Fr. Iurii Tychenok has arrived in Australia and has been installed as administrator of the Ukrainian Catholic Parish in Geelong on Sunday, 22nd December 2019.

Fr. Iurii, his wife, Mariya and sons, Yuriy, Svyatoslav and Julian, came to Australia from the Canadian Eparchy of New Westminster, the city of Prince George which is about 1000 km north of Vancouver. They know about ice and snow. No wonder that the boys favourite sport is ice hockey.

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The parish church was full for the welcome of the new parish priest. The parish has been without a full-time parish priest for about 18 months.

Bishop Peter introduced Fr. Iurii, who is 39 years old, and in the five years in Canada learned English very well.

Bishop Peter especially thanked Deacon Michael Kaminskyj who in fact was the Parish administrator for the last year and a half. He took on himself the responsibility to make sure that everything in the parish was in place. Besides, there was a time when our Ardeer parish was also without a priest as Fr. Zenon Chorkawyj was not well. From the applause from those in the church, it was evident that everyone really appreciated his dedicated service.

Bishop Peter also thanked Fr. Andriy Mykytyuk and Fr. Zenon Racki for their service in the last 18 months as well.

After the Divine Liturgy, everyone moved to the parish hall. Mr. Peter Borowok, president of the parish council, led the programme. He properly thanked all for their help in keeping the parish running while no permanent priest was available. The parish has a very strong parish council.

Leaders of various church and community organizations welcomed Fr. Iurii as well. There was a real atmosphere of joy and celebration present. The lunch was a big banquet. The hall was full of singing and good cheer.

Fr. Iurii and his family were very moved by the reception from the parish community. The children were soon outside meeting their new friends and playing in the yard.

It is obvious that spiritual leadership is very important in our community.