When Fr. Alan Andraeas retired as a Navy chaplain nine years ago, he and his wife, Sue, moved to Dennysville. Their new home quickly become the base of operations for a monastic retreat ministry, Saint Brendan’s, which also includes the spiritual practice of ‘prayer offices’ throughout the day. A portion of their home was converted into a chapel—Holy Trinity Chapel—for this purpose; for themselves and for those who came to the property for retreats. As an Anglican priest, he also celebrates the Eucharist several times a week in Holy Trinity Chapel.
In January 2012, the Andraeas’ opened Holy Trinity Chapel for others in the local community who wanted to attend prayer offices or the Eucharist. Soon a house church was up and running with communion, baptisms, confirmation, confession and absolution, religious education, and spiritual direction.
“A part of the long-range plan for the property always included the construction of a chapel,” says Fr. Andraeas, “and when we saw how committed our regular attendees became, the Holy Spirit told us it was time to build.” When news of the plans to build reached the larger monastic fellowship (membership includes people from California to South Africa), donations for construction started to arrive. Soon there was enough money to begin the foundation work and, with a step of faith, local contractor Terry Stevens excavated the first shovel load of dirt. “Our goal is to build Holy Trinity Chapel as the donations come in,” says Fr. Alan. “We want to honor the Lord by trusting in His provision; there will be no capital campaigns, no mortgages—it will be a debt-free chapel.”
Dale Richardson did the foundation work. Fr. Alan and Sue Andraeas did all the subflooring. And during the past two weeks, Terry Kinney and his assistant Michael Brown framed and sheathed the building. The chapel shell was complete enough this past Sunday for the congregation to hold their first Eucharistic celebration in the new facility. From here on out, the rest of the interior work will be done by volunteer help from chapel and fellowship members. “Unlike a larger church, a monastic chapel gains its beauty through simplicity,” comments Sue Andraeas. “Everything in it will draw our focus to either heaven or to the altar, and how we take that holiness of Christ back out into the world.” While the interior may take some time to complete, the Andraeas’ bishop, the Right Reverend Richard Lipka, is already looking forward to consecrating the chapel during his episcopal visit this coming October.
Holy Trinity Chapel serves as a mission parish of the Missionary Diocese of All Saints, a conservative and evangelical diocese of the Anglican Church in North America. “Holy Trinity chapel is a ‘convergence’ mission in the liturgical, sacramental, evangelical, Celtic, and charismatic traditions,” says Fr. Andraeas, “and those who worship here on a regular basis come from a wide ecumenical spectrum; they love each other as a true community.” Sunday Eucharist begins at 9:30 on Sundays at 38 Cemetary Road, Dennysville. For more information, the Andraeas’ can be reached at 726-5129 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Chapel information can be found at www.saintbrendans-online.org.