From February 27 to March 15, Bishop Mykola Bychok, Eparch of Melbourne, and Fr. Andriy Mykytyuk, Syncellus for Laity affairs, were on a pastoral visit to New Zealand. The mission began with a visit to the southern island, where they stayed from February 27 to March 7; and thus began the pastoral visits to the northern island from March 7 to 15.

After arriving in Auckland, the bishop and father continued their mission, visiting Ukrainians in the cities of Wellington, Hamilton, Rotorua, and Waikanae, where they had the opportunity to meet Ukrainians, talk, rejoice and just be together.

On Friday, March 9, Bishop Mykola officially met with Cardinal John Dew, Archbishop of Wellington. Also on this day, there was a meeting with Archbishop Novatus Rugambwa, the papal nuncio to New Zealand. At these meetings, the bishop discussed issues of cooperation, and assistance to Ukraine and Ukrainians, and thanked New Zealand for its support.

Therefore, on Saturday, March 11, in the Church of the Mother of God in Wellington, the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was held, at which Ukrainians gathered who prayed together for peace in Ukraine, for all the fallen, and also remembered two New Zealanders who died in the war in Ukraine.

In his sermon, Bishop Mykola emphasized the importance of the fact that Christ heals – first of all, he heals our soul, then our body. Therefore, we should come to Him and draw from the healing that He gives us.

On Sunday, March 12, the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was held in Auckland at the Church of the Mother of Perpetual Help, during which the bishop conferred the Mysteries of Christian initiation on a new member of the Christian family – Mark.

In his sermon, Bishop Mykola emphasized that it is very important to have friends. Just as the person who was relaxed from the Gospel passage from Mark had four friends who brought him and placed him before Christ, so Ukraine in difficult times has many friends. Each of us, who does his work in the place where he is, becomes part of those friends who help Ukraine to bring peace as soon as possible.

After the Liturgy, the faithful gladly took the opportunity to talk with the Bishop and Father Andrii in the parish hall.

On Monday, March 13, Bishop Mykola and Father Andriy met with representatives of the Ecumenical Council of Auckland. The meeting was organized by representatives of the Anglican Church. Among those present were representatives of the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, as well as the Melkite Greek Catholic Church. At the end of the meeting, everyone together prayed the prayer “God, great, one”, as well as a psalm and “Our Father” for victory and peace in Ukraine.

Therefore, on Tuesday, March 14, at the invitation of Father Jean Paul, who is the pastor of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church in Auckland, Bishop Mykola, and Father Andriy came to a joint prayer in the evening, where they had the opportunity to pray with the numerous faithful of the Melkite Church, as well as other Eastern Catholic churches. who join the prayer in this temple.

This ended the two-week pastoral visit of the Bishop Mykola and Father Andriy to New Zealand.