem as the

youngest student of his class.

               On   August   2,   1936,   he   was   ordained   into   the holy   diaconate   by   his   spiritual   father   and   favorite teacher,   the   late   Patriarch,   Archbishop   Torkom Koushagian.   At   his   ordination   as   a   priest   on   July 23, 1939, he was given the name Torkom.      From     1939-1946     he     served     in     various capacities   in   the   Armenian   Patriarchate:   on   the Board   of   the   Patriarchate's   official   gazette,   Sion, and   also   as   sub-dean   at   the   seminary.    In   July 1946   he   traveled   to   the   United   States   and   took up   the   pastorate   of   the   Holy   Trinity   Armenian Church   in   North   Philadelphia,   Pennsylvania.   This pastorate   was   interrupted   in   1951   when   he   was named   as   Vicar   General   of   the   Eastern   Diocese   of America,    headquartered    in    New    York,    by    the Primate    of    the    Diocese.    After    resuming    his pastorate   in   North   Philadelphia   for   one   year   in 1954,    Father    Torkom    returned    to    Jerusalem where    as    Dean    of    the    Seminary    he    assumed responsibility    for    the    religious    education    of young   seminarians   preparing   for   the   priesthood. He     also     headed     the     Chancellery     of     the Patriarchate.      Returning   to   the   United   States   in   1960,   he entered    the    Episcopal    Theological    School    in Cambridge,   Massachusetts,   to   follow   a   course   of graduate   study.   This   study   was   interrupted   when in   1962   he   was   elected   as   Primate   of   the   Western Diocese   of   the   Armenian   Church   located   in   Los Angeles.   On   October   14   of   that   same   year   he   was consecrated     a     bishop     at     the     Holy     See     of Ejmiatsin, Armenia,   by   His   Holiness   Vazken   I,   the late    Supreme    Patriarch    and    Catholicos    of    All Armenians.      After   four   years   as   Primate   of   the   Western Diocese,    in    April    1966,    Bishop    Torkom    was elected   Primate   of   the   Eastern   Diocese   of   the Armenian   Church   of America.   Two   years   later,   on   the   occasion   of   the   consecration   of   St.   Vartan   Cathedral, the   first   Armenian   cathedral   in   America   in   whose   construction   he   played   a   pivotal   role,   the   late   Holiness Vazken I conferred upon Bishop Torkom the title of Archbishop.      Having   served   six   consecutive   terms   as   Primate   of   the   Eastern   Diocese--24   years--Archbishop   Torkom was elected 96th Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem on March, 22. 1990.      When   the   late   Catholicos   Vazken   I   entered   into   eternal   rest   on   August   19,   1994,   His   Beatitude   was chosen   to   take   responsibility   for   the   Holy   See   of   Ejmiatsin   as   the   Catholical   Locum   Tenens,   a   capacity   in which   he   served   until   the   election   of   Karekin   I,   the   new   Supreme   Patriarch   and   Catholicos   of All Armenians in April 1995.      His   Beatitude   holds   several   academic   honors,   including   an   honorary   doctorate   granted   to   him   by   the General   Theological   Seminary   in   New   York.   In   1986   he   was   the   recipient   of   two   prestigious   American medals:   the   Statue   of   Liberty   Medal,   and   the   Ellis   Island   Medal   of   Honor.   January   18,   1990   marked   the   50th anniversary   of   his   ordination,   an   event   celebrated   nationwide   in   the   United   States.   He   was   also   chosen "Man of the Year" by the "Religion in American Life." organization.      His   Beatitude   has   played   a   vital   role   in   the   promotion   of   international   ecumenical   relations.   He   has served   on   the   Board   of   the   National   Council   of   Churches   of   Christ   in   the   United   States,   and   was   Chairman of   the   Board   of   "Religion   in   American   Life   ".   He   has   also   been   a   member   of   the   Board   of   Directors   of   the "Appeal of Conscience Foundation ".      In   the   aftermath   of   the   devastating   earthquake   which   struck   Armenia   in   December   1988,   he   was instrumental    in    coordinating    international    efforts    aimed    at    mobilizing    and    marshaling    financial    and material   support   for   the   rehabilitation   process,   in   which   he   is   still   active.        A   musician,   choral   conductor, composer,   poet   and   writer,   Archbishop   Torkom   has   a   wide   range   of   personal   interests   and   pursuits.   He   has published   some   20   books   and   monographs   including   three   books   of   poetry   under   the   pen   name   "Shen   Mah", original   research   on   the   Armenian   liturgy,   books   on   the   Armenian   genocide,   and   a   detailed   guide   book   of the    holy    places    of    Jerusalem.    He    has    recently    rendered    into   Armenian    the    154    sonnets    of    William Shakespeare.        He   is   considered   a   foremost   expert   and   lecturer   on   the Armenian   composer,   Komitas,   and is currently working on a book of Armenian liturgical music by the great musicologist.
This project has been supported by the Gulbenkian philanthropic Foundation, the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and members of the worldwide Armenian community. Reproductions of the genealogical documents [domar’s] are courtesy Photo Garo, Jerusalem. © Copyright 2007 Arthur Hagopian
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