The primary mission of a monastery is prayer. Monks and nuns strive to give up their own wills for the sake of the Lord’s will. Monastics renounce both natural family and personal property. We have only one goal, one desire — to please God. Monasteries pray for the whole world
“The greatest power that the Church has used to transform the world is the power of God’s grace, the power of prayer. This is why monasteries should fully regain their former glory, and, perhaps, increase it. ” (His Holiness Patriarch Kirill)
Being daily confronted with the world’s problems, monastics cannot remain indifferent to the people and stark realities of our world. This monastery responds by directly serving society, primarily through the education of children and adolescents. More generally, the monastery of Saint Nicholas of Solba serves God by serving others, since people need support. Monasteries are needed now more than ever, because only these holy places are able to change the world. They are the salt of the Earth, spoken of in the Gospel. If salt loses its power, nothing can replace it.
Missionary and community service is ordered to bringing the Word of God to all people, leading them to God and to Christian spiritual values. It is to help people when they are suffering, when they are sick and weak. Children need to be educated in the same spirit, building up a capacity to love others that will be sustained for the rest of their lives, ennobling our society.
The primary focus of the monastery’s service to the community is the rearing and education of children and teenagers. In 2007, an orphanage and a secondary school named “The Good School at Solba” opened at the monastery. A professional college under the same name opened its doors in 2015.
A broader mission to the local community has been developed as well. The monastery provides assistance to the elderly, the disabled, and impoverished families with many children living in remote villages in the general area. The monastery has been engaged in this work since the very first days of its existence. We also provide employment opportunities for people living nearby, and local children can study at the Good School at Solba. Area children from large families are transported to religious services. Here, we feed them, study with them, organize vacation time, and take them on educational field trips. During the holidays, village children interact with children in the orphanage, and with the sisters, and learn many things. During Christmas and Easter Week, and on our national May 9th Victory Day holiday, girls and sisters go into the villages to celebrate, with presents, congratulations and singing. This all brings us together, and it softens the soul, bringing us closer to God.
The monastery also works with pilgrims. The primary activity of a monastery is not just receiving pilgrims — giving them meals, a place to stay for the night, and local excursions — but also helping them make their stay at the monastery as useful and productive as possible. This can include attending holy services, receiving the sacraments, venerating relics, joining processions of the cross, and for those who desire it, a monastic obedience. All activities are explained by the sisters in the monastery, in order to communicate the faith. There are also lectures, conferences, movie screenings and discussions, etc. The monastery hosts both permanent and temporary exhibitions, coinciding with major events and holidays.
Saint Nicholas of Solba is located in the very center of the Golden Ring, making it an ideal the ideal base for excursions and pilgrimages to Golden Ring cities: Yaroslavl, Rostov-Veliky, Sergiev Posad, Pereslavl-Zalessky, Uglich, Suzdal, Vladimir and many others. Missionary and educational activities are also carried out through the monastery website, social media, and the weekly newsletter “Solbinskaya Vestochka”, available by email subscription.