The 3rd Congress of the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Canada
The 3rd Congress of the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Canada
– Virtual Congress –
In accordance with Chapter 4 of the Statute of the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Canada, His Grace Bishop Ioan Casian convened the 3rd Congress of the Diocese for Friday and Saturday, October 16 and 17, 2020. Due to the situation created by the current pandemic, unfavorable for travel and gatherings in large numbers, the invitation of St. Nicholas and St. Prophet Elijah Parish of Surrey/Vancouver, British Columbia to host this year’s Congress, could not be honored. Consequently, the Congress was held online on the Zoom platform.
On the afternoon of Friday, October 16, 2020, the clergy conference was held with the His Grace Bishop Siluan of Italy, as guest of honor, who presented the conference “How to serve the living God in spirit and truth — clarifications in times of confusion.” The conference watched with great interest has been followed by a session of questions and answers.
In the opening of the Congress on Saturday, October 17, the Divine Liturgy and Tedeum service has been celebrated by HG Bishop Ioan Casian together with the priests of the Eparchial Cathedral St. George of Saint-Hubert. The responses at strana were given by the Protopsaltis Valentin Botu. Both services were broadcast on the Diocese’s official Facebook page and was watched by the priests, delegates and faithful from across Canada.
In the afternoon hours, the hierarch opened the works of the 3rd Congress of the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Canada with the usual prayer and then, introduced the second guest of honor, His Eminence Serafim Metropolitan of Germany and Central and Northern Europe, who presented a conference with the title “The heart as the place of meeting between man and God through prayer.” The speaker emphasized the importance of Jesus’ prayer, giving examples from personal experience for the edification of listeners.
After the conference, HG Bishop Ioan Casian thanked HEm Metropolitan Serafim for the uplifting words. His Eminence, Metropolitan Nicolae, also extended his thanks and the appreciation for the conference.
The Congress continued with the rollcall and the approval of the Agenda.
HEm Nicolae, the Romanian Orthodox Archbishop of the United States of America and the Romanian Orthodox Metropolitan of the Americas, addressed the participants at the Congress, wishing them success with the works on hand and also to all priests and parishes in the joint-mission of preaching the Gospel in the new world, North America.
The secretarial, accreditation and proposals committees as well as the Minutes of the 2nd Congress of the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Canada which took place from June 29 to 1 July 1, 2018 in Windsor, Ontario, were approved.
Then, HG Bishop Ioan Casian presented the report on the activities of the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Canada from the last congress to the present. The motto of his report were the words of Avva Isaiah the Hermit: “Circumstances demand from us prayer, such as the waves and storms are asking for captains. For we are subject to the attack of thoughts, both of virtue and sin. And master over passions is the godly and God-loving thought,” and the title of his report was: “The Church – a ship of salvation and the means of communion with God and among men.” The hierarch spoke about: the purposes of the mission; the ship as an image of the Church; premises of a more ‘effective and pragmatic vision;’ the geographical and demographic space of the local responsibility; theological – pastoral support (the project of establishing a university degree institute with a local pastoral purpose); mission; a change that comes only through an education in faith; publications and media – a support department; sacramental service – part of the spiritual consolidation; administration – a reflection of spiritual discipline; improving the financial situation and health benefits of the clergy.
In conclusion, he thanked “all those who participated in the coordination and the support of the activities of the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Canada – members of the Eparchial Council, priests and deacons of the Diocese, minor clergy, members of the Parish Councils, Sunday School teachers throughout the Diocese, AROLA and ROYA organizations, St. Veronica, St. Teodora and St. Andrew camps, the communication department, as well as all members of the parishes, missions and monasteries,– for their effort, perseverance, sacrificial spirit and understanding, Remember – continued the hierarch – that all we do now is planting the seed of faith in the souls of our young people so that later the generations that will follow us will reap the fruits of our labor, just as we have reaped the fruits of those before us.” The Hierarch urged the clergy and lay members to “continue to intensify the missionary work among Romanian communities in Canada.”
HG Bishop Ioan Casian also made available to the participants the Pastoral Itinerary and his activity for the period of July 2018 – October 2020.
After the hierarch’s report, Rev. Fr. Vicar-administrative George Bazgan thanked him, on behalf of all the priests and lay people, for his pastoral care for the flock entrusted to him.
Other activity reports of the members of the Eparchial Council were presented and approved: Fr. George Bazgan Vicar-administrative, Fr. George Chişca, Dean for Eastern Canada, Fr. Viorel Tencaliuc, Dean for Central Canada, Fr. Mircea Panciuk, Dean for Western Canada, Fr. Olimpiu Marginean, Eparchial Secretary and Fr. Petre Busuioc, Eparchial Inspector.
Mrs. Claudia Aileni, President of AROLA, presented the association’s activity report for the last period, and Pompiliu Girlonta, representing the ROYA read the organisation’s Report. The audience also heard the activity of the youth camps within the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Canada whose advisors are Fr. Corneliu Iulian Dragomir – Camp St. Veronica, Fr. Vasile Aileni and Mrs. Carmen Ognean – Camp St. Theodora of Sihla and Mrs. Corina Goleac and Anca Coza – St. Andrew’s Camp.
The charitable activity of the Eparchial Cathedral, whose coordinator is Mrs. Otilia Postolache was presented briefly. The activity of the communication department (Publications and Media) of the Diocese was presented by HG Bishop Ioan Casian, who thanked Fr. George Bazgan (magazine and almanac The Faith), coordinator Mr. Ştefan Athenagoras, Alexandru Popovici (website design), Valentin Botu and Marius Constantin Popa (technical video/audio transmissions on Facebook and Youtube).
Mr. Adrian Pătru, assisted by Mr. Luca Lazar, presented the Financial Report of the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Canada for the period 2018-2020, as well as the budget of the Diocese for the period 2020-2022, which have been approved.
The special motion to extend, for two more years, the mandates of the Eparchial Council, the Metropolitan and Eparchial Consistories was approved.
Towards the end, Fr. George Bazgan read the official messages addressed to His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel, His Eminence Metropolitan Nicolae, as well as to the local, provincial and federal Canadian authorities.
The works of the 3rd Congress of the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Canada ended with the word of HG Bishop Ioan Casian, who thanked all participants, urging them to increase their efforts in the service of God and the people.
The final prayer to the Mother of God was sung by all those present and the hierarch gave the final blessing.
(contributors Rev. Fr. George Bâzgan / Mr. Ștefan Athenagoras)