In 1912 the area of
“It is a great pleasure to bring to your attention that we have decided to call a meeting to discuss…building a Romanian Orthodox Church in
The announcement was signed by the following leading members of the church movement: Nicola Mara, (Sterie) Tegu Gartsu, Dimitrie Simu, Lambri Cutina, Vasili Bicki, Alexi Mara, and Dimitrie Belu.
Contributions at the successful first meeting in November generated $682.25. Mr. T Gartsu presided with the unanimous consent of participants. At the same meeting, a Parish Council was also elected: Micha Ianelu, President; Tusa Caranica and Nicola Bilerica, Secretaries; Hristullia Scudreanu and Dimitrie Simu, Treasurers; and Nicola Mara and Sterie Gartsu, Trustees.
One week later the Parish Council held its first meeting, when the name of Sfântul Ioan Botezătorul was chosen for the parish. The church’s special connection to this important patron saint is still reflected today in the church’s interior icons.
By February 1915 the parish had arranged for a temporary location in the city on Elbow Street. Father Marcel Gavrilescu was received as the first church priest to officiate the Liturgy.
Only three years after the initial church-funding-drive, Sfântul Ioan Botezătorul was registered in the state. The first baptism, Violet Rigia, took place on
Despise economic hardships during the war years in
The Reverend Ioan Popescu became the third parish priest of St. Ioan Botezătorul in October 1929. Serving the parish officially for thirty seven years, Father Popescu represented a life-long dedication to the Woonsocket Macedonian-Romanian community.
By 1937 a parish school of four classes with 52 students began meeting three times a week. During that same decade, the Reuniunea Femeilor (Women’s Auxiliary) was also established. A half century later, the organization remains a vital fixture of the church. In 1939, the first choir, under direction of Violet Rigia, was formed.
In the post World War II era, plans for a parish house and hall were achieved. Another important moment in the church’s history came on
For a decade beginning in 1954, St. Ioan’s also responded to the interest of its parish youth for active church involvement with the establishment if Rhode-AROY.
After Father Popescu’s retirement in 1965, the following succession of priests have served St. Ioan: Fr. Mircea Marinescu(1966-1968), Fr. Gratian Radu (1968-1972), Fr. Anchidim Useriu (1972), Fr. Nicolae Marioncu (1972-1978), Fr. Alexandru Moissiy (1979 -1980), Fr. Remus Bleahu (1981-1990), Fr. Ioan Macaila (1990-1995). Since
Installation of all stained glass windows was a special project initiated by Ladies Auxiliary and personally supervised by various members. Parishioners in 1970 donated individual windows to complete the entire set presently visible in the church.
A medium-sized parish throughout its history, St. Ioan’s constant membership testifies to four generations of church community. Whit its proud legacy, the future of
Church history was written by Peter Vangel,, one of