The members of the National Church Council met Tuesday, February 19, 2019, for the annual working session at the Patriarchal Residence in Bucharest.
The meeting was chaired by His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel.
The NCC members reviewed the most important activities carried out last year by the Romanian Orthodox Church and set project proposals for 2019.
The Patriarch of Romania read out the synthesis report stressing that in 2018 the Romanian Patriarchate spent 24 million Euros for the entire social and philanthropic work.
Reviewing the pastoral-liturgical and administrative activity, the Patriarch recalled the consecration of the Holy Altar of the National Cathedral and the first memorial service held for Romania’s national heroes inside the Cathedral.
His Beatitude pointed to the canonization ceremonies held for St Joseph the Merciful, Metropolitan of Moldavia, and St George the Pilgrim, and noted that in 2018 the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church glorified Bishop Dionysius Erhan of Cetatea Alba and Ismail.
In addition, the feasts of St Matrona of Moscow and the Syriac Wonderworking Icon of the Mother of God from Ghighiu Monastery were included in the local church calendar.
The Patriarch went on to refer to the activities of the Romanian Church abroad, by strengthening the ties with the other local Orthodox Churches, by promoting respect and cooperation at inter-Christian and inter-religious levels, and by intensifying the ministry of the Romanian Orthodox communities in the diaspora.
‘Analyzing the existing data, we note that the Romanian Orthodox Church has faithfully followed its major responsibility for spiritual life, religious education of youth, and social-philanthropic mission,’ Patriarch Daniel said during the annual NCC meeting.
His Beatitude spoke about the ‘many and various forms’ of merciful love noting that ‘material mercy may be food for the hungry, clothes for those deprived of them, medicine for the sick, material aid for the poor, and the like.’
Referring to philanthropy, the Patriarch said that ‘we must always see Christ’s hand extended to us in every hand of a man in need.’
‘In a mystical and spiritual way, the hand of the poor asking for our help meets with the hand of Christ from within us, which offers this help to those in need.’
At the end, Patriarch Daniel expressed his appreciation for the ‘spiritual and material efforts of all those who support the many activities of the Romanian Orthodox Church.’
‘We pray to God to give them good health and salvation, help and joy in their life!’
The evaluation made by the National Church Council will be presented to the members of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church who will meet on Thursday for their regular working session.
Photography courtesy of ZL