Having concluded his 14 day quarantine, His Grace Bishop Mykola Bychok has finally been able to pray and meet with the faithful of Saint Andrew’s Ukrainian Catholic Parish in Sydney. It was a great joy for Bishop Mykola, that after a year of waiting he was finally able to minister to his flock.
On the eve of the Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ, Bishop Mykola celebrated Great Vespers, and on the Feast Day – 10 June, he celebrated his first Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Australian soil. Concelebrating with His Grace were Mitred Archpriest Simon Ckuj – Parish Administrator, Parish Assistant Priests Fr Oleh Stefanyshyn and Fr Justin McDonnell and Fr Laurence Foote OP.
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In his homily, Bishop Mykola emphasised that, “the feast of the Ascension of the Lord seems sad at first because Christ visibly leaves the apostles; but at the same time it is a joyful occasion, because the Lord shows the main purpose of our life, which is heaven. On the way to heaven we are not alone – the Lord is with us in His Word and in the Holy Mysteries.”
In conclusion, His Grace thanked the rector of the church Fr. Simon and his assistant priests for their zealous service in God’s Vineyard. Later, the bishop addressed all the faithful with words of gratitude for their prayers and support.
Afterwards, all present had an opportunity to meet and speak with their new bishop. It was a great joy for everyone, because the faithful have been waiting for a long time for their Shepherd to arrive in Australia. May the Lord bless and guide the Eparchy of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul in Australia, New Zealand and Oceania.