TABOR - Tradition and Contemporaneity in the Romanian Orthodox Church
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Former Deacons of the Cathedral of Cluj-Napoca (I)
The holy services officiated in the Episcopal Cathedrals have a special spiritual charm and a solemnity that individualizes them compared to the other churches of a diocese. That is why they are desired, sought and listened to by a large number of believers. Our cathedral in Cluj-Napoca, today a metropolitan one, is completely among those sought by believers, from all social categories and all ages. An important role in this spiritual work has always had and continues to have, on one hand, the deacons of the Cathedral, chosen by the diocesan bishop from among young theologians with very good voices and musical skills, and, on the other hand, the Cathedral choir, with high-profile professional conductors, talented in the art of conducting and very good connoisseurs of church music. As one who was a servant of the Cathedral for 35 years (15 years as a deacon and 20 years as a priest), I closely knew the hierarchs, priests and deacons of the Cathedral as well as the conductor of the Cathedral choir - Father Professor Ioan Brie - which has prepared and led the choir for 60 years. I wrote and published about the servants of the Cathedral (hierarchs and priests) in our diocesan periodicals and later in a book. I have recently begun to write about deacons and ministers. The first evocation was about Archdeacon Sever Suciu (1909-1988), who remained in the deaconry all his life and served the Cathedral and the Diocesan Center for 44 years, a text published in the magazine “Renaşterea” no. 8/2018. In the present pages I try to sketch the portrait and activity of those with whom I served as a deacon either at the altar of the Cathedral or in the diocese, accompanying the two worthy bish- ops of our archdiocese at that time: Archbishop Teofil Herineanu and the vicar bishop Justinian Chira Maramureşanul. It is about Father Simion Felecan (the one who served the cathedral for 20 years: 3 years cantor, 10 years deacon and 7 years priest), Father Vasile Raus (the one who served as deacon for almost 17 years) and Father Valentin Bochiş ( the one who served as a deacon for 13 years). In this first episode of the cycle “former deacons of the Cathedral of Cluj-Napoca”, I propose to dwell on the activity (as deacon and priest) of Father Simion Felecan (b. 1944) activity that stretches over 50 years (1979- 2019), 20 years at the Cathedral and 30 years as pastor of the “Annunciation” parish in Munich - Germany. My endeavour started not only from our priestly brotherhood and friendship that has lasted for many decades, but especially from the exceptional pastoral-missionary performances and the economic achievements he had in atypical conditions. About his life and activity in the service of the ancestral Church and of the Romanian Nation, he revealed more to us in the interview he gave us and which we propose to you in the following. The interview seems to me to be a kind of summary of a book I would call “Two Lives, one Priesthood.”