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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.

First Sunday of Advent (Year C)

28th November, 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

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St Patrick’s Cathedral
6.30pm Vigil




Sunday Masses with no limits on the numbers of those who can attend. Bookings are not required to attend these Masses, however,
QR code or registration upon entry and full vaccination status needs to be provided to the COVID Check-in Marshal please.

St Patrick’s Cathedral
6.30pm Vigil




It will no longer be necessary to book for Sunday Masses.
Please check in with the COVID-19 Marshall who will verify your vaccination status.

Weekday Masses will be celebrated in the Cathedral
When the limit is indicated for 50 people, no vaccination status is required.

Monday 7.30am  (50)

Tuesday 10.00am    7.00pm (November Remembrance Mass)

Wednesday  10.00am

Thursday 10.00am

Friday          7.30am  (50)               12.05pm          11.30am Reconciliation

Saturday               10.00am                      10.30am Reconciliation

It will no longer be necessary to book for Sunday Masses.
Please check in with the COVID-19 Marshal who will verify your vaccination status

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You are more than welcome for private prayer as the Cathedral is open.
We are required to abide by Government Covid rules which are:

QR Code or sign in when entering the Cathedral
Hand sanitise upon entry
When up to 50 attendees vaccination status is not required; masks should be worn when indoors

When over 50 attendees, full vaccination status required and if you are unable to social distance, masks encouraged.

* * * * * * * * * *

Celebrations of the sacrament of Baptism will continue to take place each Sunday, spread throughout the afternoon with each family gathering for the baptism of their child.

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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
53 312 933 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:   First Sunday of Advent

First: Jeremiah 33:14-16    Second: 1 Thessalonians 3:12 – 4:2

Gospel:    Luke 21:25-28. 34-36

Readings for next week: Second Sunday of Advent

First: Baruch 5:1-9  Second: Philippians 1:3-6. 8-11

Gospel:    Luke 3:1-6

Eleanor Foley, Pat Harvey, Yvonne Keating

Mary Allport
Pat Blood
Amy Boyd
Lesley Casey
Elizabeth Clark
Peter Clarksen
Mary Coghlan
John Crameri
Jennifer Lynne Devlin
Margaret Dobbyn
Anne Duck
Jean Elliott
Marie Fitzgerald
Margaret Hayes
Maria Kerr
Ray Kyatt
Helen McGoldrick
John McInerney
John McLeod
Laura McPhee
Patrick McVeigh

Toni McVeigh
Ellen Moynihan
Michael & Nora Moynihan
Sr Mary Muirhead IBVM
Patrick O'Driscoll
Eilin O'Siochain
Padraig O'Siochain
Sean J & Bridgid O'Siochain
Michael O'Sullivan
Monica Reynolds
Margaret Roberts
Stjepan Salkovic
Angelina Seehusen
Daniel Sheehan
Margaret Studd
Bernard John Teed
Roslyn Tobin
Mary Wade
Helen Watt
Norma Welsh
Olive Whyte

Kevin Woof

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

Zachary William Hooper
son of Christopher and Jessica

Hugo William Nigro
son of Matthew and Sarah

Lucia Evie Nigro
daughter of Anthony and Courtney

"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.


The Legion of Mary invites active, auxiliary members and parishioners to celebrate the Centenary of the Legion of Mary at a Mass on Tuesday 30th November at 10.00am at St Patrick's Cathedral, followed by light refreshments in St Patrick's Hall.
Annual November Remembrance Mass
The Parish Funeral Ministry team (Yvonne Beaston, Tim Bennett, Julie Chandler, Helen Lee, Peter Morris, Frank and Lorraine Stuart) together with Fr Justin, invite all parishioners to the Cathedral on Tuesday evening, November 30th to celebrate the Remembrance Mass at 7.00pm.

Please enter via the south transept door, QR code and show your full vaccination status to the COVID-19 marshal. We will especially welcome families of those who have died over these past two since our last Remembrance Mass and whose funerals have been celebrated through the Cathedral Parish.
Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May the souls of all the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

The spirit of Advent
The spirit of Advent is one of hope, patient expectation, joy and contemplation.  Its successive emphases on the coming of Christ – first his parousia and then his incarnation – are held together by the constant coming of Christ in word and sacrament.  It is in the eucharistic celebrations of Advent that that Christ is experienced as “the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end” (Rev. 22:13).

Although Advent is not a penitential season, the angelic hymn – the Gloria – is omitted, as in Lent, thus giving dramatic impact to its reappearance on Christmas Eve.  The pre-Vatican II observance of Ember Days – days of supplication and fasting associated with the beginning of spring, summer, autumn and winter – may still continue under norms established by Conferences of Bishops (UNLYGRC ##45-47).

From both a secular and a liturgical point of view Advent is also a suitable time for the sacrament of reconciliation.  The looming end of the calendar year and the season’s focus on the two comings of Christ combine to invite believers to take stock of their relationships – with God, self, others and creation.

Liturgical features

Silence is a much ignored and under-rated element of liturgical prayer.  The Advent season is a most suitable time to take full advantage of the several explicit references to silent prayer in the Roman Missal, such as after each reading and after Communion (GIRM #56). Some brief catechesis may be of value to enable the faithful to make good use of these opportunities for prayer.

Liturgical colour
Violet is the colour of the Advent season.  A lighter shade could be chosen for vestments to distinguish the hopeful spirit of Advent from the penitential character of Lent.  Rose is an approved colour for the third Sunday.
Mindful that the figure of Mary is evoked both on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and through the last week of Advent, a seasonal colour that hints at the traditional blue associated with Mary could be appropriate.

The liturgical setting should be one of simplicity and restraint to reinforce the season’s spirit of prayerful vigilance (GIRM #305).  This will be in stark contrast to the Christmas decorations that have adorned stores and streets and offices for several weeks.
Attention could be drawn to stained glass windows, icons or statues that feature Mary or John the Baptist.

Advent wreath
The custom of displaying and lighting the candles of an Advent wreath has become widespread. The practice may stem from pagan rites for the winter solstice which found their way into 17th century domestic devotions in Germany and then into the liturgy during the 20th century.  Though there is no mention of it in the Roman Missal, the Book of Blessings (1989) contains an Order for the Blessing of an Advent Wreath, within either Mass (#1517-20) or a Celebration of the Word (#1521-33).
Traditionally the wreath is shaped into a circle of evergreen branches that house four candles, one for each week of the season, three being violet and one rose. The use of Australian native flora is to be commended.  It should be of sufficient size to be visible to the whole assembly and may be either hung from the ceiling or placed on a stand, but without obscuring the altar, lectern or chair (#1512).
The blessing takes place only on the 1st Sunday of Advent; on the remaining Sundays the candles are lit either before Mass begins or before the opening collect, without additional rites or prayers (#1513).

Like the worship space, the music of the Advent season is meant to be simple and restrained (cf. GIRM #313), apart from festive occasions such as the Immaculate Conception.  In order to respect the particular character of each season, it is best to choose appropriate Advent hymnody rather than Christmas carols.

Liturgy of the Hours
Given the prayerful character of the season, Advent is a most suitable time to celebrate a simple communal form of Morning or Evening Prayer.  In particular, Evening Prayer during the last eight days before Christmas, with its special “O” antiphons for the Magnificat, helps the community to prepare well for the feast of the Nativity.  The ready availability of various editions of the Prayer of the Church makes this quite feasible.

The information about advent was sourced from the

2021 Christmas Masses
Christmas Eve, Friday December 24th

6.00pm Cathedral

6.30pm St Patrick’s College Chapel 1431 Sturt St

7.30pm Cathedral
(no vaccination status, numbers limited to 50
– please register for this Mass)

9.00am Cathedral

12 Midnight Cathedral

Christmas day, Saturday December 25th

8.00am Cathedral

10.30am Cathedral

Sunday December 26th Feast of the Holy Family

8.00am, 10.30am and 5.00pm at the Cathedral

Ordinations to the Diaconate
Seminarians Bill Lowry and Matt Restall will be ordained Deacons for the Diocese of Ballarat on Friday, December 10th 2021 in St Patrick’s Cathedral Ballarat at 7.00pm.

Parishioners and friends are welcome to attend. Attendance requirements for the Cathedral is
QR code or registration upon entry and full vaccination status needs to be provided to the COVID check-in Marshals. Supper will follow in the Cathedral Hall.

The Diocesan vocations committee invite us to pray for Bill and Matt over the coming weeks, that as they who will be ordained to serve God’s Church as Deacons, be effective in action, gentle in ministry, and constant in prayer.

Evening Prayer will be prayed in the Cathedral on Thursday December 9th at 5.30pm with a focus on praying for Bill and Matt – all are invited to join us.

Vinnies Christmas
Kindness Appeal

This Christmas donate to Vinnies.
Your gift can change a life.
There are families who are experiencing poverty and homelessness this Christmas and your help can provide them with much needed essentials like food, clothing and a place to call home.

CatholicCare Victoria Giving Tree Appeal
This pandemic has been hard on us all.  But as with every disaster, COVID-19 is making the already vulnerable more vulnerable still. Your generous donation to this year’s Giving Tree Appeal will provide practical and financial support for struggling Victorian families - from three square meals a day to help with utility bills... every gift you choose helps.

16th November 2021
Dear Attorney General,

We, the undersigned leaders of faith communities in Victoria, write to express our grave concerns about the Equal Opportunity (Religious Exceptions) Amendment Bill 2021 recently introduced into the Victorian Parliament. Our faith communities work tirelessly across all sectors of society to support fellow Victorians from diverse backgrounds, believing we have much to offer the community in the services we provide. Our religious beliefs and values underpin every aspect of the work we do, especially in our care for the most vulnerable, our commitment to educating young people and our efforts to contribute to a more just and cohesive society.

Rather than allow religious bodies their natural right to operate in accordance with their beliefs, the Equal Opportunity (Religious Exceptions) Amendment Bill 2021 seeks to go well beyond what might be considered reasonable or healthy in a pluralist society. In introducing the legislation, the Victorian Government is seeking to dictate how faith communities should run their organisations. This gross overreach could see religious organisations being forced to violate their beliefs and values in managing employment matters.

For people of faith, religious beliefs shape all aspects of life. Parents that send their children to religious schools expect that the school’s environment faithfully represents the religious ethos in every respect including the conduct of all teachers and staff. With this Bill, the ability for schools to meet this legitimate expectation will be severely compromised because, in effect, the Bill erroneously disconnects religious belief from conduct that is consistent with this belief.

The full statement by the Faith Leaders of Victoria (including Bishop Paul Bird) can be read here
Cathedral Parish Pastoral Council meets

Members of the Council (Susan Crowe, Simon Duffy, Elizabeth Ryan, Brian Shanahan, Leo Styles, Tomy Thekkumury and Frs Eladio and Justin), met for their final meeting in 2021 during the past week.    Mercy Sister, Karon Donnellan continued facilitating the Parish Pastoral Council from the October meeting as the Council articulated its own statement of Vision, Mission and Values.

After prayerful discernment and discussion the PPC decided:
As St Patrick’s Parish Pastoral Council our:
·       Vision: invite this Christ centred faith community to realise God’s             Dream with authenticity and hope
·        Mission: as PPC we discern, serve and facilitate the community             of faith. This is achieved through collaborative inclusive processes
         which endeavour to use contemporary resources
·        Values: Integrity; Dignity = Everybody counts; Proximity and

PPC Priority for 2022
Emerging from COVID, to re-engage our faith community, seeking to connect the various aspects.

Action: to utilise the Facebook page using this contemporary resource as a primary connector.

Suggested ways:
· Invite each parish ministry to do a short video for the Facebook  page
· Provide links to various ministries that have their own websites or Facebook page e.g. schools, CWL, Family Groups, Legion of Mary, CLC, menAlive…
· Need to find someone or a couple of people skilled in this area to action the concept.

Our Diocesan Community

Click this link to read the November edition of 'Our Diocesan Community'.
Trees in the Cathedral Grounds

The wonderful Atlas Cedars are a significant feature of the
Cathedral grounds.

These are “landmark trees” and are the most significant group of mature ornamental trees in the central Ballarat area.

Recent inspections by an arborist estimated them to be in excess of 130 years old.

It was with great sadness that one of these landmark trees was felled during the week. This followed an inspection that indicated that this tree which had been disturbed in the recent violent wind storm that saw many mature trees lost across Ballarat, would fall soon, which is why it was removed as soon as possible.

Another of these trees is scheduled to be removed this week.
Thank you for contributing to the Cathedral collections this week:

Parish $2,101.00
Presbytery $666.50

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

Reflection on the Readings

Today’s gospel passage, with its vivid description of the end-time signs, may seem a strange choice of reading for Advent and the beginning of the Church year. Its depiction of global devastation has a particular resonance in a post-industrial world faced with climate crisis. Some may be tempted to interpret “apocalyptic” events of today as the judgement of an interventionist God. This is far from the truth. Our mindless exploitation of planetary resources has brought its own judgement and we must struggle together to save our planet from further destruction.

Advent and Christmas are about the coming “in power and great glory” of the One who brings the liberation of God. The earliest Christians believed that Jesus would soon return and bring everything to completion. Some decades after Jesus’ death, Luke’s community had come to realize that the “final” coming of Christ was not just as imminent as they had expected. They needed to be reminded that a delayed return was no excuse for lack of vigilance. Luke warns against activities and attitudes that de-sensitize the heart or the human spirit. For Luke, an attentive heart and constant prayer for the strength to withstand whatever comes is the proper stance for the Christian believer. An attentive heart will be attuned to the cry of the earth and the cry of those rendered poor by those who exploit the goods of the earth. The image of Jesus coming on the clouds belongs within an ancient understanding of the structure of the world in which God and God’s heavenly court are located in the heavens above. It might function in our times as a reminder that the Incarnation, “God’s becoming material” (Karl Rahner), is an ongoing cosmic event, not just a once-off event limited to one place and one time.

We might do well to read this gospel passage against the backdrop of today’s first reading from Jeremiah that looks to the fulfillment of God’s promise of the “virtuous branch for David”. The organic metaphor of the branch reminds us of the interconnectedness of God’s people and of all being across the ages. The virtue of the expected descendant of David finds expression in honesty and integrity, literally “justice and righteousness/right relationship”. Justice in the Hebrew tradition is about redress in the law courts for the most vulnerable. Righteousness is about right relationships as well as the equitable sharing and proper use of Earth’s resources. Justice and righteousness are two sides of the one coin. Where they are absent, there is no liberation. Our prayer and practical action this Advent might embrace the plight of the earth itself and the concerns of those who yearn for liberation from various forms of oppression. We might remember those seeking asylum among us and those who have been granted refugee status yet still await the justice of resettlement in our country. Our Advent could make a difference to their Christmas.

-Veronica Lawson RSM

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