The new State Secretary for Romanians Abroad, Oana Ursache, met the Patriarchal Auxiliary Bishop Varlaam of Ploieşti at the Patriarchate’s Palace on Monday, March 29, 2021.
The meeting aimed at implementing future projects for the benefit of Romanians abroad and took place at the “Sanctus Iohannes Cassianus” Room.
Fr. Nicolae Dascălu, coordinating patriarchal counsellor and director of Lumina Publications, Ciprian Olinici, coordinating patriarchal counsellor and general director of Trinitas TV, and Fr. Costin Spiridon, patriarchal counsellor for External Church Communities, attended the meeting.
During the meeting, State Secretary Oana Ursache emphasized the Church’s role in the life of Romanians who live abroad.
“I noticed, as a diaspora person, that the only institution that manages to unite Romanians everywhere is the Church, and inside it come those who probably need the most the presence of the Romanian state – that unheard and unknown enough diaspora.”
“In the bosom of the Church, Romanians find not only their faith but a connection with their home. Inside the Church abroad, the Romanian feels at home.”
“Therefore, I consider the collaboration between the department I lead and the Church, as an institution, obligatory, not optional,” said the state secretary of the Department for Romanians Abroad.
State Secretary Oana Ursache assured that the Church would always find, in the institution she leads, “a partner for dialogue and concrete projects”.
“None of our ideas has gone unheeded, and none of the ideas we’ve heard will go unheeded.”
Bishop Varlaam of Ploieşti said the meeting was significant, especially in the context in which 2021 was declared by the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church as the Solemn Year of the pastoral care of Romanians outside Romania.
He also noted that future projects aim at the preservation of the language and ethnic identity of Romanians abroad.
“We were happy to see a great openness from the leadership of the Department for Relations with Romanians abroad, and we even found that, for the most part, our projects coincide.”
“We hope for a very open and constructive collaboration in supporting our communities abroad, both in the desire to be close to them and to help them preserve our national identity, language, faith and so that our parishes abroad be genuine pieces of our country where Romanians at work, at studies, permanently or temporarily settled abroad, can feel as in their places of origin.”
“Trinitas Television and Lumina Newspaper have expressed their joy to implement several programs related to our external communities in the past years and to intensify them during this year,” said the Bishop.
The Patriarchal Auxiliary Bishop presented the Secretary of State with the album “Diaspora of the Romanian Orthodox Church”.
The book presents recent activities in Romanian communities abroad. “It contains pictures of the life of parishes and monasteries in Europe, the two Americas, but also in other parts of the world, where are Romanian communities and parishes; images that speak for themselves about the major involvement and intense activity carried out by the Romanian dioceses and parishes, hierarchs and priests from the Romanian diaspora,” Bishop Varlaam said.
Oana Ursache was appointed Secretary of State of the Department for Romanians Abroad on February 16, 2021.