There was a very nice celebration in Canberra on Saturday 1st March 2014. Many parishioners of the Canberra/Queanbeyan parish gathered to pray and to wish the Mykytyuk family well. It was a prayer of thanks giving.
St. Volodymyr, Canberra, and St. Michael, Queanbeyan, are now one parish under one Parish council and under one parish council president, Mr. Petro Lutak. They still will have separate liturgical services but they are under one pastor, at present, Fr. Andriy Mykytyuk.
On Saturday the parishioners gathered to say farewell to Fr. Andriy and Olesia who have been transferred to Melbourne and will leave soon.
The celebration also included the fifth wedding anniversary of Fr. Andriy and Olesia Mykytyuk, five years of ordination to the priesthood of Fr. Andriy, and also his 30th birthday.
Bishop Peter Stasiuk came from Melbourne; Fr. Paul Berezniuk drove from Newcastle while Fr. Laurence Foote drove over the hill from the Australian National University.
The celebration started with a Divine Liturgy at 12 noon. It was followed by a BBQ and dance. The local Ukrainian orchestra dusted off their instruments which had not been used since the Malanka a few months ago. They were in top form. A number of guests from the Ukrainian Embassy attended and added to the good cheer. It is very pleasing to see how many children there are in the parish. They certainly had a good time.
The parish has grown; it probably has doubled in size in the last five years. The choir is strong and very good. On Saturday, Irene Pellegrino led the choir for the first time in months. She has been on Christmas Island working for the Immigration Department. Ivan Miljenovic has led the choir in her absence.
Bishop Peter stayed for the Sunday services in both parishes. It was Forgiveness Sunday and the Sunday before Lent. The Bishop spoke on the meaning and importance of Lent. In both parishes, the Forgiveness prayers were read in a moving ceremony. On Sunday afternoon Fr. Andriy and Bishop Peter visited some of the parishioners who are house bound.