The Romanian Orthodox Parish in Windsor, Ontario, celebrated its 105th anniversary with a series of events organized for the feast of Holy Hierarch Andrei Șaguna, protector of the Romanian Orthodox Cathedral in the city.
The liturgical and cultural programme started on Friday, November 24, with the Holy Unction service, officiated by Bishop Ioan Casian of Canada. His Grace was joined by Protosyncellus Corneliu Andrașco – parish priest of the Windsor community, Father Nicolae Codrea, eparchy secretary, Dean Călin Barbolovici, Hieromonk Policarp Athenagoras – hegumen of the Romanian Orthodox monastery in Mono, Canada, and by priests Ilie Dimitrovsk and John Ajub.
Symposium dedicated to Father Dumitru Stăniloae
The next day the annual symposium “Church, Education and Multicultural Society”, dedicated to Father Dumitru Stăniloae (1903 – 1993) was held under the auspices of the “St Maximus the Confessor” Centre for Cultural-Theological and Catechetic Training of the Diocese of Canada. The attendance was in a hybrid format (with physical presence and online).
“I dedicated this symposium to Father Dumitru Stăniloae because in his writings we find answers to the problems of our time and a model of thinking or rationality for our lives that leads us, as he says, to ‘our improvement’,” said Bishop Ioan Casian in the opening of the symposium.
“We find in him a lucidity and a naturalness of thought that combines spiritual intelligence with ascetic effort, Biblical thinking with contemporary philosophical reflection, the depth of inner contemplation and the breadth of ecclesial-community development.”
“We also find an almost surgical thoroughness in analyzing the ancient writings and exhausting them as resources that can be used to our spiritual advantage. He combines a poetic and symbolic sensibility and a capacity for globalization and synthesis that is hardly comparable,” added the hierarch.
The speakers were: Dr. Adriana Bara from Concordia University – Montreal, Fr. Vladimir Vranic from the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Canada, Prof. Dr. John Cappucci from Assumption University in Windsor, Protos. Maxim Morariu and Fr. Dr. Dragoș Giulea from the “St Maximus the Confessor” Centre for Cultural-Theological and Catechetic Training in Montreal, Fr. Dr. Maxym Lysack from St. Paul University in Ottawa, Fr. George Bâzgan from the Orthodox Romanian Diocese of Canada, Fr. Ioan Ioniță from the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese of the US and Fr. Nicolae Codrea from the Diocese of Canada.
Prayer and homage to the founders
On the last day, Sunday, the Bishop of Canada celebrated the Divine Liturgy in “St George” and “St Andrei Șaguna” Cathedral in Windsor. Members of the community attended dressed in traditional clothing and welcomed the hierarch with bread and salt, an old Romanian custom.
After the service, His Grace Ioan Casian awarded distinctions to some members of the community and to the founders of Windsor Cathedral who have reached the venerable age of 90.
“It is thanks to these worthy people that we are happy today to be able to have a church, to be able to have a community that can pass on the Orthodox faith to future generations,” said His Grace.
“We are in the Solemn Year of the Pastoration of the Elderly and it is precisely for this reason that now, as we mark 105 years in the life of the Windsor community, we look with great joy to the models of life and dedication that this generation leaves us.”
At the end, the Bishop read the proclamation by which the Mayor of Windsor, at the request of the Romanian community, declared the week of 24 November – 1 December 2023 as the “Week of the Romanian Pioneers in Windsor”.
The Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Canada currently has 22 parishes, 3 missions, 4 cathedrals, a parish church and a monastery – in which 41 clergy serve.
Photo credit: Facebook / Episcopia Ortodoxă Română a Canadei