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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.



7th March 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 8th March
8.00am Morning Prayer
10.00am Mass
10.30am Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
5.30pm  Evening Prayer

Tuesday 9th March
8.00am Morning Prayer
10.00am Mass   
5.30pm   Evening Prayer

Wednesday 10th March   
8.00am Morning Prayer
10.00am  Mass    
5.30pm    Evening Prayer

Thursday 11th March
8.00am Morning Prayer
10.00am Mass    
5.30pm   Evening Prayer

Friday 12th March
8.00am Morning Prayer
10.00am Mass
10.30am Reconciliation
5.30pm Evening Prayer

Saturday 13th March
10.00am Mass
10.30am Reconciliation

A reminder that masks should be worn when in the Cathedral please.

Readings for this week:  Third Sunday of Lent

First:   Exodus 20:1-17      Second: Corinthians 1:22-25

Gospel:   John 2:13-25

Readings for next week:  Fourth Sunday of Lent

First:  2 Chronicles 36:14-16. 19-23        Second:   Ephesians 2:4-10

Gospel:   John 3:14-21

Imelda McGrath, Terry O'Donnell


Mollie Barnett
Norcisco Bomitali
Christine Both
Noreen Brennan
Geoffrey Browne
Oswald Coghlan
Audrey Colbert
James Conway
Imre Csaszar
Patrick Elliott
Margaret Giuliano
Desmond Hemphill
Ludwick Jaskulski
Elsie Lavery
Thomas Martin
Vincent McCartin
Rev Henry Nikel
Les Pearce
Maimie O'Sullivan
Mary Quinn
Maree Rantall
Francis Segrave
Ann Thomas
Cathryn Warhurst

Enrolment Information for
Prospective 2022
Foundation (Prep) Students at
Catholic Primary Schools
in the City of Ballarat

A single enrolment application process is in place for ALL families seeking Foundation (Prep) enrolment for the 2022 school year at a Catholic Primary school within the City of Ballarat.
It is advisable that you contact the schools that you are interested in prior to filling out this form to discuss attending a school tour or information session.

Download a list of schools in the City of Ballarat here.

Families seeking enrolment should complete a form below by Monday 10 May, 2021.
It is strongly recommended that you identify at least 3 preferences for enrolment.
Please note - completing this application form does not guarantee an offer of enrolment in a City of Ballarat Catholic primary school.
Once the form is completed, a confirmation email will be sent to the address provided.
For any queries, please email Kim Butler at

Sacraments of Initiation
Reconciliation Part 1 (junior)
Preparation for Reconciliation Part 1 (junior) began this week with a parent information session to outline the sacramental journey for children (who are in year 4 or older this year).  Dismissal sessions begin from Masses on the weekend of 13th/14th March.

So far we welcome over 80 children and their families to this preparation program.

For further details or to be included in the preparation this year, please direct any queries to the Parish Office by Thursday 11th March.

2021 World Day of Prayer
On Friday morning the Cathedral branch of the Catholic Women’s League hosted the 10am World Day of Prayer Service in St Patrick’s Cathedral.

The 2021 Service was prepared by the women of Vanuatu, “Build on Strong Foundations.” The service was co-led by Max White who chairs the Ballarat World Day of Prayer Committee and Carmel Kavanagh, President of the Cathedral branch of the Catholic Women’s League. Rev Lauleti Tu'inauvai of the Ballarat Central Uniting Church gave the address and led the assembly in song. As a native of the kingdom of Tonga, Lauleti brought not only the gift of song to us, but experience of the peoples of the Pacific islands, including Vanuatu. Various readings and reflections were led by Sheila Wilton, Brian Broadribb and Doreen Streckfuss.

Thank you to the members of the CWL for hosting the 2021 World Day of Prayer in our Cathedral.
Pope releases prayer intention for March
Pope Francis' prayer intention for March seeks to highlight the joy that the Sacrament of Reconciliation brings, and reminds us that it’s a loving and merciful encounter between us and God.

The Pope Video for March has been published, with the prayer intention that Pope Francis is entrusting to the entire Catholic Church through the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network.

It’s a message full of hope, in which he invites us to rediscover the power of personal renewal that the Sacrament of Confession has in our life. “Let us pray that we may experience the Sacrament of Reconciliation with renewed depth, to taste the forgiveness and infinite mercy of God,” Pope Francis asks. This month’s video opens with the Pope himself going to confession, “in order to be healed, to heal my soul.”
“Jesus waits for us, listens to us and forgives us”

“In the heart of God, we come before our mistakes,” says the Holy Father in The Pope Video, highlighting once more the power God’s love has over our being and action. Receiving this Sacrament isn’t a matter of standing before a judge, but of going to a loving encounter with a Father who receives us and always forgives us.

“The center of confession is not the sins we declare, but the divine love we receive, of which we are always in need,” the Pope adds. And this love comes before all else, before our mistakes, the rules, judgments and failings.

Read this article in full here.

Image above: 
Pope Francis goes to confession in a scene from The Pope Video for March (Vatican News)
Building bridges

Lent reflection
Every week through Lent, a writer will reflect on how a time of challenge brought unexpected grace.
I love being a Jesuit. And I’m never sure where to start when I describe the reasons why. Certainly my life as a priest, my ministry as a writer and Jesuit spirituality are all things for which I will never be able to thank God adequately. But the most surprising blessings of Jesuit life have been my Jesuit brothers. The Society of Jesus can’t promise this in its vocational literature, but I had no idea that religious life would mean knowing so many people I consider not only friends but as close to brothers as I can ­imagine.

Life in a religious order, however, is not perfect – and members of those orders will be the first to tell you that. Yet even that lack of perfection has turned out to be the source of grace for me.

Many years ago, I lived in a Jesuit community (which no longer exists) where someone disliked me. Of course people in religious orders are like everyone else: they like some people but not others. And I’m not perfect by a long shot, so I don’t expect everyone to cotton to me. But this was on a different level. Perhaps a better way to put it would be to say that he despised me. For several years, he refused to speak to me, answering only when I directly put a question to him; he would sigh heavily and roll his eyes whenever I spoke in community; he would often leave the dining room table when I sat down to eat; and he occasionally muttered curses when passing me in the hall.

I apologise if this is disheartening about religious life, but most people have had these experiences at least once in their life. Religious orders are not immune from human frailty and even sin, as we should know by now.
Read this Lenten reflection by Fr James Martin SJ here.

BBI Conversations with...
Fr James Martin SJ

Join us as we chat with Fr James Martin - one of America's most beloved spiritual leaders and New York Times bestselling author - about his new book 'Learning to Pray: A Guide for Everyone.'

REGISTER NOW (zoom link will be emailed on Wednesday 24th March 2021)
Book Order (Pauline Books & Media)

Online Event Details:

Date: Thursday 25th March 2021
Time: 11.30am - 12.15pm (AEDT)
Via Zoom link that will be emailed on Wednesday 24th March 2021

Registration: Online registration is essential before Wednesday 24th March.

For any enquiries, please contact Belinda Srour - Marketing & Events Manager
Phone:  02 9847 0030
Biden is 'Catholic and observant', says Benedict

United States President Joe Biden

Benedict XVI says his “conscience is clear” about resigning the papacy but that some of his “fanatical friends" are still unable to accept the decision.
“It was a difficult decision, but I made it in full awareness, and I believe I did the right thing,” says the retired Pope in an interview, given on the eighth anniversary that he left his office. “Some of my slightly ‘fanatical’ friends are still angry, they didn't want to accept my choice. I think of the conspiracy theories that followed it.”

He referenced some of the theories, including that his resignation was forced by the Vatileaks scandal, which saw Benedict’s butler leak sensitive documents; caused by a “gay lobby” in the Vatican or linked to the case of Richard Williamson, the Holocaust-denying traditionalist bishop and former member of the Society of Saint Pius X. In 2009, Williamson was among four bishops who had their excommunications lifted by Pope Benedict.

Read this article by Christopher Lamb here
The remains of Vatican II
Why is the reception of the council still an issue?

Pope Francis arrives to lead Catholics into Lent with the Ash Wednesday Mass at
St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, 17 February 2021.

Pope Francis has said some interesting things about Vatican II in the last several weeks. On January 11, in a letter to the cardinal prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith accompanying his motu proprio allowing women to become lectors and acolytes, the pope described his decision in terms of the "horizon of renewal traced by the Second Vatican Council" and "in line with the Second Vatican Council." Then came these remarks in his January 29 speech to the national catechetical office of the Italian bishops' conference: This is the magisterium: the Council is the magisterium of the Church. Either you are with the Church and therefore you follow the Council, and if you do not follow the Council or you interpret it in your own way, as you wish, you are not with the Church. We must be demanding and strict on this point. The Council should not be negotiated in order to have more of these.... No, the Council is as it is. And this problem that we are experiencing, of selectivity with respect to the Council, has been repeated throughout history with other Councils.

As with all other teachings by Francis, these statements speak in a particularly direct way to U.S. Catholicism. In recent months, some bishops and clerics have tried to advance a theologically defensible conservative interpretation of Vatican II, something to counter the extremist views of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò and a group of like-minded quasi-schismatics, who in addition to rejecting the "Bergolian" magisterium have taken a position that's hard to distinguish from pure and simple rejection of the council's teachings. Bishop Robert Barron, for example, has spoken of attacks on Vatican II as a "disturbing trend," and Thomas Weinandy, former executive director of the Secretariat for Doctrine and Pastoral Practices of the USCCB, has chastised Viganò for challenging the council's authenticity. But there's more than theological interpretation to consider. The alliance of conservative American Catholicism with Trumpism also says something about the reception of Vatican II; the fascination some have for a quasi-Caesarean political leadership is a symptom of the council's failure in this country.

Read this article by Massimo Faggioli here
Catholic Sector urges Morrison Government
to look at key areas in
Aged Care Royal Commission Report

Catholic Health Australia is urging the Morrison Government not let the once in a generation opportunity presented by the Royal Commission for lasting and meaningful reform pass it by.

CHA, which is the largest grouping of non-government aged care providers, said in its response to the Commission’s final report the Government should concentrate its efforts on four key areas:

·         Giving families choice and control over the type of care they need, including gradually removing the waiting list for home care packages and ending the rationing of services; 

·         Putting in place more staff and training and paying them properly;

·         Increased disclosure and transparency that rates performance; and

·         Providing timely access by older people in aged care to the services of the wider health system.

CHA CEO Pat Garcia acknowledged the hard but necessary work undertaken by the Commission and said his members were looking forward to hearing the Government's response in full.

“Our members recognise that significant reform is needed to deliver an aged care system that really caters for the needs of older Australians and puts them at the very centre of what we do. They absolutely recognise that they have a role to play in helping and they stand ready to assist the government in the implementation.

“This is a once in a generation opportunity to deliver for our older Australians a future where they have the right information so that they are able to choose the care that best suits them and their needs.


Thank you for contributing to the Cathedral collections this week:

Parish $ 560.00
Presbytery $ 1,290.35

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

Gospel Reflection

Today’s gospel passage foreshadows the death of Jesus. As a devout Jew, Jesus goes up to Jerusalem at Passover. His final going-up will be the occasion of his death and resurrection. The Jerusalem Temple, Judaism’s most holy place, is the site of a dramatic incident, an event that is recounted in all four gospels. The Synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) locate it towards the end of the gospel. They present it as a catalyst for the intensification of hostility between the temple authorities and Jesus. John’s gospel, in contrast, places it at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. The tension between Jesus and the temple authorities that is to culminate in his death in all four gospels is thus present from the outset in John.

Jesus acts decisively, even violently, to draw attention to the primary function of God’s “house”. He creates an effective weapon, a whip of cords, and comprehensively clears the temple precinct of merchants, sheep, and cattle. He overturns the tables of the money-changers, orders the dove-sellers out and tells them all, in words that evoke the prophecy of Zechariah (14:21), to stop making God’s house “a market-place”. Zechariah had declared that, in the end times, there would no longer be traders in God’s house. There was legitimate commercial activity associated with temple worship, such as the purchase of animals and doves for sacrifice, a practice we might now critique, and the conversion of money to pay the Temple tax. The traders seem to have forgotten that this activity was a means to an end and not an end in itself.

In John’s account, the disciples partially understand: they interpret Jesus’ actions in the light of Psalm 69:9: “It is zeal for your house that has consumed me”. ‘”The Jews” request a “sign … for doing this”. In other words, they ask Jesus to demonstrate the source of his authority for his actions. His response is a challenge: “Destroy this temple, and in three days, I will raise it up”. “The Jews” misunderstand. This provides Jesus with the opportunity to play on the word “temple”: the temple is not only a material edifice that took forty-six years to build. It is also, metaphorically, his body that will be destroyed and raised up “in three days”. The narrator provides the explanation and indicates that the disciples will eventually understand and come to belief. It is important to note that John writes with the wisdom of hindsight. It is also important to note that the designation “the Jews” is neither a reference to the people of Judaea nor to the dispersed Jewish people. In John’s gospel, it refers to those who reject Jesus as the Anointed One of God, the Christ. As we travel the journey to Jerusalem this Lent, we are invited to keep everything in balance, and to remember that God, and not the opponents of Jesus, will have the final word in this drama.

Veronica Lawson RSM

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