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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.

10th October, 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

* * * * * *

At each Mass we are able to welcome 20 people.

With the easing of restrictions in Ballarat, we welcome the opportunity to be able to gather in person for Masses in the Cathedral and we thank Loreto College for allowing us to use their Chapel for Masses on Sundays, enabling more parishioners to gather for Mass.

Please register with the Parish Office to attend weekend Masses.

Bookings for Sunday Masses open through the Parish Office on Tuesday at 10.00am with priority given to those unable to attend Mass on the preceding Sunday.
From 12 noon Thursday, bookings for the remaining places will be open. Thank you to all for your understanding and patience with this process.

Celebrations of the sacrament of Baptism are taking place each Sunday spread throughout the afternoon with each family gathering for the baptism of their child in groups of 20.

Please note:  All Mass attendees are required to:

*  Wear a mask *
*  Check in via QR Code and check in on the registration list provided *
*  Use hand sanitiser on your way into the Cathedral *

Sunday Masses with up to 20 people.

St Patrick’s Cathedral (all now fully booked)
6.30pm Vigil

Loreto College Chapel (all now fully booked)
1600 Sturt St Ballarat


Weekday Masses will be celebrated in the Cathedral with up to
20 people in attendance:

Monday 10.00am
Tuesday 10.00am
Wednesday 10.00am
Thursday 10.00am
Friday at 12.05pm 11.30am Reconciliation
Saturday at 10.00am  10.30am Reconciliation

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Become our friend and follow us on Facebook:

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

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:   28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

First: Wisdom 7:7-11 Second: Hebrews 4:12-13

Gospel:   Mark 10:17-30

Readings for next week: 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

First: Isaiah 53:10-11  Second:   Hebrews 4:14-16

Gospel:   Mark 10:35-45

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

Annie Jane Gunnell, daughter of Luke and Kaitlyn

Erin Helena Mibus, daughter of Paul and Krystyn

Max James Molloy, son of Clinton and Shae

Jacob Oscar Sullivan, son of Raymond and Karen

Sophia Leanne Turbitt, daughter of Barry and Katie

"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.

Freda Buckley
Zofia Buzo
Bob Conaughton
Sheila Conaughton
Daniel Daley
Sr Caroline Deutscher IBVM
Bill Flynn
Ellen Hardie
Mary Keating
Nellie Leddin
John Marone
Quagliato, Sosic Family
Sr Angela Quinn
Josephine Reilly
Susan Rowe
Petronella Ruyg
Carmen Schembri
Peter Sharp
Edna Tobin
Winifred Towns
Bernard Walsh

Piety Stall

The Piety Stall has been relocated from the Cathedral to the Parish Office.

Hours of operation:
Tuesday to Friday, 10.00am - 5.00pm.

A small range of religious items are sold, including rosary beads, medals and cards, as well as 2022 Columban calendars and Christmas cards.

Gifts for Baptism, Confirmation and First Communion are also available

Supported by St Vincent de Paul, all proceeds go to support their work with families in need in our local area.

We are hoping once restrictions ease in November we are able to continue the Sacrament of Confirmation preparation for our children.

The proposed Eucharist program for term 4 (due to begin with a parent information session on Tuesday 12th October, 2021) has been postponed until 2022.  Details will be circulated in the New Year .

Episcopal autocracy 'has to go' –
Australia Plenary Council
Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge and other Queensland clergy at a Plenary Council inauguration Mass in St Stephen's Cathedral, Brisbane on Sunday.

In Australia an historic Plenary Council assembly has opened with Catholic bishops and laypeople considering the tough issues confronting the Church in Australia today -  how the Church can move forward after the damning findings of a child sex abuse royal commission, shrinking church attendances, a shortage of priests and how to increase the role of women.

In all, 278 members – bishops, priests, deacons, members of religious orders and lay people, including women – are convening after three and a half years of preparation.

Although it is Australia’s fifth Plenary Council, the last gathering of its kind was in 1937 and was an all-male affair.  

The first of two assemblies will run until October 10 with members from across Australia meeting online. A second assembly will be held in July 2022.

Pope Francis sent greetings and blessings from Rome. In a message read out during the opening session Francis said the Plenary Council "represents a singular ‘journeying together’ of God’s people in Australia along the paths of history towards a renewed encounter with the Risen Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit".

Part of the long preparation for the historic plenary event was large-scale national consultation.

An early preparation phase of the Plenary – a 10-month "listening and dialogue" process in 2018-19, captured the voice of more than 222,000 Australians.

Organisers received almost 17,500 submissions, from individuals and groups of all sizes, addressed the plenary council’s central question: "What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time?

That question was one that Archbishop Costelloe, the president of the Plenary Council, addressed as he spoke at the opening session on Monday.

He reminded the hundreds of members meeting virtually across Australia "to listen deeply for the voice and to be alert to the leadings of the Holy Spirit".

"The restrictions imposed by the pandemic will not prevent the Holy Spirit from moving our minds and our hearts if we remain open to that Spirit," Archbishop Costelloe said.
He did not shy away from the biggest issue that has bruised the Church in recent times.

"… the Catholic community in Australia has had to face the reality of our betrayal of so many of our young people through the horror of sexual abuse," he said.
"So many lives have been diminished and even destroyed because of this dreadful failure.
"We carry the weight of the shame with us into this assembly, and equally we also carry an unshakable conviction that our care for those who have suffered so much, and our responsibility to make our Church settings places of safety and security for our children, our young people and vulnerable adults, must remain two fundamental aspects of our life and ministry as the Church in Australia.
"This reality is surely one of the "signs of the times" which we are called to discern in the light of the gospel."

Celebratory masses for the start of the Plenary Council Assembly were held cathedrals across Australia.

Read this article by Mark Bowling here.

Plenary Council to contemplate woundedness, seek new peripheries
Day four of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia will take on a different feel, as members spend extra time offline, praying with and reflecting on questions about seeing through the eyes of those who have been abused and reaching those on the peripheries.

The agenda for the Plenary Council poses 16 questions across six themes, with members called to 'develop concrete proposals to create a more missionary, Christ-centred Church in Australia at this time'.

Fourteen of the 16 questions are being discerned concurrently during the week by 10 small working groups. Two particular questions are the focus of a special plenary session, being held on Thursday, October 7.

The questions are:
  • How might we heal the wounds of abuse, coming to see through the eyes of those who have been abused?
  • How might the Church in Australia meet the needs of the most vulnerable, go to the peripheries, be missionary in places that may be overlooked or left behind in contemporary Australia? How might we partner with others (Christians, people of other faiths, neighbourhood community groups, government) to do this?

Br Peter Carroll FMS, the provincial leader of the Marist Brothers in Australia and a Plenary Council member, said while the Council 'is about mapping out a path for the future, we can’t ignore the tragedies of the past'.

'We must come to terms with our sinfulness and reconcile our future with our past,' he said.

'We must seek forgiveness and facilitate healing. We need to recognise the pain that’s been suffered and the hurt perpetrated. We need to accept responsibility for what has happened We need to listen to and accompany those who have suffered. We need to commit to ensuring such wrongs are never perpetrated again.'

Br Peter, who is also president of Catholic Religious Australia, said Pope Francis has offered the challenge for the Church to heal wounds and warm hearts.

'How much more important for us to try to heal the wounds that the Church has caused,' he said.

Br Peter said he has urged the Plenary Council membership to consider how a public response will be made to victims and survivors during the Council journey, which runs until July 2022.

Council member Claire Victory, national president of the St Vincent de Paul Society, said when considering how the Church might support the vulnerable, Jesus’ example of offering people opportunities and keeping company with the marginalised is the guide.

'The Church should be the first place a person excluded from or shunned by society – the single mum or pregnant teen, the person struggling with questions about their sexuality or gender identity – should find welcome and support,' she said.

'Why is it that, in some places, the Church is a place of welcome, yet in other places people find it intimidating and judgmental?'

Read the full statement from the ACBC Media Blog here.

Synodal process to begin with
Mass in St Peter’s Basilica
The synod day of reflection on October 9 will include testimony from a family in Australia (CNS/Synod of Bishops)

The Vatican has announced that Pope Francis will formally launch the process of the Synod of Bishops with a Mass in St Peter’s Basilica on October 10. Source: NCR Online.

The Mass will be preceded by a day of reflection in the synod hall on October 9, the Vatican said in a statement on Friday.
The day of reflection, the statement said, will include "representatives of the people God, including delegates of the bishops’ conferences and related bodies, members of the Roman Curia, fraternal delegates, delegates of consecrated life and ecclesial lay movements, the youth council, etc".
According to the schedule released by the Vatican, the day of reflection will begin with a meditation followed by an address by Pope Francis.

It will also feature testimonies by people present at the synod hall, including a young woman from South Africa, a bishop from South Korea, and the head of a religious community from France.

Participants will also listen to video testimonies from a family in Australia, a nun in the United States and a priest in Brazil. The theme chosen by Pope Francis for the 2023 Synod of Bishops is: "For a synodal church: communion, participation and mission."

Read the article here.

If life is not sacred...

Some weeks ago I wrote about the taking of human life and of the loss of its sacred connotations. I argued that the decisive consideration governing recent legislation in such issues as abortion and assisted dying has been the appeal to individual choice, supported by compassion for people who suffer from their denial. Whether we welcome this trend or regret it, as I do, we all have an interest in asking what effect it will have on society. In this article I would like to explore this question in a way that opens rather than closes conversation.
I should begin by acknowledging the complexities of this discussion. There are significant differences between abortion and assisted dying. Those who defend assisted dying acknowledge that it involves taking a life. Many who defend abortion deny it, seeing the foetus as part of the woman’s own body. That argument recognises in part the unique status of the foetus. It begins and grows in a woman’s body, and so can be seen as part of her body. It is, however, a unique part of her body in that it has and develops the potential for independent life. To that extent it is also a living being in its own right. This double status of the move from dependence to independence of the foetus means that there is a physical difference between removing a foetus early in term, late in term and taking the life of a child after birth.

Whether those differences makes an ethical, and so should make a legal, difference is the point in dispute. In most Australian States abortion is available for up to twenty weeks when it is conducive to the health of the pregnant woman, and also later though subject to further restrictions. At this stage the foetus can move and hear. It seems reasonable to describe abortion at this stage as taking life, allowing for strongly held conflicting views on its ethical value.

The focus on the individual choice of the person who is pregnant or who seeks assistance to die is also part of a more complex picture. It prioritises one of many relationships involved in a person’s life and death. In the case of abortion these include the relationship to the man involved in conception, to family and friends, employers and fellow workers, and doctors and nurses participating in the abortion. In the case of assisted dying they also include family and friends, and participating doctors, nurses and hospital staff involved. More broadly in each case they include the relationship to society as a whole through the effects that individual decisions have on social attitudes. Many people have an interest in the taking of life.  Whether the choice of the pregnant woman and the person who seeks to have their life ended should be decisive, and if so with what qualifications, is the ethical question in dispute in both cases.

In this exploration I do not enter these ethical considerations, though I see them as the most important issues. In both cases the move in society and consequently in legislation is to privilege individual freedom of choice. The exercise of this right trumps countervailing claims ultimately based on the sacredness of life. By sacredness I mean the conviction that each human being and consequently their life, has such a high value that it forbids them and others from deliberately taking life for pragmatic reasons.

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


Thank you for contributing to the Cathedral collections this week:

Parish $1,489.00
Presbytery $553.40

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
Not too many of us commit murder or adultery. Not too many take hostages or give false testimony in a court of law. Most are ready to honour and care for their parents in their old age. In other words, most of us are basically decent and honest and could make the same claim as does the wealthy man who runs up to Jesus, namely that we have kept the commandments from our youth. The man’s question is actually a strange one. He wants to know what he must do in order to inherit eternal life. He seems unaware that inheritance depends, not on what one does, but on who one is. Jesus responds to his greeting, "Good Teacher", with a reminder that God is the source of all goodness, and then lets him know that keeping the commandments is not enough. Interestingly, Jesus adds a commandment that is not actually numbered among the "ten" but is to be found in an Essene document from Qumran: "You shall not defraud". This prepares the way for what follows.

First-century Mediterranean societies were "limited goods" societies. If a person acquired wealth, it was invariably understood to be at the expense of others. The wealthy were therefore looked upon with suspicion. Although Jesus looks at the man lovingly, he may nonetheless be hinting that this person’s wealth has been acquired fraudulently. Jesus offers a challenge that the man is unable to meet: to sell what he has, give the proceeds to the poor, have "treasure in heaven", and "follow" him. The man retains his possessions and acquires a burden, the burden of sorrow. To share one’s goods with those in need is too hard for some, Jesus admits, but not for those who are open to the power of God at work in their lives.

The concluding verses are puzzling. In declaring that those who have left everything and followed him are to have an abundance of this world’s goods as well as eternal life, is Jesus modifying his earlier position? Is he reverting to a tradition that saw wealth as God’s reward for righteous living? Is he suggesting that those who share their goods find they have more than enough? It is hard to know. The twist in the tale is that they will do it hard: "not without persecution". It is likely that Mark is describing his own experience within a persecuted community of believers some forty years after the death of Jesus. The happy ones were doubtless those who took the risk of sharing their goods with those in need. Our privileged country has still to learn that lesson, even with respect to global vaccine accessibility. Welcoming the stranger and sharing our wealth with the dispossessed may demand of us a simpler way of life. Who knows what blessings it will bring if we dare to take up the challenge?

Veronica Lawson RSM

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