The Ukrainian community in Tasmania has just experienced a faith filled community building weekend of significant importance. About thirty visitors from the mainland joined the Tasmanian community for 11th-12th June weekend.

Bishop Peter, Fr. Justin McDonnell, Fr. Simon Ckuj, three Basilian Sisters, Stefan Romaniw and his wife, Maru Jarockyj, and the ensemble “Rodyna” joined the local community for the celebration.

The weekend had many aspects to it. Bishop Peter in his remarks introduced the “Year of Mercy”. The icon of the Mother of Mercy was brought from Geelong to the Hobart commemoration. He introduced the Basilian Sisters who this year are celebrating their 50th year in Australia. He sincerely thanked Tony Warwarek for his 12 years of dedication to the Tasmanian church. Fr. Justin McDonnell was introduced as the new parish priest of the community. After the Divine Liturgy, Bishop Peter met with the local faithful to discuss the future religious service which now will happen from Melbourne. It was decided that there will be a divine liturgy twice a month on the second and fourth Sunday of each month.

Mr. Stefan Romaniw spoke from AFUO, introduced Hobart to the many actions which are now ongoing and are planned for the Ukrainian Community in Australia. The newly elected president of the Hobart Community,  Marina Ladaniwskyj, was the Master of Ceremonies for the weekend. The local Labour Senator Catryna Bilyk welcomed all on behalf of the people of Australia. Oksana Boheczko, the SBS radio representative, recorded many interviews and the music for her weekly Ukrainian SBS radio programme.

The weekend began on Saturday evening when all the gathered came together for some music and fellowship. There was dancing, joy, and good cheer from the very beginning.

On Sunday morning, the church service began with the Year of Mercy procession, followed by the liturgy, a barbeque, and the concert. It was very pleasing to see the local artists getting involved. They performed the traditional welcome dance, a duet and then the local choir cheered all with some folk songs. Rodyna then took over and the celebrations ended after 4 p.m. Yes indeed, what a memorable weekend in Hobart! We should do it again soon.

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