The Hour of Reckoning and the Sanctification of a Church in the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Northern Europe

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On Saturday, January 26, 2019, the Diocesan Assembly of the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Northern Europe took place in the parish church of Copenhagen. During this meeting presided by His Grace Bishop Macarie, the missionary activity of the eparchy in 2018 was debated. The Divine Liturgy and the Te Deum service was followed by the rich spiritual word of His Eminence Father Metropolitan Seraphim of Germany, Central and Northern Europe, the special guest of the event.

In 2018, His Grace Bishop Macarie and his pastors continued the missionary strategy of “pilgrimage” as a way of cultivating and consolidating Eucharistic communities within the Diocese and, on the other hand, researching and recovering Romanian micro-communities located in remote areas, further away from the continental area. The social mission has been expanded and diversified, with new charitable programs being launched, extending the Copsa Mica Orphaned Campaign and starting a fruitful collaboration between the “Saint Stephen the Great” Youth Center (CTSM) of the Diocese and the Social Mission “Diaconia” of the Metropolitan Church of Bessarabia (Republic of Moldova). The project to build the “Saint Philofteia from Curtea de Arges” Orphanage House in Kisumu, Kenya, also advanced, reaching the stage of exterior finishes.

The activities with young people were intense throughout the year, the Youth Center “Saint Stephen the Great” being involved in several actions of the Diocese. Among these activities were mentioned the “Summer Camp for the Big and the Little – Bucovina 2018” , “The Parochial Picnic in the Family”, a way of socializing among the members of the parishes during the summer, the “Orthodox Youth Meeting” in Sibiu (ITO Sibiu) or the “Meeting of the Orthodox Youth in Northern Europe” held between 22-23 September 2018 in Copenhagen.

On the cultural and spiritual level, the Year of the Centenial was marked by the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Northern Europe by organizing several symposiums in Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen with the theme “Centennial of the Great Union and the Place of the Romanians in Europe” with the participation of many historians and scientific scholars from Romania and the Scandinavian countries, including the president of the Academy of Romania, the historian Ioan-Aurel Pop or the theologian Radu Preda, executive president of IICCMER.

The magazine “Candela Nordului”, nr. 9/2017 was developed in 2018 and in the “Felicitas” publishing house several books were published in 2018, this connection between the Romanian and Scandinavian spirituality and culture being strengthened. We particularly mention the appearance of the monographs, edited bilingual in Romanian and English: “The House of Light. The Diocesan Center in Stockholm and the Ikast Monastery. A candle with Romanian oil.”

In conclusion, His Grace Macarie has shown that the year that has just passed has been one with intense mission, with major challenges that have been overcome with the help of God. For the following year father bishop said that, in addition to the pastoral priorities already mentioned, a priority will be the emphasis of church life or spiritual life as the irreplaceable foundation of family and community life. In this sense, efforts will be made to raise awareness of this necessary condition of Christian living through meetings, catechesis and other special events.

At the same event, a family of good Christians (Viorel and Valeria Vojin) from the town of Jonkoping, Sweden, received the Episcopal Order “Priest Professor Alexandru Ciurea” from Father Bishop Macarie for the 50 years of uninterrupted activity as Romanian Orthodox parishioners in Sweden.

On Sunday, January 27, 2019, His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim of Germany and His Grace Father Bishop Macarie of Northern Europe, together with a large group of priests and deacons, performed the consecration service of the Romanian parish church “Honoring of the Icon of the Virgin Mary the Healer, Saint Holy Martyr Ephrem the New and Holy Martyr Irina” in the town of Esbjerg, situated on the west coast of the Jutland peninsula.

At this important event for the Romanian community, as well as for the entire diocese, many priests and believers from the northern countries participated. After the Divine Liturgy, those present had the opportunity to enter and worship the newly consecrated Eucharistic altar and worship the icon of “The Virgin Mary the Healer”. The event was also attended by the Ambassador of Romania in Denmark, His Excellency Alexandru Mihai Gradinar. Answers for the liturgical service were provided by the Christian group “Credo” of the Northern Europe Diocese, made up of the Romanian Orthodox young people in Sweden and Denmark.

Finally, Father Bishop Macarie emphasized the activity of Parish Priest Claudiu Ceteras and thanked the community, offering gifts for the children present at the church service.

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