His Eminence Metropolitan Vladimir celebrated Divine Liturgy in the church of Penitentiary No. 15 of Cricova. The Service started with the blessing of the Holy Table, after which the Archpastor, assisted by chaplains, celebrated the Divine Liturgy. High-rank officials of the Ministry of Justice, headed by depute minister Vladimir Grosu, representatives of the penitentiary administration, and numerous detainees were present.
During the service, father-chaplain and rector of the church, Mitred Archpriest Andrei Braniste, was rewarded with the right to celebrate the Divine Liturgy with open Holy Doors till the Cherubim’s song, in sign of high appreciation of his efforts, for efficient administration of the Holy Shrine, and for pastoral activity among Christians in penitentiaries.
After the Service, Vladyko Vladimir said that every person needs help, advice, and support of a spiritual guide, and this need is even more intense for people who, for certain reasons that depend or not on their will, have come to perform punishment for mistakes they made. And confessing their trespasses, participating in Divine Services, these people gain spiritual alleviation and forgiveness for their sins, which helps them easier integrate into the society and return to their families with other mind and thoughts that are better, that are edifying. Appreciating the merits of father Andrei in this direction, the Metropolitan expressed hope that father chaplain and other military priests will continue to perform their spiritual mission with much devotion.
At the same time, His Eminence expressed profound gratitude to the representatives of the Ministry of Justice and the administration of the penitentiary, for facilitating the access of Church people to the detainees, bringing them spiritual food that they need so much.
The Hierarch awarded church distinctions to all those who made considerable efforts in this direction.
photos of the event are here