Plovdiv (Bulgaria) : the new aspect of the community


Since the start of September, important changes have marked the life of the Plovdiv community.
After a sabbatical year of physical and spiritual resourcing, our superior, Fr. Petar, resumed his responsibilities. Eynard, the young volunteer who arrived from far away Mexico two years ago, left for the novitiate in Juvisy (France). This year we are happy to welcome Geoffrey, a youth from the northern France, who, interested in the discovery of Oriental spirituality, has come to reside with us for a year as part of the Assumption Volunteer program.

Two years ago, we decided to open our community to the receive youth nearby living in Plovdiv, who come to the city for their high school studies.

Specifically we are welcoming the youth, aged 15/16 years old, from the Catholic Center of the Latin rite in the tiny city of Rakovski; we have good relationships with the local clergy there.
This decision is proving to be quite felicitous, since it answers a real need and, at the same time, permits us to maintain a youthful and joyful spirit in our fraternal life.

Presently, there are three young people : Yossif, Martin, and Julian.
Since February, another young man has also joined the community.

His name is Athanase, 14 years old. Having suddenly lost his father a bit more than a year ago, he recently lost his mother as well to cancer on 14 October.

With the explicit approval of his mother, written and authenticated by a notary some time ago, while she was being housed in a small residence for older and sick women, who were alone and destitute, run by the Sisters of Charity of Mother Teresa, we began the process to adopt Athanase, since among his relatives there is nobody who can do so or at least provide him with decent living conditions.
At the house of the Oblate Sisters, who also decided to welcome young people as we have, another young woman has just arrived this year, also from Rakovski, named Maria.

Thus, this year four young girls (Gergana, Silvia, Petia, and Maria) will share the community life of the sisters.
Different options are presented to the youth in the course of the week.
On Monday, the evening is given over to chant. We all gather together at the Assumptionist community to learn to chant the divine liturgy, but also to learn popular Bulgarian songs.

Tuesday we share the Gospel of the following Sunday; Wednesday, a recreational evening is held; Thursday, we go to the Sisters for adoration.

Friday afternoon, some of the young people go home; others stay until Sunday night. Saturday is the day for catechesis for the children of our parishes in Plovdiv and Kuklen.
We continue to serve the Pokrovan parish, even if Father Claudio only gets there once or twice a month because of the distance. For the most important religious feasts (Easter, Christmas, and the Epiphany, when priests bless houses and the people who live in them), he stays there several days.
With the new departures and arrivals an aspect of our community has changed.

We accompany Eynard in prayer, affection, and a fraternal concern in his new situation.

We consider him one of ours, that is to say, to use a well-known expression of our superior, a real Catholic! , a Catholic who has had there opportunity to breathe with both lungs of the Assumption and the Church.

We bless the Lord for the presence of new faces among us, for they are a sign of life and renewal. We hope also that Geoffrey may soon became a real Catholic! , but our first concern is for the Benjamin of the community. May our fraternal welcome help him to heal the wounds and the sufferings that he has in his heart!

The communities of the Fathers and Sisters of Plovdiv