The Church has joined the ‘Let’s do it, Romania!’ campaign and summoned teams of young students from the theological seminaries across Romania to help out with the clean-up day.
Over 180,000 Romanians, most of them students but also volunteers of all ages, have said yes to this year’s national environmental action.
On Saturday, Sept. 21, several Orthodox high schools, parishes and other church institutions put into practice the advice of Patriarch Daniel to express a special care towards God’s creation:
‘Do not deform creation, do not desecrate it, do not destroy it, do not deform the beauty of the Earth; our vocation is to preserve the environment as stewards and not as owners of the creation.’
The students of St Philothea Theological Seminary in Branesti have cleaned up areas in Pustnicu Forest near Bucharest.
The action titled ‘Moving for a clean environment!’ took place under the coordination of Mr. Florian Bancila, the head of the Forestry District of Branesti, and the Seminary’s supervisor.
150 students from the Orthodox High School ‘Bishop Roman Ciorogariu’ in Oradea have cleaned up the right bank of Crisul Repede River in the area between the Decebal and Densusianu bridges.
The students were guided and helped by professors and parents.
As part of the same campaign, a team of students from the Theological Seminary ‘Saint Joseph the Confessor’ cleaned up litter across the city of Baia Mare. The team was coordinated by Archdeacon Adrian Dobreanu and Prof. Lidia Pocol.
Lots of bags of rubbish were filled after the young students of St John Jacob Orthodox Theological Seminary teamed up and picked up the trash in the parks of Dorohoi.
With the blessing of His Eminence Hon Metropolitan Nifon, around 60 young people cleaned up the areas around Mihai Bravu Bridge in Targoviste.
30 children from the “Saint Cyprian” Social Settlement joined the cleaning campaign organized by the local administration, together with several associations and schools in the city.
The action took place under the motto “Autumn cleaning – Get involved, Ocna Mureș! The city can be even cleaner with your help!”
Ecology classes in theology schools?
The Church’s constant involvement in ecological actions is based on the understanding of the natural environment as a gift from God.
Nicknamed the Green Patriarch, His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople is famous worldwide for his many initiatives in the field of ecology.
One of Patriarch Bartholomew’s suggestions is the incorporation of environmental issues into courses and classes in theological schools and seminaries.
‘Theological schools and seminaries should be at the forefront of this effort as well. Nevertheless, this cannot occur if seminarians and students are not exposed to an integrated environmental ministry throughout their education and formation,’ stressed the Patriarch of Constantinople at the opening session of the Halki III Summit in Istanbul.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the first ecological encyclical signed by Patriarch Demetrios I, which established the day of September 1 as an occasion to raise public awareness of environmental issues and to offer prayers for the entire creation.
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