Romanians of Washington, DC is pleased to present its inaugural Annual Community Awards to the Holy Cross Romanian Orthodox Church for over five decades in the service of the Romanian American community in the Washington, DC area and to the Saint Andrew Romanian Orthodox Church for a decade of organizing the Romanian Food Festival, the largest community event in the Washington, DC area.
The Community Award has been approved by the Board of Romanians of DC in November 2020 as an annual honor designed to recognize individuals and organizations who have shown / brought a significant contribution to the Romanian American Community in the Washington, DC area. By acknowledging the hard work of some of the most active individuals and organizations, which may often be overlooked or taken for granted, the award seeks to encourage further participation in community activities and to build a stronger community. The Award will be bestowed each year during the month of December and is expected that, in the coming years, it will have an open nominating process.
Holy Cross Romanian Orthodox Church
Founded in 1963, the Holy Cross Romanian Orthodox Church in Alexandria, Virginia is both the oldest Romanian Orthodox parish in the Washington, DC area and in the State of Virginia. Operating in its current location since 1970, the church was served for almost two decades by Father Gheorghe Calciu-Dumitreasa a dissident of the Community regime in Romania who spent over 21 years in harsh prison.
During its over five decades in the service of the Romanian-American Community in the Washington, DC area, the Holy Cross Romanian Orthodox Church has marked many firsts: the first Easter Service broadcast by the Romanian Language service of Voice of America, the first Romanian Orthodox service at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, the first Sunday School for the Romanian kids, the first Romanian-language choir, and also the first Romanian festival.
Currently served by Father Aurel Petrescu, the many accomplishments of the Holy Cross Romanian Orthodox Church are a reflection not only to its dedication to its religious mission but also to its commitment to be a community pillar, and a true religious, social and cultural institution of the Romanian-American community in and around the Nation’s Capital.
Saint Andrew Romanian Orthodox Church
The biannual Romanian Food Festival organized by the Saint Andrew Romanian Orthodox Church is the largest and oldest festival in the Washington DC area dedicated to Romanian food, music, art and culture. Held in Spring and Fall, every edition attracts well over 2,500 participants from the Romanian American community, friends of Romania and of the Republic of Moldova and other Americans interested in learning more about the rich culinary culture and folk traditions of Romania.
The success of this important festival reflects the strong spirit of community that it embodies. It is made possible by the hundreds of volunteers who dedicate their time and energy to put together such an amazing event, by the Parish Council who months before endeavors to receive all the necessary permits and, by the Parish Priest, Father Cosmin Antonescu, who not only serves as the master of ceremonies but also closely coordinates, along with the Ladies Auxiliary and the Festival Organizing Committee, the day-to-day running of the festival.
Founded in March 2009, the Saint Andrew Romanian Orthodox Church is located in Potomac, Maryland in the suburbs of Washington, DC. It is the only Romanian Orthodox Church serving the growing community in the State of Maryland. The church is currently in the process of building a new sanctuary modeled after the Moldovița Monastery in north-eastern Romania – a UNESCO World Heritage Site.