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.

3rd October, 2021
3 Lyons St Sth Ballarat

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

Telephone: 53 312 933

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.

Cathedral Clergy: Frs Justin Driscoll and Eladio Lizada
Parish Coordinator: Anita Houlihan
Finance Officer: Kerrie McTigue

* * * * * *

With the easing of restrictions in Ballarat, we welcome the opportunity to be able to gather in person for Masses in the Cathedral and we thank Loreto College for allowing us to use their Chapel for Masses on Sundays, enabling more parishioners to gather for Mass.

Please register with the Parish Office to attend. Bookings for Sunday Masses open through the Parish Office on Tuesday at 10am with priority given to those unable to attend Mass on the preceding Sunday.
From 12 noon Thursday, bookings for the remaining places will be open. Thank you to all for your understanding and patience with this process.

Celebrations of the sacrament of Baptism are taking place each Sunday spread throughout the afternoon with each family gathering for the baptism of their child in groups of 20.

Please note:  All Mass attendees are required to:

Wear a mask
Check in via QR Code and check in on the registration list provided
Use hand sanitiser on your way into the Cathedral

Sunday Masses with up to 20 people.

All Masses are fully booked for this weekend
St Patrick’s Cathedral
5.30pm Vigil
(6.30pm from next weekend with the start of daylight savings)


All Masses are fully booked for this weekend
Loreto College Chapel
1600 Sturt St Ballarat


Weekday Masses will be celebrated in the Cathedral with up to
20 people in attendance:

Monday 10.00am
Tuesday 10.00am
Wednesday 10.00am
Thursday 10.00am
Friday at 12.05pm 11.30am Reconciliation
Saturday at 10.00am  10.30am Reconciliation

* * * * *

Become our friend and follow us on Facebook:
or find further information on our website here.

If you feel that you need support or would like to speak with a priest or a member of our Cathedral team please contact the Parish Office, which will be attended for the usual times (Tuesday – Friday, 10am – 5pm), on
5331 2933 or alternatively you can email

We encourage all parishioners to reach out to their neighbours, family members, friends, colleagues and especially to those that you know who live on their own.

For many, restrictions are a challenge and our pastoral care of each other is an expression of our faith in the compassionate Christ and belonging to the Body of Christ.


Readings for this week:   27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

First: Genesis 2:18-24 Second: Hebrews 2:9-11

Gospel:   Mark 10:2-16

Readings for next week: 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

First: Wisdom 7:7-11 Second: Hebrews 4:12-13

Gospel:   Mark 10:17-30


Sr Teresa Biggins (St John of God)
Jela Blahek, Fr John Keane, Jan Mullaly


Luigi Bomitali
Graeme Bounday
Peter Burns
Jack Callander
John Canty
Patrick Cashin
Noel Cherry
Anna Cincotta
Grace Clark
Bryan Cooney
Noel Cossey
Joan Cushing
Trevor Ferguson
Lawrence Fryar
Patricia Gill
Giesela Gotthold
Ellen James
Aileen Jones
Ethel Jones
Bob Kochskamper
Denis Lyons
Maree Maddison
Pat Mahar
Bernard Meagher
Basil McDonald
Marjorie McDonald
Eileen Morris
Maureen Mullane
Elizabeth Neville
Theresa O'Loughlan
Peter Overington
Joseph Rice
Eddie Schreenan
Dorothy Stahl
John Strybosch Snr
Esther Tobin
Kathleen Tobin
Patrick Torpy
Hendrikus Wansink
Maureen Watson

Alpha - Adult Faith Formation
Priya, Kirby, Tomy, Liam, Brennan, Myles, Odette, Jess, Fr Eladio & Josephine

Jess Salazar writes that the Alpha program in St Patrick’s Cathedral Parish concluded on 29th September 2021.  We were able to provide the opportunity for 10 participants who are embarking on their faith journey, as well others who participated remotely. It was a joyful experience with the participants as they journeyed for 11 weeks.  

Amidst the on and off lockdown, the Alpha has been completed and as we concluded. The participants expressed their experiences about belonging and forgiveness. Some expressed their experience of being able to appreciate the foundation of our faith through Jesus and the Holy Spirit and also being able to give love to others and loving ourselves as well.
The Alpha participants are continuing their faith journey through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) process and the Alpha team wish them a fruitful journey.
On behalf of the Alpha team - Tomy, Priya, Kirby, Kim, Anthea, Fr Eladio, Mary, Joanne and Josephine, I would like to take this opportunity to extend our gratitude to Fr Justin for providing the support and venue in running the program.
We would like to invite everyone to join us on our next Alpha program for next year in 2022.  To start on 26th January to 6th April 2022 every Wednesday from 7pm to 8pm.
In the second  half of the year we will be running the Alpha program for Youth from 13th July to 21st September 2022 every Wednesday 7pm to 8pm at the MacKillop and Glowrey room in the St Patrick’s Cathedral Precinct.

Ballarat Diocesan
Director of Caritas
Sue Searls is retiring from the role of Diocesan Director of Caritas.

Bishop Paul would like to hear from anyone who would be interested in taking up this role.  The position will be funded by Caritas as a part-time role, averaging one day a week, although most of the work is concentrated in the months of February to May in relation to Project Compassion. 

There is a
role description available here

If you would like to be considered for this position or if you would like more information, please contact Bishop Paul at by Thursday, October 7th. Please include your contact details and some notes about your interest in this position and the experience you could bring to this role.

Clergy Appointments

This week Bishop Paul has written the following to the priests of the Diocese -

Following Fr Gary Jones’ move to become Parish Priest of Mortlake and Terang, I have been considering provisions for the parishes of Creswick and Daylesford.

The recent edition of the “Looking Forward” pastoral planning document, sent to parishes on August 31, proposed that the parishes of Creswick and Daylesford be linked with the parish of Gordon.

Following discussions with the Diocesan Personnel Board, I confirm that this will be the arrangement from January 2022, with one Parish Priest for these three parishes.

Accordingly, I now invite expressions of interest in the position of Parish Priest of Creswick, Daylesford and Gordon.

How the Plenary might resolve the unresolvable
At one level a lot is riding on this Plenary Council. Only the fifth such Council in the Australian church history, there is a great sense of anticipation among a wide variety of groups: those estranged from the church, priests looking for direction for their own parishes, women bereft of opportunities to express their faith and seeking a look-in, parents of uninterested children desperate for ways of bridging the gap between church traditions and modernity, those ostracised from the church, as well as those not wanting any changes at all.

All are looking on with interest at one of the most formal consultative processes within the church. Will it or won’t it produce tangible output that will help direct the church into the post-Royal Commission, post-Covid era, and help bring about deeper faith across a wider congregation?

The extent to which any outcome can contribute to that goal is out of the immediate control of the present Plenary Council. While the Council, through its definition can set binding canonical laws for the related region (i.e. Australia), the laws and norms applicable in this process are still limited. That is, it is likely discussion will be restrained to the particular areas addressable by a local Church.

In this context, many pleas within more than 17,000 submissions collated for inclusion may be pie-in-the-sky ideals that are sidelined in the PC discussions. These include calls for broader interpretations of scripture, a gentler approach to those who are at odds with church teachings, practical suggestions for dealing with priest shortages, and more detailed suggestions around responsible church governance.

This presents a challenge for heeding the call by Pope Francis for a church of synodality, centred on mutual listening and learning. Plenary members must take care that the Council will not be a one-sided conversation or a show of mutual listening contrained to a Church-defined 2000-year-old script.

Some argue that issues, such as women’s ordination, divorce, views on homosexuality, are not worth discussing in the PC given the clear teachings of the church on these. Yet this runs the risk of ignoring raw feedback.

'While practical outcomes are a defined criteria for a successful PC, the road to these outcomes might not be clear.'

Consider these excerpts from submissions from the Final Report for the Plenary Council Phase 1: Listening and Dialogue:
‘Women are treated in a tokenistic manner and are angered by this…’
‘If men and women are made in the image and likeness of God, we must start to ordain women’, ‘(We need) to break down the human construct that we use as tools to gain power and manipulate’,
‘Where is the mercy and forgiveness when we deprive divorcees who have remarried commune?’
‘As a layperson, the Church's decision to vilify homosexuals and not attack a consumerist culture suggests that the Church likes punching down, not up...’
On the other hand, a PC is not simply a process to accept all suggestions and ideas. The question remains: how does a PC navigate the conundrum of being clearly ‘open to the Spirit’ across these new submissions, while honouring earlier Spirit-led discernment that produced long-accepted stances and teachings of the church?

Read this article in full by Dr Nimmi Candappa, a Melbourne writer, Plenary Council member and academic here.


The proposed Eucharist
program for term 4 will be postponed until 2022.

We are hoping once restrictions ease in November we are able to continue the Sacrament of Confirmation preparation for our children.
Pope warns against 'closed' groups
claiming righteousness
Pilgrims in St Peter’s Square for the Sunday Angelus.
CNS/Vatican Media

Pope Francis has warned against those doing the work of the devil by claiming “exclusive” rights over Jesus and the Kingdom of God.

Referring to today’s gospel reading from St Mark, Pope Francis cited Jesus’ warning that “instead of dividing people into good and bad, we are all called to watch over our hearts, so that we do not succumb to evil and give scandal to others”.

Jesus had criticised the disciples for wanting to prevent someone who was not in their group from taking certain actions in the name of Jesus.
The disciples wanted to prevent a good work because the one who did it did not belong to their group, the Pope said. “They think that they have exclusive rights over Jesus and that they are the only ones authorised to work for the Kingdom of God.”

But in this way, they consider others as strangers, to the point of becoming hostile towards them. Pope Francis warned that the temptation to keep those who do not think like us at a distance “is the root of many evils in history, of absolutism that has often generated dictatorships and of so much violence against those who are different”.
The devil, who is the “divider” – the word’s roots are in division – insinuates suspicion to divide and exclude people.

“Sometimes we too, instead of being humble and open communities, can give the impression that we are ‘at the top of the class’ and keep others at a distance; instead of trying to walk with everyone, we can show our ‘believers’ licence.”

“We ask for the grace to overcome the temptation to judge and catalogue, and that God preserve us from the mentality of the ‘nest’, that of guarding ourselves jealously in the small group of those who consider themselves good: the priest with his faithful, the pastoral workers closed among of them so that no one infiltrates, the movements and associations in their own particular charism, and so on. Closed. All this risks making Christian communities places of separation and not of communion.”

The Holy Spirit wants open, welcoming communities where there is room for everyone, the Pope said.

After the Angelus, Pope Francis spoke of today’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees. “It is necessary to walk together, without prejudice and without fear, placing ourselves next to those who are most vulnerable: migrants, refugees, displaced persons, victims of trafficking and the abandoned. We are called to build an increasingly inclusive world that excludes no one,” he said.

Read this article by Ruth Gledhill here
The Season of Creation will end on 4 October, the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology beloved by many Christian denominations.

As one global Christian family united and committed to caring for our common home, we will pray a novena to close the Season of Creation and ask God for the grace of our eco-conversion.

This special novena, which starts Saturday 25 September, also will let us celebrate St. Francis as a true revolutionary in the Church, someone whose example all of us can follow today.

As Pope Francis wrote in Laudato Si’: “I believe that Saint Francis is the example par excellence of care for the vulnerable and of an integral ecology lived out joyfully and authentically… He was particularly concerned for God’s creation and for the poor and outcast. He loved, and was deeply loved for his joy, his generous self-giving, his openheartedness. He was a mystic and a pilgrim who lived in simplicity and in wonderful harmony with God, with others, with nature and with himself. He shows us just how inseparable the bond is between concern for nature, justice for the poor, commitment to society, and interior peace” (LS 10).

Join the novena by following along on Laudato Si’ Movement’s Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram channels.

Join the novena for St. Francis of Assisi


Thank you for contributing to the Cathedral collections this week:

Parish $2,275.00
Presbytery $1,053.10

New envelopes are available for collection from the Parish Office during the office hours of Tuesday to Friday, 10.00am - 5.00pm

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

Gospel Reflection
The question of gender inclusivity in decision-making has been much in the news of late. The maleness of political and church institutions has been highlighted in my country as a serious contributor to the disorder that finds expression in both bullying and abuse. Since the creation of patriarchy in the Bronze Age, some 3000 years ago, lack of gender inclusivity has posed a challenge, particularly for those who find themselves excluded.

The “test” question about divorce that the Pharisees put to Jesus is very strange in a first century Jewish context, as is the reference to women divorcing their husbands. While there is no evidence that anyone in Jewish circles questioned the legality of divorce, there is plenty of evidence for lively debate concerning the grounds on which a Jewish man could divorce his wife: adultery; inferior cooking; even diminished beauty! There were various schools of thought. Jewish law, unlike Roman law, however, did not permit women to initiate divorce proceedings on any grounds at all. From the perspective of the Markan Jesus, Moses only permitted divorce as a concession to “hardness of heart”: it was not so from the beginning. The ideal, he insists, is expressed in the Garden Story of Genesis, the story of “one flesh”, of partnership, of equality and mutuality, of enduring commitment in marriage. The Hebrew word ’ezer which is translated as “helper” in the first reading from Genesis is used in the Psalms of God’s relationship to Israel. It does not denote inferiority of women to men as is sometimes suggested. A better translation might be “companion”.

Human limitation is just as much a reality now as it was in the ancient world. We strive for the ideal but fall far short of it in so many ways. When this happens in marriage, the consequences can be more far-reaching than in other aspects of life. The parties involved often become the “little ones” whose lives are shattered and disoriented. The embrace of the community is needed in a particular way for everyone affected by divorce, especially the children. When parents part company, the best interests and needs of the children are sometimes forgotten. Too often, those who have experienced the trauma of divorce feel alienated from the worshipping community, and this at a time when they need the courage to face a different future from the one they had envisaged.

The story about marital commitment leads immediately into a story about Jesus taking the children in his arms and blessing them, despite the disciples’ attempts to send them away. Children are important persons who are never to be excluded from the inner circles of love, compassion and care. We might hear today’s gospel as a call to be inclusive in all our relationships and to remember the children no matter what happens.

Veronica Lawson RSM

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