Romania holds 1st National Clergy Meeting


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SNAGOV, Romania, OCT. 21, 2009 ( Catholic priests in Romania gathered for the first time in a national meeting last week. The prefect of the Congregation for Clergy sent them a message of support and encouragement.

Cardinal Cláudio Hummes addressed the letter to Archbishop Ioan Robu of Bucharest, assuring the 65 priests gathered at the meeting of his prayers.

The cardinal urged the priests "to live a daily yes" following the motto of this Year for Priests: "Faithfulness of Christ, Faithfulness of Priests."

He also invited them to take part in the International Meeting of Priests, which will be held in Rome June 9-11, 2010.

At the meeting, the clergy, consisting of Romanians, Hungarians and Germans, came from nine of the 11 dioceses and eparchies of Romania.

They gathered Oct. 13-16 in a Carmelite monastery in Snagov, north of Bucharest. The meeting focused on the theme "The Priesthood, between Charismatic Service and Structural Functionalism."

Speakers included Archbishop Robu, the president of the Romanian bishops' conference, Auxiliary Bishop Mihai Fratila of the Fagaras si Alba Iulia Romanian rite Archdiocese, and Auxiliary Bishop Cornel Damian of Bucharest.

The meeting will be followed by five other similar gatherings in various parts of the country.

The aim is to celebrate this year convoked by Benedict XVI by giving priests a special opportunity to pray together, to reflect together on their mission and to get to know one another better.

Some of the priests who attended this meeting expressed the hope that similar gatherings will be held after the close of the Year for Priests, to have permanent formation not only at the local but also at the national level, to reinforce the unity in diversity of the Catholic Church in Rumania.