Bucharest, February 10, 2022
The Mavrogheni Church in Bucharest will soon be home to a center for children with Down Syndrome and autism.
The foundation of the center was consecrated on Wednesday by parish priests Fr. Radu Petre Mureșan and Fr. Ioan Jucan. “The joy permanently manifested by these children shows the presence of the Holy Spirit,” says Fr. Radu.
In Romania, it’s very difficult and expensive for parents to find qualified help, and these children can be considered the most discriminated category of people. Inspired by similar centers abroad, the priests set out to build an integrated center with first-class services, reports the Basilica News Agency.
“God made me worthy to have a child with Down Syndrome and I know the universe and the needs of these children,” says Fr. Radu.
“It’s very important for them to socialize, to gain confidence. Therefore, we need to think of an integrated project that meets all their needs. I know people who have learned German and are looking for a job abroad to give their children the chance to benefit from such therapies,” the rector added.
There are over 2,000 people with Down Syndrome in the Romanian capital. At its center, the parish intends to help up to 150 children a day.
As Fr. Radu recalls, a local doctor explained to him that, “Children with Down Syndrome are often born into the families of priests or good Christians, because they accept them and don’t abort them.”
In the end, this “cross” proved to be a light burden, according to the Savior’s promise. “Teodor is always laughing. What I learned from him is that you have to be happy. Joy is the sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit, an authentic joy, a loving joy,” explains Fr. Radu.
For parents whose children have been diagnosed with this syndrome and perhaps are wondering what to do, pressured by doctors and others to give up the child, Fr. Radu says: “Have the courage to give birth! These children have the right to life and their own charisma!”
The priests aim to open the center next February.
Last month, the Social Department of the Church of Moldova held a charity drive to give gifts, toys, and fruit to more than 200 children with physical and mental disabilities, autism, and Down Syndrome, and their families and teachers.