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. Father 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. On April 17, 2016 I was ordained into the priesthood by his Eminence Archbishop Nicolae .
I have two children Alexandru born in 2005 and Daniel born in 2013.
Father Deacon Petru Bogdan Manea
I was born on January 10th , 1981, in the city of Roman, in Neamt County, Romania as the third of five children of Vasile and Maria Manea.
After I graduated from middle school in my home village of Sagna, Neamt, I attended the “Saint John Chrysostom” Seminary in the city of Husi, Vaslui County from 1997 to 2002.
In 2001, I participated in the National Olympic Contest of Religion and took SECOND place at the History of Romanian Church section. In 2002, I was admitted to the University “Babes-Bolyai”, Cluj-Napoca, with a full scholarship in the field of Orthodox Theology until 2004, when I moved to United States. During my studies, I was also a founding member of “Saint Roman the Melodist” choir, which promoted byzantine arts and music.
Between 2004 and 2005, I attended Camden County College in Blackwood, New Jersey as an undergraduate with a major in history. In 2008, I returned to Romania to complete the Orthodox Theology studies and graduated in 2010. I obtained my bachelor’s degree with a thesis called “Attempts to Unity in the Orthodox Diaspora in America”, having Fr. Rev. Prof. Dr. Gabriel Viorel Gârdan as my advisor.
Until 2020, I was an active member and participated in different activities and programs among Romanian communities and church parishes as a Choir Director, Sunday School Teacher, and member in youth and parish counsels. This experience helped me understand the realities of the Romanian diaspora, and get a new perspective, different from that accumulated throughout my studies in Romania.
With the mercy of God, who is praised in Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with the blessing of our Metropolitan Nicolae, and with the support and guidance of Father Nicolai Buga, the parish Priest, I received the grace of ordination as a deacon on November 1st, 2020.
I have been married to Narcisa Raluca since 2005 and we have 4 blessed children: Silvana Maria, Justin Mihail, Theodor Cassian, and Julian Elias.