Social ministries of lay sisters of St Elisabeth Convent

Faith, Hope and Charity: the many ministries of St Elisabeth Convent

November 11, 2020

The Sisterhood, in honour of the Holy Martyr Grand Duchess Elisabeth, was established in 1994. We began with only a small group of lay sisters visiting the patients of the National Psychiatric Hospital. Twenty-six years later, we have over 300 lay brothers and sisters of Saint Elisabeth Convent and conduct multiple ministries following the example of their Patroness.

lay sister with products of st elisabeth convent

The beginnings of St Elisabeth Convent

Our beginnings start with Father Andrey Lemeshonok, Spiritual Father of our Convent, who used to serve at a historical church in Minsk - the Cathedral of Saint Peter and Paul. He and several parishioners started to visit people with mental disabilities at the Psychiatric Hospital. Five years later, the Sisterhood was born and Saint Elisabeth Convent was established in 1999.

The sisters chose Saint Elisabeth as their heavenly patroness and intercessor because they were inspired by her feat. She dedicated her life to helping the poor and the sick, so the sisters wanted to follow her footsteps.

lay sisters and wards with flowersSaint Elisabeth once wrote:

“True happiness is something that neither men nor events can take from you. You will find it in Faith, in Hope and in Charity. Try to make those around you happy, and you will be happy yourself.”

The sisters believe in these words. This is why the three components of happiness -Faith, Hope and Charity are at the very centre of the Sisterhood.

The St Elisabeth Convent today

Today, the lay Sisterhood is a part of Saint Elisabeth Convent. It is a community of God-loving Orthodox Christian women who desire to help those who need it the most - the sick and the poor, the homeless and the disabled. Sisters are distinguished by white habits that they wear above their clothes. The right to wear the habit is given by the Senior Sister with the blessing of the Spiritual Father of the Convent.

lay sister takes care of child

Every lay sister has obedience that best suits her abilities and talents. Some people like to work with children, others may prefer to help the elderly. Any help is much appreciated and welcomed.

The Gospel says:

“Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.” (Matthew 5:42)

This is exactly what the ministries of St Elisabeth Convent are all about. There are people out there who need help. And our sisters are there to provide that help with the best way they can.

lay sister of st elisabeth convent and wards

The ministries conducted by lay sisters of St Elisabeth

First of all, the sisters help the homeless, poor and disadvantaged men and women. Saint Elisabeth Convent has established:

There those people can rebuild their lives by learning to work and finding God along the way.

lay sister with child with special needs

Secondly, the sisters visit:

We call them God’s People because their pure hearts are always ready to get to know Christ and follow Him.

And, of course, we make sure to help those who are suffering from illnesses. We have:

Those many ministries are possible through the prayers of our heavenly intercessor Saint Elisabeth and the continuous support and generosity of our friends from all over the world.

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