St Elisabeth Convent, a Russian Orthodox community in Minsk, Belarus
This convent bears the name of the holy Martyr Grand Princess Elisabeth. It was founded in 1999 in the outskirts of Minsk and has originated from the sisterhood bearing the same name. The convent currently counts just under a hundred nuns and around 300 sisters of mercy. Taking up the ministry of our patron saint, the sisters of our convent provide spiritual and social help to the sick and the suffering. Since its establishment the convent has been patronizing 200 orphanage children with psychophysical deficiencies for more than 14 years. Our assistance goes from purchasing diapers for the bedridden children to the implementation of different activities on their rehabilitation and socialization. We consider it vital to raise children in the atmosphere of love, mercy and diligence.
There is a charity shelter founded on the farmstead of the Convent located 19 miles from Minsk for people who were led astray by the rough and tumble of life (the homeless, drug or alcohol addicts, ex-prisoners and the less able). Over 200 residents live here today. The Convent provides the needy with comprehensive help: accommodation, meals and necessary medicines, arranges medical examinations for them, helps to restore their IDs. A rehabilitation facility for females was established two years ago for female ex-prisoners, the homeless and the mentally challenged women.
To support and develop the above ministries, more than twenty workshops and studios operate within the frameworks of the Sisterhood. These include sewing and embroidery shops, candle workshops, wood-carving, stone and blacksmith workshops and many more. Some of the people working in the workshops are those who lost all hope in realizing their potential due to various illnesses. But the Lord gave a talent to everyone and these people have skilled hands and the desire to work. Together with the sisters these people produce beautiful articles with love and prayer in the convent’s workshops.
Sister Fortina sang a beautiful song dedicated to our lady at the end of Mass. I asked her to repeat this and you can hear it below. For more information about the Sisters work please click here.