Father Gheorghe Calciu-Dumitreasa has died
On Tuesday, Nov. 21, (1:10PM EST), Father Gheorghe Calciu-Dumitreasa, a beloved priest of the Romanian community in Washington, DC, has died at the age of 81. He recently returned to US from his last trip to Romania, his native country. He was a priest at the Holly Cross Christian Orthodox Church in Alexandria, VA, traveling often to Romania and several times to the Republic of Moldova. In 2006, Father Calciu initiated the building of a new church for the growing Romanian community in the Washington, D.C. area. The new church is going to be built on the Potomac River East bank, in Maryland, close to Washington.
Father Gheorghe Calciu-Dumitreasa, born on Nov. 23, 1925, in Mahmudia, Tulcea, Romania, understood his mission as pastor of souls in both dimensions: as a restless guide for the reunion with Holy Ghost of his fellows and as a social fighter of our times.
Father Calciu was one of those anti-communism fighters who confessed their belief in the national idea and in Christ, with their own blood. He endured 21 years in prison under communists (1948-1964, 1979-1984), experiencing the fury of the hell of "reeducation" in the students' prison from Pitesti. His name is mentioned - with the respect and surprise raised by those who are risen from the death in the theological sense - in the writings about "Pitesti Hell" of the regretted Dumitru Bacu (1925-1997) and of the admirable Dumitru Gh. Bordeianu, two of those who suffered together with the student in medicine- at that time - Calciu.
The foreword author and the caretaker of the volume "The War into Word", Razvan Codrescu - who deserves appreciation for the way in which he accomplished his tasks-, underlines: "All life of this man after the tragic Pitestean episode was one of confession and sacrifice. He measured, in his soul and in his flesh, the distance between hell and heaven. Perhaps nobody achieved after Pitesti a moral victory so witty and so never failing. Because there is a Gheorghe Calciu case, it can be said that "the Pitesti experiment has failed".
After the general amnesty from 1964, Gheorghe Calciu was released from prison. Then he studied Philology and Theology, being vested with the grace of priesthood. As professor at the Orthodox Theological Seminar from Bucharest, he continued "to rebel" against the system. The moment in which he assumes the role of accuser tribune against the regime is May 1st 1977, at the demolition of the Enei Church from Bucharest, on which spot's it was intended to build a restaurant. His sermons at Radu-Voda Church, where he was a priest, addressed mainly to the youth people, attracted him a new abusive condemnation, in 1979, which determines a wave of protests from the Romanian exile. Mircea Eliade, Virgil Ierunca, Eugen Ionescu, Monica Lovinescu, Paul Goma raised to give him help. After intense international pressure, in 1984 he was freed, and in 1985 he was enforced to leave the country. In exile (USA), he continued his fight in the name of God and his efforts for protecting the interests of the Romanians, being among the founders of the Romfest - the greatest feast of Romanians from everywhere-, which International Committee he conducts.
In the addendum there are enclosed few letters, prefaces and interviews of father Calciu from post-December period. The texts show the fighter character of the author, for which the most important stake is the awakening and canalization of young people's self-awareness. In a letter to Comitй des Intellectuels pour l'Europe des Libertйs (1978), His Holiness enumerated the reasons for which he was oppressed: "Because I have requested the liberty to preach without restrictions. Because I have protested against demolition of churches (…). Because I have requested the exemption of theologians from the military service (…). Because I have demanded for Christians, young or old, the right to monasticism, thing which The State is against. His public positions - expressed in sermons, letters and interviews - constitute an ample national message build on Christian message, in the spirit of orthodox tradition, referred especially to young people.
The aspirations of Father Calciu exposed in The War…do not remain just at the level of confessions, but aim vertically to shape a model of behavior for the young generation. // www.sfantacruce.org
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Video link: The last letter of Father Gheorghe Calciu to the Romanian community in Washington, DC (Sunday, Nov. 19, 2006) in Romanian:
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