Ministry of St.Elisabeth Convent
It is 5:30 a.m. November 22, Minsk at the student dormitory. Some windows are shining in the morning darkness, and the doors of the dormitory of the Medical University are still closed. We knock on the door, and a sprightly warden opens it for us and invites us to go up on the second floor, where the hours are being read already.
The students, the teachers, the sisters of mercy and the nuns are standing in a small room. Having finished confession, Father Andrew Malakhovsky approaches to the altar-table, on which a Gospel, a cross and an antimension are lying... Everything necessary has been brought from St. Elisabeth Convent. The silence is broken with the words “Blessed is the kingdom…”, and the liturgy begins.
It is a first time that a liturgy is served in the student residence. A home-church has been organized at the medical university dormitory №10 thanks to the efforts of the Sisterhood of St. Elisabeth Convent and Anatoly Sikorsky, the rector of the university. At the will of the students, it was decided to name the church in honor of St. Elisabeth.
“St. Elisabeth is a great example for all future doctors”, says Maya Supron, a graduate of the university, who is undergoing an internship training in surgery. “Martha and Mary Convent, organized by St. Elisabeth, shows the example of the true ministry and service to the people in need, when the heart of a person is filled with kindness, it can take a lot of people’s pain, suffering, and can help and warm those who are ill, so that they can find God. We are glad to know that this great Saint will be our patron”.
Some years ago Maya told her friend that it would be great if there was a church in the dormitory. They both had no idea that their dream would come true so soon. There is nothing impossible for God. God hears everyone.
“An event on a universal scale has happened today”, says Father Andrew. “Such miracles happen, when the will of God coincides with the will of the people. Our own effort means a lot as well, but nothing can change or happen without the will of the Lord. God help us, make it possible that such miracles happen more often, and strengthen us on our Christian path. There are a lot of difficulties on this path, but we should be thankful for what we have. We have Christ and hope in the Kingdom of Heaven. Today, on the feast day of the icon of the Mother of God the Quick to Hearken, I was standing at the table of oblation and asked Her that this affair would continue. God willing, it will be great to serve a liturgy here once a month.
Perhaps, there is no man who is indifferent to any good affair. And there is no faithful man, who does not understand, what the first liturgy means.
Sister Marina Yaskevitch, who serves in the educational institutions of Minsk for many years, says that the first liturgy is just like Easter, when the soul celebrates the victory over death. “Someone may think that a liturgy for 20 people is a small event”, - gasps Sister Marina, - “But I wish to believe, the majority of people will agree that it was a very important event on a large scale. What is more, I wish to believe that all the future doctors, in whose hands are humans’ lives, think like that.
Maya Supron, a future surgeon, supports Sister Marina. She thinks that the youth reaches to God, and the purity of hearts of those of them who visit the discussions, molebens and liturgies, deserves respect. Everyone who attended liturgy on that morning could see it for himself.
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