Our Icon-Painting Workshop: How It Began

It is a lively Autumn morning. At two minutes to nine, a crowded city bus pulls into the bus stop near Saint Elisabeth Convent. It is the middle of the rush hour. All are hurrying to work. But some among the crowd is particularly eager. They are rushing ahead of the rest towards the Convent. “Careful, Tatyana! Do not break the heels of your shoes,” jokes a brother, also on the run. Another sister is anxious: “Where is my headcover? Did I leave it at home? Take it out, quick!” Many are being late for work, but only the iconographers are running to be on time. They have a disciplined and demanding supervisor, Father Sergius, who is always upset when his people are late. The working day at the workshop starts at nine when everyone reads the canon to Venerable Father Saint Andrey Rublev. As they welcome visitors and show them around the workshop, the sisters will always say: “An iconographer’s day starts with a prayer”. They are right. The door of the workshop opens and closes every now and then as the late iconographers are coming to the measured reading of the irmoses and singing of the troparions.

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1st September at Our School

Here in Belarus, the new school year always starts on the 1st of September. This year was no exception. This week, we are delighted to announce that the children have celebrated the first day of school and started learning. More excited is the fact that we also welcomed many new students to our Ichthys family.

None of this would be possible without your help!

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Unconditional Love

Things can be different. When you see a person for the first time, you hug him, notice the sincerity in his eyes, and feel that he has taken away your heart. And it’s fine that he took it. And it is not a pity, and it is not scary, and you feel such ease and warmth with that wonderful person! Finally, the emptiness of hectic everyday life is filled with something light and profound. YOU ARE LOVED unconditionally and without reservations, just because YOU are there, YOU are needed…

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The Church in Honor of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco Is Consecrated!

Driving on the Minsk Ring Road, you can’t help noticing a shining golden dome from afar. That is the new church in honor of Saint John of Shanghai built on the territory of St. Elisabeth Convent. The nuns of the Convent have carried out their ministry in the National Applied Research Center of Mental Health for the last twenty-five years. This church connects the hospital to the adjacent Convent. The church was built precisely for the patients of the Center and on its territory. The National Applied Research Center of Mental Health is one of the largest psychiatric hospitals in Europe. It provides psychiatric care for several thousand patients. Continue reading “The Church in Honor of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco Is Consecrated!”

The Dog’s Chance: How Nuns Save the Lost at the Men’s Rehabilitation Center

More than two hundred homeless or alcohol-addicted men gather on a farm 19 miles from Minsk during the winter, where they are supervised by just a couple of sisters from St. Elisabeth Convent.

“I feel I can’t cope with all that,” Sister Joanna, one of the nuns of St. Elisabeth Convent, admits. She is entrusted with an obedience at Lysaja Hara, the rehabilitation center run by St. Elisabeth Convent and located 19 miles from Minsk. It is a place where men who found themselves in a difficult situation—the homeless, drug and alcohol addicts, or generally those who lost their path in life—can come and stay. Continue reading “The Dog’s Chance: How Nuns Save the Lost at the Men’s Rehabilitation Center”