Suceava’s new archbishop Calinic promised to continue to strengthen the stone church and the spiritual church in his diocese during a speech held at the enthronement ceremony on Sunday, July 26, 2020.
Archbishop Calinic referred to the challenges brought by globalization and consumerism and assured his flock that he would meet their needs with love.
I want to assure you that, beyond my severity, you will find a warm soul, who four decades ago “left the garment of the body of this world at the gates of Putna Monastery to renew it with the garment of the Spirit” under the spiritual guidance of Elder Hiacynth Unciuleac and of His Eminence Archbishop Pimen, pillars of Bukovina’s Orthodoxy in the second half of the twentieth century,” said the new archbishop.
Recalling many of the holy hierarchs of Moldavia, Archbishop Calinic said that ‘in the age of consumerism and individualism, the hierarchs of our Church have watched over the preservation and increase of the liturgical and Philokalic life.’
‘Although the times were often unfavourable to them, they promoted Christian culture, by establishing theological and monastic schools or by establishing printing houses and publishing books, which played a decisive role in preserving the ancestral faith and strengthening the national conscience.’
‘They paid special attention to the service of their neighbour by being present with the flock, by experiencing together with them the Golgothas and the Tabors, or by the consolation brought in the philanthropic settlements established by the Church and placed under its care.’
‘Over the centuries, following the example of the Saviour and the apostles, our hierarchs have combined prayer and almsgiving, wisdom and the literacy, faith and patriotism, the spiritual word with erudition and culture, personal zeal with sacrifice in the dioceses they pastored. And when the situation demanded it, they gave their lives for the faith and for the flock.’
‘Unfortunately, then, as nowadays, justice and truth, even against the evidence, wanted to be brought to their knees!’
‘After this selective remembrance of the hierarchs from the beginning of the Church until now, seen “over the shoulder of time”, I send the first thought of gratitude to His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel, for the call to the ministry of assistant bishop at the Archdiocese of Iasi and for the 18 years of fruitful activity carried out together, for the word he addressed, but also for the gifts he sent.’
‘Be assured that I will continue, with the same zeal, in equal measure, the strengthening of the stone church and of the one in the soul of each one, according to the model of Martha and Mary, who were sisters! Although you’re probably waiting, I can’t reveal my priorities, as it requires a pertinent analysis of the facts beforehand!’
‘Last but not least, I want to express my joy to be, starting today, in the spirit of prayer, together with the clergy and the monastic order, as well as with all the faithful, of all ages, from the Sweet Bukovina.’
‘I have in mind especially the young people, whom I mention at every Divine Liturgy and in whose youth and enthusiasm I believe, especially when I am in the service of God and the community of which I am a part.’
‘I do not overlook their parents and grandparents, who are called to continue, in the spirit of goodness and good settlement of Bukovina, the Christian life and lifestyle of their forerunners.’
‘I embrace you all equally in Jesus Christ and, beyond the fears you have had and probably still have, I assure you that you will find in me a bishop with whom you can work effectively in the Lord’s vineyard, fully respecting the Canons of the Holy Fathers, the Church Laws and the Decisions of the Holy Synod!’
Finally, the archbishop entreated the local Saints John the New of Suceava, Leontius of Radauti, Jacob of Putna, Daniel the Hermit, Silas, Paisios, and Nathan, Saint Paraskeva and the day’s saints to ‘encompass us in their protective intercession in front of the throne of the Most Holy Trinity.’
Photography courtesy of Basilica.ro / Raluca Ene