Pages of History

The Parish

The first Romanian Greek-Catholic community is formed in the years of exile after the occupation of the country by the Communist regime, under the name of ‘ Romanian Catholic Mission ‘ and the first Romanian Greek-Catholic mass was celebrated in July 1951 by fr.Gheorghe Cmeciu.
About fr.Cmeciu we have the details published by Archdiocese of Montreal when the Romanian priest died:

“Fr. Georges Cmeciu was born on 18 April 1910 in Buciumi, Romania, son of Steven Cmeciu and Anne Peles and died on 29 December 1996. He was ordained priest on December 12, 1936 by His Excellency Mgr. Juan Balan, Bishop of Lugoj in Romania. He arrived at the Canada in 1950 to teach at the Seminary of Mont-Laurier and to facilitate the immigration of the Romanians wishing to settle here. He brings together a little bit the first Romanian families has the parish Saint-Vincent-Ferrier de Montréal, while living in Mont-Laurier until 1954. He then passes to the diocese of Montreal where he exercises his Ministry as Vicar in the parishes of Saint-Louis-de-France (1954-57), Saint-Édouard (1957-69), Saint-Arsène (1969-77) and finally St. Paul until his retirement. During those long years, he will be at the same time Chaplain of the Romanians of Latin and Byzantine rites. He officially became priest of the clergy of Montreal by his incardination, 1er May 1963. The funeral of Father Georges Cmeciu was celebrated on Tuesday, December 31, 1996, 14 h, in the Basilique-Cathédrale Marie-Reine-du-Monde of Montreal. »

In the same article published in «The Church of Montreal» January 16, 1997, mention:

«1948 marked the suppression of the Romanian Catholic Church. “All the Bishops of the Catholic Church of the Byzantine rite, refusing to submit and sign the accession documents (to the Orthodox Church – n.n.), were imprisoned and all ended their life in prison as a result of humiliation and torture, the last being the Cardinal Juliu Hosu.” The diaspora as well as the entire people of the Romania have related with the suffering of our Church and our martyrs bishops”. Fr. Cmeciu used to pronounce these words with a lot of emotion. »

During this long period marked by the break with the Church of the mother of the Romania, the Romanian Greek-Catholic, lacking also a place of prayer community himself, has diluted in various associations of Romanian exile, in moved away from its characteristics.

Fr.Radu Roscanu, a retired Civil Engineer, was ordained priest in 1992 by Most Rev.Vasile Hossu and served the Romanian Greek-Catholic community in Montreal from 1992-2005. During this period there were several issues worth mentioning:

  • In the 90s fr.Roscanu campaigned a lot in Roman-Catholic parishes in Quebec and beyond in support of restitution of BRU (Romanian United Church) churches and properties in Romania. Following his countless presentations and lectures thousands of signatures have been filed and sent to in Romania to be added to the steps taken to restore the BRU rights.
  • Meanwhile, fr.Roscanu registered the first Romanian Greek-Catholic parishes (communities) in Canada (whether under the name of “Byzantine community “) in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.
  • Also thanks to fr.Roscanu interventions during this period (1998) Romanian Greek-Catholic parishes were received under the canonical jurisdiction of the Ukrainian Eparchy of Toronto and Eastern Canada, even without the explicitly acceptance of the BRU leadership. An immediate effect of this subordination was that we were allowed to use for liturgical celebrations the Ukrainian (Ruthenian) “Sf.Josaphat” church in Montreal that we still use.
  • The efforts made for the minimum function of all these different and very dispersed parishes have as results that they remained very small communities, the Holy Mass to be rare (1-2 per month or less), in inappropriate conditions and locations and fr.Roscanu to disperse his efforts in other directions than pastoral.
  • In 2005, Ukrainian Diocese of Toronto has asked fr.Roscanu to receive a newcomer priest, Fr, Gh.Suta, as a pastoral aid but he chose to leave.
  • Since August 2001 the Toronto community revived with a permanent pastor, fr.Emil Jude, under the jurisdiction of the Archidiocese of Toronto.
  • The Ottawa community dispersed by the lack of Greek-Catholic members.

Beginning April 2005, the Romanian Greek-Catholic parish of Montreal is headed by fr.Gh.Suta, changing its name and dedicated to the “Nativity of the Mother of God”. In 2011 was officially registered the religious organization and at the same time, at the request of Major Archdiocese of Blaj, the Holy See approved the passage of Romanian Greek-Catholic parishes (Montreal and Toronto) under the canonical jurisdiction of the Romanian Greek Catholic Eparchy of Canton , OH, USA.