Russia, Romania, Moldova, January 17, 2022
Several reports have appeared in Orthodox media over the past two weeks, highlighting the Church’s social ministries.
In Moscow, the Church of Sts. Florus and Laurus organized a feast for the homeless on the night of Christmas. Homeless people come daily to the church, which is located near one of the city’s main train stations, where they can receive food and are allowed to warm up.
On the feast of the Nativity, the homeless were treated to a special meal inside the church. “The idea was to create a cheerful atmosphere. You can, of course, feed these people outdoors, give them their presents, and that's it. But it's Christmas. So we invited them in and served them a nicely cooked meal. We tried to make it a real celebration,” explained rector Archpriest Mikhail Potokin, reports Global Orthodoxy.
About 100 people were fed in all.
And His Eminence Metropolitan Ioan of Banat of the Romanian Orthodox Church celebrated his name’s day, January 7, with a meal with the local homeless, reports the Basilica News Agency.
The Metropolitan sat down with the homeless in Timișoara living in facilities run by the city’s Center for Emergency and Crisis Situations. They ate a hot meal together and sang songs in honor of the hierarch’s name’s day.
Met. Ioan also offered hot food to those hosted at other facilities.
Another Romanian hierarch, His Grace Bishop Antonie of Bălţi offered gifts to hundreds of children in medical institutions in Moldova last week.
The gifts for the 200 children came from Hadâmbu Monastery in Iași County.
Also in Moscow, the Church’s Mercy social ministry gathered 13,000 presents and $61,570 for the needy through its annual Give Joy for Christmas program.
The program has donated 295,000 presents over the past 11 years.
And in Saratov, the Church of the Apostle and Evangelist John, together with the Diocesan Department of Prison Ministry, has begun collecting Orthodox literature for prisoners.
“Please bring literature that you yourself have read with joy and benefit for the soul, that you would recommend to your loved ones. Perhaps it’s your book that will play an important role in a person’s life, help him not only take the path of correction, but also find God, and become like a prodigal son who has returned to his Father,” say the organizers of the collection.