Orphanage of St. Nicholas Mercy Town
in Krykhivtsi, Ivano-Frankivsk
by Sisters Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara
“St. Nicholas Mercy Town” was founded in Ivano-Frankivsk in 2004 by the Religious Institute of “Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara” (the women’s branch of the Incarnate Word Religious Family) with the purpose to take care of the people in need, those who are discarded by the society and have no place to live and nobody to get support from.
In 2002, at the beginning of our foundation in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine, we did not even planned to start a house of mercy. But God planned for us when one day a man together with a pregnant 16-year old girl knocked at the door of our convent in Ivano-Frankivsk and said: “Please, help Iryna (it was her name) to give birth to her baby. She is an orphan and has no home where to go”. And we answered “Yes”. So, Iryna started to stay with us. Several months later her friend Olga, from the same state boarding house and also pregnant, appeared and knocked on our door asking for help. And we again said, “yes”. And yet a few months later, our neighbor, a 5-year old girl Katia, came up to us and asked to stay with us as her mom was a drunkard and a drug addict. And Katia also stayed with us…
Then, we realized that God wanted something more from us – to help these people in a better way. In 2004, with the help of one American benefactor, we purchased a house and designated it for the people who were in need and called it St. Nicholas House of Mercy. At that time, there were nearly 70 people in the House (single mothers and their children, orphans, street children, elderly women and 4 Sisters who organized and ran the house). It was like in a Ukrainian fairy tale “Rukavychka” (‘A Glove’) where there were many characters in a tight small place. Nevertheless, we all were very happy to help the people.
Nowadays all the members of St. Nicholas Mercy Town are divided into three groups:
1. Single mothers with their kids in Horokholyna, Ivano-Frankivsk Region;
2. Elderly women in Ternopil;
3. Orphans and Children from problematic families who live in our house in Krykhivtsi (Ivano-Frankivsk).
In Krykhivtsi, we have 34 children now. The youngest is 2 year old and the oldest is 18 year old. During these years we had more than 150 children. They live with us with the permission of the state or their parents (if they have them) that usually have serious problems with alcohol or drugs or really disastrous economic situation and, consequently, cannot give their children a decent life and education. We do not take legal rights from the parents hoping for their conversion. In fact, we have had two mothers that gave up drinking in order to save their children; staying with us is a chance for them). Twelve of our children are little kids. For them, we have something like kindergarten, where they can stay during the day. Others are students at a local school. Sisters are in charge of the orphanage: they take care of the little kids, do homework with the older ones, teach them prayers, watch their behavior, organize their cultural, sport and healthy recreation, etc.
If you would like to donate for the orphanage, single mothers with children or elderly women house, your contribution will be appreciated very much by the Sisters. You may write your check to: Orphans in Ukraine (for orphanage) or Special Needs in Ukraine (single mothers with children or elderly women), and mail it to our chancery address:
810 North Franklin Street
Philadelphia PA 19123
You will receive a formal Thank you letter and a receipt, which can be used for tax-exempt purposes. Thank you! May God bless you!