Reverend Father Gheorghe Calciu-Dumitreasa Fallen Asleep in the Lord
Alexandria VA – The Reverend Father Gheorghe Calciu-Dumitreasa, parish priest of Holy Cross Church in Alexandria, Virginia, fell asleep in the Lord on Tuesday afternoon, 21 November 2006 following a short but difficult illness.
Father Gheorghe was born on 23 November 1925 in Mahmudia, Tulcea, Romania, to his parents, Stefan and Ileana. After finishing elementary studies in his hometown, he went on to Bucharest to study at the Faculty of Medicine (1946-48). Then, in 1948, his Orthodox Christian morals and deep religious conviction led him to be imprisoned by the communist authorities for “reeducation”, a tactic used by the regime in an attempt to erase Christianity from the youth of the nation. He remained in prison until 1964, when he was released as a result of a general amnesty, and returned to study at the Faculty of Literature and Philosophy where he earned a degree in French and began work on his doctorate. During this time, strengthened by his sufferings in prison, he also studied Theology and was ordained into the Holy Priesthood on 30 January 1973.
Father Gheorghe remained vocal in his criticism of the atheistic government and its allies, preaching the True Faith and Christian morals to all who would listen, especially the many young people who were drawn to his message. He taught French and New Testament studies at the Theological Seminary in Bucharest until he was abruptly dismissed in 1978 for speaking out in defense of religious freedom and human rights. The following year he was again arrested by government authorities as a result of his convictions, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Severely mistreated and isolated from even his family, news of his imprisonment aroused protests from the West which eventually provoked his early release in 1984. Still living under persecution by government and cooperative Church authorities, he managed to emigrate to the United States in 1985 and was accepted into The Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America the following year. Since 1989, he has served as parish priest of Holy Cross Church in Alexandria, Virginia, serving the community there with love and dedication until his final breath.
Father Gheorghe is known around the world for his sufferings and commitment to Christ in the face of persecution. He has written several books, contributed countless articles and has been asked to deliver many lectures on the subject over the years. To this day, his example continues to motivate countless faithful, especially young people, toward a renewed commitment to Christ and the Orthodox Church.
He leaves behind his wife of over 40 years, Preoteasa Adriana, and their son Andrei and family.
Funeral services will take place at Holy Cross Romanian Orthodox Church (5150 Leesburg Pike Alexandria, Virginia, 22302). The Saracusta service will take place on Friday evening, 24 November, at 7:00pm. The next morning, Saturday 25 November, the Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at 8:30 am and will be followed by the Funeral Service for the Burial of a Priest at 11:00 am. Father Gheorghe’s remains will then be taken to Romania for burial.
Condolences may be sent to the family at:
Preoteasa Adriana Calciu-Dumitreasa & Family
6371 Birch Leaf Ct
Burke VA 22015-3528
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