Patronal Feast of St Andrew’s Romanian Orthodox Church
A little less than two years ago the foundation stone of St Andrew’s Church, the first Romanian Orthodox Church in Africa, was blessed on a site in Glen Austin, Midrand. Today the congregation gathered to celebrate the Holy Apostle Andrew, and give thanks for the almost-completed temple.
A brief doxology service was held in the open air next to the temple, to which people from other parishes in the Archdiocese of Johannesburg and Pretoria had been invited.
Of the clergy who attended, each one represented a different nationality, thought we weren’t able to get a photo of all of them together, as Fr Athanasius arrived a bit late and Fr Daniel had to leave a bit early.
In the 1990s there was a visiting Romanian priest in South Africa, Fr Ioan Risnoveanu, and the first regular official priest was Fr Mihai Corpodean, who came in 2002. As there was no church building, and the Church of St Nicholas in Brixton had no priest, the bishop asked Fr Mihai to look after both communies. St Nicholas, which was intended to be multi-ethnic from the start, was happy to add Romanian to its liturgical languages, and still uses Romanian in some parts of the services. A piece of land was bought in Midrand.
In 2008 Fr Mihai left and went to New Zealand, and Fr Razvan came to take his place, and with his encouragement the parish started to build its church, which they hope will be blessed next year. In the mean time the community hold services in the Archbishop’s chapel at the Metropolis in Houghton.
After the service lunch was served in a tent, and Fr Razvan thanked everyone who had contributed to the building of the temple and the building up of the church, including the Patriarch of Alexandria and the Archbishop of Johannesburg and Pretoria, His Eminence Metropolitan Damaskinos, without whose encouragement such progress would not have been possible.
Kontakion – Tone 2
Let us praise Andrew, the herald of God,
the namesake of courage,
the first-called of the Savior’s disciples
and the brother of Peter.
As he once called to his brother, he now cries out to us:
“Come, for we have found the One whom the world desires!”