A brief history of the Chapel
by Fr. Bill Clark
To my spiritual Father and mentor, V. Rev Constantin Alecse and all the faithful at Holy Trinity Church, along with my dear ones in our “Descent of the Holy Spirit Chapel”.
To all newcomers, this is a brief history of how the Chapel began.
Father Alecse was greatly concerned with the growth of the Holy Orthodox Faith in America. He pondered this for some time and one day, a plan struck him. Begin an English Liturgy in our Church Hall.
During this time, Fr. Ioan Poptelecan then the Assistant Priest (1996-1997) started up our English Liturgy. Around this time (¹96 -¹97) Fr. Anton Frunza (also known as our dear Fr. Tony), then a sub Deacon and a newcomer, Bill Clark, assisted Fr. Ioan in the Hall.
The big day came on May 11, 1997, the Cantor Brother Bill, our greatly loved Ion Canciu, cantor Anton Frunza and Minas Sarchizian, were all blessed & ordained; Reader, Sub Deacon, Deacon and Priest, all on the same day by our beloved Bishop Nathaniel (now Arch Bishop Nathaniel).
Later in July 1997, the Deacon Anton Frunza was ordained Priest. Fr. Tony worked very hard with Fr. Alecse to establish our Chapel. We moved out from the hall and into our beloved Chapel. I served Fr. Tony about 2 years as a Server & Reader.
It must be noted, Fr. Alecse since late 1997, has had his office in his car, in the hall, in his house or where ever he can. Why? Because our beloved Fr. Constantin gave us his Pastoral Office in order to build our current Chapel.
This work was completed with love by our Church Deacon Vasile Simonca.
I, Brother Bill, served Fr. Tony for about 2 years. For Fr. Minas, I served 2 years as a Sub Deacon and later again, for another 2 years for Fr. Virgil Anton as a Deacon. After Fr. Anton, here I am now a Priest ordained by Arch. Bishop Nathaniel on March 2, 2003. I was sponsored by Fr. Alecse and served in our Chapel for 2+ years, with great joy.
Beloved, what an honor it was for all of us to serve Fr. Alecse and the Chapel A great joy indeed.
Now I greet all Chapel members, keep this English tradition going. Preserve what Fr. Alecse has begun, let us go the extra mile, you, all the
³Pioneers², remember, Our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ never said it would be easy. He told us that we must carry our cross and follow Him (Matthew16.24.25). All of us who hold out to the end will be saved (Mark 13.13). Christ¹s Church is not about Father Bill or Fr. Alecse or whether we like the Priest, music or sermons. Our Blessed Lord tell¹s us that the Kingdom will be taken by Force. Our Chapel is an experiment, however, is not everything?
Keep the English Chapel going. Preserve what has been given to us. To you Chapel members, you are carving the way to build the Orthodox Faith here in America.
Just think, Fr. Alecse has developed a way, perhaps the “only way” to serve our older Romanians, the immigrants and all of us Americans. Let us, the converts contribute to the growth of the Orthodox in this country. We are at the point now as the Russian American people were a generation ago. In Los Angeles and in the west, Bishop Tikhon established the English Liturgy under very difficult conditions. Let us follow their example. It will not be easy but we must keep the faith.
Let us Romanian Americans follow the example of our Russian American Brothers, strive forward, overcome pitfalls and never look back. We are Orthodox Christians, Christ’s Holy Church. Let us not think of ourselves, but we must “cast our nets ‘ for a great catch - new people, growth and ultimate victory in America.
God Bless you all, I love you. Fr. Bill
Pr. William John Clark.
(Typing by: Dan Platt)
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