Our parishes continue to provide spiritual services for all ages. The Very Reverend Radu Roscanu and pani Stela also ensure the completion of the missionary activities of the mission of the Aid to the Martyr Churches, which acts since twenty-five years in Quebec.
Although few numerically, the members of our parishes are proud to have carried the torch of Orthodoxy in the Uniate Canadian Diaspora.
May the year 2014 give us a spiritual growth and the extent of our valiant efforts made in the past?
Our collective memory
The Romanians came to Canada starting with the end of the last century. Especially the national persecution practiced in Austro-Hungary against the Romanians, determined the arrival in North America of a Diaspora of 200,000 Romanians – Orthodox and Greek Catholics.
In Canada, they have settled in Quebec, Ontario and the Prairie provinces. Romanian Greek Catholics, were in the past about 9% of the Romanian population and, in the Diaspora, this percentage was likely remained the same. Thus, they are in this country by thousands, if not tens of thousands of families.
Once arrived in their new host country, the Romanians – like other European nations – have felt themselves also the need to come together around the churches. Wanting to preserve their traditional heritage, language and culture, European immigrants have formed congregations, cultural societies and schools, which should help in the effort to maintain their own values.
But, if the Romanian Orthodox bearing an adult faith found naturally motivation and energy to build their own parishes, the Romanian Greek Catholics, who the Latinization got childish, have encountered obstacles. First, they had lost the sense of ecclesial identity because the Uniate evil. Uniatism transformed them into a childish people, which have failed to shoulder its own traditions, and that was more aware of its true identity, about the truth of its being.
Also, they were awarded by the Holy See of the Roman Catholics in the care of Roman Catholic ordinary bishops, which have prevented the Romanian Greek Catholic married priests to join their communities in the Diaspora. The Roman Catholic ordinaries did not, either, understand the culture, the rites and the dogmatic reading of Orientals (Orthodox). This produced a crisis of Romanian priesthood in Canada and a stagnation of their organization as a Church.
Without priests, because there were not enough monks priests in their church, and without having an adult and responsible faith, the Romanian Greek Catholics didn’t establish parishes, and by consequence they were condemned to lose their ecclesial identity. Without the use of their liturgical language and without schools, they have been also designated to lose their cultural and national identity.