Welcome to the Cathedral Parish e-News for this weekend. If you experience difficulty accessing any content, please visit
 ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

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 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.

Follow us on Facebook:

Prayer and the Worship in the Cathedral this week

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

Tuesday 23rd March
8.00am Morning Prayer
10.00am Mass   
5.30pm Junior Reconciliation celebration

Wednesday 24th March   
8.00am Morning Prayer
10.00am Mass    
2.00pm Funeral Leo Canny

5.30pm Junior Reconciliation celebration

Thursday 25th March
8.00am Morning Prayer
10.00am Mass    
2.00pm Funeral Kaylene Jarvis
5.30pm   Evening Prayer
7.00pm Reconciliation
This is the Parish 2nd Rite of the Sacrament -
during the celebration there is the opportunity for individual Reconciliation.

Friday 26th March
8.00am Morning Prayer
10.00am Mass
10.30am Reconciliation
5.30pm Evening Prayer

Saturday 27th March
10.00am Mass
10.30am Reconciliation

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

Readings for this week:  Fifth Sunday of Lent

First:  Jeremiah 31:31-34       Second:   Hebrews 5:7-9

Gospel:   John 12:20-33

Readings for next week: Palm Sunday

First:  Isaiah 31:31-34       Second:   Philippians 2:6-11

Gospel:     Mark 14:1-15:47

Holy Week in the Cathedral Parish

Registrations are now open for the Holy Week Liturgies in the Cathedral Parish. Up to 300 can be registered in the Cathedral and up to 120 can be registered in the Chapel at St Pat’s College.

We are grateful to all at St Pat’s College for their cooperation and generosity by making their Chapel available to us.

Registrations may be made after Masses at the Cathedral this weekend or by email or telephone to the Cathedral Parish Office
(10am-5pm, Tuesday – Friday).

Passion (Palm) Sunday

Masses 6.30pm (Vigil), 8.00am, 10.30am and 5.00pm
Please bring a branch to be blessed for Palm Sunday.

Mass of the Holy Oils, 6.30pm Monday March 29th

With numbers restricted, parishioners hoping to attend the Mass of the Oils are invited to go into the "draw" to see whose names a drawn out to attend. Register your hope with the Parish Office.

Holy Thursday, Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper

7.00pm Mass  -  St Patrick’s Cathedral (9.30pm Night Prayer)

7.00pm Mass  -  St Patrick’s College Chapel

Good Friday, Celebration of the Lord’s Passion

3.00pm Liturgy  -  St Patrick’s Cathedral

3.00pm Liturgy  -  St Patrick’s College Chapel

Holy Saturday, Easter Vigil

8.00pm Mass  -  St Patrick’s Cathedral

Easter Sunday Masses

8.00am  -  St Patrick’s Cathedral

10.00am  -  St Patrick’s College Chapel

10.30am  -  St Patrick’s Cathedral

5.00pm  -  St Patrick’s Cathedral

Leo Canny, Trevor Conlan, Sheila Forster, Kaylene Jarvis, Isaac Lund

Kevin Buckle
Peter Burke
Margaret Button
Ellen Bryce
Margaret Bym
Adele Hildora Byrne
Basil Clark
Charles Coghlan
Dorothea Crameri
Ivan Dean
Diana DeCarli
Sr Emmanuel Fay SJG
John Fitzgerald
John Hayden
James Healy
Paul Heenan
Thomas Karras
Gloria Kennedy
Sharon Mai Kerr
Roslyn Lench
Margaret Miller
John Joseph Moloney
Harry Morris
Carmelo Sgro
Gregory Slater
Margaret Waight
Bill Walsh

Cathedral Parish Pastoral Council meets

Members of the Pastoral Council met in the MacKillop room on Tuesday evening, March 16th, the Vigil of St Patrick. The prayer and reflection focused on the person and mission of St Patrick, with a significant amount of time spent considering the 5 marks of mission and their application in the Cathedral Parish:

1.       To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom;

2.       To teach, baptise and nurture new believers;

3.       To respond to human need by loving service

4.       To transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of              every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation; and

5.       To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth.

Three new members were welcomed to the Council – Elizabeth Ryan (Cathedral parishioner), Simon Duffy (Principal of St Thomas More Alfredton, an ex-officio member representing the three Parish Primary School Principals and the two Catholic Secondary Colleges in the Parish) and Fr Eladio Lizada (a Filipino Oblate of St Joseph who lives at St Alipius’ with Fr Jorge, is Chaplain to St Pat’s College and the Aquinas Campus of ACU, offers weekend assistance to the Parishes of Linton, Redan and Sebastopol and has now commenced ministry in the Cathedral Parish as well).

The Art of Pausing: Embracing the Current Moment

The pandemic has been an opportunity to practise the art of pausing to help us appreciate the beauty, the wonder, the mystery that is all around us, writes Judith Valente.
A friend of mine recently offered an interesting perspective on the challenges we face in the age of COVID-19. She said she no longer thinks of this time solely in terms of the pandemic, but as an opportunity for “pandeepening”.
Like many, I initially welcomed replacing my hectic pace with a more monk-like existence. I saw it as a chance to refocus on what matters most. Soon, though, new distractions and different whirlwinds of activity crept in. I spent more time connecting with others by smartphone and social media. Zoom meetings and webinars crowded my days.
Slowing down has never come easily. I often joke that I suffer from a dual diagnosis: workaholism and over-achieverism. The pandemic didn’t change that. Still, for several years now, I’ve been working intentionally at practising the art of pausing.

I realised I had to change when I was working as a foreign correspondent in London for The Wall Street Journal. I’d arrive at the office around 9am and proceed to read the news wires, get on the phone and begin reporting and writing my story for the day. I was fortunate to sit at a desk by a window that overlooked St Paul’s Cathedral. At some point, I’d look out the window and it would be dark outside. The day had passed, and I’d missed it.

This article is adapted from a talk Judith Valente gives as part of her series of retreats entitled ‘The Art of Pausing: Embracing the Current Moment’.

Read it all here.

After a long period of preparation due to COVID restrictions, our five parish families were finally able to celebrate the Sacrament of Baptism with their children last weekend. Congratulations!

Image:  Fr Justin with Oscar, Oliver and Otis and their parents.

Pope celebrates Mass for 500 years of
Christianity in the Philippines
Pope Francis, during a special Mass to mark the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines, has called on Filipinos to "persevere in the work of evangelization. "Pope Francis celebrated Mass in St. Peter's Basilica on Sunday with several representatives of the Filipino Church,
Pope Francis celebrates Mass to mark 5th Centenary of the Philippine Church, in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, March 14, 2021.

including Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, the former Archbishop of Manila who is now prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. "I want to thank you for the joy you bring to the whole world and to our Christian communities," the pope said in his homily. "We see it in your eyes, on your faces, in your songs and in your prayers," he said, urging them to "persevere in the work of evangelization."

Read this article here.

Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) is opposed to the stockpiling of COVID-19 vaccines by wealthy nations and supports an equitable distribution of vaccines around the globe, particularly to developing nations.

CRA echoes the concerns of the UNICEF-WHO statement released on 10 February 2021 which declares that more than three quarters of the 128 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered so far have occurred in only 10 countries –countries that account for 60% of global GDP.
UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore and WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, argue in the statement that unequal vaccination rates will allow COVID-19 strains to mutate, prolonging the pandemic, costing further lives and undermining the global economic recovery. They add that “In the COVID-19 vaccine race, we either win together or lose together.”
Wealthy nations that have been securing vaccine doses through bilateral deals with pharmaceutical manufacturers are creating competition, driving up prices, putting constraints on limited global supplies and preventing developing nations from accessing the vaccines – a strategy of ‘vaccine nationalism’ that not only fails to stand in solidarity with all people around the globe, but is self-defeating as it will allow for COVID-19 variants to develop.

Read the full statement here


The Acies Ceremony, Consecration to Our Lady, will be held on Thursday 25th March (Feast of the Annunciation) following the 10.00am Mass in                    St Patrick's Cathedral.  All are welcome to participate.
Sacraments of Initiation
Reconciliation Part 1 (junior)
At Masses this weekend (Sunday 10.30am and 5.00pm) we welcome children preparing for Reconciliation Part 1 (junior).

Celebrations will take place in the Cathedral this coming week, at 5.30pm on
Tuesday 23rd and Wednesday 24th March.

Please keep these children and their families in your prayers.

For further details about the Sacramental preparation programs in the Cathedral Parish, please call Parish Office during office hours.

Aussie Camino, Portland – Penola
in the Year of St Joseph

Fully booked!

Walking from Portland – Penola,  April 30th – May 9th with Fr Justin in conjunction with Leonie Spencer of Lifestyle Travel Ballarat.

This pilgrimage is now fully booked!

If there is sufficient interest, a 2nd opportunity to undertake this pilgrimage later in the year may be possible. Contact
5331 8277 to register your interest.

Further information about this Aussie Camino can be found here.

‘Historic discovery’ of ancient Biblical fragments made in Israel

Archaeologists have unearthed fragments of a 1,900-year-old Biblical scroll in Israel, in what experts are calling the most important discovery in the last 60 years.

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) has unveiled an historic discovery of Biblical proportions in several desert caves. In a dig that began in 2017, archaeologists discovered around 80 new parchment fragments of Old Testament texts. They contain verses written in Greek—with the name of God appearing in Hebrew—from the books of Zechariah and Nahum, which are part of the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets. The fragments form part of a scroll which experts believe belonged to Jewish rebels, led by Simon Bar Kokhba, who hid in the caves after a failed revolt against Roman rule between 132 and 136 AD.

Israeli archaeologists began the operation in the Judean desert to prevent caves from being looted. They also unearthed a cache of rare coins from the same period, a 6,000-year-old skeleton of a child, and a large woven basket dating from around 10,500 years ago, the oldest intact in the world.

A cache of rare coins was also unearthed.

‘Cave of Horror’
The discovery was made in a difficult-to-reach mountain enclosure known as the “Cave of Horror”, which lies some 40 km south of Jerusalem.
It acquired that intriguing name after 40 human skeletons were found there during excavations in the 1960s. Experts say they were the remains of men, women, and children who fled to the cave to escape the Romans but died instead of hunger and thirst.

They brought with them what are now precious objects, including cooking utensils, personal belongings, and documents and Biblical texts.

New page in biblical discoveries
Marcello Fidanzio, the Director of the Archaeological and Cultural Institute of Biblical Lands in Lugano, described the find to Vatican News as “a new page in the history of archaeological excavations.”

Read the complete article by Devlin Watkins here.
Aged Care RC falls short on meaningful reform

After two years of often harrowing evidence from 450 witnesses and 10,000 submissions, the Royal Commission’s multi-page report has fallen short on a clear path to lasting and meaningful reform.
First, the report failed to spell out how much its reforms will cost, only that aged care will be more expensive than the predictions made in any of the multiple intergenerational reports before it. This inability to provide a proper costing makes it difficult for society and government to assess what is financially viable and what is not.

Second, the report fails to deliver a clear consensus on a way forward. Commissioners Tony Pagone and Lynelle Briggs disagreed on nearly a third of their recommendations, most notably on governance and funding. Pagone recommends an Independent Commission model; Briggs favours a Government Leadership one.

Pagone’s model would end what he sees as a concentration of powers and functions in the Department of Health and its minister, and suggests creating a new independent statutory body. Briggs disagrees with Pagone on both his premise and his solution, arguing for a ‘new, enriched role for government. And then, of course, there’s the huge issue of funding.

Read this article by Pat Garcia, CEO of Catholic Health Australia, here.
Joseph should be the patron saint of shy backroom players who say little but do a lot
by Richard Leonard SJ

St Joseph, whose feast day is on Friday, has never had it so good, or, at least, he’s never had such a friend as in Pope Francis. The Pope announced that from 8 December 2020 the Church would have a special Year of St Joseph. It would honour “the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, ­discreet and hidden presence, who nonetheless played an incomparable role in the history of salvation”. In being tender, open to the demands of faith, obedient, creatively courageous and humble, Pope Francis says St Joseph is a model for all of us.

Devotion to St Joseph is a comparatively late development in Christian history. We know by the ninth century local churches had commemorations in honour of him as the husband of Mary, but this didn’t become a feast day in Western Churches until the twelfth century. Only then did devotion to St Joseph take off. Pius IX proclaimed St Joseph “Patron of the Universal Church” in 1870. Almost a century later, John XXIII added Joseph’s name to the first Eucharistic Prayer; and in 2013, Pope Francis extended that directive to Eucharistic Prayers II, III and IV.

Christian art hasn’t been kind to him, usually depicting him as 103 not out, presuming that old men would have no sexual interest in young women. Those artists need to meet some of the old men I know. There is nothing in the gospel texts to ­indicate that Mary or Joseph were anything other than the marriageable age according to Jewish custom at the time: around 13 for girls; 18 for young men.

There are only five episodes involving Joseph in the gospels: the Annunciation; the Nativity; the presentation of the child Jesus in the Temple; as a refugee to Egypt; and the loss and discovery of the boy Jesus in the Temple in Jerusalem. One can see why the earliest Church may have been slow to make a fuss of him. He is not recorded as ever saying anything in the New Testament – not a word. He should be the patron saint of shy, hard-working backroom players who say little but do a lot.

Read this reflection for the Feast of St Joseph here.


Thank you for contributing to the Cathedral collections this week:

Parish $1,032.00
Presbytery $986.00

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

Gospel Reflection

The gospel for today is the concluding section of Jesus’ conversation with a Pharisee called Nicodemus who comes to him “by night”. It features a number of typically Johannine themes: life, eternal life, believing, seeing, God’s love, salvation, judgment, light, darkness, the world, truth. John loves to play on words. Without losing sight of the material reality underlying each image, we need to keep asking: how is this word or expression to be understood in this particular context? In John’s gospel, the characters often misunderstand and this gives Jesus the opportunity to lead his hearers to a deeper or different understanding of his words.

As 21st century readers, we operate out of a symbol system that belongs in a different time and a different place. Hence the need to explore the traditions informing the stories. The first two verses of today’s reading evoke the ancient Israelite tradition of the bronze serpent (Numbers 21:5-9). According to the story, the Israelites are unhappy with their lot in the desert. They complain about the food or lack thereof. They blame both God and Moses. Their situation worsens with the outbreak of a plague of poisonous snakes whose bite has killed a considerable number of them. The people interpret the plague as punishment for their sin of speaking against God. They ask Moses to intercede with God. God instructs Moses to make an image of a fiery serpent and set it on a pole: anyone affected by snakebite has only to look upon the image to find life and healing. And so it happens: the bronze serpent is lifted up and those who “see” or “look upon it” find life.

Life and death, seeing and believing in God’s love and mercy are at the heart of the story of the bronze serpent. The gospel writer taps into the collective memory of the emerging Christian community: just as the serpent was lifted up and the people found life, so will Jesus be lifted up and those who believe in him will find life. In John’s gospel, seeing is often equated with believing and believing leads to “life”.

The bottom line is God’s saving love for “the world”, for the whole Earth community, human and other-than-human. Most of the themes in this passage have already been introduced in the prologue to the gospel. Here for the first time in the gospel, God’s saving activity is expressed in terms of “love”. God’s love is explicitly related to the gift of Jesus, God’s Son, for the salvation of the world. Salvation resides in acceptance of Jesus while judgment is the refusal to accept Jesus as the revelation of God. Later in this gospel (12:33), Jesus will again reference the bronze serpent story in an expansive embrace of all creation: “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all to myself.”

Veronica Lawson RSM
Join us in Celebration of St Joseph!

Pope Francis in his Apostolic Letter, Patris Corde, called the Church to set aside 2021 as a year to focus our attention on St Joseph as patron of the Universal Church.

Saint Mary MacKillop and Fr Julian Tenison Woods, the co-founders of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart, chose St Joseph to be patron of the Congregation and so we rejoice in this opportunity to pray with and for the people of God with St Joseph.

During this year, the Congregation will mark each of its primary feasts with special prayers and celebrations. The first of these will be a week of prayer in preparation for the feast of St Joseph followed by other events:
  • 19 March the feast of St Joseph
  • 1 May the feast of St Joseph the Worker;
  • 8 August the feast of St Mary MacKillop and;
  • 7 October the anniversary of the death of Fr Julian Tenison Woods.

Seven Days of Prayer with St Joseph

Leading up to the Feast of St Joseph on 19 March (starting on 12 March) you’re invited to join with the Sisters of St Joseph, Affiliates and Josephite Companions as we participate in these virtual reflective moments.

Please note, the prayers can be done at any time.

Download these prayers resources here.

Email Marketing by ActiveCampaign