Fr Paul Berezniuk led an animated discussion around the differences and similarities between Eastern and Western Catholic rites. Some key differences include ceremonies and celebrations in traditional Ukrainian style and a strong use of iconography. Icons are used to express the teachings of the Church with a message of salvation, while dramatic music and actions are used to demonstrate what God has in store for us in heaven.
Fr Paul extended an invitation to the wider community to come along and celebrate Mass with the Ukrainian community, and closed with a beautiful baptism prayer:
Here is your child. You hold his future from now to eternity. In the eyes of God, your work is the wondrous task of being a mother. It is an important task. It comes before your health and your wealth. It comes before your success and your comfort. It comes before your personal desires. It is a tremendous task, but God gives His grace and the power to love, and with these you will be able to fulfil your responsibilities. There is no one to whom you may completely surrender the task of educating your child in the most important of all fields, the knowledge and love and service of God. But if you love God, you can teach her to love and serve Him. So, let us pray that this mother may be blessed by God, Who is full of love for mankind, and to whom we now give glory, to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever.
A series of forums is being held throughout the year focusing on faith education and enlightenment for all. The next interfaith event is the Muslim, Anglican and Catholic Interfaith Dialogue, 7pm, 3 August, Mayfield Mosque, Victoria Street, Mayfield. To register, phone 4979 1111. All welcome.