Metropolitan Antony Visits Ukrainian Orthodox Parishes in Australia
Being sixteen hours ahead of the East Coast of the United States of America, His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, fulfilling his archpastoral service, traveled to Australia in order to visit parish communities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Eparchy of Australia and New Zealand.
Upon his arrival to Sydney, Vladyka Antony was greeted by a group of 20 and some parishioners who joyfully chanted “God, Grant you Many Years, Master” at the Sydney International airport, while presenting His Eminence with the traditional gifts of Ukrainian-Australian hospitality.
During the first two days of Metropolitan’s stay in Sydney Metropolitan area, His Eminence visited two parishes of the Ukrainian Orthodox Christians accompanied by Very Rev. Fr. Michael Solomko, President of the Consistory of the Eparchy and Rev. Fr. Michael Smolynets – pastor of the first two Ukrainian Orthodox parishes that Metropolitan Antony was to visit in the first few days of his arrival to Australia.
St. Athanasius Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Grenville was the first one to greet the archpastor on Australian continent. Later in the day, His Eminence visited Protection of the Birth-Giver of God Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Homebush, New South Wales.
In both communities Vladyka was welcomed with a great sense of spiritual anticipation. The prayer services that were offered in each parish community reflected both spiritually uplifting moments and prayers of concern. First and foremost, each parish prayed for their Metropolitan, who recently celebrated his 70th birthday, Name’s Day and the 4th anniversary of his enthronement as a Metropolitan of the Church. Secondly, the communities prayerfully commemorated the tragic loss of life of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians in the most recent escalation of fighting in the occupied Eastern part of Ukraine. In his remarks, Metropolitan remembered numerous heroes of Ukrainian history that sacrificed their lives in the service of their homeland. Among them he mentioned the heroes-students of the battle of Kruty, the sacrifice of the “Heavenly Hundred”. As a sign of unity between the Ukrainian community in Australia with the people of Ukraine, a photo was taken with a group of parishioners, who in such way wanted to send a message that UKRAINE is UNITED – no matter where various immigrations of Ukrainians live across the world, they are united by their Faith and ancestral heritage.
Holding a meeting with the members of the Consistory of the Eparchy, Metropolitan discussed a spiritual rejuvenation steps for each parish of the Eparchy, calling upon the stewards of Christ’s Church to live out their Faith in the world of political, social and moral challenges.
Later in the day, His Eminence departed for the capital of Australia - Canberra, in order to visit the Spiritual Center of Ukrainian Orthodoxy and the parish families throughout Australia.
Additional photos and reports will be posted on the web as they become available from Australia.