His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan
Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan was born in Aleppo, Syria, in 1947 with the baptismal name of Manoog. He received his primary education in Aleppo’s Haikazian School. In 1960 he was accepted in the Cilician See’s Seminary. He was ordained a deacon in 1964 and a celibate priest in 1967 by Bishop Karekin Sarkissian, who in 1994 as Catholicos Karekin II of Cilicia, ordained him a Bishop. In December 1998, he was elevated to the rank of Archbishop by His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of Cilicia.
He attended the American University of Beirut from 1968 to 1970 where he majored in history. From 1974 to 1978 he attended the Princeton Theological Seminary (New Jersey) where he majored in education and psychology earning a Masters Degree. His continued studies at Princeton in the history of the church earned him a second Masters Degree.
Archbishop Choloyan has taught in the Cilician Seminary, the Mardigian national School in Beirut, and the Karen Yeppe Jemaran and Sahagian National School in Aleppo.
In April 1980 His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of Cilicia, appointed him to serve as pontifical legate to Kuwait and the Arab Emirates and was subsequently elected to serve that diocese as Prelate.
Archbishop Choloyan has worked in the editorial offices of Hask, the CIlician See’s official publication, and Klatzor, the Seminary’s publication. Together with Bishop Datev Sarkissian he has prepared and published religious textbooks for grades 1 to 10, currently in use in the Middle East. With Archbishop Zareh Aznavourian, Archbishop Choloyan has prepared five volumes of Sharagans of the Armenian Church.
He and Archbishop Aznavourian have also collaborated on the translation of the New Testament from classical Armenian to modern Armenian under the auspices of the Bible Society. They are now in the process of translating the Old Testament.
He has been a member of the Middle East Council of Churches since 1979 serving for several years on the Executive Committee. He has participated in many meetings on behalf of the Great House of Cilicia. Since 1997 he is co-chairman of the Executive Committee of the 1700th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Christianity as the State religion in Armenia.