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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.



21st February 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 the Worship in the Cathedral this week

Monday February 22nd      8.00am   Morning Prayer
                                          10.00am  Mass 
                                          10.30am  Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
                                            5.30pm  Evening Prayer

Tuesday February 23rd        8.00am   Morning Prayer
                                           10.00am  Funeral Mass for Thea den Ouden   
                                             5.30pm   Evening Prayer

Wednesday February 24th   8.00am   Morning Prayer
                                           10.00am  Mass    
                                             5.30pm   Evening Prayer

Thursday February 25th      8.00am    Morning Prayer
                                           10.00am  Stations of the Cross   
                                             5.30pm   Evening Prayer

Friday February 26th          7.30am    Mass
                                            8.00am     Morning Prayer
                                            9.30am     St Patrick's Primary Opening Mass
                                            2.00pm    Funeral Prayers Katalin Kirsteuer
                                            5.30pm     Evening Prayer

Saturday February 27th     10.00am    Mass
                                           10.30am    Reconciliation

Readings for this week:  First Sunday of Lent

First:    Genesis 9:8-15           Second:   Peter 3:18-22

Gospel:   Mark 1:12-15

Readings for next week:  Second Sunday of Lent

First:  Genesis 22:1-2. 9-13. 15-18        Second: Romans 8:31-34

Gospel:  Mark 9:2-10

Nora Best, Thea den Ouden, Cathy Jones, Gerald Power


Mecislaus Bauska
Liam Begbie
Zoltan Bodi
Bryan Coffey
Brent Craggs
John Devereux
Catherine Eames
John Harman
Maureen Heaney
Marcus King
Doris Lyons
Sr Margaret McCartin
Christopher Moloney
Sarah Moloney
Susan Nielson
Jacob Pamula
Lawrence Ryan
Audrey Scarff
Olive Shelton
Lynette Simmons
Cecilia Stevens
Philip Weissenfold

Clergy Retreat

This week Bishop Paul and many priests of the Diocese of Ballarat will be on retreat at Halls Gap with Bishop Eugene Hurley as Director. Please pray for the clergy of the Diocese in the coming week. Fr Justin will not be amongst those on retreat, but will remain in Ballarat attending to funerals, weekday Masses and on call requests. He will be attending a meeting of the Directors of the Catholic Education Commission Victoria (CECV) in Melbourne on Thursday (the first face to face meeting for over a year!) so there will not be Mass in the Cathedral on Thursday and those who are usually available to “supply” will be on retreat.

Saint Oscar Romero is our inspiration for Project Compassion 2021, so in his words let’s:

“Aspire not to have more, but to be more.”

Ash Wednesday on February 17 marked the official launch of Project Compassion 2021, Caritas Australia’s annual Lenten appeal, which runs for the six weeks of Lent.

In its 56th year,Project Compassion is one of Australia’s longest running appeals, and has been a long-standing Lenten fixture in parishes across Australia with its iconic donation boxes. In this time, Australians have raised millions of dollars for marginalized communities worldwide.

Technology has opened up a world of possibilities for parishes to connect with the development programs that Project Compassion makes possible. This year, for the first time, parishioners are able to connect directly with Caritas Australia’s overseas Program staff via "Virtual Immersions".

The 75-minute Virtual Immersions connect Australian parishes to international programs through prayer, reflection and dialogue.

At a time of such upheaval and challenge across the globe, possibly the greatest world-wide challenges since the inception of Project Compassion, Caritas Australia encourages all Australians to "Be More" this year to help vulnerable communities.

'Project Compassion gives us the opportunity to show compassion for the poor in a special way, not just through material giving, but through spiritual giving,' said Bishop Terry Brady, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Sydney.
'We encourage all Australians to support their sisters and brothers across the world this Project Compassion, so that we can continue to work with communities during these challenging times to strengthen resilience and build a stronger, more equal future for all,' said Kirsty Robertson, CEO of Caritas Australia.

'The theme "Be More" is inspired by the words of St Oscar Romero, to "aspire not to have more, but to be more", and challenges us to stand in solidarity with people around the world who continue to face the injustice of poverty.'
'We invite all who hold the Lenten season dear to their hearts to join us in our journey of hope, love and of course, compassion. Our journey towards a better, more just world where all may thrive,' said Ms Robertson.

Sacraments of Initiation
Preparation for Reconciliation Part 1 (junior) begins shortly for Baptised Catholic Children in school year level 4 or older.

The Parent Information Meeting has now been rescheduled and will take place as follows:

Date:           Tuesday 2nd March, 2021

Time:           10.00am or 5.30pm

Location:     St Patrick's Hall (MacKillop & Glowrey Meeting Rooms)

Please call the Parish Office for further details and to complete a Registration form.
Catholic Education in Australia 200 years young

The Catholic Bishops have written a pastoral letter to school leaders, staff, students and families to mark the 200th anniversary of Catholic education in Australia which was launched on

Thursday 18th February 2021

The letter, 200 Years Young, recognises the contribution of religious, clergy and lay people to the foundation of Catholic education, and the distinctive role Catholic schools play in educating and forming young people of faith and service in their communities. Today, there are 1,751 Catholic schools educating 768,000 students and employing 98,000 staff. Nearly 40 per cent of Catholic schools are located outside of metropolitan cities in regional, rural and remote communities. Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP, Chair of the Bishops Commission for Catholic Education, has called on all those involved in Catholic education to acknowledge this significant milestone in the life of the Church. “From very humble beginnings with the opening of the first official Catholic school educating just 31 students located on Hunter Street in Parramatta, Catholic schools have grown to educate more than one in five Australian students, with many others attending Catholic pre-schools, colleges and universities,” Archbishop Fisher said. “We are fortunate to have Catholic schools in most towns and suburbs, and university campuses in most capital cities, serving students from diverse backgrounds and beliefs. While they are no longer all from poorer families, as so many were in the first century-and-a-half of Catholic education, we continue to welcome and ensure our schools are accessible to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, refugees, those with disabilities and students who are financially disadvantaged. “Alongside families and parishes, Catholic schools are the Church’s principal meeting point with young people, and are integral to the Church’s mission of transmitting the faith to the next generation and forming young people as future contributors to Australian society.”

Pope Francis' message for Lent 2021:
Let us renew our faith
In his message for Lent 2021, Pope Francis says that Lent is a time for believing, for welcoming God into our lives and allowing him to “make his dwelling” among us (cf. Jn 14:23). The Holy Father reminds the faithful that the Lenten practices of fasting, almsgiving and prayer make it possible for us to live lives of sincere faith, living hope and effective charity, thereby sharing in Jesus' mission of the salvation of the world.

During this season of conversion, Pope Francis invites the faithful to draw from the “living water” of hope, and receive with open hearts the love of God.
Let us renew our faith

'At the Easter vigil, we will renew our baptismal promises and experience rebirth as new men and women by the working of the Holy Spirit,' says Pope Francis. 'This Lenten journey, like the entire pilgrimage of the Christian life, is even now illumined by the light of the resurrection, which inspires the thoughts, attitudes and decisions of the followers of Christ.'

Fasting, prayer and almsgiving, the Holy Father says, is what enables our conversion. The path of poverty and self-denial (fasting), concern and loving care for the poor (almsgiving), and childlike dialogue with the Father (prayer) make it possible for us to live lives of sincere faith, living hope and effective charity.

Read the Pope's 2021 Lenten message here.


Pope Francis has encouraged Catholics to practice charity during Lent this year by caring for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Source: CNA.
In his message for Lent 2021, the Pope asks people to “experience Lent with love,” which “rejoices in seeing others grow.”

“To experience Lent with love means caring for those who suffer or feel abandoned and fearful because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In these days of deep uncertainty about the future, let us keep in mind the Lord’s word to his Servant, ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you’ (Isaiah 43:1). In our charity, may we speak words of reassurance and help others to realise that God loves them as sons and daughters,” Pope Francis wrote in the message published on Friday.

Read the full article here\
Image above:
Pope Francis celebrates Mass in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta during Lent last year (Vatican Media)

Knowing Jesus - A retreat for Lent

Welcome to ‘Knowing Jesus’, a retreat open to all who are interested in getting to know Jesus better. Christian tradition believes that the person of Jesus Christ reveals God to us. If we are to follow Christ and imitate him, we need to know him through his words and actions as shown in the Gospels.
Walk with us through Lent and Easter and really come to understand and love Jesus. We will ponder Gospel stories, reflect on their meaning and see how startlingly relevant Jesus is to living a truly human life in the 21st Century.

For more information about this online retreat, produced in Scotland by the Society of Jesus - Jesuits - a Catholic religious order, is open to all throughout the world, please go here

Lenten Calendar

This year’s Lent Calendar from Garratt Publishing follows the longest of the Camino pilgrimages, the Via de la Plata (The Silver Route). Starting in the south of Spain at Seville, the route owes its existence to a set of Roman roads that linked the southwest to the northwest coast. This Camino route was traditionally taken by North African Christians on their way to Santiago. It is rich in Roman history and is home to the best-preserved Roman sites in Europe, with many being listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
This is the longest of the Camino pilgrimages. Each day as you journey through Lent, an image from the many towns or sites from the Via de la Plata will be featured. Accompanying the image is a reflection or prayer from one our favourite Lenten titles.

Download the 2021 Garratt Lenten Calendar here.

Affirming human dignity for all

We live in a time when around the world so many lives seem not to matter. Whether they be Uighur lives, women’s lives, Black lives, Yemeni lives or refugee lives. So widely disregarded in practice, the large claim that every life has value, however, oftentimes has to be justified. The ultimate reason is that each human being is precious and has an inalienable dignity. No person may be used as a means to another’s end.
Furthermore, human beings depend on one another to come into life and at every stage of life. For that reason we are not isolated individuals but are bound in relationships to one another and to our world. That interconnection at the heart of our humanity explains why our lives matter to others.

Life means more than merely not being dead. It includes our relationships: personal, and those to our ethnic, religious, political and social groups and to the institutions of which we are part. For that reason we can properly speak of Black lives, Catholic lives, Californian lives, Muslim lives and LGBTQ+ lives.

The network of relationships that constitutes each human life suggests that we should consider how each human life matters. This consideration draws attention to the precious humanity of each person and to the concrete relationships that shape their distinctive humanity. It leads us naturally to ask whether the way in which those social and power relationships are structured in society respects the equal humanity of each person or discriminates against it.

If we insist that each human life matters, we should be doubly grateful that people from particular groups in society protest against discrimination that devalues and puts at risk their lives, and insist that the lives of people in their group matter. Black lives, Rohinga lives, Uighur lives, Communist lives, asylum seeker lives and, I would argue, the lives of the unborn are equally precious and equally command respect. Movements that defend them assert that each human life matters.

Read this article by Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ in Eureka Street here

Melbourne Archbishop writes on the Vaccine

Melbourne Archbishop, Peter Comensoli, has written that It is welcome news that the first batches of the Pfizer vaccine have arrived in Australia. Soon the most vulnerable people in our country – our frontline workers and those at greatest risk – will receive their first dose against the COVID-19 virus. I will be grateful to receive a vaccination when my turn in the staged roll-out comes around. None of the vaccines are a cure for COVID-19, but indications are that they provide a significant measure of protection from the worst effects of the virus, for the time being.

For the common good, it is appropriate that our governments work together to roll out a nation-wide process of vaccination for all residents. Likewise, for the common good, everyone should respect the decisions of individuals who, for medical, safety or moral reasons, are not ready to receive a vaccination immediately.

At this early stage in measuring the longer-term effectiveness and safety of each of the COVID-19 vaccines, calls for a ‘No jab, no service’ policy would be unjust.

The Catholic Bishops have already endorsed efforts to offer a vaccination as soon as possible to all who can safely receive one."

Read the Archbishop's letter here

St Vincent de Paul Society Cathedral Conference
2020 Christmas Appeal

The 2020 Christmas Appeal provided many challenges to the Society.  The biggest of these was the loss of the Jesse Tree donations of food, non-perishable goods and toys that we have relied on for many years and also the loss of cash donations that we normally received through the Vinnies Christmas Appeal. However we were able to provide support to many families and individuals as a result of the donations received from a variety of sources. 

Cathedral Parish Conference of the Society sincerely thanks all Parishioners who contributed to our Christmas appeal through the donation of food, cash, toys and time. Your generosity has allowed us to distribute hampers [including presents] to families and individuals throughout the Ballarat area. In addition to the Parish donations we are greatly appreciative of the donations and support received from the 3BA Christmas Appeal, St. Patrick's Primary School, St Thomas Moore Catholic Primary School and St Patrick’s College.

In addition to the hampers and toys distributed from the donors mentioned above we were also able to assist families with hampers and toys donated by Loreto College, the Commonwealth Bank Staff and Charities Club, the Garden City Church, Sebastopol and the York Street Church of Christ.

Hampers were delivered to families in the Ballan/Gordon, Daylesford/Creswick, Ballarat North, Ballarat East, Sebastopol, Redan, Beaufort and Cathedral parishes.  We were able to provide support to over 200 families ensuring that they enjoyed a happy and hopeful Christmas. We also thank those who gave up their time to assist in the preparation and delivery of the hampers.


Thank you for contributing to the Cathedral collections this week:

No collections taken this week.

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

Gospel Reflection

We all seek to be part of family and community because we are social beings who need to engage with others and with our environment. Some are deprived of choice in this respect. Repeated name-calling and labelling is an age-old strategy of exclusion. “Illegals” is a label that excludes some of the most vulnerable people in today’s world. “Leper” is a label that is used metaphorically of those who are not welcome, of those deemed to be “infectious”. Today’s gospel about a person with leprosy invites us to reflect on the pain of exclusion.

To be a leper in the world of early Judaism was to have some sort of skin disease that excluded a person from community and in particular from public worship. There were strict regulations regarding such lepers (see today’s first reading from Leviticus, dating from several centuries before the time of Jesus). Their condition required ritual cleansing by a priest and an offering that cost money. That seems horrifying from our perspective, and it was.

In Mark’s story, the man with leprosy approaches Jesus of Nazareth who is not one of the priests. This afflicted person thus cuts across the established procedures. Jesus is “moved with compassion”, literally “moved in his gut, or in the depths of his being”. In other words, Jesus empathises deeply with the suffering person. He has a physical reaction in the face of suffering. Some manuscripts have “moved with anger”. A later scribe probably considered that expression too harsh as an emotion for Jesus and softened the text.

Jesus speaks and acts. He declares that he wills the cure of the man. He actually reaches out and touches him: a bodily encounter brings healing. He then sends the man back to tell the priests “as a proof to them”. The verb used for “send back” suggests that the priests had already been approached without success. Jesus, the Galilean healer, succeeds in mediating the power of the God of Israel and so restores this outcast person to life in the community and the community itself to greater wholeness through this healing. The widespread report of Jesus’ healing activity will incur the anger of some of the authorities.

For our part, as followers of Jesus, we might reflect on the fact that sickness and disability are not only physical phenomena. They also have social and emotional impacts on individuals and the communities to which they belong. Healing enables people to live again, to be with others and do the things they want to do. It brings new life and integrity to community. Jesus demonstrates that the combination of a compassionate word and a healing touch can work wonders. This was true in the ancient world. It is equally true for us today in the face of a virulent pandemic that has taken so many lives and disrupted family and social engagement. Healing must be all embracing if it is restore life.

Veronica Lawson RSM
A Pilgrimage for the Year of St Joseph

The Aussie Camino is a pilgrimage route running from Portland in Victoria to Penola in South Australia, inspired by the life and journeys of Australia’s first Saint, Mary of the Cross MacKillop and her mentor Fr Julian Tenison Woods.

This year being declared the Year of St Joseph by Pope Francis, is a great opportunity to visit & reflect on the “Josephites or Brown Joeys’; the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, founded by St Mary McKillop in Penola in 1866.
On average, you will walk between 20 & 25 km per day (6 to 8 hours) for the 8 days of walking.  Each day is long, however it is spectacular and is both a spiritual and a human experience. This Camino includes amazing walks along cliff tops, beaches, sand dunes, goat trails and farm tracks. 

Based on the traditions of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Spain, pilgrims receive a guidebook, passport, scallop shell and stay in the local towns along the way. Fr Justin Driscoll will accompany the pilgrims.

10 Days – Portland to Penola
Departing Ballarat: Friday 30 April 21
Returning Ballarat: Sunday 09 May 21
Maximum of 12 people.

Please register your interest & attendance at the Info Session via email to Leonie at Lifestyle Travel Ballarat

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