St. Olga’s Convent in Lugansk damaged from shelling, sisters evacuated





July 2014

The holy convent reports: “Today, July 11, 2014, has been the most difficult day for our convent and for the city of Lugansk.

“According to city residents, many civilian people have been killed or injured as a result of the bombing. Since 11:00, active shelling of the Lugansk regional clinical oncologic dispensary and (situated on its territory) the St. Olga’s Convent has begun.

“After the first volleys the convent sisters and clergy stopped the reading of Akathists and services of need and managed to get to the bomb shelter. There they spent three bad hours in anxiety and prayer. The violent shaking of the walls and ceiling of the shelter showed just how powerful and close the explosions were.

“As they left the bomb shelter, a horrific scene, all in smoke, opened up in front of them. One shell had hit an outbuilding of the convent church where the dispensary’s sterilization department was located. Other shells obviously exploded nearby as well, as roofs of the church and the convent buildings had been damaged by the explosions and shrapnel. To everybody’s joy and amazement, there have been no other and more serious damages and destructions.

“Rector of the church and confessor of the convent Archpriest Andrei Dubina, taking into account the real danger to the sisters’ lives, decided during a lull in the combat operations to evacuate them together with a part of the clergy from the city to the nearest convent dependency.

“A Vigil service to the feast of Holy Apostles Peter and Paul was celebrated with special awe at the Church of The Presentation in the Temple of our Most Holy Mother of God in the Krasnoye village. After the service the clergy, praising the Lord’s Passions, with prayers for the Lugansk region and all Donbass residents, climbed the Holy Mountain and venerated a Precious Cross of the Lord, erected on its top.

“Evening prayers for everyone were filled with pain and concern for their brothers the priests, who remained in the city to provide spiritual guidance to the flock”.