Blessing of Saint Silvester Residential Centre For Aged Persons Of Bucharest

Church of Romania

On 26 October 2014, “Saint Silvester” residential centre for aged persons was blessed. The blessing service was celebrated by His Beatitude Theophilos III, Patriarch of Jerusalem, and by His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of Romania, assisted by a group of priests and deacons.

“The purpose of this settlement is to bring peace, joy and hope to the persons who will live here. We are grateful first of all to God and to all those through whom God worked”, the Patriarch of Romania said.

The care for old people, children and sick shows the degree of civilization of a nation, emphasised the Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church.

“One says the civilisation of a nation is seen in the way the old people, sick and children, the fragile humans, are treated. If we see human dignity, Christ, present in the man who needs our help we are a Christian civilised people. Thus, while helping the children, old people, or the sick we humanise ourselves and show gratitude to the persons from whom we do not receive anything material instead, but their prayer, lowliness, patience and presence of Christ in the human who needs the help of the Church”, the Patriarch of Romania said.

His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church has also spoken about the importance of the church of Saint Silveter, also emphasising the personality of rev Constantine Galeriu: “This church is very well known in Bucharest especially because rev prof Constantine Galeriu was years on end the soul of this parish and delivered lots of sermons here during the communist regime, as well as in time of freedom, after the revolution of 1989, with much wisdom and enthusiasm. He transmitted not only ideas, but also confidence, because it is very important to convey not only knowledge, but also strong confidence in the experience and ecclesiastic communion”.

The Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church emphasised the fact that the presence of the Patriarch of Jerusalem is a great honour and showed the importance of the development of the ecclesiastic charity: “Today we are called to develop ecclesiastic charity besides the prayer of the liturgy which shows the divine charity of God-the-Father in the work of Christ-the-Son and the work of the Holy Spirit: care for the sick, old people and children. We have here, in the Archdiocese, in Bucharest, a centre for children, for palliative care blessed a few years ago, and today an old people’s home too.

His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel offered the centre an icon of the Brancovean Saints Martyrs, and His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos offered an icon of the Mother of God and a mother of pearl cross for blessing.

“Your Beatitude, please allow me to offer this icon of the Mother of God for this settlement, to bring comfort to the aged people as a sign of the love for our community, for our Church. We congratulate you, Your Beatitude for your efforts for the welfare of the people, of the Church and of the entire society”, His Beatitude Theophilos, Patriarch of Jerusalem said

Each of the two Primates received on behalf of Saint Silvester parish an icon of Saint Prince Neagoe Basarab and a photograph of the Holy Light of Jerusalem taken this year.

Distinctions were also offered to those who got involved in the raising of the centre. The mayor of District 2, Neculai Ontanu, was awarded the order of the “Brancovean Saints Martyrs”. The servant priests were awarded the Homage Diploma with the “Brancovean Saints Martyrs” medal. The persons involved in the raising of the settlement were awarded distinctions.

The centre will host 53 aged persons and will be opened on 1 November.

“Setting up an old people’s home at Saint Silveter parish is a much older idea. I found a document in the parish archives dating even after the World War I; it was a desire of the parish council after they would have built a monument dedicated to the heroes who sacrificed their lives in the World War I. Unfortunately they have not succeeded in building it, the inter war period passed and the time after 1945 came when it was more difficult for the Church to build such a settlement. Now, after 1990 this desire came up again, it was animated by Rev Prof Constantine Galeriu and continued by Rev Nicolae Bordasiu who enjoys the fulfilment of this dream when we succeeded in blessing this centre in a special framework”, Rev. parish priest Alexandru Gherasim of “Saint Silvester” church of Bucharest declared.

“Saint Silvester” residential centre for aged persons was raised with the help of the city hall of district 2 of Bucharest.

“There are lots of aged persons who retired and we know that the most serious disease is loneliness, or here is a wonderful thing because we know that this old people’s home is close to Saint Silvester church which is rather famous in Bucharest. Those who live here are under the supervision of Saint Silvester parish, of the church and of the priests who serve here, so that it is their greatest joy and comfort to live in this wonderful place”, Neculai Ontanu, mayor of district 2 of Bucharest said.

To end with, the two patriarchs visited “Saint Silvester” church.