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St Patrick's Cathedral, Ballarat

Communities of Alfredton, Ballarat, Cardigan
Lake Gardens, Lake Wendouree, Lucas, Newington


St Patrick's Cathedral Parish acknowledges that the Aboriginal people of Australia are our first nation peoples and the traditional owners and custodians of this land.

We are a child safe Parish following the Child Safe Standards outlined by the Victorian Government, implementing procedures and standards as directed by the Professional Standards Office of the Catholic Diocese of Ballarat.


25th April 2021
3 Lyons St Sth Ballarat

Parish Office hours:
Tuesday - Friday
10.00am - 5.00pm

On Mondays the Parish Office is closed.

On weekends and after regular office hours,
the phone will be transferred to the on call priest
so that the Hospitals, Aged Care facilities, Funeral Directors
or others seeking the services of a priest may be responded to.

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Prayer and Worship in the Cathedral this week

Monday 26th April
10.00am   Mass

Tuesday 27th April
10.00am Mass

Wednesday 28th April
10.30am Funeral Prayers for Angela Loader
5.30pm Mass

Thursday 29th April
10.00am Mass at the Cathedral
10.00am Feast Day Mass at Siena Catholic Primary School, Lucas

Friday 30th April
10.00am Funeral Mass for June de Beer

Saturday 1st May
10.00am Mass followed by Reconciliation

Weekend Masses

Saturday Vigil 5.30pm (note change of time)
Sunday 8.00am, 10.30am, 5.00pm

Please note the Cathedral is now able to open each day for personal prayer.

Please follow the COVIDSafe guidelines of registering your name and using the hand sanitiser available each time you visit.


Readings for this week:  Fourth Sunday of Easter

First:  Acts 4:8-12  Second: 1 John 3:1-2

Gospel: John 10:11-18

Readings for next week:   Fifth Sunday of Easter

First:  Acts 9:26-31  Second: John 3:18-24

Gospel:  John 15:1-8

June de Beer, Angela Loader, John Tobin, Vera Widdison

John Birch
Edward Broadhead
Paul Crowe
Sr Christine Daly
Bryan Dumaresq
Glenda Fry
Leigh Gillett
Yvonne Greymans
Ellen Huggett
Matthew James
Marie Jens
John Hennessy Maguire

Nance Maguire
Aline Martin-Goldsmith
Annie McMillian
Donald Morris
Henry Morris (Snr)
Dorothy Morrish
Giuseppe Munaretto
Ellen O'Loughlin
William Ryan
Sr Monica Scott
Frank Stodolny
Gerard Sullivan
Joseph van der Linden
Andrew Verberne (Snr)
Ena Watt
Eric Wellards
Garry Welsh
Roland Woof
Joseph Wuestewald

We welcome to our Parish this weekend through the Sacrament of Baptism:

George Mark Freedman, son of Mitchell and Jenna
Jordan Thomas Willian, son of Thomas and Rebecca
Freddie James Chai Sing Yeung, son of Oliver and Cassandra

“The Church gives the faith to your children through Baptism and you have the task to make it grow…” Pope Francis.

May these children grow in faith with the support of their
families and our Catholic Community.

From the Parish Pastoral Council

Members of the Parish Pastoral Council (Leo Styles – Chairman, Susan Crowe – Secretary, Judy Brumby, Gerard Knobel, Elizabeth Ryan, Brian Shanahan, Tomy Theckamurry, together with ex-officio members Simon Duffy and Frs Eladio and Justin) met during this past week for their April meeting. Safeguarding is always on the agenda at Parish Council meetings. Other agenda items included the webinar that was held
“Parishes and Schools – One Community in Christ.” This webinar explored best practice, challenges and initiatives in how parishes and schools collaborate in living out the mission of Jesus Christ.

·         What is the identity and role of the parish?
·         What is the identity and role of the Catholic primary school, secondary,
          Pre to Post, State School with SRE?
·         What is the interrelationship between school and parish?
·        What is best practice for how school and parish come to a shared vision, 
         shared engagement, and shared goals – inclusive of students, families,
         staff, and parish community?

The keynote speakers at the Oceania webinar were Colin MacLeod and Nichii Mardon.

The Council has convened a Parish gathering on Pentecost Sunday, May 23rd, 2.30pm – 4.30pm for the coordinators/contact persons/leaders of each of the many ministries, groups and Catholic organisations within the Cathedral Parish.   Invitations have been sent to all of the above and will be followed up with personal contact by a member of the Council. It is the hope that every ministry, group and organisation will be represented at the Pentecost event.

The Council will pursue ways of establishing dialogue in safe and respectful spaces around the Cathedral Loudfence. Creating listening opportunities for those who hold diverse perspectives will be the first stage of this process that seeks to find enough common ground to enable us move forward together. The next meeting will be held on Tuesday May 18th.

From the Parish Finance Council

Members of the Parish Finance Council (Michael Kearney – Chairman, Andrew Ballesty, Ed Browne, Geordie Charles, Kevin Elliott, Cheryl McIntosh, John Mulcair, Cathy Oakley together with ex-officio members Kerrie McTigue as Finance Office and Fr Justin, met during the week.

Occupational Health and Safety is a standing agenda item at Finance Council meetings. Parish staffing was discussed at length in the light of both the current COVID-19
  restrictions and the projected Parish income.

Parishioners contributing to the Stewardship (Planned Giving) will soon receive a statement of their giving for this coming year and gratitude was expressed for the generous commitment that so many parishioners continue to make to the Cathedral Parish.

The Council received the proposed budget from the Parish Liturgy team for the Art and Environment in the Cathedral, as well as reviewing the statements of income and expenditure for the Parish since the February meeting.

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday July 28

A reminder that preparation for the celebration of First Eucharist begins with a
parent information session this coming week, as follows:  

                         Date:               Tuesday 27th April 2021

                         Time:               10.00am or 5.30pm

                         Location:         MacKillop/Glowrey Rooms
                                                                        of St Patrick's Hall

This preparation session is for children in school year 4 or older who have already prepared for and celebrated the Sacraments Confirmation and Reconciliation.

To be included in the program, we ask all parents or caregivers of each child to attend one of the sessions please.

Any queries, please make contact with the Parish Office.

Catholics in Australia encouraged to receive
COVID-19 vaccine
Catholics in Australia are being encouraged to receive a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to them, with the relevant Bishops Commission saying it is morally permissible to accept any vaccine. In a document published today, the Bishops Commission for Life, Family and Public Engagement acknowledges that there are ethical concerns about the way some of the vaccines have been developed or tested. That includes the use of cell lines derived from an abortion in the 1970s. Despite those concerns, the Commission follows the guidance of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in urging people to be vaccinated for their own health, and for the health of the wider community. There is a particular imperative to protect the health of those who are vulnerable. Citing the Vatican document, the bishops say “it is morally acceptable to receive COVID-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process”. They add that “if you are only offered one option, you may receive whichever vaccine you are offered, including the AstraZeneca one, with a clear conscience”. For those who have “a serious reason” not to receive the vaccine, they are “morally obliged to do their utmost, by other protective means and appropriate behaviour, to avoid contracting COVID-19 themselves and to avoid transmission of the disease”.

Read the media release from the Catholic Bishops here.

Eastertide reflection: Coming home from Emmaus

Detail from Christ on the Road to Emmaus, an eighteenth-century American painting
CNS/ courtesy National Gallery of Art

Many Catholics are deeply scandalised by the Church’s complicity in the sexual abuse scandal. Young people feel the Church is out of touch, against women, against gay ­people. They want out.
There is a story about a similar moment of disillusionment. It is our story too. Two disciples flee to Emmaus just after Easter. They had hoped that Jesus would be the one to redeem Israel, but he had failed. There were reports from women, who were saying that Jesus had risen from the dead, but this was dismissed as “an idle tale” (Luke 24.11). They are only women! The disciples have lost faith and are ditching the community in Jerusalem. They have given up. They are just like many disillusioned young Catholics whom the Church wishes to reach today.
How does Jesus reach them? The two disciples are talking intensely about what has happened when they meet a stranger. He asks them: “What are you talking about?” He invites them to express their disappointment, their anger.  Our preaching begins in listening to the affliction of our people.
One of them replies: “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” (24:18). Like so many young people, they think he has no idea of what they are living. “You don’t know what it is like to be a young woman with an unwanted baby on the way, or to be gay and to feel rejected by the Church.”
We only have authority if we give authority to their experience and hurt. To be honest, I sometimes long to talk about something other than the sexual abuse crisis or the position of women in the Church, but I must go on listening and sharing the hurt of people who are leaving the Church, which must be mine too. Then maybe a moment will come when I will be able to open up the Scriptures as the stranger did for those disciples.

Read this complete Easter reflection by Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP here.
St Vinnies Celebrates its 28.5K
Young Volunteers this Youth Week
Image:   Frederic Ozanam, founder of the St Vincent de Paul Society.

This week is
National Youth Week in Australia and one of the country’s most well-known charities is using the opportunity to celebrate the “growing number of younger people who enthusiastically give their time and expertise to help others”.
“This year in particular, we recognise the role of young volunteers – that often unsung cohort of 28,500 people under the age of 40 – who make up more than a third of our volunteer base,” said Jacob Miller, National Vice President of Youth for the
St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia.                                                                                                                
“Young people from primary school age to their late 30s are in our shops, in our soup vans, talking to people experiencing isolation and disadvantage, and taking up senior leadership roles.                                                                                                                                                
“Nationally, seven of our advisory committees are led by young people, with more than 60 individuals shaping how our organisation responds to public policy challenges of the day.

“Young people are not the future of the [St Vincent de Paul] Society, they are the here and now – without their contribution Vinnies Australia would be a very different organisation.”

Read this article by Kylie Beach here.
Plenary Council needs the Catholic community

The biggest test for the Plenary Council, now less than six months from its first meeting, is to reconnect with the Catholic community.
The elongated nature of the lead up and growing apathy have made that difficult, yet it remains essential. It may be asking too much to expect a church-wide buzz of excitement but there should at least be evidence of some increased momentum. There is a danger that the October event may become an isolated and introverted affair.

There has already been extensive community consultation, resulting in 17,500 submissions and the involvement of several hundred thousand Catholics, but that seems long gone now, and unless the community interest is freshly nourished it will wither. There are several possible sources of revitalisation, including the official Plenary Council apparatus, the institutional structures of the church in dioceses, religious institutes and parishes, and the wider Catholic community itself. Successful reinvigoration of the whole process must involve collaboration between the hierarchical church and lay Catholics.
The 280 members of the Plenary Council have been decided and their official training sessions take place in June-July. Only the experts and observers remain to be named. The working document, Continuing the Journey, which in time will become the agenda, has been issued. The PC Facilitation Team continues to distribute reading material and reflections for consumption, but the talents of the PC members outside an inner circle are being neglected. They are being trained to participate in an event rather than asked for their own views about the shape and dynamics of that event. They have not, for example, been asked for their opinion about anything, including obvious matters such as the working document or the structure of the agenda. An opportunity has been lost by those at the top to energise these PC members and to make them co-responsible for the success of the whole venture.

A vision for Catholicism:
Renewal directions, priorities, hopes and aspirations

Joan Chittister OSB

A vision for Catholicism:  Renewal directions, hopes and aspirations, is the first of three convocations hosted by the Australian Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (ACCCR).

Sr Joan has for 50 years advocated on behalf of peace, human rights, women’s issues, and church renewal. She has a history of speaking truth to power often challenging the Church in relation to renewal. ACCCR Co-Convener Andrea Dean said the Chittister convocation would inspire Catholics who were insisting that the Catholic Church, through the Plenary Council process, address greater inclusion, especially for women and minority groups.       “The Plenary Council is an opportunity for much-needed change to the Catholic Church’s leadership,” she said.

Follow this link here.


Thank you for contributing to the Cathedral collections this week:

Parish $1,156.00
Presbytery $860.40

Any queries or concerns, or to make a contribution, please contact the Parish Office or email Finance Officer Kerrie.

Gospel Reflection

The liturgy for Good Shepherd Sunday invites us to reflect on Jesus as the noble or good shepherd of the believing community. “Shepherd” in its literal sense is not really part of our 21st century vocabulary, and yet we use it metaphorically, as a verb or as a noun. Its verbal form connotes care and compassion, protection, guidance and tender relationship. In John’s gospel, Jesus rightly claims for himself the title “good shepherd”. He contrasts the good shepherd or leader with the leader that fails to care for the flock. Knowing one’s sheep, staying with them in the face of mortal danger and being prepared to die for them are marks of the good shepherd.

There are echoes here of the Hebrew Scriptures, particularly of Ezekiel 34 where the “shepherd/sheep” metaphor describes the leaders of Israel in their relationships with the people. There are likewise echoes of an early second century description of the Emperor Tiberius in whose reign Jesus of Nazareth was executed, precisely because he did not abandon his “flock”. The Roman historian Suetonius has this to say of Tiberius: “To the governors who recommended burdensome taxes for his provinces, he wrote in answer that it was the part of a good shepherd to shear his flock, not skin it” (Suetonius, Life of Tiberius 32.2).

In the pre-industrial biblical world and early centuries of the Common Era, the “shepherd/sheep” metaphor was heard by an audience that enjoyed a much closer relationship with sheep and their human carers than do most people today. In my country, for instance, there are 63.7 million sheep and some 25 million people. In other words, the ovine inhabitants of Australia significantly outnumber the human. Yet most of our highly urbanised human population knows its sheep only in their disembodied forms. The human-ovine relationship is, for the most part, reduced to that of consumer and consumed. Sheep are valued, not for their intrinsic goodness as creations of a loving God, but rather as commodities that provide food and clothing for the human population. We now know that modern domesticated sheep evolved from creatures that pre-date modern humans. We might take time to consider the implications of this for our relationship with the other-than-human inhabitants of our planetary home. Our reflections might include some consideration of the wisdom or otherwise of continuing to breed these creatures for human consumption, often at the expense of environment.

Good Shepherd Sunday provides us with an opportunity to move beyond our human-centred views of the world and our human-centred interpretations of our sacred texts. We might hear a call to value the realities that underpin gospel images such as the Good Shepherd/sheep metaphor. We might also hear a call to expand our appreciation of all the inhabitants of our planet. To be good shepherds in our time is to embrace the whole Earth Community with reverence and compassion.

Veronica Lawson RSM
Pope Francis has declared a “Year of St Joseph” from December 8, 2020, to December 8, 2021. My first thought was, why would the Pope do that now? On reading his short, but simple, apostolic letter Patris Corde, I understood better his motivation. Pope Francis writes that, during the COVID-19 pandemic, he noticed the doctors, nurses, storekeepers and supermarket workers, the cleaners, caregivers and transport workers, who often go unnoticed, but sustain our life by their work and presence. This goes on in families and communities where people pray, make sacrifices and help others, all in an often unrecognised way. This observation moved him to think about St Joseph and the way he expressed his fatherly love for Jesus.

Pope Francis sees Joseph as the great example of this hidden love and care. “Each of us can discover in Joseph – the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence – an intercessor, a support and a guide in times of trouble.” During our time of COVID lockdown in New Zealand, I noticed many people from our parishes and communities who carried out this unrecognised work for others. St Joseph is the great patron of these people, who look for no special thanks, but gain a joy from serving others when there is a need.

Within Christian spirituality, St Joseph has often seemed the forgotten man. He hovers in the background, in the shadows. It was a struggle to fit him into the usual biological definition of a father, so he was often called a foster father. Pope Francis points out that “fathers are not born but made…When a man accepts responsibility for the life of another, in some way he becomes a father to that person”. The importance of fatherhood is being reassessed in our society; it is not primarily biological but rather based on a responsibility to love and care for a child. St Joseph provides a great model for those men who wish to be good fathers.

Read this complete reflection by Bishop Michael Dooley in Catholic Outlook here.

Hire of Cathedral Parish Facilities

The following spaces are available for hire from the Cathedral Parish:
  • St Patrick's Cathedral
  • St Patrick's Cathedral Hall
  • MacKillop & Glowrey Rooms
  • Kitchen

Further details may be found on the Cathedral Parish website

To check availability, obtain a quote, or make a booking, please get in touch with the Parish Office via email or phone 03 53 312 933

Please note that a booking is not secured until availability is confirmed with the Parish Office.

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