Parish of St. Andrew in Sydney celebrated the Parish Feast

December 13, 2022, 13:26 6

On Sunday, December 11, at the parish of St. Andrew in Sydney, the Patronal Feast was celebrated. Bishop Mykola Bychok, Eparch of Melbourne, presided over the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in the co-service of Fr. Simon Ckuj, protosyncellus of the Eparchy and parish administrator, Fr. Oleh Stefanyshyn, Fr. Justin McDonnell, deacon Myroslav Vons, the Basilian sisters, and numerous faithful.

Parish of St. Andrew in Sydney celebrated the Parish Feast

Father Oleh Stefanyshyn delivered a solemn sermon on the occasion of the parish feast, in which, in particular, he reflected on the Gospel from Luke, which our church presents on the 27th Week after Pentecost.

“Today’s Gospel,” the father said at the beginning, “combines love, time, and death! Therefore, God’s Love for man is revealed every morning when we open our eyes. This is another chance given to us by God. This man has a good harvest. God took care of it. It is clear that it was God’s gift. Only man attributed everything to himself, including time: ‘you have ample goods laid up for many years’. And then death came…”

Then the father noted that when a person attributes everything to himself, forgetting that everything is a gift from God, then death comes: “I do not mean physical death, but rather spiritual death. It seems to a person that he has become the owner of everything: and love, time, and even death. At most, she doesn’t think about her.”

In conclusion, Father Oleh reflected on the figure of St. Andrew the First-Called Apostle, in whose honor the parish feast is celebrated today. The father said: “The figure of this apostle is very interesting. It was he who was called by Christ first, after which he left everything and followed Him. Saint Andrew was forced to change the life of a fisherman to the life of preaching the Gospel. We know that Saint Apostle Andrew was the first Archbishop of Constantinople, but also, according to legend, the Apostle Andrew was in the Kyiv mountains and gave God’s blessing saying that the Church of Christ will be here. Today we pray to Saint Andrew, asking God for peace for our country.”

After the end of the Bishop’s Divine Liturgy, a prayer for Ukraine “God is great, one” was heard. Therefore, the consecration of water took place in the churchyard. After that, Bishop Mykola, together with the fathers and the faithful, went through the Procession of the Cross around the church with the relics of Saint Andrew. Near the four sides of the church, the Gospel was heard in different languages: Ukrainian, Greek, Church Slavic, and English. In a special way, they sacrificed this Procession of the Cross and prayer for peace in Ukraine. In the end, everyone returned to the church, where Bishop Mykola blessed the faithful with the relics of the Saint Apostle.

The celebration of the temple holiday continued in the parish hall, where a festive feast was held. Special guests at the celebration were representatives of the Ukrainian Embassy in Canberra — Mr. Volodymyr Shalkivskyi and Mrs. Lyudmila Andrienko. The performances of children from the Ukrainian school at the parish of St. Andrew enhanced the holiday atmosphere. With carols and a nativity scene, the children filled the audience with warmth and joy, bringing the good news that God himself would soon be born.

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