Order of St John of Jerusalem of
Rhodes and of Malta
The delegations of the Order of Malta’s Italian and Romanian Relief Corps (CISOM and SAMR) went to Ukraine, in the south-western region of Kamianets-Podilskyi, to visit some refugee centres, humanitarian-aid warehouses and meet local civil and religious authorities.
From Thursday 19th till Sunday 22nd, the Romanian and the Italian Relief Corps SAMR and CISOM paid a visit to a few refugees centers and authorities in Kamianets-Podilskyi in Ukraine. A city of approximately 100.000 inhabitants in a region of 300.000 people spread across over 15 villages. The region hosts several sites for refugees mainly coming from the areas of Bakhmut currently undergoing heavy fighting. Our delegation included the President of the Italian organization Gerardo Solaro del Borgo, The President and Gen Director of SAMR, Mihaly Denes and Ferenc Tischler, the Head of Programs Anca Simu and several romanian volunteers. The Diplomatic Service of the Order was represented by the Attache’ to Ukraine Andriy Khanas and the Ambassador to Romania Roberto Musneci who facilitated several institutional meetings which helped defining future programs. A 10 tons truck of equipment, food and clothing arrived from Italy while 2 vans and a trailer were delivered from Romania with food and presents for the children of the two refugees sites visited. The head of the regional authorities Myhailo Simashkevich and his team had built a solid operational relationship with the Romanian SAMR team in Siret which visited Kamianiets-Podilskyi over 10 times in the past months with the support of our Relief Corp in Ukraine. For these reasons, the visit was effective from the operational standpoint and the Institutional one and gave the possibility to interact extensively with the people displaced, the relief organizations and local authorities. There was also a useful meeting with the Bishop of KP, HE Leon Dubravski who stressed the need for psychological support to people and wounded personnel coming from war zones. Beyond the immediate support, that will continue in the coming weeks, several other projects to address medical and other basic needs were discussed and will be further detailed in the immediate future. Romania is becoming a hub for supporting populations in Ukraine particularly in this bordering region where relationships were already close before the war. The strong Romanian relationships in the region and the capabilities of SAMR can be leveraged by larger Relief Corps of the Order such as CISOM in Italy or others, providing a better and more continuous service to the people in distress with the constant involvement also of the local Ukranian Relief Corp. In other words, as usual, synergy and coordination win!
On 18th of January, in the beautiful Romanian Orthodox Church of Casin in Bucharest, took place the opening of the week of prayers for the unity of Christian’s. Hosted by the Romanian Orthodox Church, the bishop of the Armenian Church, gave the keynote address at the end of the celebration. As usual, our Embassy joined the ceremony together with all representatives of Christian confessions, few members of the diplomatic corp and several faithful.
On Tuesday 17th, President Iohannis met the Diplomatic Corp in his customary annual reception. In his speech he addressed all major geostrategic issues of the moment describing the critical role of Romania in resolving the Ukrainian crisis from the military and humanitarian standpoint, thus confirming the full role of Romania as a EU and NATO member.
The Sovereign Order of Malta mourns the passing of His Holiness Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and recalls with deep gratitude his generous support of his works and the service he rendered to the Universal Church.
A heartfelt thank you to the Apostolic Nuntio, HE Miguel Maury Buendia for the celebration of the Holy Mass on St. Stephan’s day together with a few Knights of the Romanian Association and guests. The Holy Mass was co-celebrated by HE Ion Robu, retired metropolitan Archbishop, Father Gabriel Popa, Principal Chaplain of the Order of Malta and Mons. Germano Penemote, First Counsellor of the Nunciature. Among other guests we also had our two new brethren’s, Federico Cianciosi and Pio Cesare. They were received in December by the Sovereign Council and they will be invested in spring. The history of st. Stephan’s martyrdom was the last celebration our Embassy helped to organize for 2022. We trust that despite challenges ahead of us, the Order will continue to grow its activities at the service of poor and the sick. Again, from our Embassy team a serene Christmas !
Two other events marked this Christmas for our embassy:The Christmas concerts organized by HE the Apostolic Nuntio, Miguel Maury Buendia at his residence with traditional Romanian Christmas Carols and the concert organized by the Metropolitan Archbishop, HE Aurel Perca with pieces from Mozart, Vivaldi, Handel, Mascagni directed by Maestro Catalin Toropoc. We were also delighted by Maestro Gherghe Zamfir and by spiritual interludes from the Gospels of St. Luke and St. Matthew.
A lovely Christmas Eve at our new center in Colentina! Our children enjoyed a small celebration to mark the Holy Christmas and the first year of our new center in Colentina! Big thanks to Anca Simu, Ferenc Tischler and Cristina Muzelak and of course to father Ciprian for his kind hospitality. Merry Christmas!
An interesting program on ,,Ora regelui ‘’ broadcasted last saturday on TVR and covering among other things the dinner organized by Her Majesty Margareta - Custodian of Romanian Crown at Palatul Elisabeta to celebrate 90 years of diplomatic relation between Romania and the Sovereign Order of Malta.