St. Volodymyr's Parish

Ukrainian Catholic Church

Welcome Guest • Sign Up • Login • RSS
Saturday, 28.1.2023, 7:19 PM
Orphus system
Main » 2014 » October » 8 » Patriarch Sviatoslav sums up his visit to Australia: People wished to hear that our Ukrainian world has a strong future.
8:24 AM
Patriarch Sviatoslav sums up his visit to Australia: People wished to hear that our Ukrainian world has a strong future.

From the 17 to the 30 th September, the Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk realized the pastoral visit to Australia. During the time on our continent, he succeeded in visiting  the majority of the parishes of the UGCC in Australia: Perth, Melbourne, Ardeer, Geelong, Adelaide, Woodville, Canberra, Queanbeyan, Sydney and Brisbane.

In Melbourne and Sydney His Beatitude met with the youth and children, had meetings with academics. He also visited  the Aged Care home for ukrainians, Kalyna Care. In the National capital the Head of the UGCC held meetings in Parliament with representatives of the Government and the Opposition. In every meeting, as he says himself, he endeavoured to impart to people the word of truth and hope.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav shared with the Department of information his impressions of the visit to Australia.

It is a very interesting fact, that I succeeded to see here- how deeply and by blood ties the Ukrainian diaspora of Australia is united with our nation in Ukraine. It was indeed personally experienced that we are one Church.

I hope that I as the Head of the Church, was able to revitalise this unity, strengthen it and to be its visible sign .From another perspective, I was able to see how people in Australia deeply  live out the circumstances in which Ukraine  lives today.

I met a large group of people in every community who experience post-traumatic stress syndrome when they endeavour to do something for Ukraine here in Australia whether by prayer or charitable deeds, collecting donations. They always know exactly for what purpose Ukraine needs these money. So there exists a deep unity.

Secondly, I saw how truly important the Patriarchal Sobor of the Resurrection of Christ in Kyiv is for our faithful in Australia. People recalled their participation in the consecration of the Sobor last year. You think – where is Australia and where is Kyiv? However people came and in all the communities there were people who were present at the consecration. And truly our Sobor is the heart of the Ukrainian world today.

I had the opportunity to thank our people for the support in the building of the Patriarchal Sobor.

At the same time they wanted to hear how the Sobor looks today and what is still needed to be done.

Also many people enquired as to how important the Sobor became as a centre of solidarity especially during the time of events in Maidan. Therefore how important the Sobor is not only for the Kyiv ArchEparchy, but also for the community in Australia.

The next thing that impressed me was how the various Ukrainian organisations, communities, and community institutions cooperate with the Church. I made the conclusion, that when the Church is at the heart of the community, then the community develops more successfully.

When the community is not well churched or does not feel its unity with the parish life of any town, then the foundation of its being is lost. This, for example, was seen in the situation of schools. Where the schools are connected to the parish, those schools grow successfully. As a suitable example I can present the parish school of St. Andrew in Sydney.

Today, it is very important to have such centres, because people who once did not feel the need to belong to a wider Ukrainian community, now in the light of events in Ukraine have begun to come. They seek out such centres where they would be suitably welcomed so that they would feel Ukrainian even in this distant land of Australia.

This visit was especially important for me and for those people who live here. They needed a visible sign of unity with Ukraine .They wished to hear the truth about what happens in Ukraine. More importantly, they needed a ray of hope that our Ukrainian situation, our Ukrainian world has a powerful perspective of its being, existence, and development for the future.

Did you not notice the fact that people on the whole who came here after the Second World War and their descendants cultivate Ukrainian cultural life?

The people who brought their church after the Second World War established the foundations of community, church, and cultural life.

The new migration is not as numerous as that after the war. Here you can see Ukrainians who arrived from Bosnia during the war in Yugoslavia. They joined the community that already existed.

Today I would say that there is a new wave of addition of Ukrainians that have come to this land in the times of independent Ukraine. But I have seen a great effort by the earlier diaspora to find these people and add them to the community.

You spoke with representatives of the Australian government. Did you feel that they supported Ukraine?

I found with all representatives of the government and opposition with whom I met and there were representatives of the federal government, of state governments and local governments of towns where our communities exist. Therefore all on various levels of government were incredibly friendly and in solidarity with Ukraine.

However it was felt that a certain turning point for the attention and friendliness came after the tragedy of the Malaysian airline that was shot down by terrorists in Donbas.

To that time these or other political personnel in Australia were not so confident to express their thoughts on this issue.

However when about 30 Australians perished in the tragedy, the stance on how to react to events in Ukraine immediately changed and Ukraine’s woe became not only Ukrainian. The tragedy that we experience each day touched also faraway Australia.

Thus the Australian government at the present moment on all levels is exceedingly in solidarity with Ukraine. We received the news that the Australian government allocated one million dollars in humanitarian aid to Ukraine to aid in the challenges that our country now faces. The aid will be transferred through the auspices of the Red Cross.

Did you notice at least some care from the Ukrainian government, let us say on the cultural level with regard to the Ukrainian diaspora in Australia?

Unfortunately, any care or interest in the Ukrainian community in Australia does not exist. Quite the opposite, the Ukrainian community here is interested in Ukraine. The Ukrainian diplomatic representation which cannot be termed an embassy consists of only two persons, a temporary consul, and an accountant.

Possibly it will occur when a new era in relations between Australia and Ukraine exists with regard to the establishment of an Australian embassy in Kyiv. Then the embassy itself will develop and cultural ties will be effectively developed on a governmental level. I did not see this at this point in time.

Category: Church's news | Views: 1262 | Added by: abat | Rating: 0.0/0
Total comments: 0
Only registered users can add comments.
[ Sign Up | Login ]