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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.



28th February 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 the Worship in the Cathedral this week

Monday 1st March
8.00am Morning Prayer
10.00am Mass
10.30am Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
5.30pm  Evening Prayer

Tuesday 2nd March
8.00am Morning Prayer
10.00am Mass   
5.30pm   Evening Prayer

Wednesday 3rd March   
8.00am Morning Prayer
10.00am  Mass    
5.30pm    Evening Prayer

Thursday 4th March
8.00am Morning Prayer
10.00am Mass    
5.30pm   Evening Prayer

Friday 5th March
7.30am Mass
10.00am World Day of Prayer
5.30pm Evening Prayer

Saturday 6th March
10.00am Mass
10.30am Reconciliation

Readings for this week:  Second Sunday of Lent

First:  Genesis 22:1-2. 9-13. 15-18        Second: Romans 8:31-34

Gospel:  Mark 9:2-10

Readings for next week:  Third Sunday of Lent

First:   Exodus 20:1-17       Second:  Corinthians 1:22-25

Gospel:   John 2:13-25

Silvio (Joe) Bagnara, Poppy Bori, Kathleen Petrowski, Gwen Saunders


Peg Giuliano
Stephen Vaughan

This weekend we welcome to our Parish through the
Sacrament of Baptism:

Jaxson Kellett, son of John and Eleanor

Mackenzie and Cohen Rann, children of Zachariah and Candace

Henry, Lola and Lucy Germon, children of James and Emma

“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.

5th MARCH 2021
World Day of Prayer 2020 was one of the last Christian services held in Ballarat before the pandemic closed church doors. Since Australia began participating in 1927 it has been held on the first Friday in March ever since. Hosting this year’s services on 5th. March are:

Ararat: St. Andrew’s Uniting Church, 273 Barkly Street, 2.00pm. 

Ballan: St. Brigid’s Catholic Church, 96 Inglis Street, 10.00am.

Ballarat: St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Cnr. Sturt & Dawson Streets, 10.00am.

Buninyong: Ballarat South Uniting Church, 305 Scott Street, 7.00pm. 

Creswick: St. John’s Anglican Church, 103 Napier Street, 7.00pm. 

Maryborough: Church of Christ, Cnr. Clarendon & Inkerman Streets, 10.30am.  

Meredith: Anglican Church of the Epiphany, 7 Wallace Street, 10.30am. 

Sebastopol: St. James’ Parish Church, Cnr. Albert & Vale Streets, 2.00p.m.

Skipton: Christ Church Anglican, 1 Montgomery Street, 2.00pm. 

This year’s service was prepared by the Christians of Vanuatu on the theme “Build on a Strong Foundation”. Offerings will support the Bible Society’s Trauma Healing Program bringing understanding, care and healing to 60,000 women. Come and be blessed.

More information can be found here.

Welcome Marie
After a much longer RCIA journey than usual, Marie Prowd celebrated the sacraments of Christian Initiation at the 5.00pm Mass in the Cathedral last Sunday. Marie participated in the Alpha Adult Faith formation program in the Cathedral Parish in mid 2019 before formally commencing the RCIA process. Despite many setbacks and obstacles to becoming Catholic, Marie persevered and her faith grew with her resolve. Josephine Salazar is Marie’s Sponsor and the RCIA team have supported Marie on her journey of Christian initiation. Participating in the liturgy were Anthea, Ebonee and Erin, who journeyed through the RCIA with Marie and were initiated on the Feast of Christ the King in November 2020.

Project Compassion Virtual Immersions – Week 2

Each week during this Lenten season, Caritas Australia is holding Virtual Immersion opportunities for parishes via Zoom video conferencing. These digital engagements will allow participants to focus on prayer and reflection, Catholic Social Teaching and an interview and Q&A with Caritas International Program staff. 

Week 2:  Margaret’s Story (Solomon Islands) on Tuesday, March 2 at 7.30pm (VIC). 

You can register for a Virtual Immersion by going

Lenten Resources - Week 2
The Sandhurst Diocese kindly shares their Lent 2021 leaflets which invite reflection on excerpts from Pope Francis’ “Let us Dream”, together with insights and suggestions for action from one of the Australian Plenary Council Thematic Discernment papers.  The leaflets are for individual reflection or small group reflection and discussion.  The theme for week 2 is, “How do we find the way of mercy and love that can usher forth a revolution of tenderness?”

These leaflets are available for download from the diocesan website Liturgy Resources page here.

The working document for the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia provides a catalyst for the Church to renew the journey of prayer and discernment toward the first assembly in October, Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB says.

The document, known as an instrumentum laboris, draws heavily on the voices heard during the Listening and Dialogue and Listening and Discernment phases of the Plenary Council, but also from other key sources. It is entitled Continuing the Journey. Archbishop Costelloe expressed his gratitude to the other members of the instrumentum laboris writing team: Daniel Ang, Trudy Dantis and Fr Kevin Lenehan.

'This is an exciting step forward and we take it together, amidst a time of great change. More than 220,000 people participated in the first stages of Listening and Dialogue, and those voices can be heard clearly in the working document,' said Archbishop Costelloe, president of the Plenary Council.

'As writers, we drew inspiration from Scripture, writings and teachings of the Church including the documents of the Second Vatican Council, encyclicals and papal exhortations, Australian bishops’ pastoral letters and more.

'The abundance of wisdom in the writings of our rich tradition, together with the papers of the Plenary Council discernment thus far, provided an incredible foundation for the content of this working document.'

Archbishop Costelloe said an instrumentum laboris, whether for the Plenary Council, for a Synod of Bishops in Rome or a local synod, 'seeks to offer an account of what the People of God have expressed as an invitation for ongoing discernment'.

The instrumentum laboris, draws heavily on the voices heard during the Listening and Dialogue and Listening and Discernment phases of the Plenary Council, but also from other key sources. It is entitled Continuing the Journey.

A number of key themes emerge in the document, including:

  • renewing the Church's solidarity with First Australians and those on the margins of society;
  • promoting an integral ecology of life for all persons, societies and our common home, the Earth.
  • strengthening practices of discernment and synodality;
  • the call to co-responsibility in mission and governance;
  • embedding a response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse;
  • renewing and supporting the ordained ministry;
  • promoting discipleship in parishes, families and young people;
  • forming prayerful and Eucharistic communities that are eager to engage in society for the service of all;
  • proclaiming the Gospel in a change of era;
  • renewing the Church’s solidarity with First Australians and those on the margins of society;
  • promoting an integral ecology of life for all persons, societies and our common home, the Earth.

Access the full text here
Online Stations of the Cross in the Holy Land
We invite you to join us every Friday during Lent from 15:00 to 16:00 (CET) for the stations of the Cross. The Stations will be prayed with our fellow pilgrims in the Holy Land and we will virtually walk the via Dolorosa.

When: Every Friday from 19 February 2021 to 26 March 2021

Time: 15:00 to 16:00 (CET)

Venue: Online - Walking the Via Dolorosa

Registration: Please complete the Registration Form to receive the online joining details.

The Stations of the Cross are presented in partnership with Tantur Ecunemical Institute based in Jerusalem, the Ignatian Spirituality Community in Geneva, the Ignatian Spirituality Center in Glasgow and the John XXIII Parish in Geneva.

The Plenary Council must address structural inertia and church decline

Two documents from and about the church in Australia issued in December last year should be compulsory reading for all Plenary Council (PC) delegates. They offer crucial insights into the state of the church in Australia, and taken together they paint a picture of church inertia and decline.
The first, The Australian Catholic Mass Attendance Report 2016 issued by the National Centre for Pastoral Research (NCPR) is a portrait of contemporary church decline despite the data being almost five years old. The second, the Response of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference to The Light from the Southern Cross: Co-Responsible Governance in the Catholic Church in Australia (LSC) report is so averse to taking a national view on the major matters of church governance that it verges on national inertia.  

The Bishops’ response addresses the 86 recommendations in the LSC report. Their responses range from agreed, agreed in principle, outside their competence (competence apparently being either with individual bishops and dioceses or the Vatican) and not agreed. Their general remarks range from being highly complimentary of the report to expressing extremely worrying assumptions about the church. In the latter category is the remark that for Catholics the hierarchical structure of the church is a given. This tendentious remark is served up without explanation.  

The bishops’ response is inconsistent and ultimately negative on the matter of one of the report’s key recommendations, mandated diocesan pastoral councils, which they discuss in various parts of their response. At one stage they advise that Canon Law allows and even encourages them, but it does not mandate them. On another occasion they suggest that authoritative church pronouncements encourage them but leave them voluntary. The ACBC refuses to bite the bullet and does not even encourage them for Australian dioceses.

Read the article by John Warhurst in Eureka Street here.

Sacraments of Initiation
A reminder that the parent information session for the preparation for Reconciliation Part 1 (junior) takes place this coming week for children Baptised Catholic and in year 4 or older; please attend one to be included in the program. Details as follows:

Tuesday 2nd March, 2021
10.00am or 5.30pm
St Patrick's Hall (MacKillop & Glowrey Meeting Rooms)

For further details, please call the Parish Office.

Reforming the Church and Australia's Plenary Council

The Catholic Church in Australia had hoped to commence a Plenary Council last October. Unfortunately, it was postponed for at least another year because of COVID-19. But the issues the Council will have as its focus have probably only become more urgent. As to how we will regather as a Church, not only in Australia, but across the world, is a question that all of us will find very challenging. I recently wrote to the committee that is preparing the Instrumentum Laboris -- or working paper -- for the Council. And the following is, more or less, what I shared with them. I am a diocesan priest nearing retirement after 50 years of parish ministry in Melbourne Archdiocese. I have loved the journey and I am very grateful for the Catholic Church of Melbourne. However, a deep sadness has grown within me as I see the diminishment of the Church and the increasing numbers of parishioners who do not come to Eucharist. Or if they come, it is more for special occasions. I have lamented the terrible actions of priests and religious who have abused young people. And I have also lamented what I see as a growing clericalism with our Church. So many of my priest colleagues lead with power and authority, rather than with empowering and authorizing. Confident that the Spirit of God will lead the Church to a new story In thinking about the Plenary Council, I have to say that I am not confident there will be the great change that I think is necessary for the Church of the future. I fear that our bishops will look to manage rather than imagine a Church of the future. It seems to me that we will not change much and for that reason I think the Catholic Church --- not only here in Australia, but around the world -- will shatter and from the pieces a new story will begin.

Read this article by Fr Terry Kean here.


Thank you for contributing to the Cathedral collections this week:

Parish $ 3,219.00
Presbytery $ 1,170.60

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

Gospel Reflection

The wilderness was the geographical and key symbolic focus of last week’s gospel story. This week, the focus is a mountain. Wilderness and mountain remind us that God’s Earth itself is the locus of mystery and grace, the place of Earth-divine encounter. The mountain, like the wilderness, links Mark’s story of Jesus with the story of the Israelites. Moses’ encounter with God on the mountain of Sinai was a defining moment in the life of the people: the Israelites entered into covenant with God at this mountain and received the Law that was to guide their lives as a people. Some centuries later, at a time of crisis in Israel’s life, the prophet Elijah returned to this mountain and experienced the presence of God in the gentle breeze.

In the gospel passage for today, Jesus takes Peter, James and John up the mountain and is “transfigured” before them and “his clothes become dazzling white”. In the Book of Revelation, white clothes come to symbolise the clothing of martyrs, of those who die for their faith. Elijah and Moses, the key prophetic figures of Israel, appear and enter into dialogue with Jesus, God’s definitive prophet. The “transfiguration” seems to point to a time in Jesus’ ministry when he accepts his likely fate. If he continues to challenge oppression and injustice, he is certain to encounter opposition, even death. He struggles with that realisation in the “wilderness” and comes to terms with what it involves on this unidentified mountain.

The voice of God reaffirms the identity of Jesus that was announced in the opening words of the gospel and proclaimed at his baptism in the Jordan. It calls for a response from the disciples who have ascended the mountain in his company: “Listen to him”. In the two preceding scenes, Jesus has spoken of the suffering that he and his followers will have to face. These words are crucial to an understanding, not only of Jesus, but of what it means to follow him. They fall on deaf ears.

Peter wants to hold on to the experience of glory, to “make tents” and settle down. He prefers not to face the difficulties involved in fidelity to the mission. But that is not the way of discipleship. Like Jesus and his companions, we too need the occasional glimpse of final victory. We also need the courage and the good sense to return from the mountain and follow through on the path that brings life, despite the pain. We can feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the challenges facing us and by the opposition we sometimes experience. Vaccines for Covid-19 are in process of changing our world. They have a crucial role to play in combatting infection, in casting out fear and restoring life. We too have a role to play. We must “listen” to the underlying causes of disease and come to terms with the costs involved in maintaining the struggle for a sustainable, safe, and peace-filled world.

Veronica Lawson RSM
Reflection by Archbishop Coleridge for the
Year of St Joseph

The Gospels of Matthew and Luke both have genealogies of Jesus Christ. They are not identical, in part because each seeks to make a different theological point. Each in its different way traces the lineage of Joseph. The reasons for this are more Christological than biological. The fundamental promise of the Old Testament is the promise to Abraham and his descendants – a promise of life bigger than death, symbolised by offspring and patrimonial land, which were the symbols of life beyond death in the cultures that produced the Bible. The question through time was: How is this blessing to be mediated in the life of the People of God? Different answers were given at different times. The God-given institutions were seen as mediating the Abrahamic blessing – the monarchy, the prophetic movement, the priesthood – depending upon which was in the ascendant at any given time. Ancient Israel begins as a loose tribal federation with no centralised government. That changes once Israel faces the new kind of military threat represented by the Philistines. They were a formidable foe, culturally more advanced and with the latest in high-tech weaponry; and they seemed to have the tribes of Israel surrounded. The new peril demanded a new kind of military and political unity; and that’s when you first hear in the Bible the cry for a king.

Read the reflection in full here.

A Pilgrimage for the Year of St Joseph

An information event will be held for the Aussie Camino on Wednesday March 3rd at 5.30pm in the MacKillop room at the smaller hall of the Cathedral.

The pilgrimage route runs from Portland in Victoria to Penola in South Australia, inspired by the life and journeys of Australia’s first Saint, Mary of the Cross MacKillop and her mentor Fr Julian Tenison Woods.
This Camino includes amazing walks along cliff tops, beaches, sand dunes, goat trails and farm tracks.  Based on the traditions of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Spain, pilgrims receive a guidebook, passport, scallop shell and stay in the local towns along the way. Fr Justin Driscoll will accompany the pilgrims.
10 Days – Portland to Penola
Departing Ballarat: Friday 30 April 21, Returning Ballarat: Sunday 09 May 21

Please register your interest & attendance at the Info Session via email to Leonie at Lifestyle Travel Ballarat

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