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Welcome to the Cathedral Parish e-News for this weekend.
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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.

 

FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

31st JANUARY 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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Readings for this week:  Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

First:    Deuteronomy 18:15-20 Second:  Corinthians 7:32-35

Gospel: Mark 1:21-28


Readings for next week:  Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

First:   Job 7:1-4, 6-7 Second:  Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23

Gospel: Mark 1:29-39


RECENT DEATHS:
Pat Sargent

ANNIVERSARIES:
Rhonda Bateman
Ian Bicknall
Noreen Brennan
Alannah Bryan
Tessie Burke
Agnes Coffey
Patrick Conway
Edwin Coulter
John Dixon
Stella Fryar
Stanley Dean
James Little
Rosemary McGee
Grilo delos Reyes
Helen Roberts
Peter Warden
Elisabeth Wansink
Attending Mass at the Cathedral

At this stage, bookings are no longer required for Masses at the Cathedral.

You are welcome to attend any Mass through the side door of the Cathedral where there will be a 'Contact Tracing Register'* for you to provide the names and contact details of all who are attending Mass.


Daily Mass:
10.00am Mass from Monday to Saturday
Weekend Masses:
Saturday Vigil at 6.30pm
Sunday 8.00am and 10.30am or 5.00pm
At all other times the Cathedral will remain closed.

*details are retained per the Government requirement of 28 days; privacy is maintained and no details are shared with others.
Preparing for and Celebrating the Sacraments in 2021
In 2020 the children’s first Reconciliation preparation was completed in Lent but with the impact of the pandemic, the celebration of the sacrament was not able to be held until December. The Eucharist program was postponed as was the program for Confirmation.

Dates for 2021 have been set for the sacrament preparation programs in the Cathedral Parish and will be on our website shortly.


Beginning of the School Year
with Mass in the Cathedral
The staff of our three Catholic Primary Schools came together in the Cathedral on Wednesday morning to celebrate the Eucharist with Fr Justin. Over 100 staff members from St Patrick's Primary, St Thomas More and Siena gathered for this opening Mass.

Because of the Covid-19 restrictions, the usual Mass with staff of all Catholic Primary and Secondary Schools and Colleges in the Ballarat region was unable to take place, but the staff of all schools gathered in prayer on Wednesday in solidarity with each other.

Our Primary school staffs renewed their commitment to Catholic education with Faith in the Future. This year we celebrate 200 years of Catholic education.

On Thursday February 4th Fr Justin will celebrate the Opening Mass with Loreto College and beginning of the school year Masses with St Thomas More on Thursday February 11th and Siena Primary School on Friday February 12th.

 
World Interfaith Harmony Week

Taking place on the first week of February every year. Spreading harmony and tolerance among followers of the three monotheistic faiths and all the world's religions.

In Ballarat, our local Interfaith network will hold its annual flag event on Monday 1st February, at St Peter’s Anglican Church Sturt St, starting at 11.00am.

The programme will include an Acknowledgement of Country given by Peter Lovett, a welcoming address from Juliana Addison MP, a presentation from two of Ballarat High School’s student leaders, a tour of St Peter’s and a keynote address from the Anglican Bishop of Ballarat, Garry Weatherill. There will also be two virtual choirs performing and a virtual address from the Assistant to the Federal Minister for Multicultural Affairs - after which, refreshments will be served.

Many members from the various faith and multi-cultural communities of Ballarat will be in attendance: from the Islamic Association of Ballarat, the Ballarat Hindu Temple and Cultural Centre, the African Association of Ballarat, the local Sikh community, the local Baha’i Assembly, the Thai Buddhist Centre, as well as several Christian communities within the city.

This invitation is extended to all members of our community to attend – rsvp to:
Margaret Lenan Ellis
(Chair Ballarat Interfaith Network)
mflellis@netconnect.com.au


LENTEN PROGRAM 2021

'Comfort'
is the title of the 2021 Lenten program from Wollongong.

Books may be ordered for individuals or groups by contacting the Cathedral Parish Office.
New Church protocol published for
responding to sexual abuse


A new protocol to be introduced next week provides a framework for Catholic entities across Australia to respond consistently to people raising concerns or allegations of child sexual abuse. Source:
ACBC Media Blog.

The National Response Protocol, which was adopted by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference at its November 2020 plenary meeting, is the product of two years of work and widespread consultation within and beyond the Church.

That consultation included engagement with victims and survivors and their advocates.

“The Church continues to work hard to strengthen the safeguards that have been put in place in recent years,” Bishops Conference president Archbishop Mark Coleridge said.
“The adoption and implementation of the National Response Protocol is an important step forward, and we thank those who have brought this thorough process to completion.”

In preparing the National Response Protocol, various state and territory regulatory and legislative requirements, across different sectors and settings, were considered. The NRP sets a “national benchmark against which local policies and procedures should be aligned”.
 
Bishops highlight crisis in Holy Land

Covid-19 has exacerbated the situation in the Holy Land to the point where “there is today less cause for optimism than at any time in recent history”, according to the Holy Land Coordination group.

The group, which includes Bishop of Down and Connor Noel Treanor and Bishop of Raphoe Alan McGuckian SJ, says in its latest statement that the impact of Covid-19 has been “compounded by conflict, occupation and blockade” and the related “absence of international pilgrims” has “exacerbated widespread economic hardship, increased levels of unemployment and pushed many more families into poverty”.

They encouraged “cooperation by the Palestinian Authority, heeding Pope Francis’ message that “in the face of a challenge that knows no borders, we cannot erect walls”.

The Holy Land Coordination group was founded to address the immense spiritual and physical problems of the region and its peoples and is comprised of bishops from across Europe and America, including one Church of England bishop. The group meets and travels to the Holy Land every January with a focus on prayer, pilgrimage and persuasion, but has had to suspend its annual visit in the face of the pandemic.

Read this article by Sebastian Millbank here

Image: A Palestinian stand on his horse on Gaza Beach during sunset last night.

Sameh Rahmi/PA
How prayer helps Fr James Martin when under attack


(Image:  Fr James Martin SJ speaks at The Tablet webinar on finding a way to pray.)


Well known spiritual writer and consultor to the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communication, Fr James Martin, has said his ministry to gay Catholics is an outgrowth of his work as a Jesuit and his experience in prayer.

Talking about his new book, Learning to Pray, at last week’s Tablet webinar, Fr Martin revealed how while praying over Jesus’ rejection in the synagogue at Nazareth he felt Jesus was inviting him to free himself of the doubts caused by conservative Catholics opposed to his efforts to build a bridge between the Church and the LGBT community.

This revelation has enabled him “to do this work with a little more peace” despite the ongoing attacks from alt-right Catholics who are “insane” about this issue.

He explained that he first became involved in LGBT issues following the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting in which 49 people were killed and 53 injured, which led to his book, Building a Bridge.

“I am not challenging any Church teaching in my ministry. What I am trying to do is pretty basic, which is inviting the Church simply to listen to these people. There are many cardinals and archbishops and bishops who are opposed even to just listening to their experiences. If you doubt that, just go online.”

However, the 60-year-old New York-based writer said that 99 per cent of the people he talks to and hears from, including cardinals and bishops, are very positive.

Read the article by Sarah MacDonald here.
 

PLANNED GIVING

Thank you for contributing to the Cathedral collections this week:

Envelopes: $ 720.00
Presbytery:  $ 1,015.00

If you or put your offering in an envelope into the mailbox near the front door.


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

Catholic sector calls for more
equitable economy




The report says a new, more equitable economy should emerge in the post-COVID recovery (CSSA)

The solidarity that inspired the national effort to suppress the health effects of COVID-19 must also shape Australia’s economic recovery, a new Catholic Social Services Australia report argues.

The national peak body for Catholic social service agencies today published Strong Economy, Stronger Australia – Building Our Prosperity to Serve the Common Good. The report outlines the detrimental effects of the pandemic, including those felt by some of the country’s most vulnerable workers, and offers a series of strategies to support a person-centred economy.

“The loss of 909 lives to the pandemic is rightly a source of sadness, even if those numbers pale in comparison with some other countries, but the behaviour of Australians to limit the spread of COVID-19 shows a genuine concern for our fellow citizens,” CSSA chief executive officer Ursula Stephens said.

“The benefits of those efforts have been observed nationwide, and it is critical that the financial rebound that we need also benefits the entire country.”
Dr Stephens said the behaviour demonstrated during the pandemic has been in pursuit of the common good – a principle firmly embedded in Catholic social teaching.

She pointed to the Catholic understanding of the dignity of work, aligned with the provision of a social safety net, as underpinning the Australian recovery.

The full statement can be read here


Gospel Reflection

Today’s gospel reading recounts the first episode in a section of Mark’s gospel that focusses on a typical day in the ministry of Jesus as authoritative teacher and prophetic healer (1:21-38). Jesus comes with his disciples to Capernaum. On the Sabbath day, Judaism’s holy day, he goes into the synagogue, Judaism’s local gathering place, and preaches. The verbal forms in the first sentence indicate that teaching in the synagogue was part of his customary activity. Jesus is thus located firmly within Israel’s prophetic tradition of proclaiming God’s word to God’s people.

In today’s first reading from Deuteronomy (18:15-20), the term “prophet” appears eight times. Moses tells the people that God will respond to their request at Sinai (Horeb) and raise up from among them a prophet like himself, a mediator between God and God’s people, one who will speak God’s word. Prophets do not appoint or authorise themselves: God calls and authorises the prophets to speak God’s word. Failure to heed the prophets carries its own consequences as does the attempt to assume a prophetic role without God’s authorisation. Just as the prophets of old speak the authentic word of God only when they are authorised by the God of Israel, so Jesus of Nazareth, later to identify himself in this gospel as God’s prophet (6:4), speaks and acts “with authority”. In other words, he speaks with the authority of the God of Israel.

In this first Markan story of his divinely authorised activity, Jesus is approached by a man “with an unclean spirit”. The man’s loud scream sets up a confrontation between the power of God, mediated through Jesus, and the forces of destruction that often take hold of human lives. Jesus silences and expels these destructive forces and thus renders a seriously troubled person whole. Confounding the “unclean spirit(s)” brings social and communal benefits to the troubled person as well as physical and emotional healing.

God’s reign or empire is made real through a healing action that is perceived as “a new teaching”. No word of Jesus’ teaching is reported, only his actions and those actions are presented as “teaching”. While words have their place, we teach primarily by who we are and what we do. For Jesus and his disciples, as for us, congruence between words and actions is integral to authentic gospel proclamation.

Jesus is demonstrating to his newly formed group of followers that the gospel they are to proclaim is grounded in the ordinary struggles of ordinary people. This gospel carries the power to lift the burdens and restore the troubled to wholeness and health. We may wish to acknowledge the “unclean spirits” that take hold of us from time to time so that we can open ourselves to the power of God mediated through God’s healer-teachers in our time.

Veronica Lawson RSM
 
 
 
 
 
 

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