21 Nov

FrPentiucIt has become a regular occurrence at Saint George Church for us to see, at the conclusion of Divine Liturgy, Father Eugen descend the steps from the altar.  Robed in white vestments, his presence is bright.  He walks to the center of the church and, standing between the rows of pews, delivers what he likes to call a “sermonette”.  Typically, he begins by talking about the day’s Gospel reading, which he invariably connects back to the Old Testament, and ends by showing how it relates to our own lives.  He has a style that is both lively and engaging, making eye contact with individual parishioners, as we sit in rapt attention listening to him speak in a Romanian accent.  It is abundantly clear that Father Eugen finds great joy in teaching others and serving in Christ’s Church.

Since 1998, Father Eugen has taught at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts, where he has served in various capacities.

He is currently the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Tenured Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages. He is familiar with six modern and eight ancient languages.  Both a scholar and a theologian, he also teaches at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Yonkers, NY.  He has also taught at Harvard University and Bucharest University in his native Romania.  Father Eugen received his education at Orthodox Theological School, Bucharest University, École Biblique et Archéologique Française (Jerusalem), and Harvard University. (For more on Fr. Pentiuc’s bio, see http://www.hchc.edu/academics/holycross_faculty/pentiuc/)

He and his wife Flora live in the Jamaica Plain section of Boston.  Flora is a psychiatrist and is very fond of New Hampshire, where the Pentiucs often come for vacation.  They have two children, Daniel and Cristina.  For many years, Father Eugen worked alongside our beloved Father Ted Stylianopoulos at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School.  The two of them are still close and live in the same neighborhood.

Father Eugen recently served as presiding priest at the Taxiarchai Greek Orthodox Church in Laconia, NH, and at Nativity – Assumption of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church in Cohasset, MA, and he has substituted at many other parishes throughout New England.  His engaging manner carries over into his style of ministry and he likes for the whole parish to become involved with Church life.  A point that he often makes, both in his sermons and in his multiple books, is that attending church services and reading Holy Scripture supplement one another, but neither is sufficient on its own.  If your spiritual practice consists of only reading the Bible or of only going to church on Sundays, then it is a situation that might be likened to an angel with one wing, who cannot fly.  Under Father Eugen’s spiritual guidance, we have the opportunity to become like angels with both wings.

Our schedule of services on Sunday morning has changed as well.  From 9 to 9:30, we will focus on the highlights of the Orthros Service and, in particular, the Psalms and Gospel reading.  Then from 9:30 to 10, we will pray an Akathist Hymn for the benefit of our friends and family, both the living and the dead.  Everyone is invited to participate and to bring in names for us to pray for.  There are many Akathist Hymns, so the Akathist that we serve may vary from Sunday to Sunday.  Divine Liturgy will begin at 10 AM, as usual.

“Please be assured of my prayers and eagerness to talk with you about various ways to strengthen our faith.  I am here to serve YOU ALL and do my priestly ministry to the best of the gifts that God has poured upon me.  With love in Christ, Fr. Eugen.”

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