Patriarchal day Two – Perth – Western Australia 18 September 2014
The warm Western Australian sun was shining with full force as His Beatitude Patriarch Sviatoslav began his first full day “Down Under”. After a quiet and restful morning His Beatitude, accompanied by His Grace Bishop Peter, Fr Simon Ckuj, Fr. Wolodymyr Kalinecki and Deacon Richard arrived at the Archbishop’s House for a lunch hosted by the Archbishop of Perth, Most. Rev. Timothy Costello DD SDB.
Guests at lunch included Archbishop Emeritus Barry Hickey, Auxiliary Bishop Donald Sproxton as well as members of the Metropolitan Curia, Seminary staff and clergy of the Cathedral Parish. Archbishop Hickey recalled his visit to Ukraine in 1996 as part of the delegation of the Australian Catholic Bishop’s Conference.
Archbishop Costello warmly welcomed Patriarch Sviatoslav not only to the Archdiocese but also to Australia. He expressed his heartfelt prayer that a lasting peace be found in Ukraine and that the Ukrainian people in Australia be strengthened by the visit of the Patriarch.
In his reply, Patriarch Sviatoslav firstly reflected on the tragedy of MH17. “please convey our prayers and condolences to the families and friends of the victims of this terrible act of violence. All of us in Ukraine feel your pain. The victims have become guardian angels for our land” the Patriarch said.
His beatitude went on to say that the current situation in Ukraine can only be solved thru the unity of the Ukrainian people and that the best way to reach a peaceful resolution is thru “forgiveness and reconciliation”
“NATO troops and weapons will not defeat Putin only the solidarity of the Ukrainian people. Putin is not afraid of weapons. Only forgiveness and reconciliation, which he sees as a weakness, will result in victory. Reconciliation and forgiveness are our greatest strength.” The Patriarch said.
The lunch concluded with Archbishop Costello thanking His Beatitude for his visit and inspiring words. “What I take with me is that you are a person of great hope” the Archbishop Costello reflected.
Following lunch, His Beatitude and Bishop Peter visited the Cathedral where they prayed at the memorial for the victims of MH 17.
After a tour of Perth and a visit to King’s Park the Patriarch and his delegation arrived at St John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church for the celebration of the first Patriarchal Divine liturgy of the visit.
A full church awaited the Patriarch and the emotion in the eyes of the faithful. His Beatitude was welcomed firstly Fr Wolodymy and then with bread and salt by Mrs Myroslava Stasiw and Mrs Anna Pidhirna from the outlying community of Northam. The Parish choir was directed by Susana Prushenska. Concelebrating with His Beatitude were Bishop Peter, Fr Wolodymy, The rector and vice rector of St Charles Seminary (all the seminarians were in attendance) and a representative of the Anglican Ordinariate.
His Beatitude preached on the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, reminding all present of the importance of the Holy Eucharist in nourishing the People of God.
At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, His beatitude expressed his thanks for the 20 years of priestly service of Fr Wolodymyr who was celebrating the anniversary of his ordination. He also blessed a ne Icon Cross painted by Fr Deacon Richard for the Church.
The day concluded with a reception in the Parish Hall.