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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.


2nd MAY 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 3rd May
10.00am   Mass

Tuesday 4th May
10.00am Mass

Wednesday 5th May
10.00am Mass

Thursday 6th May
10.00am Mass

Friday 7th May
10.00am Mass followed by Reconciliation

Saturday 8th May
10.00am Mass followed by Reconciliation

Weekend Masses

Saturday Vigil 5.30pm (note change of time)

Sunday 8.00am, 10.30am, 5.00pm
(Dismissal sessions for First Eucharist preparation will take place at these Masses)

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:   Fifth Sunday of Easter

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

Gospel:  John 15:1-8

Readings for next week:  Sixth Sunday of Easter

First:  Acts 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48 Second: John 4:7-10

Gospel: John 15: 9-17

Denise Collins, Rosa Hill, Pauline Meiklejohn, Bill Rinaldi, Kath Simpkin

Theresa Bauer
Kevin Bilston
Richard Blanchfield
John Chandler
Pasquale Carbone
Mavis Conway
Gerard Cullinan
Andrew Currie
George Daniel
Kathleen Dodds
Bryan Dumaresq
Santolo Esposito
Basil Philomena Maher
Margaret Maher
Kathleen Martin
Emma-Kate McGrath
Thomas Millington

Amy Neville
Juri Owczarenko
John Parker
Geoffrey Ross
Thomas James Sullivan
Christopher Waight

A way to re-ignite the spark

An invitation to all in the Ballarat diocese to join a conversation about faith during and after COVID-19, looking at people’s experiences, where to next and how does the Plenary Council fit in. 

Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 7.00pm via zoom

you can zoom in yourself or perhaps organise a zoom gathering in your local community and join together. 

Please register with Jane Collins and details will be sent.

National count of Mass attendance set for May

Australia’s Catholic parishes and dioceses are being invited to undertake the five-yearly National Count of Attendance next month, albeit with some changes to reflect the COVID-19 pandemic.

Held every five years since 2001, the project is a simple head count of all attenders at all parishes and other Mass centres across Australia over the four weekends of May. The count takes in Masses as well as Sunday assemblies in the absence of a priest.

The National Count of Attendance is held in the same year as the Australian Census, which will take place in August. That allows for information gathered from the two projects to be analysed together.

National Centre for Pastoral Research director Trudy Dantis said attendance data will include parish churches, but also hospitals, migrant centres, prisons, boarding schools and other settings.

“The count will be as comprehensive as possible and include people of all ages, including babies, at Mass and other types of Sunday assemblies,” she said.

“The exercise does not have to disrupt Mass. It can be done, for example, while the collection is being taken up or as people are arriving at or leaving the service.”

Dr Dantis said ongoing restrictions on public gatherings in some areas mean this year’s National Count of Attendance will also seek to understand how people participate in Mass from home.

Read the Media release here



Children from the Cathedral Parish begin their preparation for First Eucharist at dismissal sessions at Masses this weekend (Saturday Vigil at 5.30pm, Sunday 10.30am and 5.00pm).

Eucharist celebrations will be taking place on the weekends of Holy Trinity on 29th/30th May and the Body and Blood on 5th/6th June.

Please keep the children and their families in your prayers.

Why so many Catholics might not pray
for vocations
any more

Pope Francis at the ordination Mass for nine new priests in Rome on Vocations Sunday.
CNS photo/Donatella Giagnori

There are two types of Catholic, I think: the select few who enthusiastically pray for Vocations – with a capital V – and everyone else, who at best pay lip-service to the intention. I’m not talking about individuals who have lost their faith but about something that is arguably more disturbing.

Of course, there are those in the Church who have become disillusioned, not least among the overstretched clergy; and it’s clear why some might feel defeated by the demands of their role, as the age profile of the clerical workforce creeps up, their numbers fall and yet the demands increase, simply in order to keep the system going – however unsustainable it may be.

But alongside the question of clergy morale there is this. I would wager that there’s scarcely a Catholic parent in the country who would take the initiative to encourage their son to become a priest, any more than they would encourage their daughter to join a religious order, even if in time they might become supportive of their child’s choice.

Once upon a time, especially in working class communities, junior seminary got your son a better education than might otherwise have been the case, while his transfer to senior seminary provided bragging rights. In a large family, a son in the church did not deprive the parent of the prospect of grandchildren. For the son it offered financial security – or at least a job for life and no worries about where the next meal was coming from – and, over time, it made him literally a commanding figure in the community. He’d always be looked up to and looked after, even if he be crabby or quirky.

Read the full article by Fr Rob Esdaile here.

Engaging Your Faith, online sessions, 11-31 May 2021
Catholic Theological College Melbourne and University of Divinity are hosting 8 online sessions on 'Engaging Your Faith', 11-31 May 2021. This is a series of short sessions offering an opportunity to explore one's faith through a variety of topics including:

Spirituality, Women in the Early Church, Church History, Reading the Church Classics, The Eucharist, and Science and Religion.

Choose as many you like.
Each session is $20

Download the flyer here.

Synodality and papal primacy

Questions regarding the Catholic Church today and the next pope.

"There's a short path that is long, and a long path that is short".

In the third seasons of the Netflix series Shtisel, an eminent ultra-Orthodox rabbi who heads a yeshiva in Jerusalem offers that bit of sage advice to a star student who is dealing with a life-and-death decision. Short paths tend to become shortcuts leading nowhere, while wisdom suggests taking time to make a decision.

" A long path that is short" is indeed a good way to explain the virtue of synodality, the biggest wager Pope Francis has made for the Catholic Church today. Five and half years after he delivered what can be called his magna carta on synodality to the 2015 assembly of the Synod of Bishops, the pope's persistent push in favor of a synodal Church is having effects. In different areas of the Catholic world, there are ecclesial events of a synodal nature unfolding or being prepared.

A synodal movement that requires time and presence. There is Australia's historic Plenary Council, which will hold its first meeting in October. And there is the "synodal path" already underway in Germany. Preparations are currently being made for a national synod in Ireland and, after much insistence from the pope, the Church in Italy is finally beginning plans
for its own synod. The editors of the Jesuit-run magazine, America, have just argued for plenary council for the Catholic Church in the United States.

At the supra-national level, the Latin American bishops have launched their own ecclesial assembly, the first-ever "Ecclesial Assembly of Latin America and the Caribbean". This synodal movement is unfolding at a time of great uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic. Synodality, which means the people of the Church "walking together", requires gathering together in assemblies. Some of these assemblies (e.g. in Germany and Australia) have bee
n delayed or postponed, and the same is likely to happen again in other places.

Read this article by Massimo Faggioli here.

Fundraising program launched for
Mass for You at Home
A fundraising program launched will help enable the ongoing broadcast of Catholic Mass on free-to-air television as it prepares to mark 50 years ministering to people who cannot attend a local church.

Mass for You at Home, which first aired on August 1, 1971, is broadcast on Channel 10 and WIN television on Sunday morning at 6am. It is also shown on Foxtel’s Aurora channel and can be viewed on the new website.

For almost five decades, the Archdiocese of Melbourne oversaw and was the primary funder of Mass for You at Home. The project is now a partnership between the Diocese of Wollongong, which is producing the weekly Masses, and the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

“Through our broadcasting partners – 10, WIN and Aurora – this is a truly national initiative, and the new collaboration between Wollongong and the Bishops Conference helps reflect that reality,” said Archbishop Christopher Prowse, chair of the Bishops Commission for Evangelisation, Laity and Ministry.

“We are pleased the inter-diocesan cooperation that existed in Melbourne continues, with priests and other ministers from within and outside Wollongong Diocese involved in the early Masses.”

Wollongong Bishop Brian Mascord said COVID-19 opened up new possibilities for celebrating Masses and delivering other Catholic content in online formats, but that has its limitations.

“We were very humbled to have received such positive feedback in the way our Masses, especially during lockdown, were a source of comfort and nourishment for people,” he said.

“By extending our ministry to include free-to-air television, we reach people who can’t necessarily access Mass in other ways – people without internet, the housebound and isolated, those who are in hospital or aged care, those in prison – as well as those flicking through the channels.”

Read the Media release here.


Thank you for contributing to the Cathedral collections this week:

Parish $1,009.20
Presbytery $1,009.30

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

Gospel Reflection
NRSV Translation
15:1-8 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.

Again and again, life’s experiences teach us that, as members of the Earth community, we cannot make it on our own. We need one another, other living beings, the sun, the soil, the water and everything else that formed from exploding stars in the distant past. The gospel reading reminds us that as baptised Christians we are not just intimately interlinked but that the source of our unity is the Risen Christ. As limbs and leaves and sap of the same vine, we simply cannot survive in isolation.

The vine image picks up one of the most potent biblical images for God’s relationship to the people of Israel. It is an image of life and growth, of colour and vibrancy. It holds the promise of a life-sustaining grape harvest that is ultimately transformed into wine, the biblical symbol for joy. God brought Israel “the vine” out of Egypt (Psalm 80:9). For the prophet Isaiah, Israel is also a vineyard planted and nurtured by God (5:1-7; 27:3). For Jeremiah, Israel is the choice vine “of fully tested stock” planted by God (2:21).

The Johannine Jesus makes the claim: “I am the true vine/vineyard” and God is the “vinegrower”. He goes further: “I am the vine/vineyard and you are the branches”. The potency of this image resides in the fact that a vine without branches is inconceivable. It draws us into the mystery of the mutual interchange of life between us and the risen Christ, into the mystery of God. It also invites us to acknowledge our interconnection with the whole of the Earth community, to nurture the wonderful biodiversity of our planet, and to accept the inevitability of “pruning” if we are to “bear fruit” and “become disciples”.

“Pruning” can take various forms. A chance encounter, a sudden inspiration, a word from a friend, an unexpected illness, a confronting story: any such experience can bring us to our senses and serve as a “pruning” device. The first reading for today recounts the story of Saul of Tarsus who is “pruned” quite dramatically through his encounter with the Risen Christ on the road to Damascus. He is transformed from persecutor to defender of Christ and Christ’s followers. Saul becomes a disciple and “bears much fruit”. The Greek-speaking Christian Jews are suspicious, even murderous, when he tries to preach the gospel among them. Peace ensues, however, and the movement takes hold in the regions where Jesus had first preached the gospel. It is worth reflecting on the cultural diversity that characterised earliest Christianity and the tensions that had to be resolved between different language groups or groups of different ethnic origin for the gospel to flourish and bear fruit. John’s gospel is written against the backdrop of such “pruning” within the early communities. Sometimes the requisite “pruning” is hearing respectfully a point of view that differs from one’s own.

Veronica Lawson RSM
2021 Aussie Camino

30th April - 9th May 2021

A Pilgrimage in recognition of Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop
The Pioneering Priest - Fr Julian Tenison Woods
Pope Francis has declared 2021 the Year of St Joseph and this Camino Pilgrimage is following and reflecting on the lives and contribution of the Josephites or ‘Brown Joeys’, the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, founded by St Mary MacKillop in Penola in 1866.


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