The Reverend George Calciu-Dumitreasa, rector of Holy Cross Church here, fell asleep in the Lord on Tuesday, 21 November 2006, after a short but difficult illness.
Born in 1925 in Mahmudia, Tulcea, Romania, father George studied at the Faculty of Medicine in Bucharest from 1946 until 1948, when he was imprisoned by the communist authorities for his Orthodox Christian morals and deep religious convictions. Sent for “reeducation”—a tactic used by the communist regime in an attempt to erase Christianity from Romania’s youth—he remained in prison until 1964, when he was released as a result of a general amnesty.
After his release from prison, he studied at the Faculty of Literature and Philosophy, from which he received a degree in French, after which he began work on his doctorate. During this time, strengthened by his sufferings in prison, he also studied theology and was ordained to the priesthood in January 1973.
Father George remained vocal in his criticism of the atheistic government and its allies, preaching the true faith and Christian morals to all who would listen. Many young people 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.
In 1979, Father George was again arrested and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Severely mistreated and isolated from even family, news of his imprisonment aroused protests from the West, which eventually resulted in his early release in 1984. Still living under persecution by government and cooperative Church authorities, he managed to emigrate to the US in 1985 and was accepted into the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America the following year. Since 1989, he has served as rector of Holy Cross Church, serving the community there with love and dedication until his final breath.
Father George 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 delivered 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.
Father George is survived by his wife of over 40 years, Preoteasa Adriana, and their son Andrei and family.
Funeral information will be posted as it becomes available.
Condolences may be sent to Father George’s family at 6371 Birch Leaf Court, Burke VA 22015-3528.
May Father George’s memory be eternal!