After the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference ended, Bishop Mykola Bychok, Eparch of Melbourne, visited the parish of St. Andrew in Sydney, Lidcombe, on May 13th. At the beginning of the visit, the Bishop led a Moleben to the Holy Mother of God, which was attended by students, teachers, and parents of the St. Andrew’s Ukrainian School in Sydney. In his speech to the children, Bishop Mykola emphasized that it is essential to have reference points in our lives, and the true reference point for us in our spiritual life is the Holy Mother of God, to whom the month of May is dedicated and who is the best example of motherhood. Also, on the occasion of celebrating Mother’s Day, the Bishop reflected on the importance of a mother for every person, whether an adult or a child. The Bishop encouraged all children to make a pleasant surprise for their mothers and thus honor them on Mother’s Day.

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After the prayer, the Bishop visited the  St. Andrew’s Ukrainian School  and attended a concert dedicated to Mother’s Day, which was prepared by the students.

In the evening of the same day, Bishop Mykola visited the St. Mary’s Cathedral. Here together with the Catholic clergy, he served the Holy Mass, and then a Holy Procession was held on the occasion of the 106th anniversary of the miraculous apparition of the Mother of God in Fatima, which began on May 13th, 1917. The Bishop said that about one and a half thousand believers gathered for the prayer: “Each of the laypeople present offered sincere prayers to the Mother of God in their intentions. I prayed to the Most Holy Theotokos to end the war and for peace in Ukraine.”

It is interesting that in the Cathedral of St. Mary, as a sign of support for Ukraine during the war, there is an icon of Jesus Christ in the left side nave, which was presented by Cardinal Joseph Slipyj to Cardinal Gilroy, then Archbishop of Sydney, in 1969. This icon was painted by father Juvenile Mokrytskyi.

On May 14th, Bishop Mykola, Eparch of Melbourne, together with Fr. Simon Ckuj, Protosyncellus of the Eparchy, visited the church of St. Volodymyr in the city of Wollongong, which is not far from Sydney. In this church, the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was celebrated together with the parishioners. The Bishop addressed the gathered people of God with the following words: “Sunday’s Gospel about the Samaritan woman shows us, so to speak, the meeting of two worlds: material and spiritual. The Samaritan woman who came to draw water at the well, and who perhaps was more concerned about the temporal and did not pay attention to the eternal, is an example, in fact, of the material world. Instead, Christ, in a spiritual conversation with the Samaritan woman, shows her and us that there is something more than temporary food – Jesus Christ, who is the Eternal Source and who can quench any thirst and give eternal joy in spirit and truth, which comes from communication with God.”

After the end of the Divine Liturgy, a celebratory dinner was held, which was attended by parishioners of the church, as well as other guests who came for this holiday.