Former gymnast and economist, Mother Ecaterina cares for 126 children

By Aurelian Iftimiu


By Aurelian Iftimiu – Mother Ecaterina from St Leontius of Radauti Settlement gave up her career and entered monasticism. She studied to become a nurse and a psychologist and now she takes care of 126 children of all ages at Romania’s largest residential institution devoted to the care of orphans and other children who were separated from their biological families.

Pro TV posted an online video showing one day in the life of Mother Ecaterina.

“Sister Ecaterina is a mother to us. She is a person who saved a lot of lives. She makes us become something in life. She wants to show us that hard things can be easy only if we think they are easy. She has set two goals for us. To learn and be good,” said Maria and Vasilica, two of the children at the Settlement.

While the children carry out their daily activities, Mother Ecaterina watches them non-stop and ensures the forming of their character in their preparation for family life.

“They need to be prepared for their family later on because they didn’t have models, they didn’t have parents. I had children who when I told them about family life, they answered, ‘Sister, but I don’t understand the concept of family.’ They have no model. And it’s very hard. I try to form a person who at some point will have to turn into a father or a mother later on for their own children,” the nun shared.

Besides spiritual care, children are involved in all kinds of preparations and meditations, and the place looks like a center for performance studies. Proof are the showcases decked with diplomas and medals. Everywhere there are rooms where classes are held. And the nun is everywhere, paying attention to every detail.

“When you get involved in a child’s life and find out that something hurts you so much, you feel like it is devastating. But when you have one hundred children and … you can’t let yourself be torn by one. You must leave yourself to others who need it too. And children must feel that if you do not empathize with them you do not get anything from them,” says Mother Ecaterina.

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So far 30 children, all holding diplomas and being skilled, left from the settlement, 10 are in college, and 7 have married, and have their own families.

St Leontius of Radauti Settlement

Founded in 2011, the social settlement in the municipality of Radauti, Suceava County, currently houses 126 children and young people.

It was built at the initiative of the Very Rev. Archim. Iustin Dragomir, abbot of Bogdana Monastery, and is intended for orphans and children coming from disadvantaged families.

The settlement was blessed by His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel on November 6, 2015.

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