On Sunday, December 8th, 2016, the Divino Amore Complex in Rome hosted the Romanian Orthodox Brotherhood Youth Congress NEPSIS from the Diocese of Italy, that is celebrating 8 years of existence. The event, dedicated to young Orthodox Romanian in Italy, was held with the blessing of His Grace Siluan, the Romanian Orthodox Bishop of Italy.
The congress began with the Mass, celebrated by His Grace Bishop Siluan with a group of priests and deacons. After the service, the young people participated in the conference Neuroscience and Spirituality held by the priest Archimandrite Atanasie from the the Diocese of Italy. Several discussion workshops followed afterwards, a raffle and a culinary competition in which young people have prepared cakes. On the stage from the conference room several groups of singers presented a musical performance, the last one being one of Christmas songs of Young Talents Nepsis.
Representatives of the foundation Together for Social Solidarity from Piatra Neamt, whose director is the priest Petru Munteanu, participated in this event as well; they had an exhibition stand with products made in the protected workshop „Armonia”(Harmony), which belongs to the foundation.
„I participated on December 8th 2016 at the NEPSIS Congress held in Rome, by presenting traditional Romanian products, madeby hand with dedication and meticulousness by our staff. Our traditional bags, traditional Romanian blouses, bookmarks, all embroidered and sewn in different colors using traditional models impressed the participants at the congress. I could see the homesickness and national pride on the faces of all Romanians that were present at the event, creating a homely atmosphere. Promoting the national costumes, traditions and good faith, I met beautiful people that were staying for many years abroad, eager to enjoy our products, as they remembered them of their homeland. The holly warm atmosphere of the Holidays entered our souls while hearing the carols, culminating with the thrilling blessing of His Grace Bishop Siluan. Looking back I am grateful to the Foundation for the chance to represent it successfully abroad and I sincerely hope we will manage to attend the congress every yearwith even more traditional products, ” said Ms. Nicoleta Alexa, representative of the Foundation Together for Social Solidarity.
„It was a warm and welcoming atmosphere. I could feel the homesickness of Romanians from Italy, I had the feeling that I was still in Romania because most of the people attending the congress were dressed in national costumes; with the tricolor on their chest and homesickness in their soul they held a wonderful carols concert. I felt that the love of country was stronger there than in Romania, „said Madalina Popa, sales responsible within the Foundation Together for Social Solidarity.
NEPSIS, meaning „mindfulness” or „being awake” in Greek is the generic name of various associations and groups of young Orthodox from the Romanian Orthodox Metropoly of Western and Southern Europe. NEPSIS Italy was founded on 6th December 2008, with the blessing of His Grace Bishop Siluan.
About NEPSIS Italy, the missionary priest of the Archdiocesan Center of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of Italy George Soponaru, gave us more details: „NEPSIS Italy brings together orthodox youth from Italy, aged between 13 and 26 years, who wishes to communicate and to work together in an organized space, where all have the opportunity to get involved according to the desire and capacity of each one. In almost every parish there is a NEPSIS group lead by a coordinator. NEPSIS Italy is under the protection of the Holy Voievod Neagoe Basarab (26th September). Among the activities of NEPSIS brotherhood we can find: summer and winter camps, excursions and pilgrimages, painting and psaltic music workshops, volunteering in order to help the needy, seminars and training activities with young people,cathechetic evenings with guests from Italy and Romania, concerts. The NEPSIS fraternity members meet weekly/monthly in the parishes, and every year around the feast of St. Nicholas takes place the NEPSIS Italy congress.
This year, declared by the Romanian Patriarchate „Anniversary year of Christian religious education of of the Orthodox youth”,Brotherhood Nepsis celebrated eight years of existence. On this occasion Thursday, December 8th, 2016, young people throughout Italy met in Rome, in the complex „Divino Amore”, where washeld the eighth edition of the Congress Nepsis Italy.
His Grace Bishop Siluan of the the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of Italy held the morning Holy and Divine Liturgy surrounded by a group of priests and deacons. The conference for young people held by the Archimandrite Atanasie with the theme”The link between neuroscience and spiritual life” followed afterwards. In continuation of the program was the fasting cakes contest „MasterCake” and raffle during which the participants won numerous awards including books, icons, mobile phones, printers and bicycles. Finally, the youngsters held a concert of Christmas carols.”