Valea Screzii, Romania, June 23, 2018
Four housing projects of the Romanian pro-life organization Pro Vita will be ready months in advance thanks to a generous donation from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Yonkers, New York.
A delegation from the seminary, including President Archpriest Chad Hatfield and Director of Web Services Alexandru Popovici, a native Romanian, traveled to Romania to personally present a gift of $13,000 to the Pro Vita Association for the Born and Unborn on Saturday, reports the seminary website.
“This is a huge amount of money for our institution,” said Pro Vita founder Fr. Nicholas Tanase. “We are honored to have been chosen by St. Vladimir’s as the 2017 Giving Tuesday partner.”
#GivingTuesday is a “global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration,” celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving.
The seminary’s #GivingTuesday campaign raised $126,000 last year, 10% of which had been pledged as a “tithe” to Pro Vita, which provides healthcare and education assistance to families in need. By helping families in dire economic straits, the organization helps to prevent parents from making the decision to abort their babies. Pro Vita currently provides housing and food for 428 people, 312 of whom are children.
The seminary has been participating in GivingTuesday for several years now. In 2016, $8,000 was sent to His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East, to alleviate the dire conditions of people under his care, and on July 6, 2017, they sent $15,000 worth of theological books to the Orthodox Patriarchal Ecclesiastical School of Makarios III in Nairobi, Kenya.
Fr. Chad and Popovici had the honor of having lunch with the more than 300 children during their visit to the organization in Valea Screzii.
“Many of those children were with their mothers who had come to Pro Vita to escape an abusive environment or needed help after electing not to have an abortion,” said Fr. Chad. “It is remarkable to see how many people are positively impacted by the work and vision of one priest,” said Fr. Chad.
In addition to the GivingTuesday partnership, the seminary’s chapel community has been providing collecting clothing and other items for Pro Vita for over a decade.
In 2016, 11 college-aged members of Orthodox Christian Fellowship had the opportunity to travel to Romania and visit Pro Vita as part of the OCF “Real Break” program of mission trip alternatives to spring break.
“The trip was a life-changing experience for many of the students as they learned to come outside themselves to love and serve in Christ’s name,” said Fr. Robert Miclean, the OCF and Annapolis College Ministry Chaplain.
St. Vladimir’s Seminary is also home to the pro-life St. Ambrose Society, a student-led group founded in 2011 that “endeavors to raise awareness of the tragedy of abortion and other affronts to the sanctity of human life, and of the many good efforts of the Pro-Life Movement.”
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