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As from 6th January 2018, on the decree of Father General Arturo Sosa and with a ceremony held in Cluj,  Romania officially became a mission of the Euro-Mediterranean Province (EUM) . “This decision has been long coming and is supported by the fact that the scholastics of Italy, Malta and Romania have already received their formation together for many years,” explains the Provincial Father Gianfranco Matarazzo, “and the then Provinces of Italy and Malta had already sent Jesuits to Romania. It will be an opportunity to deepen our universality and Catholic identity, and this will  require  creativity, generosity and availability, in the care of the essential”.

Here are some reflections from some Jesuits in formation, Alexander Duma and Eduard Martinas.

“Forming part of a much larger reality gives consolation and gives rise to questions,” explain Martinas and Duma. “A few years ago we entered the Society, which has a universal dimension, through the Romanian Region, a concrete delimited territory.  Our formation with novices and scholastics of different nationalities, outside of our country, has helped us to experience the international dimension of the Society. It is a great treasure that allows us to stay in touch with our history and at the same time to relish the experience made by the first companions “.

A look at our country’s situation: “We are young and we did not live during the period of communism, we only heard about it from parents, grandparents and school.” Romania is a reality that is gradually becoming secular, where Western ideals are catching on.  However, 42 years of communism, in which previous generations have lived, is a memory that cannot be easily erased and brings with it dramatic consequences at all levels. The ordinary people do not share choices and horizons and cannot give their opinion, protest and demonstrate on the street.  Corruption of values?   Yes. But at the same time, there is a desire and a search for authentic values   that can guide the existence of this society wounded by history.

Romania is 87% Orthodox and 6% Catholic: “The great challenge of ecumenical dialogue is a field where Jesuits could give their precious contribution.  Among the current areas of commitment, Spiritual Formation, the support given to Refugees and to Young People and the commitment to the promotion of an authentic culture remain important.

The related article and the video of the interview with Fr. Henryk Urban, former socius of the Regional Superior of Romania can be found on GESUITINEWS

Picture: Fr. Michael Bugeja, delegate of the Romanion Mission.

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