On 17 February 2015, His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church blessed the new social canteen of the deanery of district 2 Bucharest, assisted by a group of priests. His Grace Timotei Prahoveanul, Assistant Bishop to the Archdiocese of Bucharest, Mr. Neculai Ontanu, mayor of District 2 Bucharest, eparchial counsellor priests, as well as employees of Saint Ana Social Canteen, within which the new social–philanthropic settlement will operate were also present.
In the speech delivered on the occasion, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel said that five more such social canteens will be opened in Bucharest: “We are going to organise and maintain six canteens in Bucharest, one canteen for every deanery in a certain district. This thing facilitates a good cooperation between the deanery and the city hall of the district on one hand, and a special care for the poor helpless ones of every parish and district of Bucharest on the other hand. We further plan to extend the model of Bucharest in the province too, because there are many people who need our help. The Eparchial Centre had only one canteen for poor in the entire city so far. Some poor people used to cross the entire city to reach district 6 to have a warm mean or get a parcel of aliments. It is not correct for such a large city to have only the canteen of the eparchial centre.
Rev Ioan Popescu – archpriest of deanery of district 2 Bucharest – showed, in his turn, that the new social canteen blessed by His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel is the first philanthropic programme of Diaconia Association – district 2 branch. “Who will receive food at this canteen? No other than Christ, our Lord! He will come every day, from one to many to have meal at this canteen. If we permanently keep this conscience alive we shall make Christian mission today, not a simple social activity”, archpriest Ioan Popescu said.
“At present we have important projects and I think we shall implement them as soon as possible because their planning is coming to a close. We refer to the social parochial settlement of “Saint Hierarch Nicholas” from Iancu Nou Baleanu church, to the social complex from the parish of Saint Dumitru Colentina, Social settlement from the parish of Calarasi Park. I wanted to point out some of these investments which show how beneficial the cooperation with the Church is”, mayor Neculai Ontanu said.
To end with the event, the Patriarch of Romania offered the Social Centre of Saint Ana an icon of the Last Supper. His Beatitude received an icon of Saint Ana on behalf of Diaconia Association – district 2 branch.
“Icoanei” parish of Bucharest will financially contribute to the good development of the canteen. The same parish will also maintain the minor daughters of father Cristinel Nistor, who passed away last year, in summer, who contributed a lot to the construction of the Centre.
The canteen will operate within “Saint Ana Social Centre” of Diaconia Association – district 2 branch, in the precincts of “Saint John the Baptist” parish of deanery of district 2 Bucharest.