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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.

26th SEPTEMBER, 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.

Cathedral Clergy: Frs Justin Driscoll and Eladio Lizada
Parish Coordinator: Anita Houlihan
Finance Officer: Kerrie McTigue
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RESTRICTIONS - updated 22nd September, 2021:

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 this Sunday which will enable more parishioners to gather for Mass.
Please register with the Parish Office to attend.

Celebrations of the sacrament of Baptism will take 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 (these are now fully booked)
5.30pm Vigil

Loreto College Chapel
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 at 11.00am Funeral Mass     5.30pm Mass

         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:
or find further information on our website here.

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:   26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

First: Numbers 11:25-29   Second:   James 5:1-6

Gospel:   Mark 9:38-43. 45. 47-48

Readings for next week: 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

First: Genesis 2:18-24 Second: Hebrews 2:9-11

Gospel:   Mark 10:2-16


Marg Coghlan, Les Dickinson, Phillip Hart, Frances Kosinski,
Marie McLean

Tasman Bruce
Jack Burcon
Iris Burgess
Pamela Caine
Kathleen Callahan
John Francis Carroll
Sydney Connors
Judith Conroy
Ethna Davey
Ida Faulkner
Marie Foley
William E Foley
Margaret Frawley
Sasskiah Gallagher
Sr M Bernadette Green IBVM
Arthur Vincent Hall
Raymond Harman
Herbert Hayes
Marilla Hemphill
Edward Jones
Mary Jones
Richard Jones
Wally Jones
William Keen
Gusta Kuypers
Benjamin Lopes
Alice Malone
James Malone
Vincent Malone
Gabby Mayne
Anne Louise McDonald
Maria Merzvinskis
Geoffrey Moncrieff
Maria Morris
Flora O'Connell
Josephine O'Hara
Elsy Robberechts
Hugh Ryan
John Ryan
Vgo Santucci
Lynette Tann
George Zehner

We welcome to our Parish this weekend through the Sacrament of Baptism:

Daisy Conte
daughter of Dean and Crystal

Ella Maree and Matilda Grace Irvin
daughters of Bridie and Tim

“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.

Victoria’s Roadmap and Vaccination
Hello Everyone.

Last Sunday, the state government presented “Victoria’s Roadmap”, indicating stages on the road that will take us through the COVID pandemic. A key principle of the roadmap is that the more people are vaccinated, the more people will be able to gather in larger groups. This will include gatherings for worship.

For Regional Victoria, from October 26, people who are fully vaccinated will be able to gather for Mass in greater numbers. There will be a further increase in the numbers from November 5, but again, this will only be for people who can provide evidence that they are fully vaccinated. For gatherings where the vaccination status is unknown, the number will continue to be capped at 20.

This provides an extra incentive to be vaccinated. The basic reasons for vaccination are to protect our own health and the health of people around us. A further reason is so that we might gather in larger groups for liturgy and for the many other events that enrich our lives as communities.

So, I encourage everyone throughout our diocese to be vaccinated. I received my first vaccination in July and I have made my appointment for my second dose. I urge the priests and people of our parishes to be fully vaccinated as soon as possible. This will be good for our own health and the health of our families. It will also hasten the day when we will be able to come together again as local communities to praise God and share with one another in person.

God bless you all.

Bishop Paul

Paul Bird CSsR
Bishop of the Diocese of Ballarat

Towards and ever wider “WE”
Dear Brothers and Sisters, In the Encyclical Fratelli Tutti, I expressed a concern and a hope that remain uppermost in my thoughts: “Once this health crisis passes, our worst response would be to plunge even more deeply into feverish consumerism and new forms of egotistic self-preservation. God willing, after all this, we will think no longer in terms of ‘them’ and ‘those’, but only ‘us’” (No. 35). For this reason, I have wished to devote the Message for this year’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees to the theme, Towards An Ever Wider “We”, in order to indicate a clear horizon for our common journey in this world. The history of this “we” That horizon is already present in God’s creative plan: “God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply’” (Gen 1:27-28). God created us male and female, different yet complementary, in order to form a “we” destined to become ever more numerous in the succession of generations. God created us in his image, in the image of his own triune being, a communion in diversity.

Read the full statement from Pope Francis here.


Holy, beloved Father,

your Son Jesus taught us that there is great rejoicing in heaven

whenever someone lost is found,

whenever someone excluded,

rejected or discarded is gathered into our “we”,

which thus becomes ever wider.

We ask you to grant the followers of Jesus, and all people of good will,

the grace to do your will on earth.

Bless each act of welcome and outreach that draws those in exile                 
into the “we” of community and of the Church,

so that our earth may truly become what you yourself created it to be:

the common home of all our brothers and sisters.


Rome, Saint John Lateran, 3 May 2021 Feast of Saints Philip and James, Apostles
Our society 'fears difference'  
– Timothy Radcliffe OP on synodality

‘Synods depend upon both having the confidence to speak and the humility to listen.’

Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP CNS photo/Philippe Vaillancourt, Presence

Speaking on the subject of synodality at a witness to the General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops, Father Timothy Radcliffe OP, former Master of the Order of Preachers has called for greater respect for political differences in the Church community.

“Synods depend upon both having the confidence to speak and the humility to listen. Listening is daring to open yourself to people who’ve got views other than your own, views with which you may disagree with strongly,” he said in a video posted by General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops at the end of August.

“Our society fears difference, google and facebook have algorithms which steer us towards the like-minded, so we’re tempted to live in bubbles of people who think the same thing,” he added, calling for more acceptance across political boundaries.

Directly addressing division in the Church, Father Timothy said:  “The Church itself has been touched by these sterile culture wars of left and right, and they are unfruitful.

“Now to transcend this fear of difference we have to imagine why it is that somebody holds views other than my own. Instead of trying to first prove how they are wrong we must imagine what have their lives been, their experience, their fears, that they think like this.”

He quoted Scottish theologian, writer and Dominican priest Fergus Kerr, who spoke at an earlier Dominican provincial chapter, suggesting that we should expect a range of views within the Church:

“If you ask me to say what I prize more and more the longer I’m in the order then I have to say it is a way of thinking, of expecting people to have views we may disagree with, expecting also to understand why they believe what they do.”

Fr Radcliffe is a patron of Catholic for AIDS Prevention and Support and The Council on Christian Approaches to Defence and Disarmament. His book What is the point of being a Christian? won the Michael Ramsey prize for theological writing.

In February 2021 Pope Francis appointed Sister Nathalie Besquart as the first female undersecretary to the General Synod of Bishops. The Pope has called for greater synodality and for dioceses to consult with lay Catholics as part of the Church’s ongoing dialogue.

This article was written by Scarlett Sheriff of the U.K. Tablet

The story of the Sisters of Mercy is shot through with ‘a marked providential guidance’, a prime example being the opening and naming of the large house on Baggot Street, Dublin in September 24th 1827, and placing it under the patronage of Our Lady of Mercy.

Our Lady of Mercy has been imaged as the one who responds to the needs of those who cry to her. Flying to Mary for protection and help dates back to the third century, the ‘Memorare’ being the earliest known prayer to this effect.  Mary, as the one who protects those who call on her, has often been depicted as sheltering people beneath her mantle.

On this day we particularly remember:
  • That Mercy is an attribute of God who pours mercy-love on those who call it forth by their very need – sheer gift!
  • That we must be empty to receive God’s mercy, even as Mary was empty enough to receive its full flow within her.
  • That having experienced mercy ourselves enables us to be mercy for others.
  • That the opening of the first House of Mercy began a particular wave of response to need that rippled out beyond Dublin, beyond Catherine and her time, to our own. All drawn to Mercy after Catherine’s example are custodians of a powerfully providential charism.

We pray for and remember the Sisters of Mercy, the Mercy Associates and the ministries of Mercy in Ballarat that include Damascus College, St Francis Xavier Primary School, McAuley Services for Women and Mercy Health, Home and Aged Care.
The Agenda for the
Fifth Australian Plenary Council
The first session of the Plenary Council will commence on Monday October 4th for the first Assembly of the Plenary Council to be held since the second Vatican Council. In 2018, when the decision to hold a Plenary Council was announced, the entire People of God in Australia began preparing for this historic moment by listening to God and by listening to one another’s stories of faith.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the first Assembly will be a mix of in-person and online delivery. The following questions from the discernment process will form the agenda.

How might we better accompany one another on the journey of personal and communal conversion which mission in Australia requires?
• 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 open in new ways to Indigenous ways of being Christian in spirituality, theology, liturgy, and missionary discipleship? How might we learn from the First Nations peoples?
• 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?
• How might the Church in Australia respond to the call to ‘ecological conversion’? How can we express and promote a commitment to an ‘integral ecology of life’ in all its dimensions, with particular attention to the more vulnerable people and environments in our country and region?
• How might we become a more contemplative people, committing more deeply to prayer as a way of life, and celebrating the liturgy of the Church as an encounter with Christ who sends us out to “make disciples of all the nations”?
• How might we better embrace the diverse liturgical traditions of the Churches which make up the Catholic Church and the cultural gifts of immigrant communities to enrich the spirituality and worship of the Church in Australia?
• How might we better form leaders for mission – adults, children and families, couples and single people?
• How might we better equip ordained ministers to be enablers of missionary discipleship: the Church becoming more a “priestly people” served by the ordained ministry?
• How might formation, both pre- and postordination, better foster the development of bishops, priests and deacons as enablers of the universal Christian vocation to holiness lived in missionary discipleship?
• How might parishes better become local centres for the formation and animation of missionary disciples?
• How might the Church in Australia be better structured for mission, considering the parish, the diocese, religious orders, the PJPs and new communities?
• How might the People of God, lay and ordained, women and men, approach governance in the spirit of synodality and co-responsibility for more effective proclamation of the Gospel?
• How might we recast governance at every level of the Church in Australia in a more missionary key?
• How might we better see the future of Catholic education (primary, secondary and tertiary) through a missionary lens?
• How might we better see the future of Catholic social services, agencies and health and aged care ministries as key missionary and evangelising agencies?

French bishop urges all
pastoral workers to get vaccinated

Archbishop Luc Ravel in front of Strasbourg Cathedral on March 26.

                 (Photo by JEAN-MARC LOOSPHOTOPQR/ L'ALSACE/ MAXPPP)

Archbishop Luc Ravel of Strasbourg has told pastoral workers in his Catholic diocese in Northeastern France that a government mandate that employees of healthcare facilities be vaccinated against the Covid virus also applies to them. Ravel said the requirement, which went into effect on September 15, applies to "all chaplains, priests, deacons and lay people working in these facilities". He even broadened the scope to include "all pastoral workers in the diocese who are in regular and frequent contact with sick or frail people, including in their homes". That would include roughly 700 people, including all those assisting in pastoral ministries. "I was made aware of the resistance of a certain number of priests, especially hospital chaplains, who warned that they could no longer carry out their mission," the archbishop told La Croix." I felt it was my duty to relay the appeal of the Holy Father who sees this vaccination as an act of charity towards others," he said.

The 64-year-old archbishop, who was appointed to Strasbourg in 2017, said he's concerned about the impact of anti-vaxxers even on people in the Church." I am not saying that the vaccine is without risk, but as far as we know, and in order to fulfill our role as missionaries, we must be vaccinated," he said.

In his letter, Ravel denies there is "any legitimacy to arguments that claim exemption from vaccination in the name of a hypothetical danger to health". "Putting oneself at the service of evangelization has always been, in one way or another, a risk and a gift of oneself," he writes. And he even says that trying to avoid such a risk is "anti-missionary" behavior.

Read this article in full by Elise Descamps here.
Gospel Reflection
Sometimes we act and speak as though we humans have the monopoly on access to the power of God even if, in fact, we have no such monopoly. In today’s gospel Jesus seems to be telling his disciples that God works through people of good will, irrespective of whether they are on the edge (“not one of us”) or at the centre of the kin-dom of God movement. Much the same message is found in the first reading from the Book of Numbers which has Joshua trying, on somewhat tenuous grounds, to exclude two men from prophesying.

Moses does not take Joshua’s advice. On the contrary, he prays that the Spirit of God might “rest on” and, by implication, work through all of God’s people. Both the gospel passage and the reading from Numbers seem to be warning against attempts to control or domesticate the Spirit of God. The second part of the gospel reading (9:42-48) brings a dramatic change of mood as it takes up the issue of scandalising the “little ones”. The reference to “little ones” marks a return to the scene in the latter part of last week’s gospel reading where Jesus takes a little child in his arms and instructs his disciples.

The horror of harming the little ones is dramatized in a series of sayings that challenge the most vivid of imaginations. These sayings are hardly intended to be taken literally. Cutting off offending limbs only deals with the symptoms. It may, however, offer some solace to those little ones who have suffered “scandal” or worse to know that there is no stronger condemnation in the gospels than that reserved for those who bring harm to children and to vulnerable others. We are impelled to do everything in our power to heal the hurts of the past and to create conditions that ensure the protection and safety of our children. We are likewise impelled to heal the hurts affecting tiny creatures like the bees that are so crucial for life in our common home.

The provision of secure and affordable housing for vulnerable families is one possible response to today’s gospel challenge. The restoration of habitat where fire has ravaged the land is yet another response. As we move into the final week of the Season of Creation (September 1-October 4), we recall the 2021 theme, “A Home for All”. Every creature needs a home. The escalating cost of housing and of rental properties has accelerated the problem of homelessness in the human community. The climate crisis has accelerated the loss of habitat for countless other species. To take up the challenge of addressing homelessness is to accept the invitation of Pope Francis to live the eighth work of mercy. It involves imagination and industry. It means visualising new possibilities and engaging in “daily gestures” that have the potential to bring life to the “little ones” of this world, the human and the other-than-human.
Veronica Lawson RSM

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