During the 2019 Spring Clergy Conference on Monday, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel listed seven proposals to improve the current situation of the villages in Romania.
- Twinning programs between generous urban parishes and poor parishes in the rural area. This involves offering brotherly spiritual and material help.
- Encouraging book donations to organize libraries in the villages.
- Offering grants to intelligent and industrious students to continue their study in the rural area and eventually in the city area.
- Buying, renovating and equipping village houses with gardens by city parishes in order to be used as holiday homes and to develop profitable activities for the village.
- Encouraging villagers and helping them concretely to keep and honour the memory of their ancestors by taking care of the cemetery, the heroes’ memorial cross, but also by providing information in order to write the monography of every Romanian village today.
- Organizing youth camps in the villages in order to carry out pilgrimages, as well as cultural, social-philanthropic and ecological activities in the countryside in partnership with village priests and local authorities.
- Encouraging young people to develop rural economic projects such as profitable family farms.
The Patriarch of Romania offered these suggestions during the Bucharest Archdiocese Spring Clergy Conference held in the context of the Solemn Year of the Romanian Village in the Romanian Patriarchate.
The Clergy Conference took place at the Palace of the Patriarchate in Bucharest in the presence of the auxiliary bishops Varlaam of Ploiesti, Ieronim of Sinaia, and Timotei of Prahova.
Attendees included over 800 clergymen from the deaneries in Bucharest and Ilfov County, including health care chaplains, school and military chaplains.
In his speech, Patriarch Daniel referred to the spirituality of the Romanian village and its current situation.
‘Today, the Romanian village is somehow crucified between nostalgic ideologization and practical abandonment, between traditional identity and precarious survival.’
‘Rural areas in Romania cover 87.1% of the country’s territory; approximately 45.7% of the country’s population lives in rural areas,’ His Beatitude said Monday, May 13, 2019.
‘Romania’s agricultural potential is very high, but the land is not cultivated efficiently,’ he cautioned.
‘A country with rich land, but with many poor peasants,’ the Patriarch lamented.
‘In many villages in Romania survival agriculture is practiced, and some villages are very depopulated and even abandoned so that they are slowly disappearing from the map of Romania,’ Patriarch Daniel said expressing his concern.
Photography courtesy of Lumina Newspaper / Mihnea Păduraru