Head of the UGCC calls on Australian Ukrainians not to be afraid to visit Ukraine
On September 18, during a visit to Australia, Patriarch Sviatoslav, head of the UGCC, told the Australian Ukrainians in Perth about real events in Ukraine and the spirit of freedom, which Ukrainian are fighting for step by step despite everything. He also spoke about how the war united all Ukrainians in the struggle for the independence of Ukraine.
“Half a million refugees, three thousand dead ... But I have the answer to the question, what our people need,” said the Primate. According to him, the answer to this question was prompted by one of the oldest parishioners of St. John the Baptist Church, Mr. Volodymyr Kania. He told me: “We left nothing except our land and our home church.” Why did he say this? For hope and salvation to Ukrainian people can only come from God today,” said the hierarch.
Bishop Peter (Stasiuk), Diocesan Bishop of the Ukrainian Catholics in Australia, New Zealand and Oceania concelebrated with the Head of the UGCC. The seminarians and teachers of Perth Theological Seminary of the Roman Catholic Church also prayed with His Beatitude.
“Like me, you have been waiting for the arrival of the Patriarch,” Bishop Peter told the congregation in Perth, “and he came. He will talk to us, teach us. I invite you to listen to him.”
The Patriarch thanked the Ukrainian community in Perth for the preservation of Ukrainian traditions of the Christian faith, for their loyalty and love for his church.
The head of the church called on Australian Ukrainians not to be afraid of current events in Ukraine and to come to Ukraine, because our country needs support. “Come to Ukraine. Do not be afraid. We need you. Stay with us,” the Primate of the Church said to the faithful in Perth.
According to the Information Department of the UGCC, the people of the first migration wave who came here just after World War II (1948, 1949, 1950), their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are the parishioners of the church in Perth. And there are not very many Ukrainians who came here within the last 10-20 years. Worship is performed in Ukrainian and English.
The construction of the Ukrainian Church of St. John the Baptist in Perth began in 1959 and ended in 1969. In the mid 1990s, the parish began to decline. Priest Volodymyr Kalynetskyy who has stayed already 18 years in Perth, has saved it. The Ukrainian community has been preparing for the arrival of the Patriarch for several months, and believe that his visit will give their community a "new breath."