Short history of the Saint Mary Romanian Orthodox Church
St Mary Romanian Orthodox Church
from St Paul, MN has a long, rich and meaningful history. At the beginning of
the last century, bigger groups of Romanian immigrants arrived in Saint Paul.
Upon their arrival they would look for other Romanian immigrants and then try
to settle in the same neighborhood, forming a small but strong community on
Rice Street and in that area.
Having a very religious and cultural upbring, their souls were starving for the
spiritual food. As a result, in 1910 they formed a benefit society called
"Augustina" that became very active in the spiritual and cultural life of the
Almost three years later, on May 18 1913, the society voted to establish an
Orthodox Parish and to build a Church that will fulfill their religious needs.
The original name of the Parish was voted to be "Biserica Greco-Orientala
Ortodoxa Romana Sfanta Maria". A committee was formed with the main tasks of
finding and buying the land, on which the Church would be build. The committee
didn't waste any time and on November 9th, 1913, they purchased a lot. Eight
months later, on June 14th, 1914, the cornerstone was laid and a very
enthusiastic crowd began working on building the Church.
Four months later, a replica of the Church in SanNicolau Mare, a small border
town in western Romania, was erected on the corner of Woodbridge and Atwater
Streets. Fr. Podea, the priest that was serving the community at that time,
blessed the Church on October 15th, 1914.
October 31st of 1926, marked a very important page in the history of the
Church. On that day, the Church was visited by Her Majesty Queen Maria.
The final, official consecration of the Church had to wait until 1935, when the
first Romanian Bishop, His Grace Bishop Policarp Morusca, came to St. Paul and
consecrated the Church, making the alter holy by inserting religious relics and
dust from Romania, in the altar table leg.
The St. Mary Romanian Orthodox Church, St. Paul is included in the registry of
the Minnesota Historical Society.
During all the years the constant activity and growth of the parish can be
attributed to the spirit and deep religious convictions of the people of the
church. The accomplishments of a small number of people (the parish probably
never exceeded 150) are a constant reminder of how God works His Will through
the faithful. It is our hope that the good spirit will continue to dominate the
hearts of the church members in the future and perpetuate and improve their
Services are held in English and Romanian. All people of the Orthodox Faith are
wholeheartedly welcome to attend.