Basic support for Benedictine Nuns in Ukraine
Project Code: 438-06-39
As early as the year 1988, and still before the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, the Benedictine nuns ventured to establish a new foundation in Zhytomir, a city of some 300,000 people in East Ukraine. Before the rise of communism, the Sisters had been present on what was to become the territory of the Soviet Union in Ukraine, Belarus and the Baltic region. But in 1946, all these convents were liquidated and most of the nuns fled to Poland. Only a handful lived on in the underground Church.
The establishment of the convent in Zhytomir was an immense challenge. Work was only able begin on the present convent in 1995, and it dragged on for 10 years and more, since it was immensely difficult to obtain the necessary funding. Finally, in 2006, the chapel and the convent were consecrated and entrusted to the protection of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Today, the convent is a magnet for a growing number of young women and girls who come here on retreat. In doing so, they are able to familiarize themselves with convent life and take part in the liturgical prayer and the Eucharistic adoration of the Sisters. They are also able to seek answers to their personal and spiritual problems.
The convent also engages in practical work, such as running an art school for children. There are workshops for sowing and embroidering liturgical vestments and ornaments, for icon painting and for the production of plaster statues. There is also a host baking plant. A further source of income for the Sisters is a garden centre with exotic plants. Depending on their talents and abilities and on the needs of the community, the Sisters are assigned to the various tasks to be done.
All these activities provide the 20 nuns in the convent with the bare minimum to live on. ACN has been helping the Benedictine Sisters for some years now: for the rebuilding work, for the purchase of a host baking machine and with basic subsistence support. Once again this year we would like to make a contribution of $4,000, to help the community make ends meet.
Will you give provide basic support for these Benedictine nuns in Ukraine?