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Patriarch of Romania: The elderly and the young need each other

In a message for the new academic year 2023-24, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel of Romania has urged students to pay more attention to older generations and be inspired by their “wisdom, patience and prayerful power.”

The Patriarch of Romania suggested closer cooperation between the Church and universities to help “today’s young people cultivate with trust and love the values of faith and Christian culture.”

Patriarch Daniel recalled that the Romanian Patriarchate dedicated 2023 to the pastoral care of the elderly and praised students volunteering to help older people in need.

The Patriarch conveyed his blessings to all students and professors and prayed to God “to enlighten their minds and grant them much progress” during their studies.

Please find below the full text of Patriarch Daniel’s message at the beginning of the new academic year 2023-2024.

Church-University cooperation to cultivate communion between generations

At the beginning of the new academic year 2023-2024, we address a message of blessing to all students and professors in higher education and postgraduate education, praying to God to enlighten their minds and grant them much progress in the activity of studying, researching and deepening spiritual and scientific values.

The Church and the School are tasked with providing children and young people not only with science and education but also with meaning, so that they may live in the communion of love and mutual respect.

Together, the Church and the University must value, train and help today’s young people so that they, in turn, cultivate with trust and love the values of faith and Christian culture, according to the words of the Holy Scripture: “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord” (Colossians 3:20).

In this context, we gratefully remember all our professors who formed and guided us on the path of scientific knowledge and eternal spiritual values.

The academic performance and, above all, the passion of Romanian teachers for training many generations of graduates is a living example for today’s professors and students, who can show their appreciation for their predecessors by following their dedication to the transmission of knowledge and their desire to promote Romanian academic education in an international context.

The Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church declared the year 2023 as the Solemn Year of the pastoral care of the elderly.

Through their participation in educating children and young people, grandparents must not be a burden on modern society but rather a source of blessing, wisdom, and merciful love.

The elderly and the young need each other: the elderly require consolation and words of encouragement, while the young require the wisdom, patience and prayerful power of the elderly.

The Romanian Orthodox Church tries to respond to the needs of young people’s training and awareness of the importance of the relationship between generations through programs that are carried out both in the country and abroad, adapted to each community, such as International Meetings of Orthodox Youth, activities of the Association of Romanian Christian-Orthodox Students (A.S.C.O.R.), the National Catechetical Program “Christ shared with the children”, the educational project “Choose the School!”, youth camps, pilgrimages for pupils and students, social-philanthropic projects, developed by diocesan centres, deaneries, parishes and monasteries.

In this regard, we are especially appreciative of the volunteer activities organised by Orthodox students for the benefit of elderly people who are alone by supporting humanitarian actions such as providing essential purchases, material and emotional support, psychological counselling, and other home care services, thereby bringing comfort, encouragement, and hope.

At the beginning of the new academic year 2023-2024, we pray to our Teacher and divine Pedagogue Jesus Christ to grant you all, professors, students, parents and grandparents, health and peace, help and joy in your work and life!

With much regard and paternal blessings,

Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church

Photography courtesy of the Files