Consacration of the Phoenix Church &

Ordination to the Holy Diaconate


St. John the Baptist Parish, Glendale-Phoenix, Arizona, rejoiced in the consecration of its new church edifice, over the weekend of August 25 and 26, 2001.

Indication that Romanian Orthodox faithful were present in the Phoenix area came to the Episcopate Office in 1959. During the 1980's there was a steady influx of Romanian Orthodox into the Phoenix area.

With the increase of people, interest in the establishment of a mission grew, and the Episcopate decided that it was appropriate to establish a permanent worshiping community.

In March of 1982, Archbishop Valerian delegated Fr. Richard Grabowski, then Parish Priest of Holy Trinity Parish, Los Angeles, to visit the area and ascertain the interest of the faithful in forming a parish.

The archbishop sent Fr. Costica Maftei to organize a mission on October 17, 1982.

On March 6, 1983, a General Assembly was held at the home of George Stefaniu chaired by Rev. Fr. George Zmed. Thirty-eight people were present and made the commitment to form a parish under the jurisdiction of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America. It was duly registered in the State of Arizona on March 25, 1983.

The first services were held at 1507 Hatch Street, then in a local school hall, and at a third location at 5221 W. Montebello.

In 1988, a parcel of land at 3749 W. Behrend Drive at a cost of $45,000.00 was purchased.The first building constructed was the parish hall, "Casa Heius," built in 1989 through generous financial support of $85,000.00 from Mrs. Veca Tuttle of California.

In 1991, additional land was purchased adjacent to the parish property. In 1999, His Grace, Bishop Nathaniel blessed the ground for the new church, and in less than two years, the church was built. The edifice, with traditional Byzantine characteristics, cost more than $600,000.

On Saturday evening, the last service, Vespers, was held in the "Casa Heius" with the parish and visiting clergy assisting His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel

The Consecration service was scheduled for Sunday, 26th August, from 8:30 AM. The Hierarchal Divine Liturgy sealed the altar, and Sub-deacon William John Clark was ordained into the Holy Diaconate, for the Holy Trinity Romanian Orthodox Parish in Los Angeles, California. A Banquet, Program and Dance were held in the afternoon.

Clergy in attendance for the consecration services, assisting His Eminence Archbishop Nathaniel were: Rev. Frs. I. Poptelecan, G. Oanca, C. Mitescu, C. Tofan, F. Barbos, G. Libotean, C. Alecse, V. Suciu, D. Nenson, V. Parau and Dn. W. John Clark.




On Saturday, December 1, 2001, at the annual Bible Bowl competition of some 30 Orthodox Parishes in Southern California, two teams from the Holy Trinity  church represented our parish. The Romanian teams were made of the following members: Robert Sarbu, Robert Mangu, Victor Constantinescu and Lorelay Stoica, the Sr. team, and only two members in the Jr. team, namely: Magin McGrath and Monica Simonca.

Missing only one point to qualify in the 3rd place,  our Sr. Team did receive the award on the 4th place. We do congratulate them, and their coaches, Rev. Fr. Deacon Bill Clark and Rev. Fr. Virgil Anton, the chaplain for the great job they did training the teams in less than two weeks for such great accomplishments.