Catholic Cemeteries + Crematoria (CCC) are working in close consultation with Fr Simon Ckuj, the Vicar General of the Ukrainian Catholic eparchy on ways to support the Ukrainian community. CCC staff and members of the Grief Care team coordinated a moving Twilight Prayer Service on 8 April 2022 at the Mary, Mother of Mercy Chapel, Rookwood as an opportunity for the community to come together to pray, grieve and reflect.
Rookwood Catholic Cemetery has been the preferred burial location for many Eastern European Catholics since post-WW2 immigration brought many families to settle in Sydney permanently. Rookwood currently has over 6300 members of the Eastern European community laid to rest within its grounds, including over 2000 Ukrainians interred within three dedicated burial areas.
On 6 March 2022, CCC CEO Peter O’Meara attended a special Mass at St Andrew’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Lidcombe, co-celebrated by Parish Priest Fr Simon Ckuj and Archbishop Anthony Fisher. This is part of the organisation’s on-going ties with the Ukrainian community during this challenging time. The board of trustees also donated a significant contribution to the Caritas’ appeal for Ukraine.
The humanitarian crisis in Ukraine continues to escalate with more than 10 million people, nearly a quarter of Ukraine’s population now displaced. CCC will continue to assist the Ukrainian community and is in the process of developing an on-site memorial at Rookwood for those that have lost their lives in the conflict.