Name / pseudonym: PRIEST, SORIN R.
Place of birth: IERMATA, ARAD, RO
Place of residence: TIMISOARA
In which year were you born?
I was born on 14 March, 1929, in Iermata, Moroda; Arad county.
Please briefly describe living circumstances in your childhood
I lived my childhood in my parent’s house (the parish home of Moroda) with them- Florian (priest) and Cornelia, and my brother and sister as well. I went to the elementary school of Moroda and highschool Moise Nicuara of Arad (1941-1948), the last year (11) I attended the Highschool number 1, C.D Loga from Timisoara, where I graduated in 1949.
Please briefly describe living circumstances from your teenage up to your retirement
After I graduated highschool, with the blessing of bishop Andrei Magieru of Arad, I continued my studies at the Theological Institute of Sibiu (1949-1951); The third year I went to the Theological Institute from Cluj-Napoca (1951-1952), and after the institute closed, I came back to Sibiu, in the fourth year (1952). In the meantime, as the president of theological students, I intiated the formation of a united group of students. I made popular some ideas for the students to follow: the formation of a Christian character, intellectual training, improvement of the teaching methods, and the development of the national sense. All of these ideas made the Security think that we are creating a rebel group. Consequently, I was forced to interrupt my studies in 9 January, 1953, being arrested for political reasons and held at the department of duty, as I was released at 10 January, 1954.
Since my parents were fighting the system (which detested religion), the Security always kept an eye on me, previous my parent’s trail and condemnation. My father was convict to daily work for the “crime of influence”. He executed his punishment from 8 December 1956 to 16 April 1964. I was convicted to daily work, being kept captive at Brasov, Urlatoarea and at Galati, for a year. In 1954 I finished my theological studies and obtained the Bachelor’s degree in 1955. In 1955, I married Alexandrina Stela, the daughter of a priest. From our marriage resulted two children: Gabriela Susana ( born in 8 November 1955 – Doctor) and Emil Mircea (born in 10 March 1957 – technical draftsman). In 10 April 1955, I was named priest at Costeiu Mare, Lugoj. Here I served 22 years. I lived with my family and my wife’s parents in the parish house. My wife’s sister lived a period of time with us. From 1 April, 1977 to 1 August 2001 I worked as a priest at the Saint Elias Church, from Timisoara. While being retired, I served at multiple churches in Timisoara, and from year 2014, I served in Viile Fabric, Timisoara, parish where I live now. In this time I’ve been appreciated with the distinctions of Iconom and iconomstavrofor – honorific theological ranks. I’m a member of the association of former political convicts. I am very close to the Christians I met. I’ve always liked to be a part of their lives and be present at the major events of their lives: Christening, Marriages, Funerals, etc. I’ve always liked to help the families that had a tough life. My kids grew up in the church. Until after the revolution of 1989, I didn’t quite havevacations, in the actual meaning. Vacations meant mostly trips to monasteries around the country.
What was the position of elderly persons when you were young? Please share a story that depictures intergenerational relationships in the society in which you grew up
My parents were always by my side and supported my education development. My father, being a priest, was proud that I chose to follow theological studies. He didn’t ask for this but he supported me. Also, there is another priest in my family- my uncle Victor Faur. After my highschool graduation, I got close to him. I’m sure that their support made me see this perspective. I felt that this is my meaning and I was right. Even when I was arrested by the Security Services, my love for Jesus and His Church made me stand up. This is the only thing that made me move on after my father was arrested, for more than 7 years.
Please describe intergenerational liaisons in your
Along with my graduation and wedding , I got close to my parents in law. I lived with them in the parish house from Costei, where my wife lived before our marriage. They helped us with the chlidren, and we also helped them during their aging. They lived with us until they passed away. I think that during their aging, we offered them joy and happines trough our and their grandchildrens’ presence.
Please compare what were you thinking about old age when you were young, your expectation of your life in retirement, and how it is really now. What does retirement mean for you?
When I was young, I didn’t think a lot about aging. I was captivated by the ideas about the student’s life. Denying the communist ideology was very popular among us. The retierment, in 2001, gave me the chance to serve at many churches from Timisoara. I lived an active life, reading a lot, spending time with my family and friends, enjoying every season.
Please briefly describe living circumstances in your current life
Nowdays, 19 years after my retierment and 2 years since my wife passed away, I’m not in very good health. I take daily medication, also my trips outsidehave reduced. There are days when I don’t leave my home. I live alone in a 2 bedroom flat. My retirment retribution covers my daily expenses. I don’t spend extra money but for day-to-day life, it is enough.
Please describe your daily routines in present
I’m constantly visited by my chlidren and grandchildren, my neighbours and also members of my former parish. When there’s good weather and when my health is good, I’m going to the local church or take a walk around. I really like to socialize with people.
Which media do you consume in everyday life?
When I’m home, I frequently watch TV. I like checking the news, documentaries and to know what’s happening around the world. I don’t use the smartphone, only the fixed phone.
What motivates you or can motivate you?
At my age, I’m motivated by the strong bond with my children and my grandchildren, and also posibility to be present in the church. I’m glad that I can share my life experience to the youngest.
In your opinion, what are the major roles of retired persons?
I belive that we, the elderly people, can be useful to the society and we cand share our experiences to the nowdays generations. Elderly people know better Christian traditions and this can be our legacy to the next generation. I think I’m very good at supporting young families with children.
Having in mind representations of elderly persons in media, what would be your message for the younger generations?
My words to the new generation is to search for a better education for knowing themselves and follow their talents, to gain freedom and responsability, friendship, solidarity, respect and tolerance for the surrounding people, to have a good character, along with faith in God.
Questions specific to Romania
1. Which of the traditional Romanian customs do you still have in your family?
The Sundays, all the fast days and holidays. The customs related to Christmas (Christmas Carols + the family meal).
2. Did you go through a painful experience caused by the communist regime (persecution, deportation, nationalization, etc.)? How did you manage to overcome that difficult time?
I was sentenced to forced labor by the authorities for one year. I managed to go through those moments- through the faith in Christ, while being morally supported, also by the suffering of other acquaintances.
3. What are the values you have guided throughout your life and which of them do you pass on to your followers?
The Faith in Jesus Christ, love for others, forgiveness of those who have wronged us, solidarity, awareness of fulfilling the profession.
Translated in English by: Alexandru P.