The February gathering of the friends of St. Barbara Monastery will feature Rev. Iosif Razvan Bena speaking on “Creation and Time: An Apophatic Look at Genesis from a Scientist’s Perspective.”

A Note About Our Speaker

Father Iosif Bena and his wife Preoteasa Christina are old friends from the days when St. Barbara Monastery first moved to Goleta from Santa Barbara. At that time, long before Father Iosif was ordained to the priesthood, they were postdoctoral students in the renowned physics department at UCSB, sometimes attending Holy Trinity Romanian Orthodox Church in Los Angeles and sometimes nearby St. Athanasius Antiochian Church in Isla Vista. As we settled into our new home, they became invaluable helpers. The “temporary” iconostas, which we use to this day in our present house chapel in Santa Paula, was originally built by them and several other grad students from the physics department at UCSB for our garage chapel in Goleta. They also helped transform our small lawn area there into a productive vegetable garden. Probably our most unforgettable memory from those days is sitting in their miniscule student apartment and watching live–on the powerful computer they had at their disposal–the consecration of the newly rebuilt Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow with the proclamation of the endless names of the new martyrs of Russia.

Subsequently, the Benas moved on to accept positions elsewhere in their respective fields in physics, at last deciding to settle in Paris, France, where Father Iosif’s scientific work focuses on black holes and early universe physics. It was several years ago in Paris that Father Iosif was ordained to the holy priesthood by Bishop Joseph of the Romanian Metropolia of Western and Southern Europe. In addition to his scientific work, he is presently the priest of a Romanian parish in the Paris suburbs.