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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.


16th 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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Liturgies in the Cathedral this week

Monday 17th May
10.00am   Mass

Tuesday 18th May
10.00am Mass

Wednesday 19th May
10.00am Mass

Thursday 20th May
10.00am Mass

Friday 21st May
10.00am Mass followed by Reconciliation

Saturday 22nd 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:   The Ascension of the Lord

First: Acts 1:1-11   Second:  Ephesians 1:17-23

Gospel:  Mark 16: 15-20

Readings for next week:  Pentecost Sunday

Acts 2:1-11  Second:   Corinthians 12: 3-7, 12-13

Gospel:  John 20: 19-23


Audrey Brennan, Trish Harman

Joan Blood
Ante Bozic
Gerard Britt
Stefan Burcon
Bridget Campion
Annie Carpenter
Iris Carrigg
Catherine Davis
Patrick Drinnan
Maurice Dunford
Kathleen Fay
Mildred Fogarty
William Foley
Margaret Hateley
Paul Madden
Jack Mahar
Leon Martin
Loyola McKenzie
Francis McKew
John Morris
Thomas Morris
Nanette Murnane
Sr Claudia (Ellen Murphy)
Steve Nowaski
Maria Schildt
Fr Barry Stickland
Peter Stranieri
Maurice Tobin
Michael Twomey
Ellen White

We welcome to our Parish this weekend through the Sacrament of Baptism:

Oliver Timothy Brook
, son of Jack and Amy-Rose
Emma Eileen and Joseph Gerard Rowe,
children of James and Amanda
Chloe Rose Strybosch, daughter of Guy and Prue

“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.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

16 – 23 May 2021
“Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit”

(cf John 15:5)

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in Australia will be observed from 16 - 23 May 2021 in the week between Ascension and Pentecost.

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in 2021 was prepared by the Monastic Community of Grandchamp. The theme that was chosen, “Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit”, is based on John 15:1-17 and expresses Grandchamp Community’s vocation to prayer, reconciliation and unity in the church and the human family.

Opportunities to join in the week of Prayer for Christian Unity in Ballarat will be at 2.30pm on the following afternoons in the following Churches:

Monday May 17th - St Patrick’s Cathedral
Wednesday May 19th - Peel St Church of Christ
Thursday May 20th - Ballarat Central Uniting Church
Friday May 21st - Christ Church Anglican Cathedral

More information can be found here.
Many in our Cathedral Parish serve in the great diversity of ministries and apostolates that serve to build up the Body of Christ and make the Reign of God present. This week we recognise all who serve, expressing our thanks to them, praying in the week that leads to Pentecost, for a new out pouring of the Holy Spirit, renewing the face of the earth.

The third dismissal session for First Eucharist preparation will be taking place at Masses this weekend.
(Saturday Vigil at 5.30pm, Sunday 10.30am and 5.00pm)

Eucharist celebrations will be taking place  follows:

Holy Trinity on 29th/30th May
Body and Blood on 5th/6th June

We pray for all the children and their families as they continue to prepare.

Ascension Day – taking stock of our situation
Looking at the new and different ways the Lord is present among us and how this changes the way we must be present to others. There is an air of finality about the Solemnity of the Ascension, whether is celebrated on the traditional date of Ascension Thursday (forty days after Easter) or the following Sunday. Our focus is on the recalling of a story declaring that the Christ has returned to the Father, and so we tend to think of it as the "close" of the Christ-event or the "end of Easter". In times past there was even a custom of extinguishing the Paschal candle after the gospel to signify "he is gone". It was a stunning spectacle, but mistaken ritual.

The Risen One does not leave us. The Paschal candle remains lit: the Lord does not abandon us. But there is still air of finality – and this should make us think about the mystery in another way. It is also a call to us to present the Ascension in a different way. The feast is not the final song to mark the sad close of a party, but the joyous finality of a building job completed. The Lord's presence is no longer limited to a small group in one place at a particular time, but is now diffused throughout creation through his body, the Church. It is this mystery of the Christ's presence we celebrate on the Ascension: we are not simply thinking of some "event" that "happened" on some fixed day in human historical time. We are celebrating part of the Paschal Mystery. Ascension is not about the Christ's absence, but about his presence in a different way to that which he had before his death. He now is present within our community, and as a group we must make him present by testifying to him before the world as the community of justice, peace and love.

Read this article by Fr Thomas O'Loughlin here.
Pope Francis is ensuring that prayers to the
Mother of God circle the globe this May
On Saturday 1 May, at 6pm, in the Gregorian chapel in St Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis turned to Our Lady to ask her to help see off the Covid pandemic. Specifically, he turned to the Madonna of Succour icon above the altar of St Leo, along with 100 or so guests who joined him to pray the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary and launch a “prayer marathon” that will take in 30 Marian shrines before returning on 31 May to the Vatican Gardens. There, Francis again will pray the Rosary with the assembly, so ending the Marian month.

The Pontifical Council for Evangelisation and Pope Francis himself are the inspiration behind the  global initiative. Our Lady has appeared in any number of locations from Mexico to Rwanda, from France to Argentina, from Japan to Portugal, and while the world is still captive to the pandemic, the Vatican decided to seek her supernatural help.

At the ceremony on May1, Francis sat in a chair at the front of the aisle before the altar, with his back to the congregation, facing with them the replica of the seventh-century icon. The preeminent Marian icon in St Peter’s, it was restored under Francis in 2013.

The heartfelt nature of the Pope’s participation in this appeal to the Virgin Mary was evident throughout the ceremony. Apart from reverently telling the beads, he read prayers with his head down, glasses on, before and after the recitation of the Glorious Mysteries, but looked up with reverence to the icon when he mentioned “Madonna of Succour” in the prayer at the start of the ceremony, and again in a prayer at the end, when he spoke the words Madre di Dio (Mother of God). He gave the same reverential attention to the icon for the singing of the Salve Regina.

Read this article by James Roberts here.

Australian archbishop says there's no stopping pope's push for synodality

Archbishop Mark Coleridge says days of the autocratic, monarchical Church "are over"; expresses confidence in German synodal path, saying talk of schism is "ridiculous".

Pope Francis has no one in his small circle of advisors, known as the Council of Cardinals, who is from Oceania. While the other continents have a seat in the seven-member "kitchen cabinet" or C7, Oceania's chair has been empty since October 2018. That's when the pope thanked Australian Cardinal George Pell for his services and removed him from the group. There are three cardinals from Oceania who are all still under the age of 80 that could have easily taken the place of Pell -- John Dew of New Zealand, John Ribat of Papua New Guinea and Soane Patita Mafi of Tonga. But Francis did not choose any of them. And in the two consistories since Pell's vacancy, the pope did not make any new cardinals in Oceania." Flashes of Insight" It's too bad the red hat is a requirement to fill Pell's slot. Because if it weren't, the pope couldn't do any better than to choose Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane. The 72-year-old Melbourne native and scripture scholar is probably the brightest bishop in all of Oceania. Currently the president of the Australian Bishops' Conference, he is one of the major figures involved in preparing his country's Plenary Council.

Read the full article by Robert Mickens here.

Footsteps of the faithful:
the rising popularity of pilgrim paths

Buddhist monks praying in front of the Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya Alamy

My own initiation into the time-honoured religious ritual of pilgrimage came as a naive 17-year-old. A group of us from my Catholic school in Liverpool, accompanied by two Christian Brothers, travelled to Lourdes in France. Though at the time I didn’t know it, I was stepping out, as millions of pilgrims down the ages have done before me and after me, on a journey of meaning. That is what I now believe to be the best definition of the word “pilgrimage”.

Some of these journeys are taken, as mine was then, on well-trodden paths that carry us, as our feet touch the ground, back through the centuries in the company of others who had walked these routes. Others are not. At the end of the sixth century BC, 29-year-old Siddhatta Gotama, better known as the Buddha, left behind his wife and newborn child in what is now Nepal, donning the yellow robes of a monk, and walked and walked for six years on his own journey in search of meaning along no discernible route. He just kept going, occasionally despairing but putting one foot in front of the other, until he achieved enlightenment.

The tree under which that happened, the Bodhi Tree at Bodh Gaya in northern India, is now the pre-eminent place of pilgrimage for the world’s Buddhists. All faiths embrace, to varying degrees, the ritual of pilgrimage. Islam regards the journey of meaning to Mecca for the Hajj as a religious obligation.

Read more here.

Annual Mass Counts continue through May
A reminder that the 2021 National Mass Count continues to take place at all Masses over the next two weekends.
Church leaders call for peace
as violence escalates in Holy Land
At least 20 people were killed on May 10 in Jerusalem during the worst violence in years.

Church officials have joined world leaders to urge Israeli security forces and Palestinian protesters to put aside violence after renewed clashes killed at least 20 people this week. Violence escalated when Israel retaliated to rocket attacks by Palestinian militant groups near Jerusalem, Reuters reported May 11. The victims included nine children. Pope Francis and the World Council of Churches (WCC) appealed for peace in the disputed region after violence began on May 7."Violence begets violence. Enough with the clashes," the pope said last Sunday while greeting pilgrims who gathered in St. Peter's Square for the noontime "Regina Coeli". "I invite everyone to seek shared solutions so that the multi-religious and multicultural identity of the Holy City is respected and brotherhood prevails," he said of Jerusalem, which is considered holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims. Reverend Ioan Sauca, WCC's acting general secretary. expressed concern over the new violence in the Holy Land. He said the world needs to ensure "compassion and justice for the Palestinian people affected by this unfair and unjust situation".

Read this whole article by Emmanuel Dunand here.
The lungs of evangelization
The pope's decision to formally institute
the ministry of catechist
Pope Francis has established the lay ministry of catechist through a new apostolic letter "motu proprio" that was published Tuesday by the Vatican.

The pope's decision to formally institute this lay ministry will not satisfy those who want to see women priests and deacons or those calling for the priestly ordination of married men. Nonetheless, his gesture is not insignificant. It should be seen as part of the Church reform that Francis is trying to carry out. By instituting the ministry of catechist, he is in fact giving great visibility to the mission of the laity.Since the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), many texts have stated the importance of catechetical activity.

Catechists play an essential role in the transmission and deepening of the faith. In regions of the world where there are few clergy, they also assume central responsibilities in the animation and support of communities. They are the "lungs of evangelization", writes one African theologian. But, still, this mission carried out by lay people has not been fully recognized up till now. The pope has now remedied this, but without clericalizing such lay catechists. In his apostolic letter, Francis insists on the secular character of this ministry of catechist. Lay people, because of their family life and their commitments in society, help to inscribe the Gospel in everyday life.

Read this whole article here.


Thank you for contributing to the Cathedral collections this week:

Parish $1,002.00
Presbytery $1,060.40

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

Gospel Reflection

The feast of the Ascension invites us to face the universal experience of loss, the loss of a loved one or of something precious to us, and to face this experience in a transformative way. In Ordinary Time, we celebrate the life and ministry of Jesus. Over the period of Lent and Easter, we have been re-membering his death and resurrection. The liturgy now draws us into another aspect of the Mystery, that of the presence and absence of the One who has been raised. The physical loss of Jesus means a new and different sort of presence. Like the early Christians, we need time to grasp each dimension of the one great Mystery of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, time to ponder the implications of this great Mystery for us and for our planetary home.

Today's gospel passage receives little attention in commentaries and classes because, along with the immediately preceding passage (Mark 16:9-14), it is a late addition to the original text of Mark's gospel. The author of these verses is familiar with the similar commission to proclaim the good news to all nations and to baptise in the name of the Trinity, found at the end of Matthew's gospel. In Mark 16:15, the command is to go “into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation (ktisis).” It is a more inclusive vision than Matthew's and opens a space for an ecological reading of the text, an extension from the human to the other-than and more-than-human elements of the Earth community. The command to proclaim the good news, the gospel, recalls the first words of the Markan Jesus, "The time is fulfilled, and the kin-dom of God has come near; repent [=expand your horizons], and believe in the good news" (1:15).

If we were to accept that our mission in the “in-between times” is to bring the gospel to all creation, then we might take more seriously God’s command in Genesis 2 to reverence and protect the earth (usually translated as “to till and to keep”). We might stop polluting the air that all creatures need for life. We might also read the affirmations of Genesis 1 through the lens of Mark 16 and respect once more the intrinsic goodness of all creation as a gospel imperative.

The “Ascension” event recounted towards the end of the passage presupposes a pre-scientific, three-tiered understanding of the structure of the cosmos. In this ancient view, God is in the heavens above and Jesus is caught up into God's realm. The vertical movement is balanced by a horizontal movement: Jesus’ return to “the right hand of God” ensures a different kind of presence in the church despite his seeming absence, one that enables believers to stop “looking up to the heavens” (Acts 1:11) and to continue the healing and re-creative ministry of Jesus “to all creation”.

Veronica Lawson RSM

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