The Very Reverend Father John Surducan, pastor emeritus of Saints Peter and Paul Church here, fell asleep in the Lord on Monday, January 22, 2007, five days after celebrating his 92nd birthday.
Born in Labasint, Timis, Romania in 1915, Father John studied at the Theological Academy in Timissoara, from which he graduated in 1942. The same year, he married Elena Gherga and was ordained to the priesthood by His Eminence, Metropolitan Vasile [Lazarescu] in Timissoara, after which he was assigned rector of the Descent of the Holy Spirit Church, Clopodia, Banat, Romania.
Due to political conditions in Romania and the persecution of the Church and its clergy by the communist regime, Father John and his family relocate to Italy in 1948. Three years later the Surducans emigrated to the United States. He served parishes in Cleveland, Salem, Martins Ferry, and Newark, OH and Weirton, WV until his appointment as pastor of Saints Peter and Paul Church, Dearborn, MI. During his pastorate he was responsible for the parish’s relocation to Dearborn Heights and the construction of the current church and hall in 1975.
Besides his pastoral ministry, Father John served as administrator of “Solia,” the official publication of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate; treasurer of the Episcopate; member of the Spiritual Consistory and Episcopate Council; president of the Clergy Pension Fund; administrator of the Michigan/Eastern Canada Deanery; and spiritual advisor to the American Romanian Orthodox Youth.
After his retirement in 1980, Father John administered parishes in Fort Wayne, IN; and Warren and Detroit, MI. He was elevated to the rank of archpriest by His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel of Detroit in 1991.
Father John was preceded in death by his wife in 1997. He is survived by four sons: George, John, Walter, and Michael, and five grandchildren.
Father John will lie in state in Saints Peter and Paul Church, Dearborn Heights, MI Wednesday and Thursday, January 24 and 25. Memorials will be celebrated each evening at 7:30 p.m. The Divine Liturgy and Funeral service will be celebrated on Friday, January 26, at 9:30 a.m., followed by interment in Woodmere Cemetery, Detroit.
May Father John’s memory be eternal!