Bishop Peter Stasiuk has issued a decree to create a parish in New Zealand. The parish is to be called “Blessed Hieromartyr Mykolay Charnetsky and the other blessed new martyrs of the UGCC.” In short it will be called “St. Nicholas’ Parish.”
The parish was set up with the advice of the presbyteral council of the Eparchy in accordance with Canon 280 §2 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches. The territory of the parish will be the whole country of New Zealand. The New Zealand Bishop’s Conference was consulted and informed of the decision. In a letter to Archbishop Metropolitan John Dew of Wellington, Bishop Peter thanked the bishops for their constant support of Ukrainian immigrants to New Zealand over the last 65 years. Our Eparchy has been serving our people there all this time. Both priests and bishops have visited New Zealand on a regular basis. Originally about 3,000 Ukrainians settled in New Zealand around 1950. The Bureau of New Zealand Statistics recently stated that today there are a few thousand Ukrainians scattered across the country, with the main Ukrainian population living around Auckland.
In the last few years, our visits to New Zealand have been more frequent. There are choirs, dance groups, a Ukrainian school, and other forms of organised Ukrainian life in the country.
This year the Redemptorist priests visited New Zealand. Fr. Ihor Kolisnyk C.Ss.R, from Lviv, will arrive in February 2015, and will become the first resident parish priest in New Zealand. He will live in the Redemptorist monastery in Auckland.
Bishop Peter Stasiuk has stressed that the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy will have to make annual contributions to support the parish in New Zealand. A car is necessary, as is money for travelling expenses. Our Australian parishes have been informed that their help will be needed. Money has already come in for this purpose.
The Ukrainian residents of New Zealand are excited about these developments.