Gorna Malina, May 11, 2021
On Bright Friday, May 7, a new social rehabilitation and integration center of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church was festively opened in the western Bulgarian village of Gorna Malina.
The center is named in honor of St. John of Rila, the most beloved Bulgarian saint. It is designed to provide psychological support, kinesitherapy, occupational therapy, orthopedic care, as well as spiritual support for over 30 children and adults with disabilities and special educational needs, reports the Bulgarian Patriarchate.
The center was built in the yard of the local Church of the Holy Dormition. Construction began in 2019 as a project of the Holy Theotokos association and was carried out with the financial support of Agricultural State Fund and the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy.
The center was officially opened by His Grace Bishop Polycarp of Belogradchik, vicar of the Metropolis of Sofia, together with local clergy. A number of state and local officials and local residents also attended the ceremony.
Children from local Orthodox camps offered a festive program in honor of the opening of the new center, after which Bp. Polycarp blessed the clergy and guests and thanked all who were involved in building the Church center.
“The Church always strives to be close to its people and to respond to their spiritual and social needs,” Bp. Polycarp said, calling on the people to support the Church in such initiatives, just as it supports the nation, “which it prays for every day and hour.”
After Bp. Polycarp, along with other dignitaries, symbolically cut the ribbon of the Church center, the guests visited its modern halls and facilities and were treated to a festive meal.
In October, the Bulgarian Church opened its first spiritual center for social rehabilitation and the integration of children in Elin Pelin in the central Sofia Province.