His Grace, Bishop IRINEU, was born on April 19, 1962, in Alba Iulia, Transylvania, Romania to John and Aurelia Duvlea, an Orthodox Christian family. His theological education includes the Theological Seminary in Cluj Napoca (1981-1987), Theological Institute "Andrei Saguna" in Sibiu (1987-1991), having as a thesis: "Rules of organization and function of monasteries in the Romanian Orthodox Church." Moved to enter the monastic life, in 1980 he entered the Brancoveanu Monastery at Sâmbătă de Sus, Braşov County, continuing through all the steps of obedience. On May 24, 1983, he was tonsured into monasticism by His Grace, Bishop LUCIAN of Fagaraş.
During his monastic life, His Grace was ordained into the various ranks of Holy Orders. On May 3, 1983, he was ordained Hierodeacon by His Eminence, Archbishop JOHN of Helsinki, Metropolitan of Finland, on behalf of His Eminence ANTONIE, Metropolitan of Transylvania, and, on November 17, 1984, ordained Hieromonk in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Sibiu by His Eminence ANTONIE.
He was blessed with the opportunity to make two pilgrimages to Mount Athos and, in 1998, a pilgrimage to the monasteries of Bulgaria and Greece and to the tomb of Saint Nicholas in Bari, Italy.
As evidence of his dedication and service, on August 15, 1988, he was blessed as Protosinghel by His Eminence ANTONIE; on January 1, 1993, named Hegumen of the Brancoveanu Monastery; in 1993 named Exarch of Monasteries in the Metropolia; on August 15, 1993, blessed as Archimandrite and Abbot of the monastery by His Eminence ANTONIE on the occasion of the consecration of the monastery by His Holiness, BARTHOLOMEW I, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, and His Beatitude TEOCTIST, Patriarch of Romania, also at that time receiving the honor of the "Patriarchal Cross of Constantinople”; and on September 24, 2000, the Holy Synod of Romania bestowed upon him the rank of Mitred Archimandrite, a rare distinction in the Church of Romania.
During his time as Abbot of the Brancoveanu Monastery, he performed his duties as Exarch of Monasteries in the Metropolia (encompassing most of Transylvania), which included the regular supervision and regulation of 15 monasteries and 10 sketes, and was delegated by His Eminence ANTONIE to bless several monasteries and numerous monuments.
Following an exchange of letters between His Eminence ANTONIE and His Eminence NATHANIEL, Archbishop of Detroit and The Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America, Archimandrite Irineu and a group of monks were given canonical release to come to America and establish The Ascension of the Lord Monastery under the omofor of Archbishop NATHANIEL, with Archimandrite Irineu as Abbot, at the Saint Andrew House in Detroit, Michigan. Since their arrival on February 23, 2001, they worked to offer hospitality, comfort and spiritual care to not only the Romanian community but to the entire Orthodox population of Metropolitan Detroit and the Midwestern United States region.
Having been elected by the Congress of The Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America (ROEA) in Special Session on June 28, 2002, the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops of The Orthodox Church in America, under the presidency of His Beatitude, Metropolitan HERMAN, confirmed the election of the Very Reverend Archimandrite Irineu to the episcopacy during its special session as part of the All-American Council on July 24, 2002.
Bishop IRINEU was consecrated to the episcopacy on Saturday, November 2, 2002, at Saint George the Great-Martyr Romanian Orthodox Cathedral in Southfield/Detroit, Michigan. Presiding at the event was His Beatitude HERMAN, Archbishop of Washington and Metropolitan of All America and Canada, along with His Eminence NATHANIEL; Metropolitan CHRISTOPHER (Serbian Patriarchate); Archbishops KYRILL (OCA) and NICOLAE (Romanian Patriarchate); Bishops SERAPHIM (OCA), DEMETRI (Antiochian Patriarchate) and NIKON (OCA).
Since his consecration, His Grace has overseen activities as requested of him by Archbishop NATHANIEL, traveling extensively throughout the country, especially visiting the numerous mission communities.
We look forward to many more blessed and prosperous years with His Grace.
Many Years, O Master! Intru Mulţi Ani, Stăpâne!