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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.


22nd AUGUST, 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.

* * * * * *

Mass will be celebrated in the Cathedral with a maximum of 100 people in attendance. No registration will be required prior to attending, however, you may choose to register (via call to the Parish Office or via email) prior to weekend Masses to ensure a place;
one Mass per person per weekend please to enable the opportunity for as many parishioners as possible to attend.

Upon entrance to the Cathedral (via the south transept door), use the QR code to register your attendance or sign in with the materials provided. Masks are required for entry.

Monday to Thursday - 10.00am
Friday 12.05pm (Reconciliation preceding Mass at 11.30am)
Saturday 10.00am (Reconciliation to follow Mass)

Morning Prayer         prayed each day (Monday – Friday) at 8.00am
Evening Prayer          prayed each day (Monday – Friday) at 5.00pm

Sunday Masses @ the Cathedral
5.30pm (Vigil), 8.00am, 10.30am & 5.00pm
St Patrick’s College Chapel 1431 Sturt St
10.45 am Sunday

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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:   21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

First:   Joshua 24:1-2. 15-18 Second:   Ephesians 5:21-32

Gospel: John 6:60-69

Readings for next week:  22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

First:  Deuteronomy 4:1-2. 6-8   Second:  James 1:17-18, 21-22, 27

Gospel:  Mark 7:1-8. 14-15. 21-23

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

Jude Charles Penny, son of Andrew and Ashleigh

Marcie Alison Millar, daughter of Jaylea and Trevor

Raiden John Hayward Williams, son
of Robert and Cristie

“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.

Margaret Mary Cranko, Judith (Judy) Setori, Hildegarda Kipka,
Gerard O’Loughlin (our oldest parishioners – 102 years!)

Alby Button
Frank McAloon

Australasian Catholic Coalition for Church Reform presents
Outcomes and Actions for the Plenary Council
Join us for the second Convocation exploring The Future of Catholicism in Australia where we will bring together diverse perspectives on the current state, and future prospects, for our Church in Australia.
Building on the momentum generated by Joan Chittister’s powerful ‘call to action’ in the first Convocation, this Convocation will set down markers for a Synodal Way, speaking to the deep desires among Australian Catholics for a fresh vision and new directions.

A momentum for renewal is building but it needs consolidation, encouragement and support. Your participation in this Convocation will take us another step forward in discerning our future and creating the Church we seek.

Participants will be invited to contribute to a discussion with questions and views using the Zoom ‘Chat’ function.

For more information, click here to visit our blog.


If you registered for the first Convocation, you DO NOT need to register again. For those who have NOT previously registered, please click HERE.

Registration is free.

RSVP by Tuesday August 24, 2021.

Once registered, you will receive your link on August 25 – the day before the August 26 event date.


WHEN: Thursday August 26, 2021
TIME: 7.30pm – 9.00pm (AEST)*
COST: Free


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.

Many Hearts, One Voice online Conference
Wednesday 1 – Friday 3 September, 2021

This conference aims to: empower people with a vision of mission that is collaborative, scriptural and deeply theological, one that affirms, enables, encourages and inspires. It aims to hear the many and varied voices and to encourage “dialogue among all people of good will” [Fratelli Tutti #6]
There are several outstanding keynote presenters including:
·Dr Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann AM, Aboriginal elder from Nauiyu and renowned artist, activist, writer and public speaker.
· Cardinal Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle   Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Metropolitan Archbishop Emeritus of Manila.  Ordained to the priesthood in 1982, Cardinal Tagle has served as a parish priest, spiritual director, and taught philosophy and theology

·Mr Craig Foster AM, Human Rights Activist, Sport & Social Responsibility, Author, Adjunct Professor, Broadcaster, Former Socceroo

·Mr Hugh Mackay AO, social psychologist and researcher, and the bestselling author of 21 books, including eight novels. His new book, The Kindness Revolution, will be published in May 2021.

· Dr. Ursula Stevens,   Chief Executive Officer, Catholic Social Services Australia

·Mr. Robert Fitzgerald AM,  NSW Ageing and Disability Commissioner. Robert, a commercial lawyer by profession, has a diverse background and extensive experience in commerce, law, public policy and community services.  He is currently Adjunct Professor at University of Western Australia and Patron of Justice Connect and SAMSN (Survivors and Mates Support Network)

Catholic Mission and St Patrick’s Cathedral Parish are offering this opportunity for parishioners to participate in these 3 days by coming together in the Glowry and MacKillop rooms at the Cathedral.  Come for one, two or even three days!!

Due to COVID-19 there is a restriction on the number of participants. Register with Sue Searls, Ballarat Diocesan Director for Catholic Mission, 0403 902 921

Putting environment in the picture
Catholic Earthcare Australia has launched a campaign encouraging Catholics to embrace the Church’s Season of Creation next month by taking photos of their actions for the environment and publishing them online.

The campaign is inspired by the Church’s Laudato Si’ “action goals” and in support the Australian Catholic bishops’ latest Social Justice Statement, Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor.

It will see community members take a photo of their actions for the environment – gardens growing, treading gently with resources, being in nature, a place they love – and share on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag, #care4ourcommonhome.

Catholic Earthcare will stream the actions being undertaken across schools, parishes and families via its website, to show the collective efforts of the community this Season of Creation, September 1 to October 4.

Read the article here


CONFIRMATION   Come Holy Spirit!

This weekend we welcome the 168 children and their parents from the Cathedral Parish for their next preparation session for the
Sacrament of Confirmation.

Due to COVID restrictions and gathering limits, children will be preparing in the Cathedral Hall on Saturdays at 5.30pm and Sundays at 10.30am or 5.00pm for the next two weekends
(21/22 and 28/29 August).

At this stage, celebration dates are the weekends of
4th/5th and 11th/12th September
We keep the children and their families in our prayers.

PLEASE NOTE: Sacramental Certificates for children who have completed all their Sacraments of Initiation (Confirmation and Communion) are now available for collection from the Parish Office during the office hours of Tuesday to Friday, 10.00am to 5.00pm.
Get vaccinated against COVID-19,
pleads Pope Francis

"Getting vaccinated is a simple yet profound way to care for one another, especially the most vulnerable"

Pope Francis has in a video message urged people to get vaccinated against COVID-19, calling it "an act of love", and praised the work of researchers and scientists in producing safe and effective vaccines. "Thanks to God's grace and to the work of many, we now have vaccines to protect us from COVID-19," he said in the video released on Wednesday and produced with the Ad Council. Vaccines "bring hope to end the pandemic, but only if they are available to all and if we collaborate with one another", he said.
Pope Francis said getting a jab that is "authorized by the respective authorities" is an "act of love." Helping others do the same, he said, is also an act of love. "Love for oneself, love for our families and friends, and love for all peoples. Love is also social and political. "The pope said social and political love is built up through "small, individual gestures capable of transforming and improving societies." "Getting vaccinated is a simple yet profound way to care for one another, especially the most vulnerable," he said.
Pope Francis prayed that "each one of us can make his or her own small gesture of love." "No matter how small, love is always grand," he said. "Small gestures for a better future." The pope was joined in the video by several cardinals and archbishops from across the Americas. Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, lamented the suffering and death the pandemic has wrought across the globe. He prayed that God might "grant us the grace to face it with the strength of faith, ensuring that vaccines are available for all, so that we can all get immunized."
Presently the United States is the hardest hit by the coronavirus, reporting 1,017 COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, taking the death toll from the pandemic to just under 623,000 people, the highest number of deaths officially reported by any country in the world. Mexican Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes linked COVID-19 vaccines to a better future for all. "From North to South America, we support vaccinations for all," he said. Honduran Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga said the world has much to learn from the coronavirus. "But one thing is certain: the authorized vaccines are effective, and are here to save lives," he said. "They are the key to a path of personal and universal healing. "Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes praised the "heroic efforts" of health professionals in developing "safe and effective" vaccines. Salvadorian Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chavez said vaccination helps protect the most vulnerable. "Our choice to get vaccinated affects others," he said, adding that it is a moral responsibility. Peruvian Archbishop Miguel Cabrejos encouraged everyone to "act responsibly, as members of the great human family, seeking and protecting our integral health and universal vaccination. "

Pope Francis is absolutely convinced that the way out of the pandemic is getting people vaccinated.

The ethics of mandating vaccinations in healthcare

Since its unwelcome arrival over a year ago, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented us with a range of moral and ethical quandaries — some hypothetical, some deeply pragmatic.

How should a limited number of respirators be allocated if demand outstrips supply? Who should get access to vaccines first? What does the Government owe those whose livelihoods have been disrupted by state-mandated health measures?

Right now, a critical debate is proceeding about the ethics of mandating vaccinations in the workplace.

Employer groups have discussed mandatory and some employers, like the fruit canner SPC, have gone a step further and simply declared vaccines mandatory on site.

The government has understandably been asked to step in and provide clarity: is it right for employers to mandate vaccines or not?

No clear answer is forthcoming. Nor, I fear, should we expect one in the near future, because the government has to date failed to provide clarity on a much more straightforward ethical question — that of the vaccination of health care workers.

Catholic Health Australia represents 83 hospitals across the country, treating millions of patients each year. These hospitals employ tens of thousands of health workers, doctors, nurses, and allied health staff.
None are currently required, by Australian law, to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

People I speak to tend to be bemused by this. It seems utterly baffling that someone could feasibly contract COVID-19 from an unvaccinated healer in a hospital, as has happened on a number of occasions in the past week at some of the NSW’s largest hospitals. The situation is all the more unfathomable when one considers that healthcare workers in high-risk settings are already required to be vaccinated against a number of diseases including influenza, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and hepatitis B, among others. And yet, a year-and-half into the pandemic, here we are. Why the reticence from government? Surely health care workers who are treating the most vulnerable among us should be vaccinated.

Read this article by
John Watkins, Chair of Catholic Health Australia here

Australian e-library boosts access to essential religious texts

One of the unremarked benefits of the coronavirus pandemic is what it does for online learning, especially in fields of study that are of "fringe" interest in educational curricula.

It will be months, perhaps even a year, before our lives throughout much of the world revert to patterns of behavior we took for granted before this global health crisis of the coronavirus was visited on us. But there may be a few areas where the lockdowns, restrictions on movement and meetings and the impediments to interaction can in fact be beneficial. I'm thinking in particular of those academies and educational institutions that have geared up for the virtual delivery of their courses and resources.

Many parts of the world want their students to study with good resources and surprisingly the Church has library and teaching resources that are virtual and virtually accessible from anywhere in the world with reliable internet access. So then how does this coronavirus setback become a benefit? Sharing the Word -- available here -- is an e-library initiative in Sydney, Australia, that boosts access to essential texts for religious studies students, seminarians, clergy and scripture students across the world. This is especially useful to students in developing countries. It has catalogued more than 14,000 volumes.

Sharing the Word is a virtual library founded in 2013 and funded by the Pontifical Society of St. Peter the Apostle. It specifically aims to help seminarians, clergy, catechists and pastoral workers who are not able to afford hard copy texts essential for their ministry. There are now already over 1,000 monthly users, with a single point of access to the spiritual and intellectual riches of the Christian Faith.

The e-library is the brain child of professional librarian Dr. Hans Arns and was set up in 2013 by the Pontifical Society of St. Peter the Apostle as part of the Sharing the Word Project for seminary libraries in the developing world. Under the leadership of Catholic Mission (Australia) its volunteers have automated some 20 seminary libraries with the open source ILS Koha in East Africa, Asia and the Pacific Region between 2013 and 2018.

Cry of the Earth
Last week the annual Catholic Social Justice Statement was launched. Entitled Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor, its theme is care for the environment. In the same week the authoritative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report warned of the need for immediate and radical effort to minimise emissions and of the likely effects of their existing growth.
The documents warned their two constituencies of the danger of inactivity and marshalled the religious and humanitarian reasons for responding urgently to climate change. They face an identical challenge. If governments are to respond adequately to climate change they need to come under pressure from the people. That will not happen unless people see the issue as personal. It needs to enter their dreams, engage their imagination, stir them to change their way of life, and make them active in demanding an appropriate response.

The greatest obstacle to such a personal commitment is the realisation that personal action is not sufficient. If emissions are to be reduced, let alone removed, all nations need to be involved. This gives individual nations an escape clause. If individual advocacy is to make a difference, it must meet the opposition of politicians, businesses and individuals who stand to lose by radical action. In the face of these obstacles enthusiasm for necessary change is likely to fall away and yield to weary resignation.

That is why Pope Francis and the Social Justice Statement insist on the need for conversion, a word with intentionally religious associations. Conversion involves a change of mindset and priorities that lies deeper than passing or spasmodic attention, the vague desire that things were otherwise or a wish not to be troubled by the situation.

Afghanistan: Abandoned and betrayed
These children are among the thousands of people who fled the Talban’s advance and are now sheltering in parks in the capital, Kabul Alamy/Xinhua, Sayed Mominzadah

“Kabul has fallen: it sounds like a nineteenth-century dispatch to the India Office in London.” I wrote those words for The Independent in 1996, after the Taliban’s first capture of Afghanistan’s capital. How unimaginable it seems that they can be repeated now, nearly a quarter-of-a-century later.

The Taliban’s old boast – “You have the watches, but we have the time” – has come true. The billions spent since America and its allies went into Afghanistan after 9/11, the loss of foreign troops and the much greater bloodshed among Afghans in the fight to keep the insurgents at bay, the vast efforts to establish democracy and create a civil society: all appear to have come to nothing.

The scenes in Kabul, so reminiscent of the last days of the Vietnam war, have caused breast-beating and humiliation in Western capitals. Former servicemen and women, and the families of those who never returned, are demanding to know whether the sacrifice was worthwhile. They have received few convincing answers.

President Ashraf Ghani did not wait to see what the Taliban had in store for him, leaving the country as his administration crumbled. No doubt he had the fate of his Communist predecessor in mind: in 1996, ex-President Najibullah (many Afghans have only one name), who had fled to a United Nations compound after his overthrow four years earlier, was dragged out, tortured and strung up from a traffic kiosk outside the presidential palace.

Will the Taliban exact the same kind of medieval revenge on those who supported two decades of occupation by American and allied forces? Will we return to the era of girls being removed from school, their mothers forced into the all-enveloping burqa, thieves having their hands amputated and the national treasury consisting of nothing but a trunk full of gold? We are assured by its English-speaking representatives that the movement has changed in the past 20 years, but the panicked crowds at Kabul airport do not seem to believe them.

Ultimately the post-2001 era may come to be seen as merely the latest in a succession of attempts to liberalise Afghanistan by force, all ending in failure. In the 1920s, for example, King Amanullah, inspired by Ataturk’s reforms, called a Loya Jirga, or grand tribal assembly, at which he announced a programme of sweeping modernisation. Condemning the subjugation of women, he called on his queen to remove her veil before the shocked elders. The ensuing revolt forced him to abdicate and flee Kabul in his Rolls-Royce.

Pope prays for Afghanistan
All alone as disaster unfolds in Afghanistan: President Joe Biden, at Camp David, consults remotely with national security officials. Newscom/Alamy

Pope Francis is among thousands of bishops, clergy and ministers worldwide praying desperately for the people of Afghanistan as the country falls once more to the Taliban and flawed evacuation efforts descend into deadly chaos.

Speaking after the Angelus, Pope Francis said: “I join in the unanimous concern for the situation in Afghanistan. I ask you to pray with me to the God of peace so that the clamour of weapons ceases and the solutions can be found at the dialogue table. Only in this way will the battered population of that country – men, women, elderly and children – be able to return to their homes, live in peace and safety in full mutual respect.”
More than 250,000 people, 80 per cent of them women and children, have already fled their homes. United Nations secretary genera, Antonio Guterres appealed for peace talks. He also expressed his shock over abuse of women. IThe humanitarian and health situation is worsening by the hour, said Guterres: “Conflicts in urban areas result in continuous carnage, with civilians are paying the highest price.”


Thank you for contributing to the Cathedral collections this week:

Parish $ 1,080.90
Presbytery $ 1,741.00

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
If we have trouble understanding and coming to terms with the teachings of Jesus in the gospel, then we can take some comfort from the reaction of the disciples in John’s community some decades after the death of Jesus. It seems that it was not only the members of the Jewish synagogue who were offended by his teaching, but also those Jews who had accepted Jesus as Messiah or Christ and had joined the community of believers. “This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?” they complain. They are referring to his teaching on the “bread” that he will give them. Once again, Jesus’ response introduces new teaching, teaching that can only raise more questions in their minds. He links “spirit” with “life”. Having used the term “flesh” of his body and of the life that he offers to those who eat of his flesh, he now introduces an element of doubt: flesh is now “useless”! We must be careful not to interpret this literally. It is typical of John to use the same word in a variety of ways. Here “flesh” is used negatively and metaphorically to refer to human weakness and sinfulness in contrast with “spirit” which evokes the creative spirit of God that moved over the waters at creation and the spirit of God that informed the word of the prophets.

The Johannine Jesus lays the ground for offering progressively deeper insights into his identity and destiny and into the meaning of a gospel way of life. The reference to his “ascending” recalls the earlier part of the gospel where he is presented as the pre-existent one, the one who comes from God and has already ascended to God (John 3:13). Once again, we are confronted with an ancient cosmology that places God in the heavens above. After his death, Jesus will tell Mary Magdalene that he has not yet ascended and instructs her to tell the disciples that he is ascending to God (20:17). It seems that John wants to keep emphasising the origins of Jesus as the eternal Word and the Wisdom of God.

There are many who refuse to grapple with the complexities and implications of his teaching and they turn away. Jesus asks his closest followers if they too will desert. Peter speaks for himself and his companions when he declares their undying allegiance: “To whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life.” Eternal life is the Johannine equivalent of the “kin-dom of God” or “of the heavens” of the other gospels. Most of us have wanted to abandon our commitment at some time or another. There are times when it seems to be all too hard. Peter’s declaration is a sobering one for us in times of doubt and an encouragement for those of us who seek to understand more deeply and to keep believing despite the challenges.
Veronica Lawson RSM
Suddenly Pastor Schober was not sure whether he really should have bought the new crucifix at IKEA

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