Holy Trinity Church Accessible

Youngstown, Ohio

Holy Trinity Church

Founded 1906

Diocese: Romanian Episcopate

Deanery: Great Lakes USA Deanery


626 Wick Ave
Youngstown, Ohio 44502-1215

Mailing address:

PO Box 1553
Youngstown, OH 44502-1553

Office: 330-746-5397

Church: 330-746-4424

Parish Contacts

18030 Adams Dr
Strongsville, OH 44149
Home: 440-239-1774

Lay Leadership

Mrs. Louise Gibb
Lay Contact
837 Lynita Dr
Brookfield, OH 44403
Home: 330-448-6939


From Cleveland and other points West
Take the Ohio Turnpike to Youngstown exit 15.  Follow 80 East - Youngstown to 680 (Youngstown).  Travel 680 to Rt 422 (sign reads “193 to 422 New Castle”).  Take 422 to Wick Ave/Andrews Ave exit.  Turn right at exit (Wick Ave).  The Church is on the right.

From Columbus and other points West
Take 71 North to 76 East to 80 East—New York bound.  Take 680 to exit 4A - Route 422.  Then follow directions above.

From Pittsburgh and other Southeast points
Follow the Pennsylvania Turnpike to the Ohio Turnpike, exit 16A. Take 680 North (Youngstown) to exit 6 (“Rt 62 - Rt 7 Hubbard”).  Continue on expressway to Wick Ave/Elm St exit.  Exit left (Wick Ave).  Church is on the right.

From Pennsylvania and New York via I-80
Follow I-80 west to Rt 193—Belmont Ave exit.  Turn left at 6th traffic light (1.5 miles) to Gypsy Lane.  Turn left on Gypsy and go through 2 traffic lights to Fifth Ave.  Turn right on Fifth.  Go 2 miles to Rt 422, East New Castle.  Travel Rt 422 Expressway 1/2 mile to Wick Ave/Andrews Ave exit.  Turn right on Wick.  The Church is on the right.

From Youngstown Municipal Airport
Take Rt 193 South (right out of the airport driveway) through 10 traffic lights (8 1/2 miles), to Gypsy lane.  Turn left on Gypsy and go through 2 traffic lights to Fifth Ave.  Turn right on Fifth.  Go 2 miles to Rt 422, East New Castle.  Travel Rt 422 Expressway 1/2 mile to Wick Ave/Andrews Ave exit.  Turn right on Wick.  The Church is on the right.

From Erie East or West of I-90
Take Rt 11 South to Rt 680 South to 4A-Rt 422 (sign reads “193 to 422 New Castle”).  Take 422 to Wick Ave/Andrews Ave exit.  Turn right at exit (Wick Ave).  The Church is on the right.

Schedule of Services

Services are in English and Romanian.

6:00 PM Great Vespers
Saturday Evening

9:00 AM Matins; 10:00 AM Divine Liturgy
Sunday Morning

Sunday Evening

6:00 PM Vespers.
Eves of Great Feasts

10:00 AM Divine Liturgy
Mornings of Great Feasts

Confessions are heard every Saturday Evening or by appointment (call 330-746-5397).  Confessions can be heard in English or Romanian.

Church Office is opened Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Parish Background

The year 1906 was the most blessed one in the life of the Romanian Community from Youngstown. Knowing that the Romanian priest Moise Balea, who just came from Romania, was holding services for the community of Cleveland, the Romanians from Youngstown organized themselves, rented the Excelsior Hall on Front Street and invited Fr. Balea to come and celebrate the Holy Liturgy for them. On February 4, 1906 Fr. Balea arrived in Youngstown and served the first Liturgy for this community.

Many Romanians showed up for the Liturgy, self-consciously dressed in their one good suit. All of them were exited, all of them were happy. How good it was to hear the services in their native language!

That was the first Liturgy for the Romanian Orthodox Community from Youngstown.
When it was over, 82 men remained behind, to organize the first Romanian parish in Youngstown, Ohio, naming it St Peterís with canonical affiliation under the Sibiu Metropolitane.

The first few years for the fledgling “St Peru’s” parish were ones of growth, but were hampered by the lack of a permanent priest, business depression, and some amount of quarreling among the members.

Shortly after 1906, Sibiu appointed Arhimandrite Trandafir Scorobet for the Youngstown parish. He helped the faithful draft their first by-law with membership set at $.25 a month. Then early in 1909, Archimandrite Scorobet became ill and returned to Romania. Later he became a Bishop in Romania.

In the period 1909 - 1925, Fr. Ioan Podea was the central personage of Holy Trinity. He was sent by Sibiu to build a strong Romanian Orthodoxy in Cleveland area, and was very instrumental in launching the Youngstown parish. In this period unfortunately Fr. Ioan Podea went back and forth from Youngstown and because of that the community had have a few other parish priests who stayed only for short periods.

In this period, precisely in 1918, the first steps in organizing a Romanian Episcopate in America were also made.

The first church building came along just in 1910. In September 1910, was the cornerstone of a building on Wilson Ave dedicated and the church was completed on the First Sunday after the Easter of 1911. At a meeting, presided by Fr. Podea “Holy Trinity (Sfanta Treime)” was adopted as the new name for the church. Two years later, two houses across the street were bought, one for the parish home and the other for a Romanian Sunday School. The plans for the second one didnít work out and it started to be used by a church custodian.

In 1911, after Fr. Podea became sick, Fr. Ilie Pop came and served the Youngstown parish until 1914. In the year 1912, the foundation was laid for one of the first ladies auxiliaries in our Episcopate. Around the year 1915, Fr. Podea came back

The other priest that served the Holy Trinity in that period were: Fr. Octavian Muresan ñ a very good musician, Fr. Ioan Radu, Fr. Emil Gradinaru and Fr. Iuliu Holdar,

The size of the city’s Romanian population, estimated at 4000 in 1926, combined with its geographic position close to numerous other Romanian colonies, made it the center of Romanian activity especially prior to 1929 when the focus shifted to Detroit. In these years Youngstown had a church school with some 140 students and more than 200 families in the registers. By the time Bishop Policarp arrived in America, Holy Trinity could report 800 families which regularly adhered to church affairs.

It was October 19, 1930 when Father Ioan Stanila took up his duties as parish priest at Holy Trinity Church ñ a man who became an institution in Youngstown and whose name will forever remain inseparable from the history of this parish. Father Stanila was born in Romania the village Pianul de Sus, in 1890. He was ordained as a priest in 1922 and a year later he arrived in America. Once in Youngstown, in 1930, he remained herefor 39 years until his retirement on May 1, 1969.

The only intreruption of his pastorate in Youngstown occur from 1936 to 1938 when Fr. Vasile Pascau was the spiritual leader of the parish. He, like Fr. Stanila, worked for the growth of the Church.

During Fr. Stanila pastorate at Holy Trinity, the parish came into its own.

The Ladies Auxiliaries which began as early as 1912 was renamed in 1929 as “Carmen Sylva” after the pen name of Queen Elizabeth of Romania. In 1931 Preoteasa Victoria, who was so loved by the parishioners, was elected as the president and retained the position for decades.

Fr. Stanila found a large choir called “Corul Ancora”. This too became known as the Carmen Sylva Choir and remained one of the outstanding choral group anywhere, maintaining a membership of 80 voices into the mid-1950.

On March 29th, 1935, Bishop Policarp Morusca is consecrated as 1st Bishop of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America. It was a really joy for all the Romanians from America that they finally have a bishop as they wished for many years. His Grace’s first canonical visit as a Bishop was in Youngstown on August 24, 1935.

During 1944 a beautiful stone Victorian mansion, built in 1881 by Charles D. Arms was bought by Holy Trinity parish. With the sale of the old church and the houses for some $19000 the council hired the architect Arsene Rousseau, and contractors H. Italiano and Sons to modify the property and turn it into a church. In September 1946 the new Holy Trinity Church was finalized and ready for the faithfull.

It was a moment of deep emotions, a moment when all the parishioners felt that they need once again, to bend their knees and praise God for all the blessings that He poured upon the Holy Trinity parish.

The new Church building was all one convenient unit, with an attached social hall, priest’s residence and an area for classrooms, all capable of accommodating some 240 people.

Another major event in the life of the Episcopate was the election of Bishop Valerian Trifa as the 2nd Bishop of the Romanian Episcopate, in April 1952. The Holy Trinity Church was the first one consecrated by Bishop Valerian in America.

The first fifty years of Holy Trinityís history closed with the installation of a church organ, electronic carillon bells - and the project of a young and numerous AROY chapter. Fr. Stanila retired in May 1969. The parish members will never forget his love and work for Holy Trinity Family.

Father Eugene Lazar served Holy Trinity from 1969 to 1974. He was a son of Holy Trinity parish s well as Fr. Vasile Hategan, the former pastor of St. Mary Orthodox Cathedral of Cleveland, Ohio. He was the first one who started the weekly bulletin and also the first who introduced English language for the official documents and also in the service. His son, V. Rev. Fr. Laurence Lazar is also an outstanding priest of our Episcopate, the Secretary of the Episcopate Council and the parish priest of St. George Cathedral of Southfield, Michigan.

Next to him was Fr. John Marmureanu who served as a parish priest from 1975 to 1978. His biggest merit is that he resurrected many historic materials and preserve them. He worked hard organized the voluminous parish archives.

Father Archimandrite Roman Braga, pastor of Holy Trinity came as a parish priest in October 7, 1979. Soon after he arrived at Holy Trinity, everyone noticed that he was bursting with energy, deep spirituality and strong commitment to Orthodoxy. He is a rare combination, one designed almost to order to lead an expanding and active parish. One might catalogue Father Bragaís accomplishments in the two years in which he has been at Holy Trinity, but one statement alone will suffice. In the words of one of our past Parish Presidents, “Fr. Braga has turned us around.”

A very important event in the life of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America occurred in 1980. In November 1980, His Eminence Archbishop Nathaniel was elected as the 3rd Bishop of the Episcopate.  Under His Eminence leadership, our Episcopate is brought on new levels as the social and secular changes in America ask for.

In January 1982, Rev. Fr. Dr. Remus Grama was ordained as a priest in Youngstown; Holy Trinity was also his first parish until 1989 when he was assigned to St. Mary Orthodox Cathedral from Cleveland, Ohio where he serves today. Under his leadership, the church was enriched with a new beautification and a new iconostas which reflects the authenticity of our orthodox faith. Rev. Dr. Remus Grama was a good spiritual father who cared about his flock and who, through his love and education, continued the work of hid predecessors. He established good relations with our neighbors, especially with Youngstown State University where he studied for several years.

In January 28, 1990 Fr. Remus Bleahu took his duties as parish priest at Holy Trinity. He was of good help for new comers from Romania whom he tried to guide in their new life in America. He also assisted the needy from Romania where he often sent clothes. He served Holy Trinity for 15 years.

In November 2002, a new event in the life of our Episcopate occurred: His Grace Bishop Irineu was elected as Auxiliary Bishop of the Episcopate. His Eminence Archbishop Nathaniel relays on His Grace many hopes in working together for the prosperity of the Orthodox Faith in America.

In March 2006 Fr. Cosmin Antonescu was send to serve our community, and under his leadership we celebrate today our 100 Anniversary. Today we continue what our fathers started here, at Holy Trinity Church. We have our “Carmen Sylva” Ladies Auxiliaries, we have our A.R.O.Y Chapter and we have a choir.  Fr Cosmin dedicated time and resources for the church basement.  He coordinated this project, which is ready to be finalized.

In September 2010, our parish was assigned a new priest, Fr. Ioan Irinel Dumitrascu, a Chaplain in the Air Force Reserve.  Under his leadership the church and the hall have been updated with a new air-conditioning system.  Repairs and maintenance are done on a monthly basis on premises.  Fr Ioan continued the work of his predecessors establishing or confirming relations with YSU and neighbors.  Fr Ioan built a website for the parish and community, which is updated on a weekly basis.  He has an M.Div. from Holy Cross School of Theology in Boston, MA and a doctorate degree from Europe.  Fr also serves in the Air Forces Reserves as a Chaplain.  We increased our events (number-wise) in a hope to “spread the Word” of the Gospel; we continue with Carmen Sylva, AROY and the Bulletin.  Currently there are 30 and increasing photo albums on our website describing events and activities.

This is a short but comprehensive history of the Holy Trinity Romanian Orthodox Church. All the accomplishments made by our forefathers make us proudly of our inheritance. The progress of Holy Trinity wouldn’t have been possible without the love, the prayer and the labor of each one of this parish member and supporter. Each one of them, in a way or another, contributed at building this Church in its spiritual and material aspect. We should remember all the time what is our mission on the earth, as our parents did. We should remember that our calling is to be witnesses of Christ in the world and to proclaim that His salvation should be everyoneís salvation.