If they feel they want to take part in the charitable work and are capable of doing so, they ask the spiritual father about it. Having received his blessing, a would-be sister goes to the senior sister of the healthcare facility that she had been assigned to. She may also be offered an obedience in church shops or workshops of the Convent. Initially, the new sister will work with a more experienced sister. After some time the new sister receives her vestment and gets appointed to an independent duty. It is extremely important if we devote our lives not only to our own needs and requirements but also start to share it with other people.
It is through us that the Lord gives the word of comfort to these people.
Our Challenges to Living Holy
We grow spiritually at the same time. That is why the ministry of a sister of mercy who sacrifices her time, her energy, and her heart to serve her neighbours is rewarded a hundredfold. The Lord gives one an experience of love and mercy they will need when they pass from this temporary life to the eternal one. Minsk District Executive Committee allocated a hectare plot of farmland for the Sisterhood in v.
Lysaja Hara 19 miles from Minsk in A rehabilitation centre of St Elisabeth Convent was established on this land. It is here that people who experience difficult life situations or are crippled by sin the homeless, the ex-prisoners, drug and alcohol addicts, the less able can find shelter. Today there are ca. The Convent provides them with the essentials like clothes, food, hygiene kits, medications, etc. The residents of the rehabilitation centre work on farms breeding cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, hens, geese, and quails , in the fields growing root crops, corn, annual and perennial herbs , in greenhouses, in an apiary, in a breeding kennel breeding Central Asian shepherd dogs and on construction sites.
The rehabilitation centre witnessed a happy event on January 3, His Eminence Philaret, Metropolitan of Minsk and Slutsk, consecrated a church in honour of the Inexhaustible Chalice icon of the Mother of God and performed the rite of monastic profession of six brothers who have been carrying out their obediences in St Elisabeth Convent ever since.
A priest pays weekly visits to the centre to talk with the brothers. There is a Sunday School for those who wish to learn the basics of the Orthodoxy. The Rehabilitation Centre of St Elisabeth Convent is God's land where the grace of Love penetrates the people's hearts helping them to go to the Source of Life and to begin a new life. Women who had encountered difficult times during their life's journey would also come to St Elisabeth Convent. That was the reason why the sisters decided to establish a Women's Rehabilitation Centre for them. We found a plot of land, which had been a military base, for this purpose.
Notably, there had also been a church in honour of St Sergius of Radonezh on this land. The church was burnt down a couple of days before we bought this land but it didn't stop us. The church is being rebuilt with God's help, all the while the residents of this Rehabilitation Centre are changing their lives for the better thanks to prayers and labour.
Women in a difficult life situation, e. Everyone who made up their mind to change something in their lives can put their abilities to work.
Society of St. Margaret | Episcopal Religious Order
They live in a two-storied building, persons in each room. They receive three meals in a refectory daily. They stay in two separate buildings. Raising and nurturing children is a very serious issue, which is why such families are under close inspection by the government. Even the slightest transformation and even the tiniest step towards the Light is made possible thanks to communion, confession, and prayer.
Prayer marks the beginning and the end of each day in the Centre. Prayer is regarded to be one of the most difficult tasks. However, the sisters are not afraid of work of any other kind. Divine Liturgies have been celebrated in the Rehabilitation Centre every Tuesday since October , lately in the basement of the burnt-down church in honour of St Sergius of Radonezh.
The Akathist to St Sergius of Radonezh is read daily. The sisters ask this saint to help them in the restoration of the church in his honour, which started in the spring of on the foundation that had been spared in the fire. The residents of the Centre read the Psalter all day round. They have the Rite of Forgiveness after evening prayers, followed by a holy procession with icons.
The nuns in charge of the Rehabilitation Centre say that the most important thing in the spiritual life of these women is to realise that they can no longer live without the Church. Communion is not a magic pill, which you take and go on with your usual daily routine. Communion, prayer, and labour must become the foundation and the norm of life. This is when people experience a revival. Fortunately, there have already been such cases: one of the residents of the Rehabilitation Centre has become a nun, and another woman has become a lay sister of the Sisterhood of St Elisabeth. Every person in the Centre has duties assigned to her according to her strength and abilities.
The sisters work in the vegetable garden, do handicrafts, and look after domestic animals. Of course, there are some seasonal duties, too. On average, they make bouquets using 50, willow branches! There are a bookbinding workshop and a sewing workshop in the Centre. They generally manufacture various items for use in the Convent such as monastic habits, aprons for refectory, kerchiefs, handkerchiefs, etc. However, being good and laborious workers, the women are eager to do all kinds of work, and they perform it diligently, neatly, and well.
Can there be a rehabilitation centre on a farm without domestic animals? The sisters look after goats, rabbits, and hens with love and care.
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You can always treat yourself to fresh goat milk and cottage cheese here. Being a woman is inseparable from doing handicrafts. The sisters make leather ladankas and plait prayer ropes, which are popular with people all around the globe. For instance, they help in the bakery and dye eggs in the refectory before Pascha. The sisters performed an astonishing creative experiment under the leadership of Nun Vassa: they took part in a Christmas performance. It began with rehearsing Christmas carols. The sisters learned to sing them and then decided to walk around the houses in the village.
The villagers were happy to meet them. As it often happens, this simple idea grew into a large-scale creative project. At first, they sang.
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Christmas carols in small villages, but now the territory of their Christmas tours is expanding exponentially. Residents of the nearby villages and towns enjoy the kind and pleasant carols sung by the sisters. You can receive a referral for a medical examination in a nearby hospital at the security post of St Elisabeth Convent 6 Vyhockaha vul. Upon receiving the blessing and a health check, you can go to the Rehabilitation Centre. Father Andrew holds meetings with the flock in the Church in honour of the Reigning icon of the Mother of God every Tuesday at 7pm.
You can approach him after a meeting and receive his blessing. A newcomer together with the monastic sisters usually determines the probation period normally months. After this period, the newcomer together with the nuns must look back on her time spent in the Centre. This talk is not a formal report of accomplished tasks but rather a spiritual analysis and a contemplation of her life and plans for the future.
At the end of such a talk, the sister gets the opportunity to spend some more time in the Centre with a follow-up talk in the end. After a series of such talks, she is allowed to stay in the Centre for an unlimited period. Thanks to this approach, people come to realise that they do not simply pass the time in the Centre and that they are a part of something great and important.
Every individual is like a damaged icon that reveals her bright face to the extent that she is purified from sin through repentance.
However, if one has hope, faith, and trust in God, coupled with mutual pursuit of Love, everything is possible! Children with psychoneurological and orthopedic issues have been helped in this centre for over thirty years. This centre is special because its young patients have the chance to be integrated into the society eventually. Their chances grow depending on how much attention and support they receive.
The sisters of our community have been visiting this centre since to support not only the children but also their relatives. Suffering of a child often becomes a gate through which the entire family turns to God. The sisters spend time with the children, tend to them, talk with them, and help them to prepare for Sacraments. There is a special room, which we are allowed to use to celebrate Liturgies and serve molebens. This is how the patients of the centre receive all-round physical, mental, and spiritual assistance.
Another boarding home for mentally challenged adults opened in Minsk in January It turned out that the majority of its patients had formerly been patients of a boarding home for children with special needs patronised by our Sisterhood. Our sisters followed them and came to this boarding home, too.
A chapel in honour of the Merciful Icon of the Mother of God was established in this boarding home on November 25, The Divine Liturgy is celebrated here regularly. All residents of the boarding home have the opportunity to participate in the divine offices. Sisters of mercy have traditionally served in hospitals and clinics. The sisters of our Sisterhood visit the patients of City Hospital No. There is a city cardiology centre here, together with various specialised units.
People of various ages and social status get medical help. Our sisters have been coming to this hospital for many years in order to comfort the patients and to spread the warmth and love of their hearts among those who need them. Some of them turned practising Christians.