“Confession of a former novice”: how women with children live in a monastery19.09.2022
“Moms” are women with children whom their confessors have blessed for monastic deeds. Therefore, they came here, to St. Nicholas Chernoostrovsky Monastery, where there is an orphanage “Otrada” and an Orthodox gymnasium right within the walls of the monastery. Children here live on a full board basis in a separate building of the shelter, they study, in addition to basic school disciplines, music, dance, and acting. Although the orphanage is considered an orphanage, almost a third of the children in it are by no means orphans, but children with “mothers”.
“Moms” are in a special account with Abbess Nikolai. They work on the most difficult obediences (cowshed, kitchen, cleaning) and, like the other sisters, do not have an hour of rest per day, that is, they work from 7 in the morning until 11–12 at night without rest, the monastic prayer rule is also replaced by obedience ( work). They attend Liturgy in the church only on Sundays. Sunday is the only day when they are allowed 3 hours of free time during the day to communicate with the child or relax. Some of them live in the shelter not one, but two, one “mother” even had three children. At meetings, Mother often said to this: “You must work for two. We are raising your child. Don’t be ungrateful!”