Biography of Fr. Mark-Arsenios Wyatt

Father Mark was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada) and from his youth had a spiritual thirst that led him on his own little journey while still only in high school, to understand the calling that he felt he had but could not decipher. He ended up feeling at home in St. Antonios Antiochian Orthodox Church (Halifax), and became a catechumen under the obedience of the Pastor, the Very Rev. Fr. Maximos Saikali who kept him under review for a period of one year before formally receiving him into the Orthodox Church when he was 18 years old.

Fr. Maximos deciphered his calling and felt that (Fr.) Mark would benefit by studying Theology overseas where he himself studied, and by the time he was 20 years old, (Fr.) Mark had already begun his first year of Theology at St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology at the Balamand Monastery in Lebanon. He quickly began learning Arabic and Modern Greek as his theological courses were taught in those languages. As he had no family in Lebanon, he spent most of his time in the various Orthodox Monasteries in Lebanon and Syria, especially in Archangel Michael Monastery, with his spiritual father, Elder Ephrem Kyriakos (now the Metropolitan of Tripoli, Lebanon). He also made a 3-week pilgrimage to the Holy Mountain (Athos, Greece) while in Seminary.

He graduated with his class in 2003 and was engaged in Lebanon also to his wife (Kh.) Rola Khachoyan, whose uncle was a Hieromonk serving at the Balamand Monastery and introduced them to each other. He returned to Lebanon in 2004 and was married at Balamand Monastery where he studied, by the present Patriarch, H.B. Youhanna X. That same year, he was ordained a Deacon & Priest over the same weekend in Halifax by the hands of H.G. Bishop Antoun, and given a second name in the Priesthood “Arsenios”, after St. Arsenios of Cappadocia. After his series of 40 daily Divine Liturgies to get him used to serving as a Priest, he was appointed as the Assistant Pastor of St. Elias Cathedral in Ottawa, under the direction of the Very Rev. Fr. Ghattas Hajal, and served the Ottawa community faithfully from 2004-2007. In September 2007, he was appointed Pastor of St. Nicholas Church where he remains until this day, working to rebuild the Parish and help enrich the spiritual life of the parishioners.

Fr. Mark & Kh. Rola now have 2 children: Marina & Raphael. He is the first Canadian-born & convert Pastor for our Church and fluent in English & Arabic. His focus is Youth Ministry and Pastoral Outreach.

His Patronal Feast Days are:

April 25 – for St. Mark the Apostle & Evangelist

November 10 – for St. Arsenios of Cappadocia