Albanian Orthodox celebrate Centennial Year in Boston

Boston -
On Sunday March 9, 2008, Bishop Nikon (Liolin) of the Albanian Orthodox Archdiocese in America welcomed hundreds of clergy and faithful to Saint George Cathedral in South Boston to launch the commemoratation of the Centennial Year of the Archdiocese.

His Beatitude, Archbishop Anastasios, head of the Orthodox Church of Albania arrived from Tirana to help commemorate the event. His Grace, Bishop Ilia (Katre) concelebrated the hierarchal liturgy for the celebration.

The first liturgy in the Albanian language was first celebrated by the Priest - and later Archbishop - Fan Stylian Noli on March 22, 1908 in Boston, following his ordination to the priesthood on March 8 of that same year. It was a significant moment since his homeland had been subjugated for five centuries under Ottoman rule, which had prohibited use of the vernacular. After graduating from Harvard in 1912, Noli would later become Albania's first democratic premier in 1924. A prodigious scholar, Fan Noli translated Shakespeare, Ibsen, Cervantes and Longfellow into Albanian, after returning to Boston to oversee his U.S.-based church. His doctoral thesis at Boston University, on Albania's 15th Century national hero, George Castrioti Skanderbeg was published and became a classic. As well, his dissertation for the New England Conservatory of Music Beethoven and the French Revolution, was also published and received accolades from literary critic George Bernard Shaw, author Thomas Mann and compose Jan Sibelius. In addition, Noli's translations of Orthodox liturgical books and hymnals into Albanian and then into English were among the first such works.

Saint George Cathedral and Noli's connection became a symbol for democracy in the homeland when the Balkan nation began to shed its Communist past in 1990. The church's current pastor, the Very Rev Arthur Liolin was the first clergyman to enter then atheist Albania in 1988, helping to break the ice and foster improved relations with the West. Today, Albania has emerged from its isolation and is considered one of the staunchest allies of the U.S. in the Balkans, while also seeking membership in the European Union.

The March 9th celebration welcomed guests at Anthony's Pier 4 on Boston harbor. The Centennial year culminates with a Grand Gala at the World Trade Center on September 27, 2008.

Official Photograph of Fan S. Noli as
Delegate of Albania to the League of Nations 1920
[Archives of the League of Nations, Geneva, Switzerland]

Per zerin e Nolit ne shqip, shiko:

Click the links below to download the word document

Centennial Encyclical 2008

Kisha 100 me 8 Mars 2008

A Lenten Pastoral Letter

Great Lenten Pastoral Letter in Albanian

On Forgiveness & Sin

Fjalimi i At Arturit me 9 Mars:
Me ardhjen i Kryepeshkopit Anastas i Tiranes

Enciklika ne shqip Mars 1908

Perpara Varrit te Fan Nolit - 22 Mars 2008 - At Artur

Naum Prifti
-Me rastin 100 vjetorit të meshimit shqip-

Our Pastor, Fr. Arthur Liolin in Berat in 1991.
He was the first clergyman to enter then atheist Albania in 1988
opening channels of missionary, diplomatic and cultural communication after
a half century of that country's isolation.

Missionary/Diplomatic Trip to Albania June/July 1991
Arrival in Tirana, baptisms, liturgies in Tirana, Korce and other towns
Courtesy of Albanian TV

click on the link, then the screen for a video aired on the Voice of America - TV.
Vizita e Presidentja Jahjaga ne Boston , me 8 Mars 2012