Vesnovo, Belarus, June 20, 2019
The great patron saint of Ireland will soon be the patron saint of roughly 170 disabled children in a village in Belarus.
Construction on the Church of St. Patrick at the Vesnovo boarding school for disabled children in the village of Vesnovo in central Belarus is already underway, while the laying of a memorial capsule at the foundation of the church will be celebrated tomorrow by His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim of Bobruisk and Bykhovsky.
The church will be the first in the Moscow Patriarchate to be dedicated to St. Patrick, reports sobor.by.
St. Patrick is, of course, one of the most beloved saints of the pre-schism Western Church, and his name was officially added to the Menaion of the Russian Church by decision of the Holy Synod in March 2017, along with several other notable Western saints.
Transportation is difficult for some of the students, given their disabilities. The presence of the church on the territory will help to fulfill the spiritual needs of both the children and adults living at the school, giving them an opportunity to attend services and participate in the Sacraments of the Church.
Irish charities have been providing humanitarian aid and financial support to Belarusian children and invalids since the 1990s, and are now working with the boarding school in Vesnovo to implement projects helping to socialize children with disabilities to help restore their capacities. Nurses and teachers are working at the boarding school to improve the quality of care and rehabilitation activities on a permanent basis.
Representatives from the Irish charities have been regular guests at the boarding school, always bringing gifts such as computers, money for furniture, and much more. They have even built housing for young men who have reached adulthood.
Consecrating the church in honor of St. Patrick, the Belarusian faithful thus express their gratitude to the Irish benefactors. It is thanks to the homilies and missionary labors of the holy hierarch that there are such caring people in Ireland today, said Archpriest Michael Lazovsky who provides spiritual care to the boarding school.
Today, about 170 people live in the school. The school has a good material and technical base, with necessary equipment and a team of like-minded professionals and a beautifully landscaped territory. The school provides the necessary conditions for safe and comfortable living for its pupils, with focused work on their training and leisure activities. All the students receive the necessary sustaining and preventative treatments.
Get a glimpse of the facilities and life of the children at the boarding school in this local newscast from December 2017:
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