Bishop Hovhannes Tertzakian, former leader of the Armenian Catholic Church in the United States and Canada, died after being struck by a car while walking near his home. He was 78.
From 1995 to 2000, Tertzakian led the Apostolic Exarchate for Armenian Catholics in the United States and Canada, overseeing about 36,000 Armenian Catholics from his headquarters at St. Ann’s Cathedral in New York. He died Monday.
An exarchy is a church jurisdiction established for Eastern Catholics living outside their native lands.
Tertzakian was born in Aleppo, Syria, and entered the Mekhitarist Monastery of St. Lazarus in Venice in 1935.
He served as rector of Moorat-Raphael College in Venice, Italy, and Samuel-Moorat College in Sevres, France, as well as an administrator at schools in Egypt and Syria before moving to the United States in 1986. He was elevated to leadership of the exarchy in 1995 by Pope John Paul II.
Tertzakian was struck by a car in front of his home in Belmont, a Boston suburb, on Monday and was pronounced dead at Mt. Auburn Hospital. The matter is under investigation by the Middlesex District Attorney’s office.
A funeral mass was scheduled for Saturday at Holy Cross Armenian Catholic Church in Belmont. Tertzakian is to be buried in Venice