A New Heating System for Sisters in Romania
The Eastern-rite Greek-Catholic Church in Romania is found principally in the region of Transylvania and serves close to 480,000 Catholic faithful. It is in full communion with the Catholic Church in Rome, but as one of the Eastern Catholic churches, it celebrates the Liturgy according to the Byzantine rite.
The Sisters of the Mother of God are the oldest Sisters‘ congregation of the Romanian Greek Catholic Church. In 2021, they celebrated the centenary of their foundation. The congregation was originally founded to care for orphaned children, but as the number of Sisters grew, they began to increasingly devote themselves to the education of girls, teaching at all levels from preschool to grammar school and secondary vocational schools, while at the same time running boarding hostels for female students. The Sisters also devoted themselves to the care of the sick, and during the Second World War they tended the wounded and dying on the battlefields.
The history of the Romanian Greek Catholic Church has long been one associated with persecution, initially prior to 1918 when the faithful of the Romanian minority were part of the predominantly German and Hungarian Transylvania, and above all from 1948 until 1989, under communist rule.
During this communist era, 25 Sisters of the congregation were interned in prisons and labor camps, but the community continued its evangelizing work in secret. The Sisters maintained contact with imprisoned priests and bishops and were thus an important link in the secret underground existence of the Greek Catholic Church in the country. Living together in twos and threes in small apartments, the Sisters were able to have the Blessed Sacrament reserved. Priests were occasionally able to visit and celebrate Holy Mass, and little by little, small faith communities were formed around these Sisters. It was here, after the collapse of communism, that the first seeds of the new parish communities were able to grow.
Following the collapse of communism, the Sisters in Cluj were able to open an orphanage and work in the hospitals. A few of them were sent to Rome for their studies so they could better train new generations of religious Sisters. Finally, in Cluj in 2003, they were able to open their convent of the Mother of God.
Today, local Catholic faithful are happy to visit the convent to encounter God and find an oasis of peace in the midst of the hectic city life. Various youth and adult groups join the Sisters to take part in their community prayer, Eucharistic Adoration and Divine Liturgy. There are also many people who come seeking spiritual support and counseling, while every day the poor come seeking food and clothing.
The Sisters are facing one major practical problem. Their ancient heating system has finally broken down and needs to be replaced, but they cannot afford the cost, so they have turned in confident trust to ACN. We cannot disappoint them, and so we have already promised them the $24,800 they require to complete repairs.
Will you help us help these Sisters with their new heating system so they can continue to serve effectively in Romania?
We are sure they will gratefully remember you in their prayers.
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