It is a lively Autumn morning. At two minutes to nine, a crowded city bus pulls into the bus stop near Saint Elisabeth Convent. It is the middle of the rush hour. All are hurrying to work. But some among the crowd is particularly eager. They are rushing ahead of the rest towards the Convent. “Careful, Tatyana! Do not break the heels of your shoes,” jokes a brother, also on the run. Another sister is anxious: “Where is my headcover? Did I leave it at home? Take it out, quick!” Many are being late for work, but only the iconographers are running to be on time. They have a disciplined and demanding supervisor, Father Sergius, who is always upset when his people are late. The working day at the workshop starts at nine when everyone reads the canon to Venerable Father Saint Andrey Rublev. As they welcome visitors and show them around the workshop, the sisters will always say: “An iconographer’s day starts with a prayer”. They are right. The door of the workshop opens and closes every now and then as the late iconographers are coming to the measured reading of the irmoses and singing of the troparions.
Continue reading “Our Icon-Painting Workshop: How It Began”
On the third floor of the school, we enter the chapel located next to the classrooms. Its doors are always open. Under the large icon of Jesus Christ hangs a lampion. Next to the icon are a cross and a gospel volume. We enter inside. We are accompanied by Nun Galina (Shpakova), the director of the Sunday school.
Continue reading “The Sunday School – A Day in the Life”
Children with nun Martha and Brothers on a walk
It’s been almost twenty years since the sisters and brothers of Saint Elisabeth Convent started to visit the Boarding Home for children with special needs, which is located near the Convent grounds in Minsk.
Continue reading “Working with Special Children”
Here in Belarus, the new school year always starts on the 1st of September. This year was no exception. This week, we are delighted to announce that the children have celebrated the first day of school and started learning. More excited is the fact that we also welcomed many new students to our Ichthys family.
None of this would be possible without your help!
Continue reading “1st September at Our School”
I’ve known these guys for at least 15 years. When they told me about the boarding home for children with special needs and I started visiting it, they were there.
Continue reading “The Secret of Happiness”
One November day became special for children of the boarding home. Kids visited Women’s Rehabilitation Center, where after the Liturgy they had an opportunity to relax in natural surroundings.
Continue reading “A Special Day for Special Children”
The period of Christmas fast and the Nativity of the Savior itself is a special time. Every Christian looks forward to this moment. We are living biblical events over and over again, try to purify ourselves and become better during fast, look for a guiding star in our daily lives and, just like children, wait for a miracle.
Continue reading “Secret Angel 2018: It’s All Thanks to You!”
Things can be different. When you see a person for the first time, you hug him, notice the sincerity in his eyes, and feel that he has taken away your heart. And it’s fine that he took it. And it is not a pity, and it is not scary, and you feel such ease and warmth with that wonderful person! Finally, the emptiness of hectic everyday life is filled with something light and profound. YOU ARE LOVED unconditionally and without reservations, just because YOU are there, YOU are needed…
Continue reading “Unconditional Love”
Driving on the Minsk Ring Road, you can’t help noticing a shining golden dome from afar. That is the new church in honor of Saint John of Shanghai built on the territory of St. Elisabeth Convent. The nuns of the Convent have carried out their ministry in the National Applied Research Center of Mental Health for the last twenty-five years. This church connects the hospital to the adjacent Convent. The church was built precisely for the patients of the Center and on its territory. The National Applied Research Center of Mental Health is one of the largest psychiatric hospitals in Europe. It provides psychiatric care for several thousand patients. Continue reading “The Church in Honor of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco Is Consecrated!”
More than two hundred homeless or alcohol-addicted men gather on a farm 19 miles from Minsk during the winter, where they are supervised by just a couple of sisters from St. Elisabeth Convent.
“I feel I can’t cope with all that,” Sister Joanna, one of the nuns of St. Elisabeth Convent, admits. She is entrusted with an obedience at Lysaja Hara, the rehabilitation center run by St. Elisabeth Convent and located 19 miles from Minsk. It is a place where men who found themselves in a difficult situation—the homeless, drug and alcohol addicts, or generally those who lost their path in life—can come and stay. Continue reading “The Dog’s Chance: How Nuns Save the Lost at the Men’s Rehabilitation Center”