The Ukrainian Catholic Church in Newcastle is dedicated to the “Pokrov” or the Protection of the Mother of God. The 14th October is their annual feast day. This year’s celebration will not be soon forgotten.
Bishop Peter Stasiuk visited the parish in which Fr. Paul Berezniuk has been the pastor for about 5 years now. Fr. Paul is a hardworking, very caring, and dedicated parish priest. He has involved many people in the life of the parish and the parish has responded. They know that they are the contact point of involvement for all Ukrainians in the Hunter Valley. There is a renewed sense of determination to keep the parish relevant and engaging.
Young people are participating in the liturgy while many others are involved in making the liturgical life prayerful.
As a sign of this new vibrancy, there is talk to engage parishioners in the Stella Maris Apostolate. Newcastle is a port town. There are many Ukrainian sailors visiting the city daily. They need contact with Ukrainian volunteers from the parish.
There is a desire to have Roman Catholic schools visit the church which is a good example of Byzantine style. This contact is important as it reflects the faith of the migrants who arrived on the” Fairsea” 65 years ago.
There are new local people in the prayer community at present. The parish is welcoming of them.
The parish has plans to introduce an audio visual capability for the hall. Seniors already meet weekly. The hall has become a centre for information, evangelization, and entertainment for the faithful.
Next year’s celebration of the 65th anniversary of immigration to the area will involve many people and require many hours of work. In the new spirit of the parish this co-operation will be a very positive thing.
About 80 people attended on Sunday. The mixture of younger and older people is a real sign of hope for the future.