In the Dutch province of South Holland, the Romanian Orthodox Church of Saint Gregory the Theologian in Schiedam is regarded as the third most beautiful place of worship.
A competition organized by the Association for Preserving Heritage Values Erfgoedhuis Zuid-Holland received forty-two submissions.
“This accomplishment is a recognition of both the fruitful activity of over 40 years of parish priest Ioan Dură, in his capacity as a missionary priest, spiritual father, founder of parishes, historian, scholar, and defender of the true faith, as well as the attachment and support of the parishioners,” Isabela Dragnea, member of the Parish Council, noted.
Since 2001, St. Gregory the Theologian Romanian Parish has been hosted in the Catholic chapel in the city park of Schiedam. The sanctuary was added to the registry of Dutch National Monuments in 1977. The inaugural Divine Liturgy was performed on Pentecost in 2001.
Since the Romanian community took it over, the chapel has been adorned with an iconostasis and other distinctively Orthodox objects. Additionally, around 220 wooden icons comprise the historical legacy of the place of devotion.
The first Romanian library (2001), the first parochial school (2011), the first Association of Romanian Orthodox Women (2016), and the first Romanian cultural and spiritual center in the Netherlands (2023) were gradually established at Saint Gregory the Theologian Romanian Parish in Schiedam.
Photography courtesy of St Gregory the Theologian Parish in Schiedam