On October 17, in the Cathedral of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, Bishop Mykola Bychok, Eparch of Melbourne, celebrated the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, at the end of which he consecrated the Eparchy of Melbourne in Australia, New Zealand and New Zealand under the Protection of the Blessed Virgin.

Preaching to the faithful, who gathered for prayer thanks to the online broadcast, Bishop Mykola noted: “On the path of spiritual life, we more than once encounter a certain misunderstanding, crisis, disappointment, after which there are more questions than answers. It would seem that we do what we have to do, keep the commandments given to us by the Lord, try to pray, help our neighbours… However, we do not hear any answer – only silence. Each of us has experienced something similar.”

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Continuing the sermon, the bishop said that “When we talk to a person, we want to hear the answer from him; when we kneel in prayer and ask the Lord for certain requests, we also wait for an answer. But unfortunately, very often we feel silence. Although on the other hand we understand God’s incredible love for each person, here with the situation of this woman we see that Christ does not pay attention to her, as if He is completely indifferent to her. However, God very often responds through silence to teach us something.”

At the end of the Holy Liturgy, the Bishop addressed greetings to the four parishes of the dioceses of Geelong, Adelaide, Newcastle and Brisbane on the occasion of the feast of the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin.

In the afternoon at 3 pm on the Zoom platform there was a joint meeting of Bishop Mykola with the parishioners of the cathedral and with the faithful of the Eparchy of Melbourne. The bishop stressed that “Now the whole world is going through difficult times in recent history due to the coronavirus pandemic. We in Australia felt this in a special way, because for several months we are in a lockdown, which completely paralyzed our lives. Often, we feel lonely, forgotten, abandoned and there would be no escape from it; there is no one to rely on. However, the Feast of the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin reminds us that we are not forgotten – the Lord remembers us through his and our Mother. More than once different peoples turned to her for help and protection during trials. The prophet Isaiah says the following: “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands” (Is. 49: 15-16). Let us remember that each of us is written in the hands of the Lord; therefore, we are not forgotten.”

The meeting ended with a common prayer to the Mother of God: “O Mother of God and Patroness of our land! We run to your mercy, we beg for your help, we only trust in you. Accept the Eparchy of Melbourne of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul in Australia, New Zealand and Oceania under your Protection, bless us and keep us as your chosen community. Make us by your prayers to be able to carry out Christ’s commandments. Be with us merciful and loving, always and in the present life, a warm protector and helper, driving away the forces of the enemy, instructing us in order to reach salvation. For we have no other help, we have no other hope but you, Immaculate Virgin! Help us, we hope in you and we praise you: for we are your servants, that we may not be ashamed now, and always, and forever and ever. Amen”.

Holy Mother of God, save us!