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Redemptorist Fr Mykola Bychok CSsR appointed the third Eparch of Sts Peter and Paul

Pope Francis has appointed Redemptorist Fr Mykola Bychok CSsR the third Eparch of Sts Peter and Paul of Melbourne for Ukrainian Catholics in Australia and New Zealand. Bishop-Elect Bychok will succeed fellow Redemptorist Bishop Peter Stasiuk CSsR, who has served as eparch since 1992.

Mykola was born and raised in the western Ukrainian city of Ternopil. Like many in Ternopil faith played a formative role in his personal development. It was at his local Redemptorist parish where Mykola was inspired to become a priest.

In 1997 Mykola joined the Redemptorists professing his first vows the following year. He was ordained deacon in 2004 and priest in 2005. His 15 years of ministry has included time in Russia, Ukraine and, for the past five years, in New Jersey in the United States.

Fr Bychok, who will turn 40 next month, said his preparation for ministry and his time as a priest offered many role models for him as a faithful Christian. “I have met many witnesses of truly spiritual life with God – from bishops, priests, religious and faithful. Their examples are unforgettable,” he said. “I was enriched by them, learning what it means to be a Catholic in the third millennium. I hope that all the experiences from my priestly life will help me in my ministry as Eparch of Sts Peter and Paul in Melbourne.”

l I want to be with Ukrainians in Australia, listen to them and grow together as a community of faith in Christ our Redeemer.
- Bishop-Elect Mykola Bychok CSsR

Fr Bychok said he has never visited Australia but, since learning of his appointment, has spent time researching the country and the Ukrainian Catholic context, including from brother priests who have served in Australia. “First of all I want to be with Ukrainians in Australia, listen to them and grow together as a community of faith in Christ our Redeemer,” he explained.

Bishop-Elect Bychok will be ordained in Ukraine, likely in a few weeks’ time. Bishop Stasiuk will serve as apostolic administrator of the eparchy until Fr Bychok arrives in Australia to take up his appointment.

The Redemptorists of Oceania welcome Fr Mykola Bychok to Australia and look forward to journeying with him to preach the gospel ever anew. Welcome confrere.