New York, September 9, Interfax – Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York urges believers of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia to fundraise for the Svyatogorsk Lavra located in the Donetsk Region of Ukraine.
“I urge you to intensify your prayers for peace in the long-suffering Ukrainian land, to provide all possible assistance, and collect donations for the Svyatogorsk Holy Dormition Lavra, which became home for many refugees. The deadline of the collection is the end of October,” the metropolitan said in his address to believers posted on the website of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
The hierarch noted that the Svyatogorsk Laura, which “has always been a spiritual heart of Eastern Ukraine,” had become “a mercy center for all Donbass.”
“As soon as the fighting broke out, the Svyatogorsk Lavra, with the blessing of the Father Superior of the monastery, Metropolitan Arseny, started taking in civilians whose lives were in danger. The Pilgrims’ guesthouse was given over for housing refugees. In the midst of the warfare, up to 1,000 refugees have lived in the Lavra, the majority of which were also fed in the monastery for free,” the address reads.
The metropolitan says that the Svyatogorsk Lavra hosts 200 people, who, due to various circumstances, find it impossible to return home. Among them are children with their mothers, elderly women, the disabled, and those who have nowhere to return – their houses have been destroyed or it is still very dangerous with continued fighting.
“Plenty of people have been living in the Lavra for two years already. In the beginning of the military conflict, the Svyatogorsk Lavra attracted generous donations: in cash, food, and clothing, but nowadays, the help is limited and extremely rare,” the metropolitan said.