A residential care facility for people with mental disabilities is a medical-social institution that provides permanent care to people who need daily help in attending to their daily living, self-care and medical needs, and offers occupational therapy and rehabilitation programmes.
The lay sisters and volunteers from the Convent of Saint Elisabeth care for the residents of several institutions - including a residential care facility for children with developmental problems, and the residential homes for people with mental disabilities and the elderly, Numbers 1, 3, and 4, located in Minsk City and nearby. Over 500 residents benefit from our activities, including around 200 disabled children.
We help the patients of these institutions participate in worship services and the sacraments of Confession and the Eucharist. We also help organise various leisure activities and events.
For example, the residents of the boarding home for children with disabilities are offered classes in drawing and clay modelling and participate in outdoor games and scenic day trips. Children from the residential home also attend meetings of an animated cartoon activity club where they make a variety of fun craft items and produce their own cartoons. Some children from the residential home also attend the Convent’s theatrical studio and participate in the studio’s theatrical performances as actors.
To provide spiritual support to the residents of the boarding homes, areas have been designated in most facilities as chapels and sections consecrated for Christian worship. The chapel at Boarding Home No. 1 for the elderly and people with mental disabilities is already too small for all the patients who are willing to attend the worship and social activities organised by the Convent. The activities are very popular and sometimes attract over a hundred participants. There are plans to build in the vicinity of the boarding home a new church in honour of the Holy Reverend John the Russian. The cryptic church in honour of Saint Blessed Xenia of St. Petersburg, the divine protectress of the church and all of its parishioners. [The previous sentence is not complete] The Divine Liturgy is celebrated weekly, followed by the Akathist to the church’s patron saint. A chapel was also opened in 2013 at Boarding Home No. 4. in honour of the Icon of the Holy Mother of God of Kikkos. A divine liturgy is celebrated on a regular basis, and all willing residents can take part in the sacraments.
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.
We continue to tell you more about the different ministries that we conduct here at Saint Elisabeth Convent. We have already touched upon the topic of bringing God into the lives of disabled children that live in the boarding homes of Minsk.