Celebration of the Resurrection of Christ in Darwin

May 7, 2024

During May 3–8, Fr. Ihor Holovko, Synkellos for Clergy of the Melbourne Eparchy, was on a pastoral visit to the city of Darwin, Northern Territory of Australia. The priest travelled to Darwin to celebrate the Feast of the Bright Resurrection of Christ together with the local faithful.

Celebration of the Resurrection of Christ in Darwin

On September 1, 2023, the Melbourne Eparchy of Sts. Peter and Paul switched to the Gregorian calendar, but the Ukrainian community in Darwin this year celebrated Easter according to the Julian calendar. Since Fr. Ihor Holovko, who takes care of the community in Darwin, and is also the administrator of the parish in Perth, such a decision was aimed at the spiritual well-being of the faithful. Thanks to the different dates of the celebration, both communities were able to fully experience the joy of Christ’s Resurrection, participate in the Easter Services, and spend more time with their priest.

On Holy Saturday, May 4, the Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Spirit hosted the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great as well as a solemn procession with the exposition of the Holy Shroud. After the Liturgy, a historic event took place: the baptism of the boy, Oleksandr. The peculiarity of this baptism was that it was the first baptism of a Ukrainian in the Northern Territory of Australia and the first baptism in the Ukrainian Catholic Church in the Northern Territory of Australia.

On Sunday, May 5, the Bright Feast of the Resurrection of Christ, the faithful came in large numbers to the Divine Liturgy, during which they were finally able to sing “Christ is Risen” together as well as listen to the profound homily of Fr. Ihor about the way to the Resurrection.

“For everyone, the path to the Risen Christ is special and individual. Christ, through the cross, embraces the whole world: sinners and saints; those who believe and those who do not believe; the one who fasted and the one who did not fast; those who came on time and those who were late. Christ divides Bread of Life equally for all his children,” noted Fr. Ihor and called, “So today is the time to rejoice, today is the time to have fun, today is the time to understand the victory. The victory of Jesus our Lord over evil, over death, over darkness, through which he brings light and hope for life, hope for victory in particular for our Ukrainian people.”

After the Liturgy, the blessing of the Easter baskets took place in the courtyard of the church, so those present went on a joint picnic to Lake Aleksander, where they continued the celebration in a family atmosphere.

For the community in Darwin, this visit and joint celebration of the Resurrection of Christ were a great joy. The faithful had the opportunity to pray together and receive the Holy Sacraments. Father Ihor also blessed the home of a family of newly arrived Ukrainians. It was a God-blessed time for the Ukrainian Catholics in Darwin, and they look forward to seeing their pastor again.

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