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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 JULY, 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.


Due to the Victorian State lockdown, effective from

11:59pm, Thursday 15th July, 2021


11.59pm Tuesday 27th July, 2021

St Patrick’s Cathedral will be closed to the public.

Mass will be live streamed daily to our Facebook page and can be accessed for viewing on the Parish website for the duration of the lockdown

Follow us on Facebook:

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

For further information, please visit the Parish website:

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:   Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

First:   2 Kings 4:42-44  Second: Ephesians 4:1-6

Gospel:  John 6:1-15

Readings for next week:  Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

First:  Exodus 16:2-4. 12-15 Second:    Ephesians 4:17, 20-24

Gospel:  John 6:24-35

Marie Burnside, Aldo Ferri, Irene Jones, Nola Nolan,
Fr Robert Stickland, Leo Torpey

Dorothy Bowden
Sr Breda Byrne IBVM
Nancy Calistro
Florence Calwin
Maurice Connors
Anne Didue
Catherine Ferrari
Ron Flynn
Patricia Glalea

Gail Ginnane
James Grant
Marjorie Gullifer

Dorothea James
Irene Keating
Henry Kulesza
Moira Lewis

Stephen Lowry
Nicholas Marios
Tony McGuinness

Margaret Nolan
Anna Ozczarenko
Lachlan Poulter
Rita Ryan
Maria Sabo
Noreen Sherritt
Joanne Teoh
Veronica Thomson
Fletcher Slater
Margaret Stabernack
Brian Waight


The St Vincent de Paul Winter Appeal provides emergency relief to people at risk and experiencing homelessness.

Your donation will help our Vinnies volunteers to rebuild lives.

All donations may be made to the Cathedral Conference for the Appeal by submitting envelopes to the Cathedral Parish Office.

Further details on the Appeal can be found here.

World Day for Grandparents 25 July 2021
Dear God,

Please bless our grandparents.

Thank you for the life they gave my parents and for the life they give to me.

For the ways they helped me and made me strong, I give thanks.

For the ways they love me no matter what, I rejoice.

For the ways they have paved the road that leads me here, I am grateful.

Let them grow in wisdom and joy in life.

Let them find peace and rest from their work.

Let them be healed of every sickness and pain.

And let them see with their own eyes the glory of your Son, Jesus,

in the love of their children and grandchildren.

Bless them always until they come to rest in you.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer by Diana Macalintal Copyright © 2005



The preparation program for celebrating Confirmation (for Baptised Catholic children in school year level 3 or older) is due to begin with a parent information session on Tuesday 3rd August 2021.

Unfortunately, due to lockdown* and current restrictions, we are not able to confirm if this will go ahead yet, so will communicate with our Parish community as soon as we are able.

Alternative arrangements are underway with the hope of enabling preparation to commence. In readiness, families are able to complete and submit a registration form to the Parish Office at 3 Lyons St Sth, Ballarat or via email.

Any queries or concerns, please contact Anita on 53 312 933 during office hours or email.

*due to be lifted at 11.59pm on Tuesday 27th July
Ballarat Keralites' Foundation of Australia Inc.
cooks hundreds of meals for residents

St Patrick's Cathedral Parish is pleased to support the Ballarat Keralites' Foundation of Australia Inc. by providing use of the Cathedral Hall kitchen facilities as they cook and deliver meals in an outreach capacity to the wider Ballarat community, free of charge.

GIVING: Chef Rijo Antony spent hours cooking hundreds of serves of butter chicken on Thursday to give free to members of the community.
Picture: Lachlan Bence

The Ballarat Keralites' Foundation of Australia Inc. cooked 350 meals on Thursday afternoon and delivered them to Ballarat households free of charge.

Chairperson John Thomas said the group decided to volunteer to help, acknowledging this lockdown period was a stressful time for many families.

"We understand people are really struggling for food."  
John Thomas, Ballarat Keralites' Foundation of Australia chairperson

"This lockdown is a very stressful time for a lot of people who have no job and no money," he said.
"We are getting 200, 300, 400 requests. We understand people are really struggling for food.

"We understand 75 people out of this order (Thursday) are really looking for food."

Five members of the Ballarat Keralites' Foundation are professional chefs and volunteered their time on Thursday afternoon to cook 350 meals of butter chicken and rice.

Another 30 volunteers assisted in delivering the hot food to homes from 5pm to 7pm in time for dinner.

Mr Thomas encouraged anyone in Ballarat who is struggling during the lockdown period to get in touch.  The Association will also be offering the delivery of freshly cooked meals to Ballarat homes on Saturday and Monday. 

People who are struggling during the lockdown can make a meal order, detailing the number of meals required and their addresses via text or phone call to:  0410 872 267, 0469 862 609 or 0470 375 030.  Orders must be placed by 2pm on the day of delivery and homes must be within the Ballarat area.

The full article from the Ballarat Courier can be read by subscribers here.

The search for belonging:
Is COVID making us turn to religion?

Father Hien Vu, the parish priest at Flemington and Kensington, began noticing something this year that surprised him at St Brendan’s and Holy Rosary churches: new faces.

Not only new faces, but young new faces. Father Hien estimates many were aged between 20 and 30.
Father Hien Vu says mass attendance at churches in his parish of Kensington and Flemington have increased by 10 per cent.

The leadership team conducted a count in May before the fourth coronavirus lockdown and mass attendance at both churches was up about 10 per cent.

“We ask a very simple question: how do you find us here?” Father Hien says. “They all talk about looking for community, a sense of belonging.”
Across the globe, researchers have been fascinated by whether the pandemic has caused people to turn to religion or draw more on spiritual practices such as prayer or spending more time in nature.

One in 10 Australians said COVID-19 had made their religious faith stronger, a proportion that corresponds to the median across 14 developed countries, according to a report by the Washington-based Pew Research Centre in January.

The proportion was significantly higher in the United States - where religion continues to play a stronger role in life - with 28 per cent reporting stronger personal faith.

Father Hien doesn’t hear the word faith much.

“Maybe they don’t use that word but they express that by the way they communicate. They want to be together. I have a feeling that in the past we took things for granted. And people now actually seem more generous with their time. That’s the blessing.”

Read this article in the Melbourne Age here

Alpha is a series of interactive sessions that create a safe and honest space, online or in person, where people can explore life, faith and meaning.  It is a safe environment for anyone and everyone who wants to explore life and the Christian faith, ask questions and share their point of view.

Alpha is free and everyone is welcome!

What to expect:

Whether in person over a meal or virtually with a cup of tea, all sessions start with a time to connect, relax and build friendships.

The Alpha talks are designed to inspire conversation. They explore the big issues of life and faith, addressing questions like “Who is Jesus?”, “Why and how do I pray?” and “How does God guide us?”

One of the most important parts of any Alpha: the chance to share thoughts and ideas on the topic, and discuss in a small group. There’s no obligation to say anything and there’s nothing you can’t say (seriously).

Due to restrictions, please register with the Parish Office on 53 312 933 or via email.

The Old Rite restricted
A woman receives Communion from a priest during a traditional Latin Mass
Photo: CNS, Gregory A. Shemitz

In another defining moment of his papacy, Pope Francis has decided to discontinue the experiment of having two forms of the Roman Rite running in tandem
The decision by Pope Francis to tightly restrict the use of the Old Rite was another one of his surprises. Although speculation had been rife for weeks that he was preparing an intervention, no one had been expecting a ruling that would so decisively overturn the provisions offered to traditionalists by his predecessor, Benedict XVI.

Two days after the 84-year-old Pope was released from Rome’s Gemelli Hospital following surgery to remove part of his colon, he ordered the publication of Traditionis Custodes (“Guardians of the Tradition”), a ruling that reimposes the restrictions on the Tridentine liturgy which had been in place for much of the post-Vatican II period. It makes clear that individual bishops must give permissions for priests to celebrate traditional Latin Masses; that these liturgies should not be in parish churches; and that no new parishes specially dedicated to the older liturgy can be established. Supporters of the Old Rite have reacted with shock, sadness and anger, with many taking to social media platforms to make their displeasure known.

The restrictions on the Tridentine Mass were controversially lifted by Benedict XVI 14 years ago. In Summorum Pontificum, Benedict allowed priests to freely say the Old Mass in private and whenever a “stable” group of believers requested it. He envisaged the two forms of the Mass in the Roman Rite existing side by side: the Old Rite, dating back to Pope Pius V’s reforms of 1570, which he described as the “extraordinary form”; and Paul VI’s reformed liturgy of 1970, known as the “ordinary form”. There were fears that Summorum Pontificum would deepen the division in the Church. The now Pope Emeritus made it clear back in 2007 that the extraordinary form celebrations must avoid “discord” and favour “the unity of the whole Church”. He didn’t want those attached to the Old Rite to denigrate the liturgy attended by most of the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics.
In a letter to the bishops of the Church accompanying Traditionis Custodes, Francis explains that he has reimposed restrictions on the use of the Old Rite because Benedict’s warnings have been ignored.

Read this article in the U.K. Tablet by Christopher Lamb here
The challenges of representing Catholic Australia

The Plenary Council First Assembly is only two months away, but uncertainty still remains about the role that its 282 members will play. Not just about what work they will do but what conception of the role they will bring or will be imposed upon them by the authorities. Their designation has changed from delegate to member, freeing them somewhat from the expectation that they will be tied to the views of their diocese or other ‘sponsoring’ body. But it has not resolved some perceived role confusion both among the members themselves and within the wider Catholic community. This confusion has important consequences.

My member formation session last month was told, in the context of discussion about the part that connection with the wider Catholic community would play in the assembly, that the Plenary Council Assembly should ideally be a community but not a bubble. I was struck by this description because it nicely encapsulates the possibilities. There is a sense in which the membership should bond together to do its “job”, but not to the extent of shutting out the general community. This leaves room for individual members to be a bridge to the broader Catholic community and raises expectations that the Catholic people have a right and duty to communicate with them.

My impression is that the Plenary Council organisers have always leant towards a narrow vision of the assembly. Members have been advised that they have no responsibilities beyond official PC duties. The PC authorities have also not tried to take obvious steps towards encouraging connections between members and the community. For instance, they have not provided public contact addresses, such as email addresses, which would enable the community to contact PC members directly. They have also allowed several members to continue in their role although they have left their dioceses temporarily for travel or study. This breaks the desirable link to community as they are no longer present among “their people”.

The representative role may vary according to the different types of members. Many are ex-officio because they hold positions in dioceses, such as bishops and vicar-generals. Some are there because they are leaders of religious institutes. Lay members were mostly chosen from within dioceses. Some others were chosen from agencies and commissions, like the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council. The origins of all members probably bring with them some expectations that, in an unspecified way, they will connect with and ‘speak for’ those who put them there. But the expectation is vague.
There is also a general expectation that the assembly collectively ‘represents’ the composition and diversity of the church in Australia. Within the existing constraints of Vatican rules for plenary councils this has been done to some extent, but it will not stop legitimate arguments about the representativeness of the assembly. The laity are clearly under-represented, but certainly a wide range of Catholics, by any measure, will come together in early October.

Read this article from Eureka Street by John Warhurst here

Eight years on, bishops renew
call for resettlement

Australia’s Catholic bishops have joined the bishops of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands in calling for detainees on Manus Island and Nauru to be resettled in Australia – eight years after the advent of mandatory offshore detention.
Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, chair of the Catholic Bishops Commission for Social Justice, Mission and Service, has welcomed an open letter from the Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands to the Australian Parliament.

“Our brother bishops are right to point out that those who continue to be detained on Manus and Nauru, who cannot return to their place of origin and who have no path to resettlement elsewhere, should be resettled here in Australia,” he said.

“We understand that most of these people have already been recognised as refugees, while others are in complex situations – including those whose refugee status is still being determined.
“The indefinite detention of people, many of whom pose no threat or have not been convicted of serious crimes, is an affront to human dignity and a breach of international law.”

In 2013, the Australian Government passed legislation to enable the mandatory offshore detention of asylum-seekers arriving by boat.

“It has already been eight years. This is too long. I have seen with my own eyes the effects of the policy of protracted and inhumane detention on these individuals. A humane solution is needed,” Bishop Long said.
“This situation affects both Australia and Papua New Guinea, and the relationship between our countries.

“The Catholic Church in both countries is ready to work with governments to resolve it, for the sake of the people directly affected, and for all of us.”

In their letter to the Australian Parliament, the bishops of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands called for the closure of the Manus Island and Nauru “chapter” as soon as possible.

They said people there whose lives have been used to deter other people seeking asylum, “and whose acute suffering we see every day”, should be able to access “a reasonable and acceptable level of freedom and dignity in Australia”.

They urged Australia to “erase any trace of past colonial demand and fully implement a new style of compassionate and participative leadership in the Pacific”.

Read the full open letter from the Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands to the Australian Parliament here

Catholic religious urge Government to reform refugee and asylum seeker policies
Anne Walker and Br Peter Carroll FMS (CRA)

Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) has written to the Government highlighting where its refugee and asylum seeker policies do not uphold Australia’s international human rights obligations, contrary to the Government’s insistence otherwise. The United Nations Human Rights Council has reached the same conclusions in its recent Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

The UPR assesses the human rights records of United Nations Member States and addresses human rights violations wherever they occur. Australia has rejected the UPR’s recommendations to end the mandatory detention of asylum seekers and close offshore processing centres.

CRA President, Br Peter Carroll FMS, said, “Australia’s third UPR was a chance for the Government to respond to recommendations from UN member countries and Australians, including some religious congregations, to make positive changes to our refugee and asylum seeker policies. It is extremely disappointing that the Government has rebuffed these recommendations.”

“We will continue to advocate against the Government’s policy of mandatory and long-term detention of asylum seekers, including children, which breaches its obligations under the Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees and the Convention on the Rights of the Child,” he added.
“Despite the Murugappan family not having been in the media in recent weeks, their treatment and the uncertainty that remains about their future is still a live issue and a clear example of how Australia’s migration policies are failing to uphold the rights of some of the world’s most vulnerable people, especially children,” said Anne Walker, CRA National Executive Director.
“We stand together with so many Australians and continue to ask that, on compassionate grounds, the Immigration Minister uses his ministerial discretionary powers to allow the Murugappan family to live permanently in Biloela, having suffered enough under Australia’s asylum seeker processes and systems,” she said.

Read the media release here
From the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

                                        Permit Exemption No: P34039

Father Justin Driscoll, Administrator,
St Patrick's Cathedral Parish Church Ballarat

Dear Father Driscoll,

RE: Permit Exemption Application Number P34039,

Thank you for your request of 10 June 2021 seeking a permit exemption for works or activities to the above registered place.

I confirm receipt of the following documents in support of your request:
·         Exemption Application Form
·         Consent Letter dated 10 June 2021
·         St Patrick's Cathedral, ArborSite Tree Inventory, 30 September 2020
·         ArborSite Site Map September 2020: All Assessed Trees
·         Landscape works - Images Blue Atlas Cedar Photo
Your request has now been assessed and it has been determined that the following works or activities do not harm the cultural heritage significance of the place and, therefore, do not require a permit pursuant to s92(3) of the Heritage Act 2017 (the Act):

Description of activity exempted from requiring a permit, in accordance with the documents referred to above:

·         Removal of a mature Blue Atlas Cedar which is in very poor health, replacement with same species in consultation with the arborist, and gardening and tree maintenance works as recommended in arborist report.

·         NOTE: Efforts to repurpose the salvaged timber from the Blue Atlas Cedar and use it to form a piece or pieces of commemorative furniture at the registered place, as foreshadowed in the Arborist's Report are strongly encouraged.

Please Take Note: prior to the commencement of works you must obtain all necessary local law, planning, building and/or other approvals from the local Council or other regulatory authority. Failure to comply with other applicable laws and regulations may subject you to enforcement action. Approved works or activities are to be planned and carried out in a manner which prevents damage to the registered place/object. However, if other previously hidden original or inaccessible details of the object or place are uncovered, any works that may affect such items must immediately cease.

Yours sincerely

Michael Galimany
Senior Heritage Officer (Major Projects)
Heritage Victoria
(As delegate for the Executive Director, Heritage Victoria, pursuant to the instrument of delegation)


Distribution of Annual Planned Giving Statements will take place shortly.

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 gospel readings for the next two weeks are taken from John 6, a section of the gospel that focuses on food and related themes: on hungry people; on the need for food/bread; on food/bread as metaphors for life. Bread has been the staple food for millennia in bible lands. To be without bread is to lack the very basics of existence, and that is how it is for so many in our world. Even the impoverished in the so-called “first world” know what it is like to be without the means of subsistence in a world of plenty. The present cycle of readings confronts us with questions about our own lifestyle, our exploitation of earth’s precious resources, and our capacity to make a positive change in the lives of those whose access to the fruits of our earth is much more limited than ours.

In John’s account of the feeding of the 5000, the crowds keep following Jesus because they see the “signs” he works among the sick. The Johannine Jesus consistently tries to lead the people beyond a form of discipleship that is simply based on seeing the signs that he works. The inadequacy of the crowd’s response on this occasion becomes clear towards the end of the reading.

Both place and time function powerfully in the story. The “mountain” place evokes the giving of the Law to Moses on Mt Sinai. For the crowds, Jesus is the prophet like Moses who points to a way of satisfying hunger in the wilderness of life. The time is Passover, drawing into the narrative the passing over of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt to the freedom of the desert and ultimately of the land where they could worship their God. This story is about the liberation that God brings through the agency of Jesus.

Jesus demonstrates that the answer to the suffering of the people, their liberation, is to be found in their care for each other. If they simply take the time to sit down together, discover the riches in their midst, give thanks, and distribute what they have, they may find they have more than they need. They must gather up the fragments, the “more-than-enough”, so that nothing will be lost and others might benefit from their sharing. Again, we are reminded of those in our world who have access to health care and vaccines and those who do not, of those who have financial support at this time and those who do not.

Although the people partially understand Jesus’ identity and teaching, their ultimate response is misdirected, even violent: they want to take him by force and make him king. He leaves them and returns to the mountain alone. We so often seek spectacular solutions to our problems. It may be that we too need to sit down together, on the grass or wherever, and discover the wealth we have at our disposal to satisfy the hunger in our world. That is what it means to be a Eucharistic people.
Veronica Lawson RSM

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