Welcome to the Cathedral Parish e-News for this weekend. If you experience difficulty accessing any content, please visit
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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.

6th June, 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.

Masses during the week
During the coming week, Mass will be celebrated in the Cathedral each day with a maximum of 50 people in attendance. No registration will be required prior to attending, but upon entrance to the Cathedral (via the south transept door), use the QR code to register your attendance or sign in with the materials provided. Masks are required for entry.           

Monday - 10.00am
Tuesday - 10.00am
Wednesday - 10.00am
Thursday - 10.00am
Friday - 10.00am
(followed by Reconciliation)
Saturday - 10.00am
(followed by Reconciliation)

Morning Prayer          prayed each day (Monday – Friday) at 8.00am
Evening Prayer          prayed each day (Monday – Friday) at 5.00pm

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Readings for this week:   Body & Blood

First: Exodus 24:3-8  Second:  Hebrews 9:11-15

Gospel:  Mark 14:12-16, 22-26

Readings for next week: Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

First: Ezekiel 17:22-24 Second: Corinthians 5:6-10

Gospel:  Mark 4:26-34

Michael Clancy, Mario Iafrate, Vicki Lange, Joseph Nagothu,
Bill O’Connor, Francis White

Kath Speirs

Due to COVID restrictions and gathering rules, regrettably the celebration of First Eucharist has been postponed this weekend.

Families with children who have prepared will celebrate First Eucharist over the coming weeks at Parish Masses on Saturdays at 5.30pm Vigil and Sundays at 5.00pm Mass.
Any queries or concerns, please contact Anita at the Parish Office.

St Vincent de Paul Winter Appeal
Australia is in the middle of a homelessness crisis. Each night, over 25,000 children are experiencing homelessness across the country. Their safety, their education, their emotional and physical health are all suffering. If we don’t help now, this moment of pain may turn into a lifetime of struggle.

By supporting our Vinnies volunteers, you will help ensure that families at risk of homelessness get the financial and emotional support they need to keep their children safe.

Envelopes will be available in the Cathedral this weekend and in weeks to come.  All donations may be made to the Cathedral Conference for the appeal by putting envelopes in the collection baskets at the Cathedral entrance or by submitting through the Parish Office.

Further details on the Appeal can be found here.

Marriage the focus of Pope’s prayers for June
A scene from the Pope Video for June (Vatican Media)

Pope Francis has released his prayer intention for the month of June, inviting Catholics to pray for those preparing for marriage, which is “a vocation born from the heart”.

In the Pope Video for this month, Pope Francis asks: “Is it true, what some people say - that young people don’t want to get married, especially during these difficult times?

In the prayer video, released by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, Francis admits marriage is a “demanding journey” which can be complicated at times. But he adds that “getting married and sharing one’s life is something beautiful” and that on this “life-long journey, the husband and wife aren’t alone. Jesus accompanies them.”

The Pope then reflects on the importance of the Sacrament of Marriage, and its centrality in the life of the Church and of those who undertake this path.

“Marriage isn’t just a ‘social’ act,” he notes. “It’s a vocation that’s born from the heart, a conscious decision for the rest of one’s life that requires specific preparation.”

The Pope invites Catholics to pray for young people preparing for marriage with the support of a Christian community.

“May they grow in love, with generosity, faithfulness and patience,” he prays. “Because a great deal of patience is necessary in order to love.”

Read the full story here.

Synods on synods
At first sight the recent Vatican announcement that a forthcoming synod would be delayed was non-news. All synods are considered boring, and a synod on synodality sounds entirely self-referential. Yet the announcement was significant. The synod will take up much time and energy of Catholics at the local, diocesan, national and international level for almost three years, involving local congregations in considerations, dioceses in collating these results and sharing them with other dioceses, bishops in participating in the conversations, reviewing and reporting jointly to the Roman office to draw up the agenda for the synod.

Given the human investment required by synod it is worthwhile to reflect on the recent history of synods and why Pope Francis places such importance on them. As in so many of his actions, his endorsement of synods addresses challenges facing civil societies, too. This may be the subject of a later article.

In the Western Catholic world synods came out of the Second Vatican Council. In contrast to previous Councils Vatican II focused less on Church teaching than on pastoral renewal, freeing and energising Catholics to live out the gospel in their world. It paid particular attention to the relationship of bishops to the Pope, seeing them as a college with the Bishop of Rome as its head. Together they were responsible for the teaching and living of faith in the Church. The council also emphasised the active responsibility of lay Catholics who were equal members of the Church with priests and bishops though with different responsibilities.

Paul VI introduced the synod to express the unity between pope and bishops. The bishops who gathered with him would offer support, advice and symbolise their unity and share in international responsibility for the Church. Under his successors John Paul II and Benedict XVI who were much preoccupied with unity of faith in the face of dissent, the Pope and his administration tightly controlled the agenda, process and the outcomes of the synod. While calling for a vibrant church the two popes emphasised the distinctive dignity and descending teaching authority of pope, bishops and priests.

Read this article by Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ in 'Eureka Street' here

Joke of the Week

Recently at Mass, the gruff parish priest’s homily was just four minutes long, a fraction of his usual ramblings. Why?

“I regret to inform the congregation,” the priest explained from the pulpit, “that my dog which is very fond of eating paper, ate that portion of my sermon which I was unable to deliver this morning.”

Following Mass, a visitor from another parish shook hands with the priest and said, “Father, if that dog of yours has pups, I want to buy one for my priest.”

Covid 'lifted veil' on reality of Church in Ireland

Image:  Archbishop of Armagh Eamon Martin

The Primate of All Ireland has said the Covid pandemic “lifted the veil” on the reality of the position of the Church in Ireland, observing that it ranked low on the public’s list of priorities.

Speaking at the online launch of a new book, Maynooth College Reflects on Covid-19: New Realities in Uncertain Times, Archbishop Eamon Martin said that despite speaking to government about the importance of public worship ahead of reopening society, it had been “humbling” to realise that “spiritual health, the importance of going to Mass, the importance of being together in worship, didn’t really figure as one of the major issues in the minds of a lot of people”.

But the Archbishop of Armagh noted that surveys have shown that being able to worship and be together has a positive impact on people’s mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing and consequently on the common good.

The new book is a response to Archbishop Martin’s call to explore what the Covid crisis is saying about the Church and about prayer and faith, as well as exploring the possible lasting effects of the pandemic on church life. It offers a variety of reflections from the perspectives of theology, Scripture, philosophy, ethics, liturgy, pastoral and canon law.
“So much of what we take for granted as Church was cruelly disrupted and interrupted by this pandemic,” said the archbishop, and he acknowledged how difficult it was to be a leader in the Church at this time and to have the kind of decisiveness that people were sometimes expecting. It was only natural that people would start to ask: “Where is God, where is Church, where is Eucharist?”

Fr Frank’s reflection on the anniversary of the Mabo decision
On 3 June 1992, the High Court of Australia recognised that a group of Torres Strait Islanders, led by Eddie Mabo, held ownership of Mer (Murray Island). In acknowledging the traditional rights of the Meriam people to their land, the court also held that native title existed for all Indigenous people.

On this day 29 years ago, the High Court delivered the historic decision in Mabo v Queensland in which the court by 6-1 recognised native title which preceded colonisation and which often survived until 1975 when it was then protected by the Racial Discrimination Act.
A year after the Mabo decision, I travelled to the Murray Islands in the Torres Strait and met James Rice and David Passi, the two successful litigants in the case. They signed my copy of the judgment – a treasured possession! Returning by boat to the mainland from the island of Mer in the Murray Islands, the waters of the Torres Strait were exceedingly calm. As the sun glistened on the water, Father David Passi, the Anglican Pastor of the Island of Mer, stood at the back of the speed boat pointing at a small island close to the shore, declaring, “That’s Possession Island.” David smiled broadly as he explained this was the place where James Cook came ashore after his epic voyage up the Australian eastern coastline in 1770, raising his King’s flag and claiming possession in His Majesty’s name of all he had sailed past. David chuckled, “Cook had his back to the Torres Strait when he claimed possession.”

Next day at Bamaga on the tip of Cape York, David explained the significance of the Mabo decision to a meeting of his fellow Anglican clergy. His people believe that in ancient times, a figure named Malo set down the law for relations between islanders regarding their lands and waters. All islanders speak of the myth of Malo-Bomai. Malo and his maternal uncle made a long sea journey from West New Guinea across to Mer in the east. These mythical heroes, Malo resembling an octopus, brought the eight peoples or clans into one, “strengthening them with the qualities of a diversity of sea creatures, so giving the power to match the sea and make long journeys across Malo, the deep seas, for canoes and for battle.” In this part of Australia, the indigenous people define themselves in relation to land, sea, each other and seasonal time or prevailing wind.

Gospel Reflection

The Gospel for today’s feast reminds us that we are in a “covenant” relationship with our God. We renew that covenant in every celebration of the Eucharist. The Israelites of old sealed their covenant with God in animal sacrifice, a practice we may wish to critique, and in the celebration of a meal (Exodus 24:1-12). The blood of the slain animal was sprinkled on the altar and on the people. The people knew that blood signified life: if blood spilled out then life spilled out. The altar signified God. The sprinkling of the blood denoted their shared life with God. They were called to be holy as God is holy. The symbolism of the Jewish covenant ritual informs today’s Gospel story of Jesus’ final Passover meal with his disciples. Through the actions and words of Jesus, the bread broken and shared becomes his body broken and “given” for them. The sharing of the cup of wine becomes their sharing in the life of Jesus “to be poured out for many”. Bread and wine in this context have taken on a new meaning.

While all analogies fall short, we might begin to understand this mystery by considering the Eureka flag. The flag is constructed of fabric and thread. It is presently on loan from the Ballarat Art Gallery to the Eureka Centre and protected with the utmost care. Because of its associations with the Eureka rebellion and what Eureka stands for in Australian history and folklore, it carries the story that informs its creation as well as all the goodness of its fabric and thread. It has acquired multiple levels of meaning.

Through the actions and words of Jesus, the bread and wine of the Eucharist have likewise come to signify something entirely new along with all the goodness of their materiality. They are Life for us, the shared life of the Risen Christ. We are called to bring that life to others, to give life for the sake of the many. Reading the passage in the context of Mark's gospel provides some insight into how we might do this. The eleven preceding verses recount stories of contrasting responses to Jesus as he faces his final days: temple authorities plot to destroy him; an unnamed woman “breaks” an alabaster jar and “pours” the healing perfume on his head, thus anointing his body “for burial” by means of a “eucharistic” action; Jesus declares that what she has done will be told “in remembrance of her”; a close friend seeks to betray him.

Betrayal and rejection are ever present possibilities even in Eucharistic communities. We are all too aware of this as we endeavour to address the consequences of child sexual abuse. We need to learn from the other possibility presented to us in this context, namely that of pouring out the healing perfume of compassion and love. Our “pouring out” at this time might include sharing vaccines with countries that cannot afford to buy them.
Veronica Lawson RSM
St Joseph the Migrant Worker

Have you ever imagined St Joseph as a migrant worker? Would he have taken with him as many tools of trade as he could carry when he fled with Mary and the child Jesus into Egypt? What would it have been like for him trying to find work in a foreign land to support his family? Would anyone help them, or would these ‘outsiders’ be exploited or left to fend for themselves? During the COVID-19 pandemic temporary seasonal workers have had a very difficult time. Many came to Australia for jobs that disappeared because of the pandemic. None the less, these workers found themselves ineligible for the Jobseeker allowance. Many could not go home. They became stranded in Australia because of closed borders. Without work or access to government support, they were forced to rely on charities. Those who did find work were often exposed to risk of infection with the virus – for example in the coronavirus outbreak that centred on the meatworks in Colac in mid-2020, or in food delivery or cleaning. Sadly, the exploitation of migrant workers is not something that only happens in other countries.


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