Thursday, June 21, 2018

Romanian Metropolia hosts conference

(Mitropolia) - In the presence of His Eminence Metropolitan Nicolae and His Grace Bishop Ioan Casian, Hieromonk Atanasie Popescu, Rev. Fr. Vasile Tudora, Rev. Fr. Ion Gherman and Rev. Fr. Daniel Ene, thirty-four delegates from thirteen parishes of the Metropolia gathered at the Faith and Heritage Center, the future Protection of the Mother of God Monastery from Allegan, Michigan between 15 and 17 of June 2018 for the AROLA’s Conference.

Guests joined together Friday evening serving the Akathist of Protection of the Mother of God followed by greetings words from His Eminence Nicolae.

Saturday morning, we gathered to pray with the Akathist of Ss. Joachim and Ana followed by a service for the departed members of AROLA. His Grace Ioan Casian talked about the Myrrh Bearing women, who were the apostles to the apostles, encouraging us to become like them, unafraid, eagerly working the deed.

With the occasion of “Celebrating 80 years of existence” Ileana Dascălu presented a short history of the Association. Icons with the Saints Women Wonder Working were presented to the hierarchs. A “Charter of Thanksgiving” from the Executive Committee was given to Rev. Fr. Ion Gherman and Rev. Fr. Daniel Ene, the spiritual advisors of the AROLA. Talking about the works of the members of AROLA, either in the Executive Committee, or in their own parish, “Certificates of Recognition” for outstanding contribution, hard work and dedication were awarded to the past presidents Delima Iftody, Psa Alexandra Săndulescu, Theodora Miller, Elena de Avila, Psa Mihaela Țăpuc and Ileana Dascălu. The Association recognized two of the oldest Ladies Auxiliary Associations “The Sisters of St. Mary’s Orthodox Church of Boian, Alberta”, active from 1936, and “Andrei, Baron of Shaguna, Ladies Society” Southbrigde, MA, active from 1939. A Diploma of Appreciation was awarded to Nadia Comăneci, the most beloved personality of Romanian Community in the USA and a prestigious unofficial ambassador of our country.

After a short break, Rev. Fr. Vasile Tudora held the Conference “Man and woman mirrored in the original meaning of creation - complementarity and synergy in the salvation of the spiritual family”. The conference was live on the AROLA’s Facebook page. Fr. Tudora spoke about the creation of man and woman, their intended place in the Creation, place that they lost through sin. In every person there are two parts, a spiritual one, that is attracted to God, and an instinctual one, oriented toward this world of affects. There is a fight between those two parts. Our duty is to strive on our path that leads to God. At the end Fr. Tudora answered questions.

After lunch break, Mariana Cuceu, from St. Paraskeva Charity Organization in Chicago, IL, talked about the relief that the organization is bringing in the poor areas of Romania. After the presentation of the activities report of the 2016-2017 and of the financial reports of Canada and USA, a new Executive Committee was elected:
  1. President Presbytera Claudia Aileni from All Saints parish, Toronto, ON.
  2. Vice-president Presbytera Alina Flavia Ene, Holy Trinity parish, Victor, NY.
  3. Secretary Cristina Kraițer, Holy Trinity parish, Philadelphia, PA.
  4. Treasurer Canada Cătălina Pițică, All Saints parish Torronto, ON.
  5. Treasurer USA Adriana Obreja, Ss. Constantine and Helen Cathedral Chicago, IL.
  6. Representative of the Canada East Deanery Andreea Filip, St. George Cathedral, Windsor, ON.
  7. Representative of USA Eastern Deanery Maria Dumbrăveanu, St. Mary parish Dacula, GA.
  8. Representative of USA Western Deanery Elisabetha Gina Totka, Elevation of the Holy Cross parish, Upland CA.
  9. Representative of USA Central Deanery Mirela Manga, Holy Trinity parish Troy, MI.
  10. Relation with Public Representative Alina Stan, The Life-giving Fountain parish, Long Valley, NJ.
At the next point on the Agenda, celebrating the Romanian Centenary, Ileana Dascalu presented the Romanian-English book “Building for Unity, Orthodox Romanian Women serving God and the Nation”. The book presents the lives of Queen Marie of Romania, Elena Alistar Romanescu, Ecaterina Teodoroiu, and Mother Alexandra (Princess Ileana of Romania), and the roles that they played in the Union of the different regions that made Great Romania. The book will be distributed at the Congress of each Eparchy of the Metropolia, one for each parish. The members present appreciated positively the book as it brings awareness of women’s work and of values of the Romanian culture. Open discussions about the future actions of the association followed in which several ideas were presented:
  • organizing a Grief Group, for those who have lost someone close
  • supporting group for those who want to learn Romanian or English
  • a Book Club under the Parish Priest’s guidance
  • identifying and sustaining the children and youth who would like to participate in the Metropolia’s Youth programs but have no possibilities.
The Vespers Service ended the day. Sunday began with the Morning Service followed the Divine Liturgy. In his sermon, His Eminence Metropolitan Nicolae talked about the Sunday gospel (about the daily worries). We cannot serve two masters, God and the materiel world. The choice is ours. By choosing God, we should live wholeheartedly, every day the commands, bringing the good news to everyone.

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