On days full of the scent of autumn and grace, at the Holy Trinity Church in Philadelphia took place the pastoral visitation of His Eminence Archbishop and Metropolitan Nicolae, on the occasion of the celebration of the second patronal feast of the parish church, the Holy Confessors from Transylvania, and the installation of the new parish priest, Timotei Avram.
The visit of His Eminence began on Saturday, October 23, at dusk, with the celebration of Vespers, followed by the sermon of the Metropolitan. HE Nicolae spoke with trembling about the miracle-working icon of Our Lady of Kursk, which was brought to worship at the Monastery of St. Dimitrios the New in Middletown, NY. The Vespers service was followed by a meeting with the Parish Council on future projects and the pastoral-missionary mission of the parish.
On Sunday, October 24, at this historic church in Philadelphia, a source of blessing for Orthodox from Romania over time, the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy took place, in which His Eminence Nicolae prayed for the strengthening of the parish community, as well as for the sick people in our parishes, in an uplifting spiritual atmosphere.
In his sermon, Metropolitan Nicolae spoke, in the first part, on the Sunday Gospel of the healing of the demonized in the land of the Gerasenes, about the presence of evil in the world and the healing power of Christ. Afterwards, he mentioned the image of the sacrifice in the lives of the Holy Confessors from Transylvania: the Venerable Fathers Visarion Sarai and Sofronie from Cioara, the Holy Martyr Nicolae Oprea and the Priests Moise Măcinic from Sibiel and Ioan from Galeș. His Eminence Nicolae outlined in turn the personality and sacrifice of each commemorated confessor.
At the end of the Divine Hierarchical Liturgy, HE Metropolitan Nicolae stressed that today, the Holy Trinity Parish in Philadelphia enters into a new era through the installation the new parish priest, Timotei Avram, as a successor of V. Rev. Father Nicolai Buga, recently retired, who zealously pastored this parish. According to the order of the Orthodox Church, the new parish priest received from His Eminence the Holy Gospel, the word of God to be proclaimed “with time and without time,” the Holy Cross, symbol of sacrifice and source of power, and the keys of the church through which to open not only the place of worship, but also the souls of the faithful. In conclusion, HE Nicolae wished the new parish priest fruitful pastoral care.
Father Timotei Avram thanked his predecessor, Fr. Nicolai Buga, then, in an emotional speech, recounted how he came to convert to Orthodoxy, the holy joys of the beginning of knowing the spiritual beauties of Orthodoxy, receiving baptism in a church in Alba Iulia (which also has the patronal feast of the Holy Trinity), the longing for the knowledge of the teaching of faith and the study of theology at the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Alba Iulia. He then thanked his wife and family for their attachment, understanding and ongoing support.
Father Timotei Avram then addressed the parish community entrusted to his pastoral care, the Parish Council and the Committee of Ladies, whom he assured of good cooperation and the holy desire for the pastoral-administrative work and salvation of the faithful. Then, he thanked His Eminence Metropolitan Nicolae for his trust and engagement.
Father Niculiță Pascu from Alba Iulia, the godfather of the Avram family, the Protosyngellos Christofor and the Deacon Bogdan Manea also participated in this uplifting event. The day ended with a fraternal agape.