Representatives of the charitable organizations founded by the eparchies of the Romanian Patriarchate have gathered in Iași, Romania, for the General Assembly of the Filantropia Federation. The meeting is held between October 31 and November 2.
The assembly started on Monday with a presentation made by Deacon Sorin Mihalache on “Christian Spirituality in Social Work – Medical Research and Philocalic Reflections on the Present and the Future of the Philanthropic Work of the Church”.
The working sessions were preceded on Tuesday by a Te Deum religious service.
“We have gathered in Iași because this year the Solidarity and Hope Foundation of the Archdiocese of Iași, a founding member of our federation, celebrates 20 years of activity,” explained for Basilica.ro Father Ciprian Ioniță, coordinator of the Social‑Philanthropic Sector of the Patriarchal Administration and President of the Filantropia Federation.
“We have started a new strategic planning process at the central level, so the General Assembly has a slightly changed format.”
Father Ciprian Ioniță, Patriarchal Counsellor, detailed three strategic directions:
- increasing visibility for the mission and vision of the Filantropia Federation;
- creating an online database with models of best practices in social services;
- fundraising and organizational management.
The president of the Federation also described some of the administrative issues discussed:
- the federation will welcome a new member, the first to come from the Romanian Orthodox diaspora;
- assessing support measures for members who need to renew their social service licenses;
- planning the following general assemblies (2023 and 2024);
- the proposal to join Eurodiaconia, the European network of church charitable organizations;
- proposing the draft budget for next year.
The Yearly General Assembly of the Social-Philanthropic Counsellors from the Romanian Patriarchate has also been scheduled for Tuesday. Among the discussion points of this meeting:
- involvement of the eparchies in offering support for the Ukrainian refugees;
- identifying support methods for deaneries and parishes that need licensing of their social services;
- the status of the priests offering spiritual assistance in state-budget units such as hospitals and military units.
The Wednesday schedule includes the participants’ visit to social and medical assistance centers founded by the Archdiocese of Iași.
The Filantropia Federation was established in 2007 with the blessing of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church. It is the only federative non-governmental organization of the Romanian Patriarchate and it offers social services and training sessions for social assistance professionals.
The Federation members are social structures established by the eparchies of the Romanian Orthodox Church. The Federation partners internationally with the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), the social-philanthropic arm of the Assembly of Canonic Orthodox Bishops in the United States.
Photo credit: Fr Ciprian Ioniță