Most Ukrainians in New Zealand have already celebrated Christmas on 25th December.

At the foundation of the parish, the people voted to celebrate Christmas on the new calendar, except for the Mission in Christchurch which wanted to celebrate on 7th of January.

Bishop Peter and local pastor, Fr. Ihor, visited the two communities on 24th and 25th December this year. The Wellington celebration saw people from various parts of Ukraine, Russia, France, and New Zealand. A true migrant community! The celebration had a very peaceful atmosphere about it. The kiss of peace, the many Ukrainian carols, and then the meal together all contributed to a very warm family feeling. Kutia and other Ukrainian dishes were on the menu.

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The same atmosphere was re-created in Auckland on 25th December at the Redemptorist parish church. There is a very clear feeling in our New Zealand mission that the people want to be in church and expect something from the church. This is all the more significant because the people, all relatively new to the country, are slowly becoming a New Zealand Ukrainian community. This is a real credit to Fr. Ihor and all the people in the county.

The prayers of all of us in Australia and indeed the rest of the world are with our neighbours in New Zealand.

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