Bishop Panteleimon: “Victim of Love is the basis of all social activities”


27 Dec held online-meeting of Chairman of the Synodal Department for charity Bishop of Orekhovo-Zuevo Panteleimon with the heads of the diocesan departments of social reports Diakoniai. He answered questions from meeting participants about how to engage in charitable activities in the newly formed dioceses and small congregations, how to maintain the spiritual life of the Sisterhood and service of volunteers. On the Internet meeting also were the heads of the specialized areas of the Synodal Department for charity. During the meeting was presented the new book by Bishop Panteleimon “Hospital chaplain.”

“Every good deed needs to suffer. At the heart of everything good on earth is sacrifice –the sacrifice of Christ. And victim of Love is the basis of all social activities, said the Rev. – If there is no victim, suffering, sympathy and compassion to the grief of other people, is unlikely to succeed to create something good. Will only something small, gray, suitable for reports, but not really helping people, not saving people. And if you have the victim, if the case is working man, able to give his life for the benefit of others, then get something good and bright”.

Bishop Panteleimon noted that the short rules or simple advice on how to build a social activity does not exist. The specific recommendations for the development of particular areas of social activities is presented in the manuals of the Synodal Department for charity. They reflect the practical experience of the best specialists in their fields.

To the question about what social activities should pay attention to in the year 2019, Bishop Panteleimon said that in every diocese and every parish should be projects which meet the needs of specific region or city.

“Need very often segregated from society in closed institutions, apartments, hospitals. About the need of a person sometimes no one even knows, said Bishop Panteleimon, answering the question about attraction of volunteers. – Priest’s task is to connect those who need with those who want to help.”

According to the Chairman of the Synodal Department for charity, the priest, the head of social services, you need to learn about the needs of the people, to arrange meetings with those wishing to help, and to acquaint them with each other. In these meetings we find responsible man who will be able to coordinate the work. The priest should meet regularly with the volunteers, it aims to understand what they need and tell them how to help others. These meetings will help build the volunteer community, which the priest needs to take care of.

“Love of neighbor is the second commandment. But you need to remind people that came to help others, which is the first commandment of love for God. When we begin to more actively help people in need, we must be more attentive to their spiritual life: it is important to regularly participate in the Sacraments, to devote more time to prayer, studying the gospel,” said Bishop Panteleimon.

In the organization of social work on wards, it is advised to start this Ministry with the execution of all possible works of mercy – to know the needs of parishioners and, if possible, to provide assistance, for example, to collect clothes, food or arrange for a hot meal.

The meeting participants touched upon the subject of struggle with various addictions. In addition to professional help in rehabilitation centres for addiction no less important is the awareness of the spiritual causes of this disease, said the Rev.

“Based on people trying to find the joy of life and the fullness of being. But finds poverty, disease, fear. It is necessary to introduce men to a sober life with God, ‘ said the vicar of the Patriarch. – Every addiction is drinking, dope, and it’s important to get that person back to reality. It is very difficult, because it (reality) is terrible, if people do not know Christ. To attach to joy, to the love of God, give to feel her own care is the most important thing when we want to help people in the fight against dependency”.

The meeting emphasized the need for cooperation between the diocesan social divisions with the Synodal Department for charity. Head of sector for development of social projects Natalia Semanova recalled that the Synodal Department employs supervisors of each Federal district and are available to consult on all questions of social service.

Head of the sector of distance learning and advanced training deacon Igor Kulikov announced two upcoming internships in Moscow for priests and employees of the social departments. The first study, devoted to hospital service and development of volunteerism, will take place immediately after Christmas readings in 2019.

During the meeting the heads of the relevant areas of the Synodal Department for charity briefly spoke about the organization of the volunteer service, assistance to families with children, prevent abortion, help the homeless, the disabled, children-orphans.

The previous online meeting with heads of the diocesan departments of social Chairman of the Synodal oted for charity held on 25 September 2018. Agenda of the online meeting was also compiled based on queries previously sent to heads of social departments. Chairman of the Synodal Department responded to questions about Church aid dependent, large families and families with children with disabilities, spoke about the key points in working with volunteers.

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