Saint George
Romanian Orthodox Cathedral

Sunday, 28 January 2007


The Day began with Matins, and the Sunday Divine Liturgy con-celebrated by His Eminence Archbishop Nathaniel, Archimandrites Dr Mihail (Filimon) of Ascension Monastery, and Roman (Braga) of Dormition Monastery, both of whom taught on the “Publican & Pharisee” gospel passage, Frs Laurence Lazar, Dean, Constantin Enache (Attached); parish members: Archdeacon David Oancea, ROEA Chancellor, and Cathedral Deacon Sabin Pop. Fr Dimitrie Vincent (St Thomas Albanian parish) joined in the Parastas marking the 20th Anniversary, to the day, of the falling asleep of Archbishop Valerian ‘of Thrice-Blessed Memory’. M/M Bobby Westerfield offered the breads in memory of the hierarch and their family members. The nuns of Dormition Monastery offered Coliva.

M/M Randy Suciu generously Co-Sponsored a gracious dinner with the Ladies Auxiliary, which prepared the delicious menu. Also taking part were Mother Gabriella, Abbess of Dormition Monastery and a member of the monastic community; Fr Roman Star, Orthodox Clergy/Council of Metro Detroit President (St Innocent parish); Fr/Psa Leonte Copacia (St Raphael parish); Psa Eleonora Lazar, Psa Anita Lazar, Psa   Elena Enache, Dsa Ramona Pop, and part of the AROY Executive Board.

The Cathedral Choir, which was given the name "Archbishop Valerian Choir" some years ago by Archbishop Nathaniel in remembrance of the special place the Cathedral always held in the late hierarch's heart, opened the dinner by leading the Lord's Prayer. Council President Mircea Rusu welcomed everyone, and Fr Lazar introduced the guests, as Master of Ceremonies. He then offered personal remarks on the late hierarch, referring to how the visionary inspired, organized, and protected his diocese, and unjustly suffered persecution for it. He spoke of traveling to Portugal to arrange for the Archbishop’s return, etc. On behalf of diocesan auxiliaries, John E Lazar, spoke as national President of AROY, and for ARFORA; Augustin Vincent, Vice President, spoke for the Orthodox Brotherhood. The day’s program included a violin interlude by Ştefan Tamaş, and Silvana Totan, Stephen Maxim, Allison Hunt, Marina Vlad, Alexandru Radulescu, Jessica Precop (members of the Cathedral AROY chapters) read excerpts from Traian Lascu’s book “Valerian”. A choral ensemble sang “Valerian”, an anniversary memorial composition written by Fr Lazar. To conclude the day’s program Archbishop Nathaniel offered reflections on his predecessor and insights into the mind and heart of this amazingly strong man, whose name will always be lovingly remembered as critical in the history of the diocese.

How did people feel as they departed? It was… “such a beautiful and peaceful day”. “It all brought back so many memories”. “I think this was the most moving, the nicest (dignified) dinner we’ve ever had.”


Fr Roman Braga gave the English sermon
The "coliva" is raised during the parastas
Fr Mihail Filimon offered the Romanian sermon

"Among the saints O Christ, rest the soul of your servant..."
Archdn David Oancea, Archbishop Nathaniel & Dn Sabin Pop
The parastas was celebrated at the end of the Divine Liturgy

Fr Laurence Lazar offered moving personal remarks
Archbishop Nathaniel offered the main address
Mr Gus Vincent spoke for the Orthodox Brotherhood

Some AROY members who were present helped clean up after the dinner
Ladies of the parish prepared the meal
Selected AROY members read passages recalling the Archbishop
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