Narrative History of the Saint Andrew Church
The building of the Saint Andrew Romanian Orthodox Church started with a dream, the dream of Father Gheorghe Calciu, who served our Lord Jesus Christ in prison for over 18 years, preferring to be imprisoned by a communist dictatorship, than to stop preaching the Word of God. Exiled from his own country, he came to America and was a priest at the Holy Cross Romanian Orthodox Church in Alexandria, VA for over 20 years. As time passed, Holy Cross Romanian Orthodox Church in Alexandria, a little church, became too small for the significant number of parishioners living in the area. Father Calciu had a vision to build a new church in the traditional Romanian Orthodox style, with clean Byzantine iconography, to remain as a symbolic monument for all Romanians living in the United States. His dream was contagious and soon an army of parishioners from a younger generation started to work together, in love and hope, to make it happen.
The project of building the Saint Andrew Romanian Orthodox Church started to materialize in 2004. After a series of surveys and meetings to determine the preferred location of a new church, the Parish Council of the Holy Cross Romanian Orthodox Church in Alexandria was empowered by the General Assembly to purchase a three acre lot at 9111 River Rd, Potomac, MD on which to build a new, larger church for the faithful in the MD-VA-DC area. The lot was purchased on November 30, 2005, the day celebrating Saint Andrew the Apostle, the protector of Romania, who was then chosen to be the protector and namesake of the new church. The purchase was approved by the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America and was subsequently blessed by His Eminence Archbishop Nathaniel and His Grace Bishop Irineu. Though Father Calciu was called by the Good Lord to find eternal peace in heaven on November 21, 2006, we feel he is still helping this project reach its completion.
In the spring of 2009, the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate called a founding meeting for the new church and on March 31, 2009 the Saint Andrew Romanian Orthodox Church was officially established. The church has since been incorporated as a religious non-profit entity in the state of Maryland.
Brief History of Saint Andrew Parish
1990-2004: The number of parishioners of Holy Cross Church increases significantly;
2004: Responding to a questionnaire sent by the Parish Council , stated that 90% of parishioners seeking a new church roomier;
2004: Father Calciu and Parish Council decided to begin investigating the building of a new church;
7 August 2005: Special General Assembly voted unanimously to empower Parish Council to purchase land for a new church;
November 20, 2005: The Parish Council unanimously approved the purchase of land in Potomac;
November 29, 2005: Council of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America (ROEA) approves land purchase;
November 30, 2005: Parish Council representatives signed the documents for land purchase: 9111 River Rd, Potomac , Maryland;
Father Calciu speaking about land purchase (in Romanian)
2006: Schematic architectural plans approved by Father Calciu and Parish Council;
2006: Archbishop Nathaniel and Bishop Irineu bless the land;
2007: Architectural plans are approved by the Episcopal Commission for Religious Art and Architecture;
2008: Estimates for engineering and construction are obtained.
2009: Mission St. Andrew was founded in March 2009 under the auspices ROEA and incorporated in the state of MD. Archpriest Fr Dumitru Paun has been appointed as parish priest.
The parish’s architects have finalized the church plans that follow Moldovita Monastery style. Engineers are presently working on finalizing structural and mechanical plans and obtaining approvals from the county.
November 1, 2014: Reverend Father Cosmin Antonescu has been appointed as parish priest.