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When the Priest Comes to Visit in the North of Transilvania

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In traditional communities in the North of Transilvania, accompanying the local priest on his visits gives you a privileged kind of access into people’s lives. That’s what Romanian photographer Remus Tiplea discovered during the two years he documented the relationships between two priests and the families in their parish.

The village is largely Catholic, with a small Orthodox community. The two different Christian denominations differ in many ways, but for both the priest has a central role. The people in the region are known for being hospitable in general, but when the priest comes to visit, they leave everything else aside and go out of their way to receive him well.

The reverence with which they welcome him is a reflection of his role in the community. He offers spiritual guidance but also personal advice, and people seek his blessings in almost every aspect of their life. Even getting a new car is something that requires his blessing. Being a priest in such communities brings privilege and social status, and it is also a very lucrative job.

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All photos © Remus Tiplea.

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