Clergy

Very Rev. Fr. Paul R. Solberg

Interim Cathedral Dean

Fr. Paul was the youngest of three children born in rural North Dakota.  His parents were devout Christians from a Lutheran Protestant tradition.  His father managed a wholesale grain, fertilizer, petroleum and farm products company.  His mother was a homemaker and part-time postal clerk.  Fr. Paul attended the University of North Dakota where he graduated with a BS degree in Business Administration.

While attending the university he met Jane.  They were married in 1970 and have been blessed with 3 children and 10 grandchildren.   Less than 2 weeks after being married, Fr. Paul was drafted into the U. S. Army.  Whereupon he joined the USAF and was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant.

In the military, Fr. Paul served as a navigator/instructor, scheduling officer and USAF Academy Liaison Officer.   During the Southeast Asian War he flew combat missions and was awarded several commendations.   Fr. Paul was significantly affected when another navigator replaced him on a flight that crashed and killed everyone onboard.

He was the youngest military officer ever to be an instructor at a USAF Combat Training School where he was also nominated for the 10 Outstanding Men of America.   During his 7 years of active and reserve military service he earned a MA Degree in Public Administration.  He left the military with the rank of major.

In 1977, Fr. Paul and Kh. Jane started a non-military life together in Oregon where he became a Corporate Banking Officer and later an entrepreneur.  He was ordained as a lay elder in a Protestant church and soon sensed a call to serve the Lord and His Church.  He began attending a Protestant seminary while owning his own business, and shortly thereafter, sold his business to attend seminary full time.

After graduating from North Park Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity Degree, Fr. Paul served churches in Iowa and Michigan as a Protestant pastor.    He began to question and pursued an in-depth study concerning the numerous differences in the church doctrine, worship and governing structures within Protestantism.   Ultimately, his inquiry led him to learn that the Orthodox Church’s doctrine was the same since the time of the Holy Apostles, that Her worship was beautiful, meaningful and true and that Her governing structure was the same as the early Church.   Thus, after much prayer and study he resigned from his Protestant clergy obligations and was chrismated into the holy Orthodox faith.

In 1997, Bishop DEMETRI ordained him to the holy diaconate.   For the next two years he simultaneously served as deacon and completed the St. Stephen’s Course of Study while also being employed as the Director of Donor Development for a Michigan College and later as Regional Director for the 2000 Decennial Census.  In 1999, Metropolitan PHILIP elevated him to the holy priesthood and assigned him to St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, Niagara Falls, NY.    During his 19 years of ministry, the Lord blessed the parish spiritually, physically and numerically.  Four of his spiritual children became priests, one young woman is now a nun and a mission was started in St. Catharines, ON.   Beautiful icons were added to the nave and sanctuary and a bell tower, pavilion, processional path and parking lot expansion  were also added.

All this time, Kh. Jane served whenever a need arose including ministry as a Church School teacher and superintendent, choir director, youth leader, Antiochian Women Chair, Diocesan Officer of the Antiochian Woman, choir member, Mother of Preschoolers (MOPS) coordinator, and various service on other parish committees and projects.  Her ministry, exceptional support, wisdom, discernment and encouragement were invaluable.

For 14 years, Fr. Paul served as the Spiritual Advisor for the Diocesan Fellowship of St. John the Divine.  His responsibilities included the coordination of Parish Life Conferences, Bible Bowl Competitions, Oratorical Festivals, soccer and basketball tournaments and various retreats.  He also scheduled clergy to minister as homilists, confessors, liturgists and retreat speakers at a number of religious events.  He was elevated to the Archpriesthood in 2010.

Also, Fr. Paul has served as: (1) an adjunct faculty member for 8 years at a Catholic University,  (2) an Orthodox university chaplain,  (3) an Antiochian mission planter and (4) a member and president of WNY Council of Orthodox Churches.

 

In 2017 after seeing six ophthalmologists, Fr. Paul was told that he would be totally blind within 2 years and subsequently was forced to retire.   So, he and Kh. Jane moved to North Carolina.   When he went to the Duke University Eye Center, he was shocked to learn that his loss of vision was caused by an allergic reaction to his glaucoma prescription.   After changing medication, his vision was completely restored.

Since retirement, Fr. Paul has served as: (1) interim priest at Sts. Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church, Boone, NC until their fulltime priest arrived,  (2) interim priest at Holy Cross Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Mission in Greenville,NC,  (3) founding priest at Concord, NC for an Antiochian Mission (turning the mission over to a fulltime priest with 60+ children plus adults), and (4) interim Dean at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in Coral Gables, FL.

 

Rev. Dn. Nicholas Newman

Deacon and Administrative Assistant

Born in Zurich, Switzerland, Dn. Nicholas spent his youth in New England. His father is a priest in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, currently at Holy Trinity in Concord, NH, and his mother has been teaching Classics at the University of New Hampshire.

After high school, where he met his wife to be, Dn. Nicholas studied Classics at the University of New Hampshire.

Pursuing graduate studies at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, he was blessed to be able to complete his doctoral studies with a dissertation that focuses on the Divine Liturgy of St. Gregory the Theologian.

Since completing his Ph.D., Dn. Nicholas has been teaching Greek, Latin, literature, and history to anyone who will listen, from elementary age to college students. Most recently, he served as the headmaster at Veritas Classical Academy in Marietta, Ohio.

The Church has always been an important part of his life, and he is currently working on completing an M.Div. through the Antiochian House of Studies.

On Wednesday, May 30, 2023, by the Grace of God and by the laying on of hands by His Grace Bishop Thomas, Nicholas was ordained to the Holy Diaconate as Dn. Nicholas.

He is blessed with three wonderful children, and an incredible wife, who is tolerant of his book buying habit.

"All of creation is a burning bush of God's energies."
Saint Gregory Palamas