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Saturday, Oct 25, 2014  
Heaven Smiled [St. Nicholas Church, Regina, Saskatchewan]
St. Nicholas Parishioners and visitors with His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel, Fr. Ionut Maerean (Parish Priest), visiting clergy, and Her Honour, Vaughn Solomon Schofield, Lieutenant Governor of the Province of Saskatchewan.
St. Nicholas Parishioners and visitors with His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel, Fr. Ionut Maerean (Parish Priest), visiting clergy, and Her Honour, Vaughn Solomon Schofield, Lieutenant Governor of the Province of Saskatchewan.
St. Nicholas Parishioners and visitors with His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel, Fr. Ionut Maerean (Parish Priest), visiting clergy, and Her Honour, Vaughn Solomon Schofield, Lieutenant Governor of the Province of Saskatchewan.
Heaven smiled and blessed St. Nicholas Parish with perfect weather as it celebrated its 110th Anniversary in Regina, SK, Canada, May 12 & 13, 2012.

The occasion was blessed by a visit from His Eminence Nathaniel, Archbishop of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America and Canada.

Other visiting clergy included V.R. Fr. Daniel Nenson (Ret’d), Rev. Fr. Spiridon Vandoros (St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox, Regina), Rev. Fr. Cosmin Sicoe (St. George’s, Regina), Rev. Fr. Cosmin Vint, (Protection of the Mother of God, Ft. Qu’Appelle), along with Rev. Dn. Clayton Ungrin (Winnipeg, MB) and Rev. Dn. Ken Gaber from St. Elias the Prophet Church, in Lennard, MB. Assisting in the alter was Mr. Michael Majeran of Regina.

Also in attendance were Mr. Rodney Flunder, President of the Orthodox Brotherhood of Canada, and his wife, Adelia from McNutt, MB. Tamara Laroque and Mary Thorne from Winnipeg who had come to blend their voices with St. Nicholas choir members Alice Rayner, Lilly Orasan and Maria Tomici. Chris Farah had come from Washington; Dianne and Riad Farah had travelled from Michigan. Many others had come from surrounding towns and villages.

The week-end festivities began on Saturday morning with a memorial service, pancake breakfast and blessing of the graves by His Eminence Nathaniel and St. Nicholas’ priest, Rev. Fr. Ionut Maerean. The day continued with Vespers service and Wine & Cheese Fellowship in the evening. Among the graves blessed was that of St. Nichoas Founder, Nicolai Zora who had immigrated to Canada from Bancesti, Romania in 1894. He, along with Co-Founders Ilie Bancescu, Nicolai Surdea, Alexandru Ursaki and Nicuta Donison had begun building St. Nicholas Church in 1901, and completed it the following year.

St. Nicholas in Regina and St. Elias the Prophet in Lennard, MB. share the distinction of being the first and oldest Romanian Orthodox parishes in North America. This fact was not overlooked, and gave the week-end celebrations an added depth of significance and joy.

After completing Holy Liturgy, but before his sermon on Sunday, His Eminence welcomed among the faithful Her Honour, Vaughn Solomon Schofield, Lieutenant Governor of the Province of Saskatchewan who had come to bring greetings from Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada and the British Commonwealth of Nations. The Lieutenant Governor was accompanied by her husband and two aides-de-camp.

Later, at the Banquet of Celebration, the Lieutenant Governor recounted how her own grandfather had emigrated to Regina from Romania many years before; had started a construction company that grew into one of the biggest and most successful businesses in the city. Her remarks were especially inspiring to the many new members of St. Nicholas Parish who had recently arrived in Regina from Romania and Moldova.  

As the week-end celebrations drew to a close, no one could avoid recognizing the immense sense blessing that seemed to have been pouring down upon St. Nicholas Parish and its members over these past 110 years. Today was no different. Heaven was still smiling!

Participant

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