In 1998, the Convent acquired from the local authorities a parcel of land outside the village of Lysaya Gora designated for ancillary farming. Soon, the monastic farmstead was established, giving shelter to people in difficult life situations, the homeless, former prison inmates, sufferers from alcohol or drug dependency, and people with disabilities. Some 170 residents are staying at the farm at present, working under the supervision of the monastic sisters. The Convent provides them with essential clothing, food, personal hygiene items, medicines and other necessities.
The men work at the animal farm (looking after cattle, swine and poultry), in the fields (growing a variety of crops, in the garden and orchard looking after the fruit trees, raspberries and currants), in the greenhouses, at the apiary, in the dog kennel, and at construction sites.
They have weekly meetings and talks with a priest. Every Wednesday, an Akathist is read to the Icon of the Holy Mother of God “Inexhaustible chalice”. A liturgy is celebrated on Saturday, and vespers on the eve of every Sunday. Sunday classes are offered to all residents interested and willing to lean about the foundations of the Orthodox faith.
We can only see God in another human. When we continue to look for Him tirelessly and plead fervently for His mercy, He will reveal Himself to us. God restores man to His magnificent image with the power of His love in Church.
We theorise, philosophise, or find comfort in psychology, only to find ourselves entrapped more deeply in our sins and infirmities. If only we were humble enough to cry out to the Lord, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"
The main product of the textile and felting workshop are original hand-made toys.
With so many nice things about Christmas, its joy is easy to recognize. Yet it is much harder nowadays to see Christmas as a miracle. In our rational world, we have become too accustomed to putting everything to the test of reason.
Like no other period of the year, the Lenten weeks stand out for their fullness, intensity and depth of religious feeling. They are our journey back to God and our own selves.
As we approach the New Year, we have asked the heroes of this article to share their memories of celebrating this popular family holiday and to reflect on the role that it plays in their lives today.
The Gospel teaches us that our circumstances do not exist by chance but instead by intention for our good (Ephesians 2:10). Today, we talk to Nun Elisabeth from Germany about her progress towards God, the Orthodox Faith and monasticism.