The National Catechetical Congress “Christ shared with children” hosted its 15th edition at the Holy Cross Social-Pastoral Centre of Caraiman Monastery on October 5-7, 2022.
In a message to this gathering, Patriarch Daniel of Romania expressed his gratitude and encouragement to everyone who had helped this catechetical ministry succeed throughout its fifteen-year existence.
“Therefore, it is important to be with young people, encouraging, guiding, and, most importantly, listening to them. Let us constantly welcome them with joy and love, just as God welcomes us through His Son’s Eucharistic sacrifice,” the Patriarch of Romania noted.
Patriarch Daniel’s message was read out by his patriarchal auxiliary bishop Varlaam of Ploiesti, at the opening of the Congress.
Spiritual formation of young people – the fruit of prayer and action
The 15th-anniversary edition of the National Catechetical Congress themed Christ shared with children offers us the chance to evaluate and celebrate together, thanking God for His grace and blessing in all the missionary, catechetical and pastoral work of our Church during the fifteen years of activity of the Office for Parish Catechesis of the Theological-Educational Sector of the Patriarchal Administration.
On this occasion, we would like to congratulate and encourage all those who have given selflessly, in prayer, and with unceasing efforts to this work over the years, as well as the representatives of young people from all over the country who are attending this Congress for the first time and who are opening themselves with joy, love, and enthusiasm to friendship with Christ the Eternal Young Lord.
The sacrifice and love of young people do not remain without fruit, and God’s unwavering love is always revealed in the Cross of Christ, through which He, the Lord, shows us that love is stronger than death.
Young people are open to the religious education they get at home and school, which is strengthened by the parish catechetical activities. The goal of catechetical instruction and pastoral-missionary work with youth is multifaceted, from character development to spiritual growth in the light of the Gospel of Christ’s selfless love.
Therefore, it is important to be with young people, encouraging, guiding, and, most importantly, listening to them. So let us constantly welcome them with joy and love, just as God welcomes us through His Son’s Eucharistic sacrifice!
We tell those who work with young people that their work bears fruit across generations, even if the result is initially hidden and unseen: “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-11).
The Church, the family, and the school are called to appropriately develop their vocation for young people’s spiritual development in today’s secularisation, cultivating the love for God through prayer and for their fellow humans via service and good deeds.
We beseech the Most Holy Trinity to bless all the participants in the National Catechetical Congress Christ shared with children and those who encourage, support and carry out the holy work of spiritual formation of young people, granting them all complete health, the joy of prayer and good deeds for many happy years!
With high esteem and paternal blessing,
Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church
Photography courtesy of Lumina Newspaper / Andrei Butu