Romania, Bulgaria, Russia, September 23, 2021
While its mission remains to guide men to eternal life in Christ, the Church is also called to care for the material needs of all through acts of charity and social services.
Most recently, more than 33 tons of non-perishable food and a cloth that covered the relics of the great St. Paraskeva in Iași were delivered to Bulgarians in Ruse by representatives of Church and social groups, reports the Basilica News Agency.
The cloth was sent with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Teofan of Moldavia and Bukovina of the Romanian Church and was received by His Eminence Metropolitan Naum of Ruse of the Bulgarian Church. The holy item was carried in procession to St. Demetrius Monastery in Basarabovo, and will eventually be taken to St. Paraskeva Monastery in Baiala, Bulgaria.
The food, delivered to Romanian-Bulgarian families in the poor regions of Ruse and Vidin, was accompanied by members of St. Mary’s Christian Orthodox Military Order and representatives of various other public organizations.
In Bulgaria, His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas of Plovdiv visited a number of old folks’ homes earlier this month to launch a charity event of the BulPharma chain of private medical institutions, for which the Metropolitan serves as Chairman, reports the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.
At the homes, the bishop donated individual packages for protection against COVID, including masks, gloves, vitamins, and nutritional supplements to increase immune protection, as well as disposable sheets, towels, adult diapers, and hand sanitizer.
His Eminence gave an inspired speech, emphasizing the importance of Christian love as reflected in charity and care for the sick and elderly.
In Russia, the Church opened its 228th humanitarian aid center, this time in Ekaterinburg, on the territory of the Holy Dormition Cathedral. The center is equipped to help 400 struggling families every month, reports the Synodal Department for Charity and Social Services.
The opening of the center was held thanks to the support of the Presidential Grant Fund. At the center, those in need can get necessary items, such as food, hygiene products, strollers, cribs, and much more.
And every week in the Bishkek Diocese in Kyrgyzstan, the Church gives out dozens of packages of food and household chemicals, thanks to funds from the Synodal Department for Charity.
1,870 families have received nearly 20 tons of food thus far this year. Each package is worth about $12. The local Social Department also prepares hot lunches, feeding from 60 to 120 people every day. It also delivers ready-made dinners and dairy products to shut-ins, gives shelter to pregnant women in difficult situations, and offers palliative care.
And in Damascus, Syria, the representative office of the Russian Church delivered another shipment of hygiene products yesterday to the Amal School, which trains 150 children with disabilities.
The money for the items was donated by Orthodox believers in Canada.
The Russian Church has made several donations to the school in the past, including new wheelchairs.