His Eminence Nicolae celebrates on 30 April his 1st anniversary as Romanian Orthodox Metropolitan of the Americas.
His Eminence Metropolitan Nicolae was born in the city of Constanţa on April 15, 1967, to his parents Nicolae and Victoria, both now asleep in the Lord. He attended elementary school in his native city between 1973 and 1981.
He attended the first two years of high school at the Mathematics & Physics High School in Constanţa, after which he transferred to the Meteorology High School in Bucharest, where he obtained his baccalaureate in 1985. After he graduated from high school, he did his mandatory military service in 1985-1986.
Feeling the call toward the priesthood and the monastic vocation growing stronger and stronger, he decided to answer this call and follow this vocation. In 1988 he was admitted to the Andrei Şaguna Orthodox Faculty of Theology in Sibiu, which at that time was the only school to admit high school graduates.
In 1994 he received a scholarship to the Marc Bloch University in Strasbourg, where he attended the Faculty of Catholic Theology and finished a graduate degree in June 1995. Between 1995 and 2001 he attended doctoral classes at the same Faculty where, on November 10, 2001, he defended his Ph.D. dissertation entitled “Matters of Psychology in the Works of Evagrius Ponticus” and obtained the degree of Doctor in Theology.
During his years of study, in order to combine theory and practice, study and priestly ministry, he decided to enter the clergy and was ordained in the spring of 1997 first as a deacon, then as a celibate priest, by His Eminence Metropolitan Serafim of Germany and Central Europe, with whose benediction he then established and served the parish of the Nativity of the Lord in Stuttgart, Germany.
After receiving the prestigious academic title at the end of his graduate studies, Fr. Nicolae returned to Romania where, on December 18, 2001, he took his monastic vows at the Radu Vodă Monastery in Bucharest. From then until he came to America he was patriarchal secretary.
The priests and lay delegates of the Special Electoral Congress of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in America and Canada, convened on March 9, 2002, at the Holy Trinity parish in Troy, Michigan, elected Fr. Nicolae Condrea for the vacant throne of Archbishop. Thus ended a process which had lasted many years, having begun with the retirement and then the falling asleep of His Eminence Archbishop Victorin.
His Eminence Teofan, Metropolitan of Oltenia, and then His Eminence Iosif, of the Romanian Orthodox Metropolis of Western and Southern Europe, had in turn been locum tenens of the Archbishop’s throne. The Special Electoral Committee proposed two names, the Rev. Protosinghelos Nicolae Condrea, and the Rev. Hieromonk loan Casian Tunaru, to the Eparchial Council assembled in September 2001, and the Council approved the work of the Committee and recommended the convocation of the Special Electoral Congress for the election of the Archbishop.
The Congress was led by His Eminence Metropolitan Iosif. At its meeting of March 13, 2002, the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church unanimously validated the election, and conferred on Fr. Nicolae the rank of Archimandrite.
The ordination and enthronement of the new Archbishop-Elect took place at the 71st Annual Congress of the Archdiocese, hosted by St. John the Baptist parish in Montreal, Canada, July 12 – 14, 2002. His Beatitude Patriarch Teoctist, accompanied by an important delegation of hierarchs, priests, deacons and media representatives, presided over the ceremonies.
The 80th Archdiocesan Congress, held July 1-3, 2016 at the Holy Resurrection parish in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada adopted historical decisions for the ecclesiastical organization of the Romanian Orthodox in the Americas, as follows:
- The establishment of the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Canada
- The establishment of the Romanian Orthodox Metropolia of the Americas, composed of two dioceses: The Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese of the United States of America, and the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Canada
- Proposal to elevate the Romanian Orthodox Archbishop of the Americas to the dignity of Metropolitan
- Nomination of His Grace Bishop Ioan Casian as Diocesan Bishop of the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Canada
These decisions of the Congress were approved by the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church at its meeting of October 28-29, 2016. The ceremony of elevation to the rank of Metropolitan took place on October 30, 2016 at the Patriarchal Cathedral following the Divine Liturgy and officiated by Patriarch Daniel, in the presence of the members of the Holy Synod of the
Romanian Orthodox Church, and of priests and delegates of various parishes from the U.S. and Canada.
The Enthronement Ceremony took place on April 30, 2017 at Sts. Constantine and Helen Cathedral, Chicago, IL after the Divine Liturgy.
Photo Credit: Basilica.ro