Very Rev. Fr. Nicolai Buga, Rector.
I was born on November 27, 1952 in Berchişeşti, Suceava, Romania, as the only child of parents Leon and Eleonora Buga. I was raised in the spirit of fulfillment of duty, of respect for others and of the fear of God. When, in 1962, the communists took all their land and assets, they understood that all they could give me was a good education. Thus, my father went to work in the mine, in order to ensure my education.
The vicinity of the church and the warm friendship of the late Father George Ilisei’s family played an important role in my subsequent training as a theologian and priest. The village priest was not only my spiritual father,, but also my model and mentor. After graduating from High School in Gura Humorului, with the blessing of my spiritual father, I enrolled in the Theological Institute (now the Andrei Saguna Faculty of Theology of the L. Blaga University) in Sibiu. I graduated in 1975, with a bachelor degree in theology, successfully defending my thesis in Church History under the guidance of the late Fr. Prof. Dr. Milan P. Şesan.
Afterwards, I worked for two years as an assistant curator and guide at the monastery of Voroneţ. In 1977, I married Miss Rodica Ignătescu, a French language teacher at the High School in Gura Humorului. Together we have two sons, Lucian-Leonard, a computer programmer, and Andrei-Liviu, a lawyer.
In March 1977, I was ordained a priest for the parish of Saints Peter and Paul in the town of Solca , Suceava County. From 1985 through 1989, I restored the church. A national landmark, the church was the main sanctuary of former Monastery of Solca (1611-1623) , founded by Prince Stephen Tomşa II (1611-15; 1621-23), which became a parish church, ten years after the occupation of Bucovina by the Habsburg (1775 ).
From 1990 through 2006, I taught Patrology and Church History at the Orthodox Theological Seminary in Bucharest, and served as a priest at the Saint Bessarion’s Church in Bucharest (Roman Square). In the '90s, I revived the old tradition of the famous "Bessarion’s Concerts,” initiated in the interwar period by Father Ioan D. Petrescu and composer Paul Constantinescu, then the church choir’s conductor. Choral music lovers still recall today of the concert performed by the Madrigal Chamber Choir, under the baton of the late Marin Constantin, or of the one performed by the Bucharest Philharmonic Choir, conducted by Silvia Secrieriu, for the George Enescu Festival.
In 2000, I was honored to receive, along with some venerable distinguished professors of theology, the national Order of the Star of Romania.
Since December 1, 2006, along with my presbytera, Rodica, we have been honored to serve the beautiful Romanian Orthodox community in Philadelphia, PA.
Rev. Deacon Timotei Avram
I was born on September 3, 1982 of parents Simon and Aurelia Avram in New York, NY. I spent most of my life being raised around Reading Pennsylvania. I Graduated from Reading High school in 2001 andstarted attending Philadelphia Community College later that fall majoring in Finance.
I met my wife Simona in 2001 and we married on March 11 2002. One of the most important and significant moments in my life was when I converted to Orthodoxy, I was baptized in the Orthodox Church July 18, 2004. I converted from the Pentecostal faith, both my parents being Pentecostals, my father a pastor of the Romanian Pentecostal church in Reading, PA.
In 2006 I enrolled in the college of theology, Universitatea 1 Decembrie 1918 and graduated in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in pastoral theology. I was ordained a deacon by his eminence Archbishop Nicolae of the Romanian Archdiocese on August 19, 2012.
I have two children Alexandru born in 2005 and Daniel born in 2013.