The Auxiliary-Bishop IRINEU (DUVLEA)
- The Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America (ROEA) – “Vatra Romānească” -


For Romanian click here.

For a Video presentation (SlideShow) from the Election Click Here

For a Video (SlideShow) presentation from Consecration Click here

Archimandrite Irineu ( Duvlea) was born April 19, 1962 in the City of Alba Iulia, County of Alba, Transylvania, Romania to John and Aurelia Duvlea, Orthodox Christians.


His theological education includes the Theological Seminary in Cluj Napoca (1981-1987), Theological Institute, "Andrei Saguna" in Sibiu (1987-1991), having as a thesis: "Rules of organization and function of monasteries in the Romanian Orthodox Church."


Archimandrite Irineu was moved to enter the monastic life. In 1980, he entered the Brancoveanu Monastery at Sambata de Sus, Brasov County, continuing through all the steps of obedience. From 1980-86, in addition to his usual monastic obligations, because of his gentle nature, he was assigned to be care-giver to H. E., Nicolae Mladin, who for reasons of poor health, had retired to the Sambata Monastery. On May 24, 1983, he was tonsured into monasticism by His Grace, Bishop Lucian Fagarasanul.



During his monastic life, Father Irineu was ordained into the various ranks of Holy Orders. On May 3, 1983, he was ordained as Hierodeacon by H. E., Archbishop John of Helsinki, Metropolitan of Finland, on behalf of H.E. Antonie, and on November 17, 1984, ordained Hieromonk in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Sibiu by H. E., Antonie (Plamadeala), Metropolitan of Transylvania.


As evidence of his dedication and service, on August 15, 1988, he was blessed as Protosinghel by H.E., Metropolitan Antonie; January 1, 1993, named Hegumen of the Brancoveanu Monastery and in 1993 named Exarch for 15 monasteries and 10 sketes. On August 15,1993, he was blessed as Archimandrite and Abbot of the monastery by H.E., Antonie on the occasion of the consecration of the monastery by H.H., Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constan-tinople, and H.H., Teoctist, Patriarch of Romania, receiving the honor of "Patriarchal Cross of Constantinople." September 24, 2000, the Holy Synod of Romania bestowed upon him the rank of Mitred Archimandrite.





(Activities in Addition to the  Brancoveanu Monastery


In 1993, Father Irineu was named by H.E. Antonie as Exarch of monasteries in the Metropolia, having under his supervision 15 monasteries and 10 sketes. It was his obligation to visit these monasteries at least once a month. During each visit, he was required to examine the good order and the spiritual status. If there were disciplinary problems, he was required to remain and to work with others of the Metropolitan office to resolve the issues. This work was done in the name of the Metropolitan.


During the time in which he was Exarch of these monasteries, he tonsured 30 monks and 15 nuns into the monastic life. It was his privilege to have "under his mantia" H. G. Laurentiu (Streza), now Bishop of Caransebes, and other Abbots of many monasteries. He was entrusted to install most of the abbots and abbesses of the Eparhy of Sibiu, or better said, of most of Transylvania.


He was delegated by H.E. Antonie to bless the cornerstone of St. John the Baptist Skete of Poiana Brasov, a metochion of Brancoveanu Monastery for which he was responsible for gathering funds and supervising its construction. He was also authorized to bless the Monastery of the Protection of the Mother of God, Dejani, Brasov and the Monastery of the Birth of the Mother of God, Magura-Jina, Sibiu.


Archimandrite Irineu, in the name of H.E. Antonie, blessed many troitze and monuments dedicated to the heroes of the Revolution of 1989. He was honored by the President of Romania to be invited to the presidential palace for a reception on the national holiday.




In 1997, Fr. Irineu visited Offenbach, Germany, to honor, in the name of Metropolitan Antonie, one of the major benefactors of Sambata Monastery.


With the blessing of His Eminence, Fr. Irineu made two pilgrimages to Mount Athos and in 1998, a pilgrimage to monasteries in Bulgaria, Greece and to the tomb of Saint Nicholas in Bari, Italy. During his Abbacy,


Fr. Irineu hosted six patriarchs: Bartholomew of Constantinople, Parthenius of Alexandria, Ignatius of Antioch, Abuna Paulo of the Coptic Church, Pavel of Serbia and Maxim of Bulgaria.


Among other high church dignitaries, were H. E., Nathaniel of Detroit, H.E., Antonios Schedrawui of Mexico and John of Finland, and many, many others.


Among the civic leaders whom he received at Sambata were His Majesty, King Michael, the presidents of Romania, prime ministers and others.


Father Abbot Irineu also hosted many monastics, clergy and faithful who visited the monastery at various celebrations; in particular, at the Feast of the Monastery.


(in America)


Having visited family and friends in the United States a number of times since 1989, Archimandrite Irineu came to know His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel; and, in 1994, when His Eminence toured Romania, he was greeted at the Sambata Monastery by Archimandrite Irineu and the Sobor of monks.


When the Center for Orthodox Christian Studies was established in Detroit, His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel wanted to establish a monastic presence in the Saint Andrew House. By God`s grace, following an exchange of letters between H.E., Antonie and Archbishop Nathaniel, Archimandrite Irineu and a group of monks were given a canonical release by Metropolitan Antonie. Thus, on February 23, 2001, on St. Policarp Feast Day, the monastic pilgrims took up their residency in Detroit. Thus, the Holy Ascension Monastery was established and Very Reverend Archimandrite Irineu is the Abbot.


With an understanding between the Center for Orthodox Christian Studies and the Holy Ascension Monastery, there has been a surge of interest in the monastic community. For the past year, Father Abbot Irineu has continued his work and talent of offering hospitality and comfort to not only the Romanian community but to the entire Orthodox population of Greater Detroit and the Central States, making the monastery a center for Orthodox spirituality.

God’s Chosen:





In 1999 the Episcopate Congress recommended His Eminence Archbishop Nathaniel to look for an Auxiliary Bishop, or even more Auxiliary Bishops, to work together for the prosperity of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America, blessed and protected by the Almighty God.


After two years of prayers and reflection, His Eminence appointed in the Spring of 2002 a „searching commission” to look into finding able and capable candidates to fill the stated position(s).

Thus, from a 14 „prospect” candidates list, the commission called upon 3 candidates for an official interview.


As a result of a miticulous interviewing process, the questioner comprising 34 questions (all the 3 candidates proving to be highly qualified for the Archpastoral Office), the commission reccommended to the Episcopate Council one „prefered candidate”, in the person of Archimandrite Irineu, to occupy the office of the Auxiliary Bishop to His Eminence Archbishop Nathaniel.  


According to the Constitution and the By-Laws, the Episcopate Council petitioned to the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of America (OCA) to proceed with the Canonical Examination of the candidate. 


The OCA Examining Commission found no impediments for the newly nominated candidate, Archimandrite Irineu, and therefore recommended the Episcopate Congress to proceed with the election.


According to the Episcopate’s Constitution and the By-Laws, on May 17, 2002, Archbishop Nathaniel and the Episcopate Council have convoked a special Electoral Congress Session for Friday, June 29, 2002, at 2:00 pm., in the St. Mary’s Chapel at the „Vatra Romaneasca”, in order to elect the Auxiliary Bishop.


Having a quorum (117 delegates; thus 2/3 of the total number of delegates from all parishes and other Diocesan auxiliaries), the Episcopate Electoral Congress proceeded with the voting by secret ballots. 


Getting the necessary votes for the election, Archimandrite Irineu was declared “Auxiliary Bishop”, by acclamation.


Being presented to the Congress delegates, the newly-elected Auxiliary Bishop, V. Rev. Archimandrite Irineu delivered an emotional address, thanking the Almighty God, the Archbishop Nathaniel and the Congress delegates for their confidence, entrusting him with the responsabilities of Auxiliary Bishop,  underlining his desire to work hard together with His Eminence Archbishop Nathaniel, for the material and spiritual progress of the Episcopate, following in the footsteps of his predecessors.



The consecration of the newly elected Auxiliary-Bishop took place at the November 1 and 2, 2002 week-end.


The Holy Ascension of our Lord Orthodox Monastery

23300 Davison Ave W, Detroit, MI 48223

TelL/Fax 001-313-533-3413


Monastery’s web/site:




Bishop’s web-page



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