Ponoară, Romania; Omsk, Russia, June 18, 2019
Both the Romanian and Russian Orthodox Churches continue their active philanthropism, recently blessing centers for the elderly and those in need.
On Wednesday, June 12, His Grace Bishop Sofronie of Oradea and Bihor blessed the recently-opened St. Panteleimon’s home for the elderly in the town of Ponoară in northwestern Romania, blessing all those present and the entire premises with holy water and holy oil, reports the diocesan press service.
On the occasion, Bp. Sofronie offered a word in which he highlighted the importance that the Romanian Church attaches to its philanthropic work, especially to caring for the sick, lonely, and abandoned. He also donated several icons that will be hung throughout the home.
“It is a home that works under the blessing and protection of the Church and we pray to Almighty God that those living in this house will live to a ripe old age and that those who come will be tranquil, serene, and ever under the blessing of our Heavenly Father,” the hierarch said.
His Grace then visited each of the 14 residents of the new center, offering them his hierarchical blessing.
The St. Panteleimon home for the elderly, managed by the Philanthropy Association of the Oradea Diocese, can accommodate up to 25 people. Residents benefit from several services, including 3 meals a day, personal hygiene services, surveillance and health maintenance, medication, physical therapy, massages, socialization services, occupational therapy, and therapy for the development of personal autonomy.
The center also provides social assistance, religious assistance, excursions, entertainment programs, and recreation activities.
Meanwhile, two days later, a rebuilt center for humanitarian aid to large families, the poor, single mothers, retirees, the disabled, fire victims, and refugees was blessed in Omsk in central Russia. The service was celebrated by His Eminence Metropolitan Vladimir of Omsk and Taurida, reports the diocesan website.
The opening ceremony was attended by the Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Development of the Omsk Province, local clergy, social workers, and the center’s first lodgers.
The center was established as part of the social complex of the St. Seraphim of Vyritsa House of Mercy with funds from the diocese and the Synodal Department for Charity and Social Service’s grant competition. There will also be an office for dealing with addicts and their relatives, and a medical office.
The center will provide food, clothing, hygiene products, and toys, as well as free consultations with lawyers and psychologists. In the first stage, about 50 families can receive monthly help. In the near future, single mothers with their children will be able to stay at the center.
“When I first visited this house in 2012, it was in poor condition, and now it’s been put in order, with good repairs. And now anyone in need will be able to receive help here. It’s important not to forget that any of us can fall into difficult situations. The main that Christ commanded us is to do good to those around us, to help everyone, and then the Lord will be among us,” Met. Vladimir said on the occasion.
All churches of the Omsk Diocese are accepting donations of non-perishable food items, hygiene products, and clothing for the center.
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