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“A Branch of the Vine of Christ is Growing Here”: Head of UGCC Visits Family-Type Orphanage in Poltava Oblast

June 18, 2024, 16:00 46

On June 17, the Father and Head of the UGCC visited the family-type orphanage “Mercy” in the village of Demenky in Poltava oblast. This orphanage has been under the care of the nuns of the Congregation of St. Vincent for more than 10 years.

“A Branch of the Vine of Christ is Growing Here”: Head of UGCC Visits Family-Type Orphanage in Poltava Oblast

As part of the visit, His Beatitude Sviatoslav presided over the Liturgy at the house of Mercy. During the sermon, the Primate expressed gratitude to the Lord God and the sisters who care for the children in this facility.

“We witness how the body of the Church of Christ is growing on this God-blessed land of Poltava,” said the Head of the UGCC. “Here, thanks to the community of sisters, a branch of the vine of Christ is growing in this village, which is known to few people.”

“Thank you, sisters, for being a true testimony to the loving Mother Church,” His Beatitude Sviatoslav addressed the nuns. “Without Christ, dear sisters, you could never have performed this great work of mercy—the education of your children—had you not lived a deeply spiritual life.”

His Beatitude Sviatoslav also addressed the children who live in the house: “I thank you, dear children, for being green branches on the plant that is the Church of Christ. Thank you for praying, for listening to God’s word, which your sisters teach you. You are growing and in due time each of you will bear fruit.”

The Head of the Church thanked the priests who provide spiritual care for the orphanage. Then, to mark the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Kharkiv Exarchate, His Beatitude Sviatoslav presented Patriarchal letters to the sisters and Fr. Stanislav Bialkovsky, administrator of the parish in the village of Demenky.

After the Liturgy, the sisters and children spoke with His Beatitude Sviatoslav and had a tour of the house.

According to Sister Superior Magdalena, the house of Mercy was founded in 2008. However, for 5 years, the nuns raised funds and made repairs, thanks especially to donors from Canada and Italy.

In 2012, the sisters of the Congregation of St. Vincent adopted their first child, and later five more. Today, four girls live in the family-type orphanage.

“We try to bring up children in the Christian spirit, helping them to find their place in this life,” noted Sr. Magdalena.

It is interesting to note that the oldest child in the Mercy Home, 18-year-old Kira, is a professional athlete and a multiple arm wrestling champion. The girl is not dwelling on her achievements and thanks her sister superior, who is her “mother,” for her constant support and upbringing: “When my own parents abandoned me and we were taken from the orphanage to this home, I wanted to call Sister Magdalena my mother. She has been my mother for 10 years now,” said Kira.

The UGCC Department for Information

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