In this episode of Questions and Answers the spiritual father of Saint Elisabeth Convent Andrey Lemeshonok answers the following question: "One of my family members has cancer. Their condition is getting worse. How to properly discuss this topic with a terminally ill person?"
Just under 20 years ago our community appeared next to a mental health institution on the outskirts of Minsk. It 'grew' from an Orthodox sisterhood serving in a psychiatric hospital. Today many of the sisters that stood at its origins have put on monastic habits.
All you peoples of the earth/ sing together a hymn of glory/ to the Pure and most Holy Virgin/ from whom the Word of God came to us,/ receiving flesh from Her in a manner beyond understanding./ Let us cry out: Blessed are You among women,/ and blessed is Your womb.
Can we call the beheading of the Righteous Prophet a celebration? In the Russian language, the word ‘celebration’ is from the word ‘idleness’, ‘doing nothing’ and it happens from some event that we are experiencing and such event can not only be joyful but also sad.
Movement is life. We are always in a hurry, racing somewhere. This ongoing race forms a habit that won’t let us stop and see, hear and perceive what is happening now, at this moment. So what’s the whole point of rushing, really? Where are we all hurrying to?
There is so little and so much that is expected of us: to meet with patience and humility the things and people we may not fully like. By leading their lives in prayer, fasting and hard work, the great saints attained the glory of God.
Alexander Sakovich works at the department of Saint Elisabeth Convent responsible for the construction and building maintenance and does obedience at the nursing home for adults with disabilities. We met with Alexander to talk about his path.
For the last five years, the Convent of Saint Elisabeth has been hosting a self-help group, offering support and guidance for the relatives of sufferers from substance abuse. Recently, it also began to work with individuals in co-dependent relationships.