A Good Servant

 

Teofil died during the night of March 3, 2007.  He was one of the elders of the community, who has returned to the Father. He was born on 4 May 1924 in Sânmiclaus, in the department of Satu Mare in Northeast Transylvania. He spent his childhood in the small town of Vale lei Mohair close to where he was born.
He did his grade school there and his secondary studies at the lyceum called Samuel Vulcan in Beaus (1935-1943). It was there that he met the Assumptionist who was in charge of the boarding school known as the  "Pavilion." In 1938 he became a student at this boarding school with Fr. Merles as his teacher. But he was closer to Fr. Jean Nicolas who took him on as his assistant bookkeeper at the boarding school.

The Assumptionist novitiate where young men were trained in religious life was in Beaus. Once he finished his lyceum young George entered the novitiate and was received the religious habit on August 28, 1943. World War II started and forced him to leave the novitiate.
He was mobilized and sent to the officer training  school at Bacau . In 1945 he was decommissioned and started his novitiate over on May 25, 1945 at Blaj.
There is a comical anecdote associated with his receiving the habit: on this occasion, his parents came for his funeral since the mailman confused the vesting with a funeral because these words resemble one another very closely in Rumanian: “înmormantare” and “învesmantare”.
A few months later the novitiate moved once again to Harseni in the department of Fagarasi. It was here that he finally made his first profession.
Once his novitiate finished he was named to Blaj at the Casa Domnului for theology. He was very lucky. Once more, after two years of studies, the Communists came into power and suppressed the Greco-Catholic Church as well as religious life in the whole country.
However, his major superior gave their approval and he received the necessary dispensations to be ordained to the priesthood.
On 1 August 1948 he made his perpetual profession and two days later was ordained sub-deacon. A day later he was ordained deacon and on August 8, 1948 Bishop Ioan Sucia, the future martyr, ordained him to the priesthood.
He would jokingly say: "I went through these stages just like the Patriarch Photius of Constantinople who as an ordinary layman was ordained bishop in one week."
Soon after, the religious were forced by the Communists to leave Casa Domnului. Fr. Teofil went to his family at Arad and was hired as an accountant in a tobacco factory. Three years later, in July, he was called up to serve in the army and followed courses to be a construction officer at Timisoara. Demobilized in 1957, he returned to Arad where he was again an accountant in the tobacco factory until he retired.
Meanwhile he was investigated and watched very closely by the Communist police: regularly he had to account for his activities, meetings, discussions, etc. He liked to joke by saying: "I went to give an account of my activities to my bishop."
Meanwhile his father and brother died and he was the sole breadwinner for his mother and sister-in-law who had two children.
The Security (Securitate) Force did not spare him even on the day that his mother died; they called him in for questioning. He told the guard: "Today my mother has died and you call me in for a regular account." The guard answered him: "I'm only doing my job." Thus he went through a difficult time that was quite long until he retired in 1984.
Once he had retired, he went to a nephew’s in Brasov and started visiting Fr. Boariu, an Assumptionist who activated the Romano-Catholic clergy of Moldavia. There he learned how to get involved in a parish apostolate, notably confessions.
After 1990, when Communism fell in Rumania, Fr. Teofil came to Blaj to restart community life with Fr. Barnard Stef and BroGavril Muntean.

Fr. Teofil was available for whatever services were asked of him: he was treasurer of the community, helped in parish ministry and especially served as a confessor for the Cathedral at Blaj. Some called him “the Curé d’Ars of Blaj.”

He was very patient and stayed as long as there were people to confess.

In August 2006 he became ill and since that time he went several times for stays at the hospital. His last one was at the beginning of February 2007. He would often joke, saying  “of this kingdom I have been satisfied; now I would like to see the other.”

We hope that he found the peace of the Lord that he hoped fro so much. Peace to his soul. 

Fr. Ionel Antoci

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