Ahead of the school year 2021-22, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel sent a message to “Romanian students, parents, teachers and professors everywhere”, referring to “the usefulness, but also the limits of online education”, as well as the role of the family in educating children.
“In the context of the Romanian and European tradition, the determining role of the Family and the Church in educating children and young people over time is well known,” the Patriarch of Romania noted.
Blessing for the new school year: full text
With fatherly love, we bless all Romanian students, parents, teachers and professors everywhere at the beginning of the school year 2021-22.
The Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church declared 2021 a Solemn Year of the pastoral care of Romanians outside Romania. Through its ministers, the Romanian Orthodox Church supports and encourages the Romanian Orthodox believers from abroad, understands their joys, but also the difficulties they face.
Through cultural events and social-philanthropic actions organized by the Romanian Patriarchate, spiritual connections are created and consolidated between Romanian communities in the country and those in the Romanian diaspora.
Thus, between December 21, 2020, and August 22, 2021, in the Romanian Patriarchate took place the National Catechetical Contest Church: the Family of Romanians everywhere, which addressed children from parish catechetical groups in the country and the diaspora, enrolled in the National Catechetical Program “Christ shared with children.”
The participating catechesis groups realized and implemented mini-projects with a cultural and philanthropic character, directed mainly to families.
Children and young people were always blessed by our Saviour Jesus Christ, the perfect Teacher, who valued them (Matthew 14:21), helped them (Luke 7: 11-15; 8: 41-56), received them with love (Matthew 19: 13-15; Mark 10: 13-16; Luke 18: 15-17) and listened to them carefully (Matthew 19: 16-22).
Following the attitude of Jesus, the Church understood that the art of educating children and young people is not an ordinary work, but it is the most significant art.
In this sense, St. John Chrysostom says: “There is no other art greater than education… “For what is equal to training the soul and forming the mind of one that is young?” (on vainglory and the raising of children).
The current pandemic has directly affected the education of children and young people. Recent studies highlight the usefulness but also the limitations of online education: stress, mental fatigue, depression, loss of motivation, difficulty thinking, concentrating and making decisions.
A thorough education for life includes direct experiences, lived within a concrete community, starting from the family and continuing in school, in the life of the Church and society.
In the context of the Romanian and European tradition, the determining role of the Family and the Church in educating children and young people over time is well known.
Today, when, under the influence of secularizing ideologies, their contribution in the field of education is diminished, the cooperation between Family, Church and School becomes even more necessary to offer children and young people the required help for their personal and community development.
At the beginning of the school year 2021-22, we pray to God to protect Romanian students, parents, teachers and professors in Romania and everywhere, to grant them good health and much help, peace and joy, so that their work may be a blessing and joy for the Church, Family and Society!
With much appreciation and paternal blessings,
Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church