Very Rev. Michael Solomko, President of the Consistory in Australia, who travelled with His Eminence from Canberra; Very Rev. Walentyn Mowtschan and Deacon Walter Slaven (UOC), Very Rev. Fr. Wladimir Zajko (Byelorusan OC), Fr. Evan Battalis (Greek OC), Fr. Boban Vojinovic (Serbian OC), Fr. Doru Bucur (Romanian OC) assisted the Metropolitan, while Fr. Ihor Holovko of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church was in attendance.
In his sermon Metropolitan Antony spoke “of the great call of Christ to follow Him in living the Faith by doing the Commandments of Christ and not just memorizing them for catechetical purposes. Knowing and memorizing the Scriptures is only one side of our Great Faith – living the precepts of the Faith – is what puts our knowledge to test; whether we are capable to being kind, compassionate, all forgiving, etc…”
Following the Liturgy, everyone adjourned to the Orthodox Church Hall for a delicious lunch prepared by the Church Women’s Group. His Eminence Antony blessed the food, and the church choir sang the response. After the meal, the Parish President, Mr. Peter Mowczan welcomed His Eminence to the local parish community with a brief introduction followed by the President of the Ukrainian Association of Western Australia, Mykola Mowczan.
Mr. Mowczan spoke of the war in the Eastern provinces of Ukraine and the recent escalation in aggression in Avdiivka and Mariupol, where 9 soldiers have perished and countless wounded. He also stated that the war has united Ukrainians and given them a single-minded unity unsurpassed in Ukraine’s history. He concluded, “I truly hope that this newly found unity and belief in our nation unites all of us to stand together in our parishes; in our churches across Australia and in the Diaspora so we can be truly united in our love for Ukraine, our love for one another and the love for the Lord who protects our soldiers and our Ukraine!”
After lunch the choir and parishioners entertained Eminence Antony with some belated shedryk's and Christmas carols.
Your Eminence, we thank you for visiting us in Western Australia. You have chosen one of the best periods to be in WA and we hope you carry this warmth and sunshine with you as you commence your return journey home!