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Preot iconom stavrofor Ioan Bunea

Parish priest: Archpriest Ioan Bunea
Phone: 905-770-8529

Father John Bunea was selected, in spring 1990, permanent parish priest of the Romanian Orthodox Church "Saint George" in Toronto and was officially installed on September 16, 1990 by His Eminence, Bishop Nathaniel Popp.

Born in Victoria, Brasov, Romania, Father John Bunea is a Graduate in Theology, graduating from the Faculty of Theology in Sibiu in 1979. He served as honorary deacon and then honorary priest within the Archdiocese Cathedral of Sibiu between 1980-1987 during which time he occupied the position of archivist in the Archives of the Archdiocese of Sibiu. On September 5, 1987 Father John Bunea comes to visit his sister in Hamilton and refuses to go back to Romania. Only on January 29, 1990 family manages to reunite when after two and a half years of separation, his wife Mihaela and his two sons - Ciprian-Ioan and Cătălin-Florentin arrive on Canadian soil. Moving to Toronto, he started to serve at the St. George Romanian Church.

The reorganization of the parish began with patience, dedication and hard work, strongly denying any interference of political associations in the religious and administrative life of the parish. Making Saint George Church a true house of prayer, a place where Romanians gather in Toronto, trusting each other, in a real community, full of Romanian Christian spirituality, Father John Bunea, helped by the good faithful, loyal members of the parish and especially by the newcomers, managed to create premises for further development of the parish and the Community of Romanians. Thus, by donations and hard work, the entire building of the church was renovated: new roof, iron fence, complete renovation of interior adorned with new mural painting done by iconographer Nicolae Enache and painter Marian Verza from Sibiu. Following Father Bunea projects new works were executed: an new addition with three towers on the north side of the building, new iconostasis and pews, granite floors and marble and porcelain tiles. A general renovation of the "Dacia" Cultural Center was done, with columns, wallpaper and chandeliers, tables and chairs after a beautifully designed project of architect George Coica, currently in Spain. Father Bunea has not only initiated, designed and supervised the the projects, but he also took active part in their execution.

For all his work and activity, carried out with the help of the members of St. George Church, Father John Bunea was appointed "arhiprist" - Protopresbyter or honorary dean - by the blessing of His Eminence Nathaniel recognized by the Orthodox Church in America - "OCA" and was granted by His Grace Bishop Irineu with the distinction of stavrofor steward priest on behalf of the Diocese from Vatra.


The Very Reverend Father Ioan Bunea is the parish priest of the Saint George Romanian Orthodox Church in Toronto since 1990. Therefore, he will soon celebrate 30 years of spiritual leadership of this Orthodox community. That is why, in the Anniversary Album dedicated to the 65th Anniversary of the Saint George Church in Toronto, we have included few notes from Father Ioan Bunea's biography.

On January 1, 1955, Ioan was born as the third child of the Elena and Ilie Bunea family in the city of Victoria, located in Braşov county, Romania. His older brother is named Ilie and lives in his hometown, while his middle-sister Livia is settled in Hamilton, located in the province of Ontario, Canada.

Following his inward call to seek and deepen the the Christian-Orthodox faith, inherited from his ancestors, in 1979 Father Ioan Bunea graduated from the Theological Institute in Sibiu.

After graduating, Father Ioan served as an honorary deacon (1980-1986) and then as an honorary priest (1986-1987) at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Sibiu, Romania. Between 1980 and 1987, Father Ioan worked in the Archives-Registrar Department of the Episcopate of Sibiu and the Metropolia of Transylvania.

In his personal life, Father Ioan Bunea got married on October 8, 1978 with Mihaela Fulea, native of Sibiu, graduate of the Faculty of Philology from Sibiu, in the English-Romanian section. The Mighty God blessed them with two sons: Ciprian Ioan (February 5, 1980) and Cătălin Florentin (April 16, 1981).

On September 5, 1987, Father Ioan Bunea arrives in Canada to visit his sister's family and decides not to return to Romania, where the life continued to be difficult because of the totalitarian regime of that time. It was only on January 29, 1990, after the Communist leadership in Romania has fallen, and after more than 2 years of separation, that Father Ioan succeeded in reuniting his family, Preoteasa Mihaela and their two sons arriving in Canada.

After his appointment by the General Assembly of the parish members (convoked on June 10, 1990), Father Ioan Bunea is officially installed as parish priest of the Saint George Romanian Orthodox Church in Toronto on September 16, 1990 by His Eminence Archbishop Nathaniel from the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of Vatra Românească.


As it is mentioned in the short history of the this Church, in the almost 30 years of spiritual leadership, this parish had a continuous development, Father Ioan Bunea having a great contribution to this. Thus, according to his various projects, the Saint George Church in Toronto has been totally renovated on both interior and exterior sides. Father Ioan Bunea not only initiated many of these projects, but he also actively participated in their execution through volunteer work, together with his family members and many others parishioners.

It is worth mentioning that Father Bunea, together with Preoteasa Mihaela, have always been present at the various historical, cultural and artistic manifestations organized by the community of this parish, His Reverence being often the initiator or coordinator of these events which, on the one hand, honor the memory of the forefathers but at the same time promote the preservation of the Romanian culture, traditions and customs as part of the Canadian multiculturalism.

For the entire activity carried out over the years for the benefit of the Church of Christ and the Romanian Orthodox Community in Toronto, Father Ioan Bunea was honored on July 18, 2004 with the title of Very Reverend Father by the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of Vatra Românească. On March 22, 2007, the Parish Priest Ioan Bunea was elevated to the rank of Archpriest in conformity with the decision of the Synod of the Orthodox Church of America that assembled on that day.

Members of the Saint George Parish in Toronto have always been beside their Parish Priest Father Ioan Bunea, celebrating together every single achievement or activity within this community, considered rightly the "Mother Church" of Romanian Orthodoxy in this city.

At the same time, the members of this community celebrated every special event of Father Ioan Bunea’s family, such as the 25th anniversary of their marriage, anniversaries of birthdays or the name days, the religious marriages of the two sons of the Bunea’s family, as well as the Christening (through the sacrament of Baptism) of their grandchildren who arrived into this world in recent years.

In 2019, at the 65th anniversary of the Saint George Romanian Orthodox Church, the members of this parish would like to thank the Mighty God for all the blessings that have been bestowed upon them in all these years. Also, the thanks of the community members are directed to Very Reverend Father Ioan Bunea, who has been leading this parish for nearly 30 years on the right path of our forefathers’ Christian Orthodox faith.









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Last update: May 15, 2020