On the 25th of July, the Cathedral parish of Saints Peter and Paul celebrated its parish feast. Bearing in mind that the Rite of Enthronement of Most Rev. bishop Mykola Bychok CSsR as eparch of Melbourne, it was decided to transfer the celebration of the parish feast to the following Sunday.
However, no one expected that in a few days it would become impossible because the government of Victoria brought in the fifth lockdown of the Covid 19 pandemic. According to the new restrictions there can only be 5 people present in the church.
The feast began with the solemn Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at 9:30 am celebrated by Most Rev. bishop Mykola Bychok, eparch of Melbourne, together with Most. Rev. Peter Stasiuk, bishop emeritus, Very. Rev.Fr. Brian Kelty, administrator of the cathedral and proto-deacon Edward Kostraby.
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Reflecting on the Sunday Gospel about the two possessed men, bishop Mykola said: “They appeared “alive” because they walked, talked, but at the same time they were “dead”, because the were living amongst the dead in the graves. God`s Word today wishes to show us the dramatic existence of many people of present times. A person can be alive but the soul can be dead. Someone can live in the grave of personal fears, various offenses and disappointments, but the most in the grave of personal sins. All these “graves” destroy the person but most of all God`s Image present in the person. The Good News is that even though people can avoid such people, Christ comes to them and heals them”.
Eventually, the celebration of the parish feast continued on Zoom at 12:30 pm, where everyone could gather together as one Christian family. The program was very filled out: we prayed together, sang and greeted each other. In his speech to the faithful, bishop Mykola said: “Today we are celebrating the feast of the Head Apostles Peter and Paul who are the patrons of our Cathedral church and all our eparchy. Therefore, we commemorate these two spiritual giants who fully carried out Christ`s mission to be “fishers of human souls”. When we look closely at the persons of the apostles Peter and Paul, it is possible to see they were different, however they were united by the faith of Christ. We are also different but Christ unites us. It is this that gives us direction in our Christian life”.
Even though, unfortunately, our feast took place again online for the second year, this helped to bring together all our faithful and reminded them that the parish is the place where we meet the Living Christ.