On 20th February Bishop Mykola Bychok, Eparch of Melbourne, visited St. Volodymyr’s community in Wollongong, New South Wales.

Before the beginning of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, the Bishop was greeted with much joy and with bread and salt by Fr. Oleh Stefanyshyn and Parishioners.

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During the homily, Bishop Mykola emphasized that “the Sunday of the Prodigal Son on the one hand reminds us that we will soon enter Lent; on the other hand, it reminds us of our sinfulness, because each of us has felt something similar. We know from the history of our own lives how easy it is to fall into sin, but it is very difficult to rise from sin. God, as a merciful Father, awaits our conversion with open arms, granting us His forgiveness.”

At the conclusion of the Liturgy, the Bishop expressed his sincere gratitude to Fr. Oleh for zealous and tireless service and to faithful of the church for working for the benefit of our Church in Australia. This day also marked the 8th anniversary of the Revolution of Dignity. A Panakhyda was celebrated for the Heavenly Hundred and all those who gave their lives for freedom and liberty in Ukraine.

Following the Liturgy, the faithful gathered in the parish hall, where they had the opportunity to indulge in  a delicious lunch prepared by the church council. During the meal, the faithful had a special opportunity to speak with their Pastor.

Bishop Mykola concluded his visit to Wollongong by celebrating a Panakhyda at the grave of the long time pastor of this church, Fr. Bohdan Tomashek.