On March 6, on an Archpastoral visit, Bishop Mykola visited the Parish of Our Lady of Protection in Adelaide, South Australia. At the parish house the bishop was met by priests, deacon and children and then in a procession was accompanied to the church.

In front of the Church the Bishop was greeted by youth, and then with bread and salt by the head of the parish council Mrs. Oksana Kosak and Mr. Andrew Olesicky. The choir led by Mr. Stefan Misiajlo beautifully sang “Be the Name of the Lord” and all the faithful entered the church and the Hierarch’s Divine Liturgy began.

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During the homily, Bishop Mykola said: “Tomorrow Lent begins and the Gospel teaches us to forgive our neighbours. Forgiveness is very important in our spiritual life, after which we take the burden of our sins off our shoulders. Every day we say the prayer Our Father: “And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” For many of us, it is almost impossible to forgive in today’s Ukrainian military realities, but on the other hand, it’s not rational. However, only good can defeat evil. Let us enter this fast with forgiveness for ourselves, our neighbour, and even our enemy. ”

At the conclusion of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, Bishop Mykola thanked the priests, the deacon for their dedicated service in the parish and with all those present sang Mnohaya Lita (For many years). It is worth noting that there were a lot of people at the Divine Liturgy, almost as much as for Christmas or Easter.

In turn the priests thanked the Bishop for the joint prayer for Ukraine. Parishioners and all those present wished and sang Bishop Mykola Mnohaya and Blahaya Lita (Many Blessed Years). After that a rite of Forgiveness followed, where everyone apologised to each other.

In memory of the first Archpastoral visit a group photo was taken of everyone present in front of the church. From there the Bishop and the clergy went to the monument for all those who died for the freedom of Ukraine, which is adjacent to the church where they laid flowers to the newest Heroes of Ukraine and prayed for the repose of their souls.

Then all parishioners and guests went to our church hall, where lunch was served and an opportunity to meet with their bishop. Later in the afternoon, the Bishop delivered a speech in Ukrainian and English, during which he spoke about the war in Ukraine, the great need for prayer, and placed special emphasis on the words “God and Ukraine”, which means putting God first, and then according to St. Augustine – everything else will be in it’s place.

Parish lunch ended with the Bishop’s blessing and an opportunity for a catch up with the Bishop.

This post is also available in: Ukrainian