His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel was born William George Popp in Aurora, IL, on June 12, 1940, to Joseph Popp and Vera [nee Boytor], a family of Romanian heritage who attended the Saint Michael the Archangel Romanian Greek Catholic Church in Aurora. He attended Saint Procopius College, a Benedictine-operated liberal arts school, and the Pontifical Eastern Rite Center in Lisle IL. Called to Rome, Italy, by the Romanian Byzantine Rite Catholic Bishop Vasile [Cristea], he studied at Gregorian University and resided at the Greek College of Saint Athanasius. Having completed his studies, he was ordained into the Holy Diaconate on July 17, 1966, at Colle de Tora, San Anatolia summer chapel of the Collegio Greco by Bishop Vasile. On October 23, 1966, he was ordained into the Holy Priesthood in the Romanian Catholic Church San Salvatore in Coppele, Rome, by the same hierarch. In January 1967, he returned to Aurora and appointed assistant priest of his home parish. The spirituality, theology, and mission of the Orthodox Christian faith, which had been dormant in him, began to beckon, and within a matter of months he decided to embrace Orthodox Christianity. Having left the Aurora parish, he visited with former classmates from Rome who had embraced Orthodox Christianity and were serving in various jurisdictions in North America. He was introduced to Archbishop Valerian [Trifa], who worked with him to be received into the ranks of the clergy of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America [ROEA]. He fully embraced the Orthodox Christian Faith in the Chapel of the Nativity of the Birthgiver of God at the Vatra Româneasca, Grass Lake MI, in the presence of Archbishop Valerian on February 15, 1968. For several years, he resided in a small monastic community on the Vatra property until he was appointed rector of Holy Cross Church, Hermitage PA. An author of numerous articles, speaker, and lecturer, he also taught at the Episcopate s summer youth camps. He was confessor to the sisterhood of Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Ellwood City, PA, and was instrumental in the founding of an inter-Orthodox women s association in the Hermitage area. In April 1978, he was one of two representatives of the Orthodox Church in America [OCA] at the conference on monasticism in Cairo, Egypt. At the request of Archbishop Valerian for administrative assistance, he was called to the episcopacy at a special Congress of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate on September 20, 1980. His consecration to the episcopacy took place at Saint George Cathedral, Southfield/Detroit MI, on November 15, 1980. Bishop Nathaniel assisted Archbishop Valerian in this capacity until 1984. On Sunday, November 17, 1984, after the retirement of Archbishop Valerian, Bishop Nathaniel was enthroned at Saint George Cathedral as ruling Hierarch of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America. Since then, he has overseen the tremendous growth and expansion of the diocese and recognized the importance of a united Orthodox Christian witness in this land, and has remained at the forefront of the movement toward this end. In 1994, Archbishop Nathaniel fulfilled a desire to make a pilgrimage to Romania. In 1995, at the invitation of Patriarch Teoctist, he was a guest of the Patriarchate at festivities marking the 110th anniversary of the granting of autocephaly to the Church of Romania and the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Romanian Patriarchate. Archbishop Nathaniel has been an active member of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America since his consecration, and he has represented the OCA at numerous events in North America and Europe. On Wednesday, October 20, 1999, in its fall session, the Holy Synod elevated him to the dignity of Archbishop.