Valerian D. Trifa
Romanian American Heritage Center



by V. Rev. Fr. Laurence Lazar

The Valerian D. Trifa Romanian American Heritage Center was the brainchild of the late Archbishop Valerian.  His intention was to encourage cooperation between the numerous institutions, parishes, diocesan centers, and individuals of Romanian origin.  The Center would be an independent corporate institution, a safe place where the official records, publications (newspapers, pamphlets, etc.), personal papers (documents and correspondence, etc.), and life stories of the Romanian immigrants and their descendants could be stored and documented.  It would be a place where researchers, authors, an historians could study the life of those who came here from across the ocean for over a hundred years.  So many other nationalities had similar institutions, but not the Romanians, so he established this unique institution for us.

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This wonderful short feature about the emigration of Romanians to America in the early 20th century, produced by the Romanian television network TVR, includes interviews with our Romanian American Heritage Center chairman Archbishop Nathaniel, as well as board members V. Rev. Frs. Laurence Lazar & Remus Grama.

Mia și drumul – episod din seria „Românii şi lumea" (@TVR3)


by V. Rev. Dr. Remus Grama

In his book “Peasants and Strangers” (Harvard University Press, 1975), Joseph J. Barton offers a monumental study of Italians, Romanians, and Slovaks in an American City, 1890-1950.  In the introduction, he focuses on the personality of the Transylvanian Romanian Ilie Martin Selisteanul, who, in 1900, came from Saliste to Martin’s Ferry, Ohio.  He established the Union of Romanian Societies in America, a printing press, and wrote a history of the United States in the Romanian language.  He was animated by the underlying credo that: “Nothing is more valuable to a man than to study the history of his own country." ...

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Woodworker spent nearly a year re-creating Michigan Central Station lobby clock
Phoebe Wall Howard Detroit Free Press 

Andrei Marek, a woodworker from Romania, used his life savings to buy a plane ticket to America after he lost his job. He waited five years for his wife and daughter to join him.

Highly educated in all forms of design and architecture, Marek had been employed at the palace when Romanian head of state Nicolae Ceausescu was overthrown and executed by firing squad during an anti-communist uprising in 1989.

Marek would end up in Holland, Michigan. And all these years later, at age 75, he finds himself talking about the drawings and craftsmanship involved with re-creating the famous ticket lobby clock in Michigan Central Station in Detroit. The six-year, multimillion dollar restoration of the depot was led by Ford Motor Co., Executive Chair Bill Ford and thousands of workers who turned a shell of a 1913 Beaux Arts-style structure into a masterpiece....

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