Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Update from Floyd and Ancuta Frantz in Romania

Dear Friends, Greetings, and I hope that this finds you well and in good spirits on this most beautiful and blessed of days. Our "Holy Week" is moving along quite well towards Pascha, our Orthodox Easter and the celebration of our Risen Lord. In preparation for the holiday Ancuta has given away I don't know how many food packages at the Protection Center this week. It will be for around 50 or so families. She is not answering her phone so she's busy at any rate. Believe it or not I forgot to ask her to take pictures. She may be taking them anyway, and if so I'll send them along in our next newsletter.

Claudia, one of our social workers just returned from the Cluj County Chronic Psychiatric Hospital in Borsa. We took some packages for our group out there, and tomorrow we will take some to the patients in Savadisla, the tuberculosis hospital near Cluj where we have a program. I'll try to do special newsletters on these places, I have in the past but it is about time for an update.

Fr. Liviu from Sanpaul has brought to our day-center "Casa Alba" some traditional "Pascha" food made in his village. His parish makes it every year so that our homeless can have a traditional Pascha meal instead of the regular meal that we provide. The normal meals that we provide are donated by a local restaurant, so it is not very "traditional" so to speak. It's good food though, normally with lots of protein.

I was at Liturgy this morning, and afterwards Fr. Ioan Ras, our new spiritual counselor, was blessed by the Metropolitan Andrei to hear confessions. Over here they don't let priests hear confessions until they exhibit some degree of maturity. He is a young priest, but we are very optimistic about his coming on-board with us at the St. Dimitrie Program.

Well, that is about it for now. For Pascha, Anca and I are heading to a small village in the mountains near Cluj where there is a monastery. I am not sure about the internet up there, so there is a possibility that I will not be sending out a Pascha greeting until next week sometime. So I'll close by wishing you all a most blessed Holy Week and Pascha now, "in anticipation".

Last Supper
Thank you for your interest in our work, please do keep us in your prayers, we all need them.

As as a final note, please remember that as OCMC missionaries we are 100 % reliant upon your financial support to continue our work through OCMC. Please consider a small gift so that we can continue to do our Lord's work.

 If you can make such a donation, send it to: OCMC 220 Mason Manatee Way St. Augustine, Fl. 32086 and please mark the donation "STDIMITRIE/ROMANIA so that we can use the funds directly for the St. Dimitrie Program.

Online and credit card donations are also possible by contacting OCMC, or visiting the web site at www.ocmc.org. And please feel free to pass along our email to others who you believe might be interested in our work here in Romania.
If you would like to contact us through email, please use: Stdimitrie@yahoo.com for myself and the St. Dimitrie Program, or Ancutafrantz@yahoo.com for Anca and the Protection Center.

 I am also shedding my dinosaur skin, and Twittering. If you too do Twit, just hit the link and it will put you over to my page. Here is that link to follow us on Twitter!

Please also go to the Orthodox Christian Mission Center web site at www.ocmc.org to read online about our missionary activities here in Romania. We do thank you for your interest in our work, for your support, and most of all for your prayers.
In His Love, One day at a time,
Floyd & Ancuta Frantz, OCMC Missionaries

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

British Library St. Cuthbert Gospel: Manuscript Copy Of The Gospel Of John Sold for $14.3 Million

LONDON -- The British Library has paid 9 million pounds (US$14.3 million) to acquire the St. Cuthbert Gospel, a remarkably well-preserved survivor of seventh-century Britain described by the library as the oldest European book to survive fully intact.
The palm-sized book, a manuscript copy of the Gospel of John in Latin, was bought from the British branch of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), the library said Tuesday.
The book measures 96 mm (3.8 inches) by 136 mm (5.4 inches) and has an elaborately tooled red leather cover. It comes from the time of St. Cuthbert, who died in 687, and it was discovered inside his coffin when it was opened in 1104 at Durham Cathedral.
The British Library said the artifact is one of the world's most important books.
"To look at this small and intensely beautiful treasure from the Anglo-Saxon period is to see it exactly as those who created it in the seventh century would have seen it," said the library's chief executive, Lynne Brindley.
"The exquisite binding, the pages, even the sewing structure survive intact, offering us a direct connection with our forebears 1300 years ago," she added.
Cuthbert's coffin arrived in Durham after monks had removed it from the island of Lindisfarne, 330 miles (530 kilometers) north of London, to protect the remains from Viking raiders in the ninth and 10th centuries.
The book will be displayed at the British Library in London and then in Durham, northeast England, next year.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Bulgaria's Hidden Cultural Heritage

This is a fascinating video, particularly for history buffs!


Friday, April 6, 2012

Catholic Church in Holy Land to Switch to Orthodox Calendar

The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, which will not be changing calendars...

From CatholicCulture.org

The Catholic churches of the Holy Land plan to observe Easter according to the Orthodox calendar, the head of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land has announced. The change could come as early as next year.

Father Pierbattista Pizzabella explained that the change was prompted by a desire to strengthen ecumenical ties between Catholics and Orthodox, and also by pastoral concern for the many families in the Holy Land that include both Catholic and Orthodox believers.

The Orthodox churches set their liturgical feasts according to the old Julian calendar. For some years the Orthodox observe Easter on the same day as Catholics; in other years the dates may differ by either one week (as it does this year) or 5 weeks. The change in the liturgical calendar for Catholic churches would not apply to the basilicas in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, which draw thousands of Catholic pilgrims for Easter and Christmas every year. Those basilicas are governed by agreements that date back to the Ottoman empire, and include detailed accords on when feasts are to be celebrated.

Monday, April 2, 2012

St. Dimitrie Program Activity Report 2011 (Part four)

“The gospel of love and eternal life of the Savior Jesus Christ calls each man to be free of sin and selfish passions which degrade health, dignity and human freedom. This is so that man can commit himself to virtue for his own benefit, and that of his fellows. The gospel of Christ, as annunciated by the Church through the inspired word, constant prayer, and good acts, has the goal of raising up the fallen, to cure the sick (physically, mentally or spiritually), and to integrate the alienated person into the community and dignity of communion and love towards God and people. This is the spiritual and practical meaning of salvation for fallen man, which is towards his healing, freedom and his spiritual elevation …....” - + His Beatitude DANIEL Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church

This is part 4, the final installment. You can read the other installments by clicking here.

For 2012 we intend to publish a “Patient Manual” for alcoholism recovery. This manual will organize the information we offer to our clients so that it can be easily used by programs similar to our own.

Also, we hope to start a process of certification for addiction counselor training through ARCA (The Romanian Association for Addiction Counselors), of which we are founding members. We actually helped write the legislation for counseling standards in Romania through ARCA, and now must apply to it so we can certify our trainings for the professional community.

We should also mention that we will help develop an new program in 2012 in collaboration with the Archdiocese of Moldova and Bucovina. I

n May, Floyd will travel to Bukoba, in Tanzania, to teach parish priests about the spirituality of addictions and about counseling. Also, in November he will teach again at St. Herman Seminary in Kodiak, Alaska.

In October of 2012 we gladly anticipate the visit of Fr. Meletious Webber, the author of “Steps of Transformation”, which we translated and published into Romanian 4 years ago.

Since we wish for our program to have a higher financial stability, we hope that in the near future we will be able to open an self-service laundry and a second hand shop that would cover at least a share of the costs of the services we offer. These may seem like small ideas, but for us they represent serious initiatives which will require having a lot of support from our friends and the local community.

In the “still dreaming” chapter, we expect to write a project and seek a grant to open a much needed “social model detox centre”, a project that we will need to involve medical community, the local authorities and the Church.

We need your support, and I would like to give You an opportunity to participate in our ministry!!

I believe that often times people would like to help us, but do not take the opportunity either through not knowing how to donate, or because they think that their donation is not important. Well, this is your chance to change all that. Please know also that your donation is important to us. You can mail a donation to:

OCMC 220 Mason Manatee Way
St. Augustine, Fl. 32086 , Please be sure to put
“St. Dimitrie/Romania” in the memo line.

You can donate online at www.ocmc.org.
We need your prayers also, and your good will. For short term missionary opportunities contact OCMC directly. You can visit our web page, www.stdimitrie.org, or subscribe to our online newsletter. Please contact me (Floyd Frantz) at stdimitrie@yahoo.org, and I’ll get you on our list, they come out about every month.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

St. Dimitrie Program Activity Report 2011 (Part three)

Metropolitan Bartolomeu Anania, of Blessed Memory

This is part 3. Read the first installment here, and part two here.

In the spring of 2011 we provided addictions training for the national administration of the Romanian prison system. This involved the co¬ordinators of the social-educational departments from 28 prisons in Roma¬nia. They received training on addiction and criminal activity, and how they might start recovery programs inside detention units.

In October, The “National Antidrug Program of the Romanian Orthodox Church”, of which OCMC missionary Floyd Frantz is co-coordinator, invited us as trainers to present an introductory course on addictions counseling, and how to implement such programs in the com-munity. We also looked at intervention and prevention at the parish level. Participants from three dioceses took part in the week long course at Tisa Monastery, in the Moldovan region of Romania. They expressed a genu-ine interest in developing such resources in their community.

A sad note on the year was the falling asleep in the Lord of our beloved Metropolitan Bartalomeu Anania. However the Holy Synod of Bishops in Romania then sent to Cluj a new bishop, Metropolitan Andrei Andreicut. In our meetings with his Eminence we were encouraged in our efforts and assured of his blessings for our ongoing projects. Also, we will have a new priest assigned to our program for 2012, and after meeting this young man we were very uplifted by the possibilities that he brings to our program.

We have continued our occupational therapy activities and have involved the clients of the Day Centre. The clients of our day-program made 500 traditional spring festive gift items of a religious nature. We distributed these several churches from Cluj and it was a blessing to all.

A great success for us this year was the 2011 Benefit Dinner “Hope for Christmas” It was organized for the second year in collaboration with the “Protection of the Theotokos Family Center”. During this dinner, there was a genuine emotional reaction from the guests. Most of them had never been exposed to the idea of spiritual recovery from alcoholism. I believe that their enthusiasm came about because we are about the only program in Romania that is seriously Romania that is seriously giving hope for recovery to people affected by addiction. Also, our new advisory board was very helpful in organizing the event. Fund raising is new to Romanian’s, but they seem to be rather quick learners in this department. In 2011 we succeeded in forming an advisory board for the St. Dimitrie Program. We hope that this new activity will help with the self sustainability of the program from the financial perspective. Our new board was very helpful in organizing the 2011 Benefit Dinner “Hope for Christmas”.

To Be Continued...