St. Volodymyr's Parish

Ukrainian Catholic Church

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St. Michael’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, Queanbeyan

Ukrainians began to migrate to Australia following World War Two. The first Ukrainians settled in Canberra and Queanbeyan in 1948-49. The first Ukrainian Catholic priest who served the Catholic community was Father Petro Diaczyszyn, who came to Australia from England in 1952. From 1952 to 1959 Father Diaczyszyn came to Queanbeyan from Sydney once a month and celebrated Holy Mass in St. Gregory’s Roman Catholic Church.

The Sisterhood of Our Lady of Perpetual Help was established in 1960. In the same year the parishioners decided to build their own church. Mr. D. and Mrs. A. Beysiuk donated the land for the building of the church and the plans for the church were designed and donated by architect Mr. A. Lacheta.

The parishioners began construction of St. Michael’s Church in 1963, using their own generous financial donations and unpaid labour. On 14th May 1967, His Excellency Bishop Ivan Prasko consecrated the church.St. Michael's church

On 27th February 1973, His Beatitude Patriarch, Cardinal Josef Slipyj visited Queanbeyan and Canberra and celebrated Holy Mass in St. Michael’s Church. Cardinal Slipyj had survived the horrors of the Soviet Gulag and through the efforts of the Pope in the Vatican was released and deported from Ukraine to Rome in 1963. In 1984, His Eminence Patriarch Cardinal Josef Slipyj died in Rome.

Bishop Ivan Prasko in 1991 invited Bishop Pawlo Wasylyk from Ukraine to visited Australia. During his stay in Australia, Bishop Ivan and Bishop Pawlo celebrated Holy Mass in St. Michael’s Church, Queanbeyan.

Bishop Michael Sabryha from Ukraine visited the Queanbeyan Church in 1993. He came to Australia as the representative of His Eminence, the Patriarch Cardinal Myroslav Ivan Lubachivskyj for the ordination of the new Bishop of the Eparchy, Peter Stasiuk.

In 1998, at the invitation of the Bishop Peter Stasiuk, Bishop Michael Koltun celebrated Holy Mass in St. Michael’s Church during his visit from Ukraine.

In 1999, Bishop Peter Stasiuk and various other Bishops from the Roman Catholic Church celebrated Mass to mark the Golden Jubilee of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Australia.

From 1952 until the present day a number of other eminent church dignitaries and priests from Ukraine, the United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil and Europe have celebrated Holy Mass in the Church of St. Michael.

During the period from 1952 to the present, the following priests performed pastoral duties in the Queanbeyan Church:

P. Diaczyszyn, I. Szewciw, M. Ivancho, D. Seniw, W. Rozek, B. Shemechko, W. Wolochy, Z. Kolomyjec, Z. Racki, O. Stefanyshyn.

All the parishioners of St. Michaels have through time sung beautifully and reverently in the Church. This has been led by Mrs. M. Petriwskyj and Mrs. O. Domitrjak.

From 1960 to the present, Brotherhood Committee positions have been filled at various times by:

Chairperson: J. Stefanchuk, D. Jakimow, M. Grabowski, M. Jacyszyn, B. Kachyckyj, M. Nadurak, O. Domitrjak.

Secretary: M. Nadurak, M. Jcyshyn, O. Domitrjak.

Treasurer: J. Stefanchuk, W. Twerdochlib, M. Grabowski, M. Lytwynsky, I. Hladenkyj, M. Warcholak, M. Barylak, O. Domitrjak.

Committee Members: D. Dzundza, M. Jacyszyn, W. Domitrjak, W. Twerdochlib, M. Warcholak, W. Lytwynsky, S. Lytwynsky, M. Jacyshyn, M. Barylak, S. Jacyszyn, M. Barylak, D. Beysiuk, J. Kussy, O. Petriwskyj, J. Stefanchuk, P. Mychajluk, O. Pukalskyj, D. Jakimow, B. Kachyckyj, E. Biel, J. Kuliszczak, I. Turczyniak, M. Brumerskyj, M. Dumetz, O. Szewczuk, M. Ilyk, F. Jaremczuk, M. Petriwskyj, P. Lutak, D. Lucan, T. Korodaj, I. Hladenkyj.

From 1960 to the present, the Sisterhood of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Committee positions have been filled at various times by:

Chairperson: M. Petriwskyj – 17th January 1960 to 11th March 1979

O. Domitrjak – 11th March 1979 to 1999

Secretary: J. Lucan, S. Jacyszyn, O. Othen, M. Jacyshyn.

Treasurer: T. Warcholak, O. Domitrjak, A. Kachyckyj, H. Biel.

Committee Members: A. Kachyckyj, S. Lytwynsky, O. Lysewycz, M. Nazimek, C. Jacyszyn.

The Brotherhood and Sisterhood together take care of St Michael’s Church and organise various functions, both religious and cultural.

More recently, the number of parishioners at St. Michael’s Church has decreased in size as the first pioneers and settlers from Ukraine depart into everlasting life. Although the younger generation are few in number, they continue to carry on the work and traditions of St Michael’s, ensuring it’s continued existence.