On March 27, Bishop Mykola Bychok, Eparch of Melbourne, celebrated the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Mary for peace and security in Ukraine.

This service was concelebrated by Bishop Timothy Costelloe, Archbishop of Perth, Bishop Donald Sproxton, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Perth, Fr. Sean Fernandez, Administrator of the Cathedral, Fr. Ihor Holovko, administrator of the Ukrainian parish in Perth, Fr. Richard Charlwood, assistant priest of the Ukrainian parish, and other clergy and faithful of Perth, Western Australia. Also present at the Liturgy were Bishop Kai Goldworthy, Archbishop of Anglican Church and Fr. Abram Abdelmalek of the Coptic Orthodox Church. The solemn Liturgy began with a procession of clergy.

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Preaching to the faithful, Bishop Mykola noted: “Today, in our Eastern tradition, we venerate the Holy Cross, which is a symbol of patience. To some extent, death seems to prevail when Christ dies on the Cross. But in the mystery of the empty tomb, death is consumed by the victory of life, because Christ rose from the dead. Therefore, the cross is also a symbol of the victory of life over death. Another clear proof of this is the evidence of a birch cross in the village of Pobeda in Luhansk region. In September 2014, after the bombing by the Russian Federation, everything was destroyed, leaving only the large birch cross intact, which was consecrated near the chapel by Redemptorist military chaplains. Later, a church was built on the site, and the birch cross was transported to the Garrison Church in Lviv. Today, the Holy Cross is for us a great sign of our protection and victory of good over evil.

The Divine Liturgy ended with a prayer for Ukraine “Almighty and Only God!”. It should be noted that Bishop Mykola Bychok celebrated for the first time the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Mary in Perth, Western Australia.

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