Man sanctifies the place: How Romanians transformed a warehouse into a church in Italy

Aurelian Iftimiu | 16 February 2021

An Orthodox service was served for the first time in the Romanian Church in Montichiari, Italy, on Tuesday evening, February 9. Dean Rev. Gelu Porumb, the parish priest Gabriel Pandrea and several other clerics officiated the Lesser Sanctification of Waters and the Mystery of Unction, the Romanian Diocese of Italy reports.

The story of the new Romanian church illustrates very well the saying “Man sanctifies the place.” The building is actually a capannone, as Italians say, meaning a former production hall or warehouse.

This is what the building looked like a year ago, on February 1, 2020:

The warehouse that was turned into a church in Montichiari. Photo: Facebook / Preot Gabriel Pandrea

That’s what it looks like now:

Romanian Orthodox Church in Montichiari. Photo: Facebook / Preot Gabriel Pandrea
The church’s entrance. Photo: Facebook / Preot Gabriel Pandrea

Last year, in parallel with the interior works, the exterior spaces were arranged, an oak iconostasis was embellished with all the necessary icons. Even the audio system was set up.

Iconostasis at the Romanian Church in Montichiari. Photo: Facebook / Preot Gabriel Pandrea

The interior design began in June 2020. Until the consecration, however, there are many other expenses, so the parish provides those who want to become founders an account for donations:

IBAN: IT11W0306909606100000103383

Banca Prossima, Parrocchia Ortodossa Rumena San Gregorio-Lonato del Garda

This is what the church in Montichiari will look like at the end, according to the project. Photo: Facebook / Preot Gabriel Pandrea

This is how a warehouse was elevated to the rank of a “laboratory of the Resurrection” – an expression used by Saint Maximus the Confessor for the church and mentioned by Fr. Gelu Porumb on Tuesday at the first service in Montichiari.

The spiritual protectors of the parish are St. Gregory the Enlightener of Greater Armenia and St. Artemius the Greatmartyr. The place of worship is located on Via Erculiani, 31 in Montechiari, Italy.

Photo source: Facebook / Gabriel Pandrea

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