Baptising in Strumica Diocese is free of charge ( 22.01.2009 )
Realising that the financial situation of a part of its inhabitants is somewhat poor, Strumica Diocese founded a Fund for Holy Baptising, which will allow to all the families that are not in a situation to pay the Church costs to receive the Holy Mystery of Baptism free of charge in the temples of the Diocese.
Why this Fund was established?
As we are fully aware about the indispensably existential meaning of the Holy Mystery of Baptism, we want to help the people who from one reason or another do not baptise their children, although such number of people is not so massive yet, according to our current records. If one of the reasons is the financial shortage, we do eliminate it by founding the Fund for Holy Baptising. Of course, we do anticipate the world economic crisis, which may cause additional financial problems here as well, in the coming year. The word “crisis” has the same meaning as the word “judgement.” We are sinners in front of God, we denied His help and consequently the things are going in a wrong direction. All of us know this fact very well, but we do not find any strength to change ourselves, captured by our own passions.
Where from the Fund will be financed?
The Fund was financially founded by one my spiritual child, a businessman from Skopje, and with the funds of the St. Leontius from Vodoča and Holy Mother of God Eleusa from Veljusa monasteries, and we do believe that in the future it will be supported by other rich and noble people feeling the joy of helping their closer people in the spiritual birth. Without a spiritual birth, there is no a spiritual development and growth, with an assumption of a real spiritual guide and the real desire for perfection, and fulfilling the maxima: “Be perfect (faultless) as your Father in Heavens is perfect.” The old wise men said that we are going to reach as high, as the aim we placed in front of us was high.
What should be the contribution of the clergy?
They will cancel a big part of their award, such as the church temples cancel their fees. Anyway, it’s good to know that even till now the clergymen were baptising those who were socially and financially in poor condition. Moreover, the baptising in our monasteries is always free of costs, as anything else there. Lord Jesus Christ says: “Freely you have received, freely give!”
Is there any other way you’re helping people as a Church?
Concretely, Strumica Orthodox Diocese has founded a Daily Centre for Reception, Treatment, and Further Healing of Addiction Illnesses called “Saint Elisabeth”, which works successfully for four years, with a help from and cooperating with the Ministry of Health, and with the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy. We are on the way to establish a Centre for Re-Socialisation of those who were cured from addiction illnesses, and I do hope it will start functioning with a capacity for 50 protégées. The estimation is that in today’s circumstances the need of such a centre is bigger that the need of so called “Free people food catering”. Whatever, it is right and correct the Church to help people spiritually, and the people help the Church financially (materially). It has been so always, and it is so today. Anyway, we find some tendency of a reverse process recently – people are more and more asking for financial (material) help from the Church, and on the other hand the priesthood is getting a kind of indirect spiritual help through the criticism of the public. Everything must come where it belongs, but first of all, our relation to God.
Source: daily newspaper “Dnevnik”