Over years of our history, we have established more than thirty workshops. Their products are both useful and pleasing to the eye, and there are several hundred different product names altogether. We bring them with us on our visits, and display them on our stalls during fairs and in our catalogue online. They are available in exchange for a recommended donation, and the proceeds form an important part of our budget. We rely on these funds to finance many of our ministries.
But to us, the workshops are not just about production or marketing. Every item is made by the human hand, and behind every product is the human person. We call people to the Lord and an eternal life in Him. Work is a large part of it. We see work as a means to our spiritual growth and deification, not just an income and a livelihood, as in the secular world. We believe in work that inspires people and empowers them spiritually.
We make a point in hiring people who would otherwise have difficulty finding employment elsewhere. We hope to give our employees the chance to acquire and upgrade their skills and competencies. They can choose from many workshops and occupations ones that best match their interest and ability. Some workshops – such as “Dobrodel" [do-gooder] have a mission to help people with severe mental illness. Many are located at our farmsteads and provide work opportunities for the disadvantaged men and women who live there.
We believe in the salvific and miracle-working power of incessant heartfelt prayer, and do our best to create a prayerful atmosphere in all of our workshops. Incessant prayer of the heart is a necessary ingredient in the production of many church and worship items. Our artisans practise incessant prayer in making church candles, painting icons and laying out mosaics.
Our products have a price, but also a value. Every minute at work and every item made brings us ever closer to our salvation and unity with the Lord.
Artisans from the mosaic workshop of Saint Elisabeth Convent were commissioned in 2021 to decorate the Church of St. Panteleimon of Oasa Monastery in Romania. We asked Brothers Maxim and Mikhail to tell us about their work in Oasa.