Doughnuts and tea distributed at the Night Shelter in Oradea

fankot 2Volunteers of Caritas Catolica Association led by bishop Bocskei Laszlo and director Rajna Jozsef, have distributed hot tea and doughnuts to the homeless people at the Night Shelter in Oradea city on the 19th of February, 2018. The distributed food was provided by the Caritas Soup Kitchen, from the money collected at last year’s fundraising event: One Million Stars. The “comfort food” was distributed by students of Caritas Boarding School under the supervision of  the pedagogues Annamária Bényei and Klára Váradi.

See: Photo Gallery

Food packet distribution at the slums

etelt 2Join the team of Caritas volunteers and bring food packages to the slums near Oradea, where approximately 13 families live in very poor conditions, in small cottages made of cardboard boxes and pieces of wood, without tap water, electricity, or heating. We assure turn-return transport for our volunteers from the Canon’s row in Oradea. In order to join us, please call 0749119722 for details.

Carnival of the elderly

27946224_2005361566386102_978436004_oThe traditional carnival for the elderly was organized in St. Martin’s Elderly Home on the 8th of February 2018, Thursday. Residents of the elderly home were dressed up in masks and funny hats, holding balloons in their hands, singing well-known folk songs together with the caretaker. Later on they read jokes, and told funny stories to each other. The “cherry on the top of the cake” was consuming the traditional carnival doughnuts.

See: Photo Gallery

Local companies help Boarding School students

cegek isSeveral local companies have decided to contribute to Caritas Catolica’s social programs last year. Mr. Antal Nemes, the owner of Valenti Impex Ltd. Was provided a great help in our mission, by covering the food + boarding costs of a young student from Salacea, at the Caritas Social Boarding School.

The young girl’s family had suffered a tragedy exactly in the year she joined our Boarding School: their family home (where she lived with her younger sister and their parents) has burned to the ground because of a badly isolated chimney. At that point the family was in a very bad situation; they were needing all the help they could get. That was when Caritas started to search for a sponsor to support the boarding costs of the older girl. Since then, the family house was partially renovated, but the family still needs support until they can get back to normal.

“I am very thankful for the financial support from part of Mr. Nemes. My parents could have hardly afforded to pay for my boarding and tuition, especially since I have a younger sister, who is also student in the 3rd grade in Salacea. This contribution means an enormous help for us!” – declared F.E, student in the 11th grade.

Besides covering her boarding costs, the Valenti Impex company has also made a separate donation for supporting other social projects of Caritas Catolica Oradea. Other companies have also joined us in our charity mission. In name of our beneficiaries we wish to express our gratitude towards Romtransilvan Logistic, Electric Mark, Landis Impex, Alereb, Motors Mirado, Bonm-Trans and Valenti Impex for their financial contribution to our social programs.

We would also like to thank all institutions, foundations and organizations which have supported us throughout the last year; and also our volunteers!

May God repay them for their gratitude!


Carnival at the Caritas Boarding School

DSC_0998Keeping the tradition: there was a carnival organized at the Caritas Social Boarding School on the 30th of January, 2018. The main goal of the event was to build the community and bring together the freshman and the senior year students. The boy’s and girl’s room teams had the occasion to introduce themselves and to do a little parody about the most characteristic personalities of Caritas.

Some of the students have taken the task very seriously; they put on costumes and prepared short plays with pre-written dialogues and music. Others have only improvised. At the end of the carnival, the best performances were awarded with gifts, and none of the students left with empty hands. Gifts and food for the party were offered by Caritas Catolica.


Festivity on operetta music

DSC_0958This year’s carnival at St. Elisabeth’s Elderly Home was filled with classic operetta songs composed by Hungarian composers Danko Pista and Fenyes Szabolcs at the turn of the century. The songs were performed by Mrs. Julia Molnar, actor of the Szigligeti Theatre (the national Hungarian theatre of Oradea city). The elderly residents were overwhelmed with nostalgic sentiments, as they listened to the songs which were “top hits” in their youth. On several occasions they sung along with the actress, who has shown outstanding qualities as a singer. At the end of the performance, all residents have taken a meal together with their guests and ate the traditional carnival food: doughnuts.

See photo gallery

Refueled with culture


Residents of the two elderly homes run by Caritas Catolica Association in Oradea have had the occasion to participate at two major cultural events, thanks to the free tickets offered by the Szigligeti Theatre. The elderly had the possibility to see and hear live the Kodaly concert organized on the National Day of Hungarian Culture, and the spectacle The Knight of the Lord’s Mother performed by the National Hungarian Opera crew from Cluj Napoca.

It was a joyful experience for the elderly residents of the institution, who do not often get a chance to take part in such big cultural events. The leaderboard of Caritas and coordinators of St. Elisabeth’s and St. Martin’s Elderly Homes wish to express their gratitude towards the Szigligeti Theatre and personally to Mrs. Katalin Czvikker, director.

Four months of hope for 60 persons

negyhonapnyi 1We are able to feed 60+ poor people for winter (besides our regular beneficiaries) at the Caritas Soup Kitchen, thanks to the donations received from Roman Catholic churches of the diocese, with the occasion of last year’s St. Elisabeth Collection.

The collection proved to be even more effective than in the previous year. People inside and outside the church were moved by the noble cause. Many of them have placed donations in the churches, but some came directly to Caritas. Since then, gradually all contributions were sent to us by the roman catholic parishes of the diocese, and we have raised the number of beneficiaries accordingly.

We would like to mention that all beneficiaries were selected through a so-called social inquiry. This means that rev. Egeli, together with a social worker (Norbert) have paid a visit to all the poor people who have asked for the daily hot meal, in order to see their living conditions and to determine where the help is needed the most.

A total of 37.719 RON were gathered at the collection, which is enough to feed 60 beneficiaries for 4 months *(1 daily hot meal every weekday). This is a big help for the endangered families, by which they can survive the most challenging cold months. These 60 beneficiaries are split up as follows: Tasnad 6, Marghita 7, Oradea 47.

All roman catholic parishes have participated in the St. Elisabeth Collection. Besides the 65 roman catholic communities, 1 reformed, and 1 orthodox parish have also contributed to the wellbeing of Caritas-beneficiaries. We wish to express our gratitude to all contributing believers in the name of our beneficiaries. May the Lord bless them!

Starting the new year with charity

26063494_10214196581204082_2687054454933025310_oThe volunteers of Smile Commando had been partners to Caritas Catolica Association on multiple occasions throughout the past years. They gave handmade gifts and donations for elderly home residents, and participated at our hot tea and food distributions in public places during the winter. Our partnership goes on this year too.

The volunteers of Smile Commando have surprised the beneficiaries of Caritas Soup Kitchen with traditional kalach cakes (sweet bread very similar to brioche, baked in a braided form) offered as donation by the Tomis bakery on the 4th of January, 2018. A total number of 34 kalach cakes were distributed to the poor people who receive 1 hot meal/day from caritas. The volunteers of Smile Commando also helped with the distribution of hot meals.

“It was a great feeling to take part in the food distribution. These occasions give us strength to carry on with our charity work. It reminds us, that even if we cannot change the whole world, we can still make it a better place by small gestures” – declared Mrs. Kinga Szabo, leader of the group.

26240137_10214196567483739_5708265778494668007_oThe Smile Commando was formed on civil initiative in the December of 2015, in the locality Șișterea. Their aim is to provide help where and when it is needed with the help of volunteers – especially youngsters – from the local community. They have regularly participated at the advent tea and food distributions organized by Caritas Catolica.

We hereby wish to thank them for all their work and efforts!

Two good frends left us at the end of 2017

Paus Franciscus ontvangt Marie Jóse SpijkersWe say farewell with sorrow in our heart to sister Marie Jóse Spijkers, who worked as a healthcare nurse int he Simeonshof Elderly Home in Boxtel, Holland, as member of the congregation Schwester aus Spanien von Obreras de la Cruz. Together with our dear friend and partner, Peter van der Ven, she has organized collections in benefit of Caritas Catolica for many years. May the mighty God repay her for ther dedicated work, by which she has eased the sufferings of many needy people. We will keep her in our memory. On the attached photo she meets Pope Francis.

veres kovacs attila

It was a shock for all our colleagues at Caritas Catolica and St. Elisabeth’s Elderly Home to learn of the sudden passing away of pastor Veres Kovács Attila reformed priest. We are forever grateful for his selfless service in our catholic institutions. We will never forget his great figure, his deeply humane and touching speeches, his memorable special voice. We would like to express our most sincere condolence to his widow Valika and his mother, Mrs. Zsuzsa, resident of St. Elisabeth’s Elderly Home.

Awaiting the holidays with full stomachs

DSC_0833The Generous donation of our sponsors from Vincentius Vereniging Schijndel has enabled us to distribut food packages in the winter holiday season for 4 times. With their kind help, the beneficiaries of Caritas Soup Kitchen  (homeless, poor families and sick old people) could spend the holidays with a full stomach.

With the help of the dutch charity organization we have:

  • Distributed food packages to 83 needy persons, on the 29th of November, prior to the feast of St. Andrew. The packages contained: 1 bread, 1 salami, 2 canned soups, muesli
  • Distributed food packages to 90 needy persons on the 7th of December, prior to the feast of immaculate conception. The packages contained: ½ bread, 1 canned soup, 1 liver pate.
  • Distributed food packages in value of 35 RON to 106 needy persons on the 22nd of December, before christmas.The packages contained: 1 bread, 1 scone, 2 sausages, 1 pack of christmas candies, 2 canned soups
  • The last food package distribution of the year takes place on the 29th of December, before New Years Eve, when 106 more people will receive packages containing 1 bread, 1 scone, 2 sausages, and 1 canned soup.

We would like to express are gratitude to our old partner and sponsor Vincentius Vereniging Schijndel – they managed again to bring joy to the holidays of poor and needy people within the Oradea Diocese, and also to Mag. Peter Zidar, who has eased the sufferings of many people by his canned soup donations. May God repay them for their selfless efforts.

Chapel of Caritas-headquarters blessed

Caritas kapolnaThe Chapel of Caritas’new headquarters – in St. Joseph’s Center – was blessed by bishop Bocskei Laszlo on the 19th of December, 2017. The catholic charity organization has moved to the new headquarter this year in January. Till this moment the façade of the building and a part of the first floor have been renovated, with the significant contribution of mag. Peter Zidar, and volunteers from multiple professional schools from Austria. At the renovation of a chapel an important goal was to make it almost identical to the old chapel of St. Joseph’s Christian Hospital which was founded in the year 1930 by the Vincentian Sisters. One of the outstanding guests of the inauguration ceremony was an old nun, Sister Luciana, who has frequented the old hospital chapel in her youth. Leaders and representative members of all Caritas departments were present at the blessing. The ceremony was followed by a common feast.


Advent spectacle presented to the bishop

bentlakas adventi musorThe students of Caritas Boarding School have visited the roman catholic bishop Bocskei Laszlo, on Tuesday, in the bishop’s palace. The youngsters have presented a short christmas spectacle to the bishop, consisting of poems, Christmas carols and literary texts connected to the winter holidays, and the advent period. The students’ play was coordinated by pedagogues Benyei Annamaria and Varadi Klara. The bishop has listened very carefully to the words of the students, and after the spectacle he had a personal conversation with them about the true meaning of Christmas in their own particular lives.

See Photo Gallery

Advent Fair 2017

adventi vasarEven though the weather was not so good, many people have decided to attend this years Advent Fair, organized traditionally by the roman catholic episcopate. Most of the Participants were seeking shelter from the snow and rain under the tents of the organizations, enjoying a hot tea or sipping some wine offered by Caritas Catolica. This was a good occasion for people to meet p and socialize. We are very thankful to our colleagues, who stood there all afternoon distributing the hot drinks, and also to the residents of St. Elisabeth’s and St. Martin’s Elderly Homes and students of Caritas Boarding School, who have prepared handmade objects to sell on the Fair.

See: Photo gallery

Volunteers sorted bed linen donated for elderly homes

onkentesek ruhavalogatasIn the course of the past week 3 different groups of volunteers have helped us to select sanitized second-hand bed linen and towels, which were offered as donation for the Caritas’elderly homes by a professional cleaning company. We would like to express our gratitude to volunteers from Ady Endre High School, St. Laszlo Roman Catholic High School, and our individual volunteers, for their hard work. We are also very thankful for the donation offered by Salesianer Miettex SRL – the bed linen and towels come very handy in elderly care.

See Photos

We are prepared for the Advent Fair

diakok adventi keszulodesStudents of Caritas Boarding School are preparing many wonderful handmade gifts for sale at the Advent Fair organized by the roman catholic episcopate. Everyone who is interested in meeting us, or buying prodacts will be able to find us at the Caritas-tent on the 9th of December, Saturday, between 15-20PM, in the garden of the bishop’s palace.

Details about the event here: https://www.facebook,com/events/1272562959516474/

St. Nicolas’ eve at Caritas Boarding School

mikulas bentlakasEven if Santa Claus was unable to come, he has sent 3 of his servants – Mrs. Annie, Mrs. Clara, and Reni – to hand out presents to the students of Caritas Boarding School on St. Nicolas’s day. The youngsters had to respond to questions about the life of bishop St. Nicolas, in order to obtain their presents. With a little help, all of them have managed to answer the questions, so everybody received gift-packages containing sweets, chocolate, pens and pencils, school notebooks and other useful objects.

See Photos

St. Martin’s Elderly Home visited by Santa

mikulas jartSanta Claus has visited St. Martin’s Elderly Home tonight together with his sweet little helper: Sophia. They have brought fruits and candies for the old residents. Santa’s little helper has even recited a poem, bringing smiles to the faces of the “older children”. The night ended with a common feast, during which the residents sang Christmas songs.

See Gallery

Lighting candlers

adventi gyertyagyujtasAs it was done in the previous years, the candles of the gigantic Advent Crown set up in the courtyard of the roman catholic bishop’s palace of Oradea will be lit on every Saturday proceeding the Advent Sundays. The dates are as follows: the 2nd, the 9th, the 16th, and the 23rd of December, 2017. The ceremonies start at 19 PM. All persons are welcome to participate.

Boarding-school students visit Elderly Home

DSC_0357Students of Caritas Boarding School have visited the residents of St. Elisabeth’s Elderly Home on the 15th of November, Wednesday, with the occasion World Day of the Poor announced by pope Francis, and the festive day of St. Elisabeth which will be this weekend. At the beginning of the program, Mrs. Annamaria Benyei pedagogue, has read out loud the most important events and legends surrounding the Hungarian Saint Elisabeth, after which the boarding school students sung together the Hymn of Love. At the end, the youngsters gave handmade gifts and sweets to the old residents.

See Photo Gallery

2nd series of First Aid Course completed

DSC_0408The second series of Caritas-employees have completed the Red Cross’ First Aid Course on the 16th of November, Friday, with the financial help of the Dutch organization Stichting Steungroep Nederland Roemenie. 15 participants were taught to provide chest compressions combined with artificial ventilation in order to manually preserve intact brain function until further measures are taken to restore spontaneous blood circulation and breathing in a person who is in cardiac arrest.

DSC_0423Participants had possibility to master these techniques by practicing on special CPR dummies. They have also learned several other life-saving techniques like the Combined Heimlich Maneuver, a series of back blows combined with abdominal thrusts to treat upper airway obstructions (or choking) by foreign objects.

Participants also gained theoretical knowledge about evaluating the health state of a patient, and the correct method of intervention in cases of epilepsy, burns, bites, allergic reactions, heart attack, bone breaking and many more.

“It is valuable information. As private persons we experience an emergency situation within the family or on the street at any time, where we can make use of the newly learnt techniques, while as caretakers  it is absolutely vital for us to know the correct approach to these situations because unexpected health crisis happens frequently in elderly homes” – declared Andrea Nagy, the coordinator of St. Elisabeth’s Elderly Home.

Healthcare is a continuously evolving field, so Caritas Catolica Association considers it a priority to offer to its employees the possibility of continuous training and professional development. With the help of  Stichting Steungroep Nederland Roemenie organization we are planning to organize even more such courses in the future.

See photo gallery



The spiritual heritage of St. Martin

a szt marton 2The memory of Saint Martin of Tours was honored on Monday, the 13th of November in the Elderly Home which bears his name. The festive mass was celebrated by his exc. Böcskei László roman catholic bishop of Oradea. The mass was attended by residents of both elderly homes administrated by Caritas Catolica in Oradea.

“St. Martin of Tours is an example for us. Although he lived many centuries before us, his life and actions still show us a path for living a life according to God’s will in the present. Nowadays people think that they know much more about the world then their ancestors did, but if we are honest to ourselves, we must acknowledge some realities. The realities of the present show us, that the world has gone through an enormous development, but the truth is that our skill to learn and use the basic human values has not developed at the same rate” – the bishop said.

a szt marton 3He encouraged the elderly to give value to their own lives by small gestures, and by creating love and happiness in their environment. “Accepting ourselves does not mean acquiescence to a temporary situation, it rather means that we accept that our lives are part of a greater plan” – he emphasized.

Priests József Rajna, István  Pálos, Balázs Kohr and Zsolt Vakon also contributed to the holy mass. The festivity ended with a common lunch in the elderly home’s dining hall.

Sz. G. T.

St. Elisabeth Collection for the beneficiaries of Caritas Soup Kitchen

plakat -st-erzsebet-gyujtes-2017„Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor” (Proverbs 22:9)

On the 19th of November 2017, Sunday we organize a special collection in roman catholic churches of the Oradea diocese. The donations will be used to increase the number of beneficiaries of the Soup Kitchen for the cold winter months. Last year we managed to double the number of our beneficiaries for the cold period. This year we count on your help too. Donations can be given in all Roman Catholic churches on the 19th of November, or can be brought directly to the Caritas Headquarters (Str. Piața Ion Creangă, nr 2, Oradea) on every weekday from 8AM-to 2PM.

Volunteers did gardening in elderly home

idosotthonban 1Besides educational and sport activities, the program School in Another Way offers the possibility to highschool students to do something good in their communities by volunteering. This year, more than 50 students from Ady Endre High School have chosen to make the garden of St. Elisabeth’s Elderly Home more beautiful. 9–12th graders coordinated by professors Nândrean Enikő, Takács Péter and Cseke Sándor have worked with devotion to make the green area more clean and beautiful.

“For me it is a priority to help others. I like to do good, because I know, that in a reverse situation I would be happy if someone helped me. That’s why I chose to be a volunteer. I enjoyed myself, I didn’t get tired, and I helped others. There’s no better option than that” – said Adrienn Molnár 10th grade student. At the end of the activity, the volunteers were invited to have a hot tea and some cookies in the elderly home’s dining room.

Flames of solidarity lit Oradea

ismet egtek 1On the invitation of the roman catholic and greek catholic Caritas organizations of Oradea, hundreds of citizens have gathered on the towns main square to light a candle on the 17th of October, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty – as part of the 2017 One Million Stars Event.

The bishops of the two churches blessed the candles, then following the greeting words of representatives of local authorities, some of our volunteers gave musical performances to make the atmosphere even more special. Kosza Emma, young student from the Caritas Boarding School gave a memorable a capella performance, singing the Hymn of Love, followed by Izabela Geambasu singing We Can Do More.

Our volunteers have distributed 200 cups of warm tea during the event.

See Photo Gallery here !

Old people celebrated on the 1st of October

idoseit 2The management and the employees of Caritas Catolica Association have greeted the residents of St. Martin’s and St. Elisabeth’s Elderly Homes with the occasion of the International Day of Older Persons. The day was celebrated with religious ceremony and artistic performances within the walls of the institutions. The old people received flowers and healty sweets prepared by the Caritas employees.

Blood pressure measured for more than 100 persons

tobb mint szazan 1With the occasion of the International Day of Older Persons on the 1st of October, our colleagues from the Caritas Home Care Center have offered free blood-pressure and blood sugar measuring at all working points within the diocese, for  over 100 persons – mostly pensioners – in Oradea, Osorhei, Salacea, Marghita, Salonta and Sacueni.

First-aid course completed by Caritas employees

DSC_0899With the financial help of Stichting Steungroep Nederland Roemenie organization, 15 medical assistants and caretakers of Caritas Catolica have completed a professional first-aid course offered by the Romanian Red Cross. The course was led by dr. Alex Tucudean, an ER doctor. Participants gained new knowledge in fields such as examining the life signs of a patient, hypertension symptoms, diabetic coma, stages of diabetes, epilepsy, burns, bites, allergic reactions, heart attack, resuscitation techniques and many more.

“This course was very useful, because we can use the new knowledge in our everyday work in the elderly homes, in the sense that we will be able to spot the forerunner signs of crisis, we will be able to evaluate the state of the patient so we can act in the most efficient and professional way” – said Mona Gyöngyi, social worker in St. Martin’s Elderly Home.

Healthcare is an always evolving field, so Caritas Catolica Association considers it a priority to offer to its employees the possibility of continuous training and professional development. With the help of  Stichting Steungroep Nederland Roemenie organization we are planning to organize even more such courses in the future.

One million stars 2017

FB CoverStand up for the needy! On the 17th of October 2017, with the occasion of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty – we will light candles together as a symbol of solidarity with those who are less fortunate. You can join the Facebook even following this link:

One Million Stars 2017 is organized by Caritas Catolica Oradea in partnership with the Greek-catholic Caritas Eparhial. The event is financed by the Bihor County Council within the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty project. More details soon.

Elderly home residents at opera gala

egy operaeloadas margojaraA common group of residents from St. Martin’s and St. Elisabeth’s elderly homes has participated on the 14th of September, at the Opera Gala organized with the occasion of the 133rd anniversary of the creation of the Hungarian State Opera. The free entrance tickets were offered to us, by the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania – partner in organizing the event. It was a high level artistic performance, which enchanted our residents – most of them are intellectuals and former professionals who are literally craving for such cultural experiences. In their names, we would like to express our gratitude to the Alliance, for offering the free tickets.

Flowers donated to St. Martin’s residents

DSC01695The teachers from Emanuel Baptist High School in Oradea have celebrated the opening of the new school year, by donating bouquets of flowers to the lady residents of St. Martin’s Elderly home, run by Caritas Catolica Association. The old grannies were surprised with the beautiful flowers while they were sitting together in the dining-room at lunch on the 11th of September 2017. The unexpected gifts brightened their day, for which we are very thankful!

Second kinaesthetics course completed

curs kinaesthetics 1In order to enrich their professional set of tools regarding the mobilization of sick patients and old people, the employees of Caritas Catolica Association have participated at a new series of kinaesthetics courses between the 5th and 7th of September, 2017. A total number of 16 caretakers, nurses and social assistants were trained by coaches Samu Etel Imola and Sebestyén Lázár from Alba Iulia. Throughout the 3-day course, the participants have learned about the theory and practical use of kinaesthetics, which are based on self-knowledge. The newly acquired information and techniques will be usefull in both mobilizing patients and preserving physical health of the caretakers.


Sz. G. T.

New clothes for our beneficiaries

DSC_0081The ROSILV COM Company from Oradea has donated brand new, finely tailored women’s clothes to the beneficiaries of our organization. The high quality woman’s suits, scarves, shirts, coats and skirts in total value of 6520 RON were distributed amongst residents of St. Elisabeth’s Social Center, and the beneficiaries of the Caritas Soup Kitchen program. The donation brought smiles upon their faces and an air of high-life in their everyday struggles. We wish to express, in their names, our gratitude to the owners of Rosilv company, for their generous donation!

The Piano of Hope in Caritas’ elderly homes

pianul sperantei 1On the 10th of July, Monday, three students from the local Art School, together with their teacher Lavinia Dragos, gave a memorable piano concert for the residents of St. Elisabeth’s Elderly Home, within the project entitled The Piano of Hope. The aim of the project is to take classical music to elderly homes, orphanages, prisons and other institutional communities, where residents hardly have access to live classical music. The concert was also repeated in St. Martin’s Elderly Home on the 12th of July.

Caritas volunteers in Switzerland

voluntarii caritas in elvetia 1A group of 10 volunteers and coordinators form Caritas Catolica Association and the Caritas Organization of Satu Mare Diocese have participated at a study visit in Switzerland between 26–29 June, within the project VOLO, co-financed by a grant from Switzerland through the Swiss Contribution to the enlarged European Union. The aim of the visit was exchange of experience between Romanian and Swiss volunteers. The visit was also a prize to the most loyal volunteers of both Caritas organizations, for their devoted work in aiding others within the project VOLO.

See: Photo Gallery

Music Therapy in St. Martin’s Elderly Home

concert terapeutic 1The Women’s Organization of Bihor County in partnership with Duo Varadiensis have organized a live, classical music concert with therapeutic purposes on Monday, the 26th of June. The two invited artists Lucian Malița (violin) and Thurzó Sásndor József (viola) have presented a rich musical program, including works of Curtis, Roberto Farias, Ewerton, Santos Silva, C. Porumbescu, Maria von Paradis and Schubert.

From the reaction of the residents it is obvious that the concert has reached its goal from both spiritual and therapeutic point of view.

“There are multiple reasons why such events are very beneficial for the elderly. Music gets their mind away from their everyday life and physical suffering. Another thing is that most of our residents are not able to go to concerts and spectacles anymore, because of their physical condition. So they are always very happy when music comes to their own doorstep. But perhaps the most heartwarming effect was to see, that some of our residents with severe dementia, who could not even remember their own names, did recognize the well-known classical melodies like Schubert’s Ave Maria and sang along” – says Haier-Sikolya Emma, the coordinator of elderly homes.

Bishop’s blessing in renovated St. Martin’s chapel

punkosdi 1On the 2nd of June, Friday the freshly renovated chapel of St. Martin’s Elderly Home was blessed by Roman Catholic bishop Bocskei Laszlo. Besides the residents, some of the relatives, workers, and also the directors of Caritas Catolica Association were present at the ceremony. The holy mass was followed by free discussions and icecream-eating in the elderly home’s garden.

The renovation of the chapel and several 1st floor rooms was made possible by the generous donations of Stichting Caritas St. Petrus & Paulus Organization from Uden, Mr. Konrad Fundneider from Neumearkt and rev. Harold van Overbeek and the roman catholic church of Ommel. We are very thankful for their help.

As a result of the renovation, the rooms look fresh and cozy. The old parquet was substituted for high quality PVC carpet, which is easier to clean and much more hygienic. All 1st floor rooms are freshly painted and it has a positive effect upon the residents.

Funds to be granted by City Council

Primariei_01The Local Council will make a decision about the funds they are willing to give to support some of the Social Services provided by NGO-s in Oradea, on the 27 of April 2017, Thursday. The total amount secured for this is 100.740 RON, which will be distributed amongst 7 organizations and foundations.

According to the proposal of the Community and Social Cases’ Agency (ASCO), the largest amount of funding goes to the greek-catholic Caritas Eparhial (26.340 RON). The second largest amount will be transferred to Caritas Catolica Oradea Association (ACCO). Our organization is planned to be granted 8.750 RON for Homecare (for 25 beneficiaries) and another 12.950 RON for the Soup Kitchen (for 35 social cases). This adds up to a total of 21.700 RON funding from the Local Authorities, for the entire year. This makes us second on the city’s funding list.

Final decision expected on Thursday.

See plan

St. Martin’s Home visited by Mr. László Tőkés MEP

tokes 1The residents of Saint Martin’s Elderly Home in Oradea were visited by a Member of the European Parliament, Mr. László Tőkés, with the occasion of the Easter Holiday. The MEP has made a tradition of visiting a disadvantaged community on major holidays of Christianity.

tokes 2Following a short biblical introduction and singing religious songs together with the residents, Mr. Tőkés has distributed gift packages containing sweet treats, gift cards and fruits to the residents. In return for the visit and the gifts, a 85 year old resident gave a recitation of one of his own poems.

Blessed Easter and best wishes

“…just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” – (Rom 6:4)


Blessed Easter and best wishes from all or the representatives of Caritas Catolica Oradea!

Easter food packages for beneficiaries

DSC_0112With the kind contribution of our foreign sponsors we had the possibility to offer food packages for the beneficiaries of the Caritas Soup Kitchen on Good Friday. The packages contained traditional eastern kalach, bread and ham sponsored by the Caritasverband Passau organization, as well as canned soup donated by deacon Peter Zidar from Austria. A total number of 80 persons have received the packages, which brought happiness and true festive spirit into the holiday of many poor families.

Soup kitchen beneficiaries doubled by church donations

Caritas Catolica Association was able to raise the number of people served by the Caritas Soup Kitchen from 35 to 70 in Oradea, +6 persons in Tasnad, and further 7 in Marghita, by donations received from roman catholic churches of the diocese, with the occasion of last year’s St. Elisabeth Collection. This means that the number of beneficiaries was doubled in Oradea for 4 months, while at the level of the entire diocese, a number of almost 50 people received a daily hot meal during the cold season. This meant a really big help for the homeless people and poor families in the winter. It is notable that two reformed churches have also joined last year’s collection.

The 4 “magical” months, during which the beneficiaries didn’t have to go to sleep with empty stomachs, have expired in March. Most of the beneficiaries look back upon this period with gratitude, for the suffering caused by winter cold was not amplified by continuous hunger. However, they are worried about the future, since most of them will have to struggle to get food again from the 1st of April.

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“My husband has cancer, and I am also not healthy. I had multiple surgeries. We don’t have money for treatment and winter was hard so the daily hot meal meant very much for us. Our pension doesn’t even cover the costs of medicine, and I really don’t know how we would have survived without the meal provided by Caritas. Their food is very tasty and even suitable for sick people. I could have never afforded to prepare meals consisting of two courses at home. I am grateful to God and everybody who helped us” – declared Mrs. Gabriella (66 years old), one of the beneficiaries.

Although the winter season has ended, Caritas Catolica still continues to feed dozens of poor people within the diocese. From the 1st of April the Caritas Soup Kitchen will have 43 beneficiaries and we are searching for sponsors (private persons or companies) to raise this number.

We would like to express our gratitude towards all persons who have sponsored us.

Help without borders

Brusszel Rajna DerzsiOur dear friend and benefactor Ad van den Brand has received official acknowledgement on Wednesday from part of Gyula Winkler (MEP) at the European Parliament headquarters in Brussels, for the 15 years of hard work he dedicated to help Caritas Catolica Oradea Association. The official recognition was initiated by Mr. Akos Derzsi senator, in the presence of rev. Jozsef Rajna, Mr. Csaba Sógor (MEP) and Mr. Lambert van Nistelrooij (MEP).

New vehicle for the elderly with help of StNedRom

DSC00558Residents with limited mobility from St. Martin’s Elderly Home have now a suitable means of transportation thanks to the benevolence of our dear friends from Stichting Steungroep Nederland Roemenië, represented by Jan and Coby Willemsen – who have sponsored us with a new working car.

The car previously used by elderly home workers to transport patients was an old Daewoo Tico which had no space for placing wheelchairs or walking aids, and it was becoming less and less functional with the passing of time.

The new car sponsored by Stichting Steungroep Nederland Roemenië is a brand new Dacia Dokker, with sliding backdoors and a trunk large enough to carry wheelchairs and medical aids. It is suitable and comfortable means of transportation for elderly people, and patients with limited mobility.

We would like to repeatedly express our gratitude towards our sponsors from Holland, in the name of our residents, who will enjoy the comfort of the new vehicle. StNedrom received a few years ago a legacy to help improving the well-being of the older citizens in Romania; and this is another beautiful example of their dedicated work.

Memorial spectacle in St. Elisabeth’s

aranyt 1With the occasion of the 200th jubilee of the birth of the great Hungarian poet, Arany Janos, a group of 10th and 11th grade students from Eminescu High School have visited St. Elisabeth’s Elderly Home, where they recited and sung some of his most memorable poems for the residents.

The seven students – Kovács Csenge, Sápi Márk, Varga Richárd, Mester Kinga, Dârjan Roxanne, Varga Izabella és Visky Miriám – put together the short spectacle on their own, without help from their teachers.  In return to the student’s recital, one of the old residents, Mr. Laszlo Markus has also read out loud one of Arany’s poems.

“It is always a good feeling to come amongst these old people, because we can learn so much from them. They have lived and experienced so much, and you can tell by the look on their face and their gestures, that these poems mean something else for them, than they mean to us” – declared Visky Miriam, one of the 10th graders. The students stated that they are happy and willing to return to the elderly home if they are summoned again.

Szombati-Gille Tamás

Carnival at St. Elisabeth’s Elderly Home too

DSC_1022aThanks to the selfless service offered by the couple of musicians Kiss Livia and Kiss Géza-Lóránd, the residents of St. Elisabeth’s Elderly Home experienced some memorable moments of joy and happiness, within the carnival organized on the 21st of February, 2017.

The residents, dressed up in impressive costumes, didn’t only listen to the music, but also sang along with the musicians. Above all this, some of the residents (who usually spend their days in wheelchairs because of their physical conditions ) started to dance when they heard some of the top music hits of their youth.

One of the memorable moments of the celebration, was when one of the residents, Mr. László Markus (a former colonel) sang along with Livia Kiss and old folk song about the beauties of the life of a soldier entitled Hey, sir colonel! At the end of the carnival, the residents ate together doughnuts – the traditional food of the carnival period.

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Masquerade in St. Martin’s Elderly Home

alarcosbal 2On the 15th of February, Wednesday, a masquerade took place in St. Martin’s Elderly Home, Oradea. Residents had a wonderful time thanks to Kiss Music Band, which provided evergreen music for the event.

Starting from the morning hours, you could feel that something special was going on in the elderly home. The scent of freshly prepared doughnuts filled the rooms. Some of the residents were helping with the decorations, others were selecting costumes for the ball. Some of theme were asking even in the previous day, if there will be lottery game this year too.

The ball was opened by the poem of Mr. Kalman, one of the residents. The repertoire of the music band contained famous musical arias, and other golden oldies. All residents joined the singing, some of them were even dancing waltz, tango, or czardas.

The masquerade ended with the lottery game, and eating doughnuts. Residents went back to their rooms, not only with hands full of presents, but also souls full of happy experience.

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Our volunteers distributed tea, bread and dripping

On the 15th of February, Wednesday, our volunteers have distributed hot tea, bread and dripping for the poor people living their lives in the surroundings of the Oradea railway station, and for those who were waiting for the trains in the cold weather.

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We were distributed 300 portions of bread and dripping + 200 glasses of hot tea with the help of autistic young people, fifth-grade students from the St. Ladislau School and also individual volunteers, registered to the online volunteer-database. The bread was donated for this purpose, by the Sandy Impex bakery from Santion.

Collection for Syrian refugees

Afis facebook ROOn the 19th of February 2017 we are organizing a collection in all catholic churches of the diocese, in order to help war refugees living in Tartous city, and the western coast of Syria. The raised funds will be transferred to support the activities of the local Caritas organization, which has in its care 1500 poor families, who fled the warzones of the country. Caritas gives to them financial help to secure roof over their heads, gives out food tickets, and provides free professional courses for disadvantaged family members. They also secure funds for the schooling of refugee children.

New methods for treatment of pressure wounds and Parkinson patients

ingrijitorii 1On the invitation of Caritas Catolica Association, our partner Coby Willemsen integrative healthcare assistant, RN,  has given a series of lectures and workshops for caretakers and nurses working in elderly homes and homecare, in the period of 25-27 January. We had numerous participants from outside Oradea, including Marghita, Tasnad and Timisoara.

A series of advanced healthcare courses was initiated two years ago, with the purpose of providing chance of professional improvement and up to date knowledge for Caritas employees, so they can give quality treatment to the beneficiaries. The series included courses about communication, dementia, elderly nutrition and transfer techniques in the past years. Last weeks’s course was about treating patients with Parkinson’s disease and wound healing.

Knowing the individual case is of key importance

The visible symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can vary from patient to patient. In this sense, the role of the caretakers is of vital importance, because they are the ones who can inform the doctors about the smallest changes of the patient’s state, they can also inform the relatives of the patient about the correct ways to handle conflicts resulting from the degradation of mental and motor capacities – Coby Willemsen emphasized.

At the course, caretakers could learn new methods to help the movement of patients with Parkinson’s, to handle hallucinations typical for the disease, to arrange a safe environment, to give medication at the right time and in the right way, and how to minimize the danger of choking while feeding patients. Caretakers were also informed about severe side effects of medication.

Old techniques are out of date

ingrijitorii 2At the course about wound healing, the caretakers received practical information about preventing and treating the 3 most common skin problems in elderly care: dermatitis caused by incontinence, intertrigo, and pressure wounds (decubitus). During the workshop, Coby Willemsen has demonstrated those sitting and lying positions which distribute pressure on a larger surface, thus they are least harmful for the skin. She also explained why some of the old methods of wound-healing are not in use anymore, and has given better, more effective alternatives.

All courses ended with free Q&A sessions, during which the participants could ask questions, share their experiences, and try to find solutions together for individual cases.

Winter clothes for poor people in Săcueni

imbracaminteThe low temperatures of the past days are not causing difficulties only for the people in Oradea.  Without enough firewood, this period extremely challenging for citizens of small rural towns and villages too, even if people have a roof over their heads. It is hardly bearable for poor people to stay indoors in their unheated houses without proper clothes and thick blankets, and this is the time of the year when they are exposed to the highest levels of risk.

In answer to the call from the mayor’s office of the small town of Săcueni, Caritas Catolica has donated 55 sleeping bags and dozens of boxes of winter clothes and blankets for the poor citizens. A delegation from part of local authorities has come to pick up the donations on the 13th of January, Friday at the Caritas Headquarters from Oradea. The donations will be distributed by the local authorities in Săcueni mainly to old/ sick people, and to large families living in difficult situations.

Sz. G. T.

Appeal towards companies to support the feeding of poor people

cegekThe president of Caritas Catolica Oradea, together with executive-director Derzsi Ákos have sent an appeal towards companies and private persons in Oradea, to support the daily hot meal of beneficiaries at the Caritas Soup Kitchen throughout the winter season. These cold months represent the most vulnerable period for homeless and poor people, who face great difficulties in this period, and are in big need of support.

In response to the appeal launched on the 14th of December, a company from Oradea has already assumed the cost of 640 lei, which represents the price of feeding one needy person for 4 months at the Soup Kitchen.

Caritas Catolica Association is continuously looking for new partners (companies or private persons), who are willing to support the feeding of a poor person or family in the cold season. We have to note, that the beneficiaries of the Soup Kitchen are carefully selected by our colleagues, following a thorough social analysis, so we can assure, that the help goes to the place, where it is needed the most.

Christmas food distribution

DSC_0699106 beneficiaries of the Caritas Soup Kitchen have received food packages before Christmas. The president of Caritas Catolica Association, rev. Rajna Jozsef was present at the distribution, who had a conversation with the beneficiaries, paying attention to their individual tragedies and need, encouraging them, and assuring them of Caritas’s continuous support. The distributed packages contained canned soup – donated by deacon Peter Zidar from Austria – as well dry sausages, traditional kolach-s, and bread with the support of Caritasverband Passau.

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Free doughnuts and tea in the cold season

fankotVolunteers of Caritas Catolica Association have distributed free doughnuts and hot tea on the promenade of Oradea city. This activity was part of the 40-day charity marathon initiated by Caritas Catolica as the closure of the Holy Year of Mercy. The goods prepared with the financial support of Caritasverband Passau organization were distributed for free, to any by-passer, who was feeling the need for warm food and tea in the cold winter day. Beneficiaries were mainly old people, families, and children coming out from schools.

The aim of the activity was to comfort poor people, and also to earn visibility for the charity work done on a daily basis by Caritas. We will organize two more similar actions in the upcoming weeks. The next will be on the 15th of December, and the last one on the 22nd.

Advent Charity Fair 2016

Adventi vasar 2016 002Our colleagues have distributed hot tea, sweets and winter clothes for children during the Advent Charity Fair, organized by the roman catholic diocese on the 3rd of December, 2016. Besides this, we organized handicraft activities for children at the Caritas booth, where people could also buy souvenirs made by elderly home residents and boarding school students.

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Many persons came for free testing

DSC06348Dozens of persons have profited of the occasion to measure their blood pressure and blood sugar level for free by Caritas medical assistants, at one of Oradea’s largest commercial centers: Era Shopping Park on Tuesday, the 29th of November. The majority of the participants belonged to the advanced age group, but there were also families with children, where every member made the test. This charitable action was part of the 40 day marathon of mercifulness.

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The first candle of advent was lit

DSC_0012Our colleagues have distributed warm tea and sweets at the open air ceremony of lighting the first candle on the giant Advent crown set in front of the roman-catholic cathedral, on the 26th of November, Saturday. The distributed sweets were donated to us by a group of Dutch youngsters, who have collected them by going from house to house and singing on St. Martin’s Day in their home village, Meterik.

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Fresh food donation from nursery school

gyumolcsSt. Martin’s Elderly Home has received a considerable amount of fresh food as donation from part of nursery school children, from the kindergarten No. 56 Oradea. The food was collected by the children during the Week of Fruits and Vegetables project.

A part of the donated vegetables were sent to the Caritas Soup Kitchen, while the fruits were used by the caretakers to prepare fresh juices and canned fruit for the elderly. There are also plenty of fresh fruits left for afternoon snacks, such as apples, oranges, pomelos, mandarins, or bananas. The children’s donation provides fresh fruit for the residents for two weeks.

Memorial place for all loved ones

monument  2A special memorial place was inaugurated on the 2nd of November, 2016 in St. Martin’s Elderly Home, Oradea. The granite plaque is shape of a book will serve as a place, where old people with restricted mobility can place a flower and light a candle in memory of their loved ones.

As their health declines, it becomes harder and harder for the inhabitants to go to the cemetery each year. So it is very useful to have a memorial place which is close to them, where they can say their prayers and remember the lost ones, not only on All Soul’s Day, but also on family anniversaries, birthdays, etc.

We also have to mention, that many of the old people have come quite a long way from their birthplace during their lives, so in many cases their parents, ancestors are buried in a different city, or different county. The new memorial place will help them too.

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“I think it is a very good idea. It is a beautiful artwork, which also has its religious connotations. For some of us it is very hard to go to the cemetery, and this monument is a big help” – declared Mrs. Korodi Éva, one of the residents.

The memorial monument was raised with the help of an anonymous sponsor, while the foundation for the monument was financed by Mr. Feher Istvan, the relative of one of the inhabitants. At the inauguration rev. Rajna Jozsef blessed the monument, and after a common prayer, the old inhabitants were the first ones to place their flowers and candles. After them, the caretakers of the elderly home came to commemorate the residents who have previously passed away.

Sz. G. T.

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Best volunteer’s award for Sonja van Kessel

Dijat nyertWe congratulate from the bottom of our heart our regular volunteer, Mrs. Sonja van Kessel, who has won the award for the best volunteer in the field of elderly care in Oradea on the 4th annual Volunteer Gala, organized by Community and Social Services Office in Oradea (ASCO).

The work of the volunteers means in fact the complementation of professional care in the elderly homes of Caritas Catolica Oradea. We wish to provide a comfortable old age for our residents not only from the medical point of view, but also as human beings: to treat them with respect and dignity, paying attention to their individual personalities, keeping them interested. Our volunteers play a huge role in achieving this: with their enthusiasm, devotion and attention, they aid the souls of the elderly. The fact that they speak to the old people, take them for walks, help them in their everyday activities and pay attention to their individual needs, is an immeasurable help for the elderly to keep up their optimism, to keep them full of pep, which helps them to endure the hardships of aging.

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