Grozny, March 4, 2013
Poor residents of the town of Grozny, Chechnya will be given free dinners in the only Orthodox Church of this town, dedicated to Holy Archangel Michael, according to the “Tserkovny vestnik”.
At the moment, about 100 parishioners are in particular need of help—these are mainly elderly people who survived the Chechen war, they are lonely and many of them don’t receive a pension because of bureaucratic problems with their documents. They have neither the desire nor possibility to leave their native town, but support from their Russian-language brethren is very important for them.
Dinners have been arranged weekly, beginning from the feast of the Meeting of the Lord. At the first dinner more than 50 residents of Grozny gathered in the parish refectory which has been opened very recently on donors’ funds; for them it was a real holiday.
“For the most part, of course, they are pensioners, people from a nursing home, several children. Some of them could take part in a holiday party for the first time for many years,” said the Rector of the Church, Priest Gregory Kutsenko. “The main things our elderly parishioners here are suffering from are loneliness and lack of human sympathy. Even their hard economic conditions are not taken so dramatically by them. So we are now trying to arrange for them exchange of letters with volunteers.”
Funds for food have been raised with help of young parishioners from Moscow parishes. The coordinator of this charitable action who herself is a native of Grozny, during her trips to Chechnya also brings Orthodox literature to her Church from Moscow for the local parish library: Gospels, prayer-books, educational booklets, fiction literature—several dozen book titles in all.
Several years ago, the ruined St Michael’s Church in Grozny went through its rebirth. Now regular services are celebrated here. The Rector is doing his best so that the only Orthodox Church in Grozny should become the place where people always can find not only consolation and spiritual support but also get some material assistance.