In recent years the St. Elizabeth Convent in Minsk, Belarus has been constructing a church in honor of St John of Shanghai and San Francisco on the territory of the National Mental Health Centre in Novinki in Minsk which sees 25,000 patients annually from throughout Belarus.
This church is very important for those who undergo treatment in the psychiatric clinic—as soon as it is opened, patients will have the opportunity to receive both spiritual and physical healing by participating in prayer, the Holy Mysteries and regular services.The church is named in honor of St. John because he dedicated his entire life to serving other people, including the sick, and he was known to often visit the sick in hospitals and has worked numerous miraculous healings.
Speaking of the vision for the church, Archpriest Andrew Lemeshonok states: "This church should really be like an outpost of Heaven, because here one sees grated windows and hears the moans and screams of the patients."
Psychiatrist Dr. Pogotskaya explains the need for the church: “When and individual falls ill, he always moves towards God more intensely. Mental diseases are diseases of the soul, and they are so closely intertwined with the diseases of the spirit that sometimes the border between them disappears. This is why this kind of cooperation is more important for psychiatry than for any other branch of medical science.”
Eugene Nekrasov, a former patient testifies: “When you have to stay in the hospital for a long time, a visit to the church is like a breath of fresh air because you escape the usual routine, not to mention the spiritual help you can get in the church.”
Your support and prayers for the successful implementation of this construction project are greatly appreciated. Please consider making a donation to this philanthropic project and visit the Facebook page dedicated to the building of the church of St. John.
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Below is a video detailing the story and construction of the church of St. John at the National Mental Health Center, followed by various images from the construction progress and the first Liturgy celebrated in the unfinished temple:
Please click the image to view the video.
The First Liturgy in the Unfinished Church of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco, 2014