On Saturday morning, February 1, 2020 – the feast day of St. Makarius the Great of Egypt, His Eminence Archbishop Daniel visited Dormition of the Birth-Giver of God Ukrainian Orthodox parish in Balaklava (Melbourne area, Australia), where Archimandrite Onufriy serves as a pastor of the community.
Two days earlier, on January 30th, Vladyka Daniel arrived to Melbourne, Australia in order to begin 22 day Archpastoral visit of the parish communities on the Eastern Coast of Australia.
With temperatures of 109F, the archpastoral visit provided spiritual relive for those in Melbourne area who for the past several days have been experiencing extremely hot weather conditions, which contributed to numerous bushfires across Australia, especially in Canberra, the Australia Capital Territory – where the Center of Ukrainian Orthodoxy is located.
His Eminence traveled to Australia with the blessing of the Prime hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA and Diaspora – Metropolitan Antony. Having arrived to Melbourne, Vladyka Daniel was welcomed at the Melbourne International airport by the President of the Consistory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Eparchy of Australia and New Zealand Very Rev. Fr. Michael Solomko, Fr. Vasyl Kasyan, Mr. Michael Korniychuk and Helen Bondaruk of the Pokrova of the Mother of God Ukrainian Orthodox parish in Essendon.
The very first archpastoral visit was scheduled way in advance to the Dormition of the Birth-Giver of God Ukrainian Orthodox parish in Balaklava, where Ukrainian Orthodox Christians – immigrants of the past and most recent years from Ukraine and other countries found their spiritual home under the leadership of Archimandrite Onufriy.
Welcoming Archbishop Daniel to the parish’s sacred space, both Fr. Onufriy and younger parishioners expressed sentiments of profound joy as Vladyka makes his very first visit to the parish community. Responding to the words of welcome, Archbishop Daniel called upon those in attendance to join him in offering intercessory prayers for the people and nation of Australia, as bushfires continue to spread throughout the country, injuring people and animals, destroying natural habitat and town communities.
During the Archpastoral Divine Liturgy, Vladyka Daniel delivered a sermon to the congregation, calling upon everyone to “Increase in Faith” (Lk 17:5) by living righteously and responsibly as Christians, those that are called to carry the torch of Faith in times of a very secular world that often by its moral and social standards contradicts the very basic notions of human life and its sanctity.
Following the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, the ladies of the parish treated all in attendance to refreshments, thus providing time for a very warm and informal time with the hierarch of the Church.