Press release

Cleveland, Ohio - On August 14-15, 2004, the clergy and members of the “St. Mary” Romanian Orthodox Cathedral, 3256 Warren Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44111 will observe the celebration of their parish centennial jubilee. This 100th anniversary marks not only the feast of a parish but the joy of a century of Romanian Orthodoxy in the United States of America. St. Mary is the oldest among all Romanian parishes established here.

On this occasion, Archbishop Nathaniel and other bishops of various jurisdictions in North America will oversee the Divine Liturgy and all other services scheduled. Among the hierarchs invited are: His Beatitude Metropolitan Herman, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, Archbishop Kyril of the diocese of Pittsburgh and the Bulgarian Diocese, Archbishop Nicolae of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese, Bishop Nikon of the Albanian Diocese in New England, Bishop Dimitrios Coushel, Greek Archdiocese of America, Auxiliary Bishop Irineu of the Romanian Episcopate and possibly others. Since 1989, the Rev. Fr. Remus Grama serves as the priest of the Cathedral and Mrs. Pauline Trutza is the Parish Council president.

The program of the weekend begins Saturday, August 14, at 5:00 PM with prayers for the souls of the blessed founders and the Vespers of the patron Feast of the church, the Falling Asleep of the Ever Virgin Mary. A reception and artistic program will follow in the Social Hall.

Sunday, August 15, matins will begin at 8:30 and will precede the main service. The procession of the clergy will be at 9:30 AM. After the Divine Liturgy and Thanksgiving service, a commemorative plaque will be unveiled and blessed. The Grand Banquet will take place at the German Center on Columbia Road, Olmsted Falls, with registration at 2:00 PM.

A Centennial Garden will be completed in honor of this event later this year along with other cultural events. Among them, we list the Exhibition of the Romanian Ethnic Art Museum at Beck Art Center in Lakewood and the unveiling of the statue of George Pomutz, a Romanian General of the Civil War (1862-65). The members of the parish are enthusiastically undertaking a project of $300,000 for repairs and development.

St. Mary’s, who’s beautiful frescoes have been blessed last year, is the only Romanian church featured on a stamp issued in Romania. Services open to the public.

Grand Banquet by reservation only. Rev. Fr. Remus Grama & The Anniversary Committee
Phone: (216)-941-5550
Fax: (216) 941-3068

Facts About St. Mary Romanian Orthodox Cathedral

- St. Mary Romanian Orthodox Cathedral is the first and oldest Romanian Orthodox church in the United States of America, founded in August 14-15, 1904 by Romanian immigrants, located first on Detroit Avenue; it is a dynamic part of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America (OCA), whose head is His Eminence Archbishop Nathaniel (Popp).

- Among the 32 Orthodox churches in Greater Cleveland St. Mary Cathedral is second only to St. Theodosius Cathedral.

- St. Mary’s first priest, Fr. Moise Balea, published the “America” news paper, oldest newspaper still printed until today.

- “St. Mary” gave many outstanding citizens and veterans to the United States of America and presently has 560 paid members including their families.

- This is the first Romanian parish to be featured on a stamp ever issued by its mother-land Romania in its honor, in 1994;

- It was visited by high officials of the former monarchy and, after 50 years of opposing communism, by the democratic government of Romania;

- Many of the faithful and co-nationals of “St. Mary” were involved in some of the highest offices of the city of Cleveland

- “St. Mary” Cathedral was visited by many senators and USA ambassadors, its own priests being invited many times to the White House.

- Since 1940 the church shelters a unique Romanian Ethnic Art Museum with significant cultural values from the New York World’s Fair, 1939;

- St. Mary Cathedral received the approval o world known composer George Enescu to bear his name and its members were instrumental in bringing his statue to Cleveland.

- Our priest Rev. Fr. Remus Grama is involved in many community affairs. He offered the invocation on behalf of the Orthodox community during the By-Centennial Celebrations of the city of Cleveland;

- Since 1999 the church was elevated by His Eminence Archbishop Nathaniel to the rank of a diocesan Cathedral of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America;

- St. Mary Cathedral is listed among the historic sacred landmarks of Cleveland, a city of many beautiful churches;

- In 2004 the Cathedral was embellished with traditional Byzantine iconography which places it on high stand among the sites to be visited in this city.

- St. Mary Cathedral is an example of community involvement and civic responsibility, opening her doors to many national causes and civic affairs and being well known having been respected in this city for its long series of distinguished clergyman, among whom we remember the Very Rev. Frs. John Trutza, Richard Grabowski and especially the late Fr. Vasile Hategan, a great upholder of the vision for Orthodox Unity in America.

- In honor of this celebration the parish undertook a $300,000 project of repairs and development, including a Centennial Garden and a commemorative plaque.