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

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.



6th DECEMBER, 2020

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:

Mass in the Chapel at St John of God Hospital is live streamed daily at 11.30am.  After Mass has been celebrated it is posted onto the Cathedral website.


Readings for this week:  Second Sunday of Advent

First:  Isaiah 40:1-5. 9-11    Second: Peter 3:8-14

Gospel: Mark 1:1-8

Readings for next week:  Third Sunday of Advent

First:  Isaiah 61:1-2. 10-11  Second:  Thessalonians 5:16-24

Gospel: John 1:6-8. 19-28

Jean Elliott,

Antonio Bazzano
Marie Bruce
Raymond Button
Margaret Cashman
George & Elizabeth Clark
Brenda Copi
Anthony Crimmons
Denis Davey
Frank Giuliano
Maria Hammill
Violet Hazlett
Leslie Keating
Leon Kelly
John Lever
Fr John Martin
Stephen McDonald
Brian McKinley
Lorna Reid
Wilma Ring
Eileen Segrave
David Sim
Ria Strybosch
Pedro Santana
Mary Wilkie
Provisions for Regional Victoria from
Monday 23rd November 2020

Ceremonies and Religious Gatherings
Cathedral Parish Update

It’s been so good to be able to gather in the Cathedral this past week. We have celebrated Mass each day at 10.00am, prayed before the Blessed Sacrament during times of Exposition held after weekday Mass, prayed Morning Prayer of the Church at 8.00am, celebrated the first experience of the sacrament of Reconciliation for the children of our Parish who prepared way back in Lent.

On Sundays the sacrament of Baptism is being celebrated again. This week we will also open for Evening Prayer at 5.30pm Monday – Friday. We will celebrate an Anointing Mass in the Cathedral on Friday December 18th at 10.00am and an Advent 2nd Rite of Reconciliation at 7pm on Wednesday December 16th. Because of the current restrictions, we will not be offering any hospitality after this Anointing Mass this year.

In the coming week, our three Parish Primary Schools will celebrate the graduation of their Year Six students. Fr Justin will celebrate a liturgy at each of the schools this week. We pray for the graduating students of our Parish Schools.

More parishioners are gradually returning and it is a joy and a blessing to be able to pray together. Reflecting on the experience of coming back to the Cathedral for Mass, the feedback from two parishioners who participated in the 10.30am and 5.00pm Masses was received and is as follows:
'Since yesterday I have been quietly contemplating my presence at the celebration of the Eucharist.  I have been asked repeatedly as to whether I would “bother” to go back to “church” and I am afraid my answer was in the negative.  Yet, last week when I was given the opportunity as to whether I would avail myself to once again attend Mass I found an overwhelming need to do so.  I came away yesterday and said to others just how beautiful, yes beautiful and comforting, I found it. Like many I struggle with my faith but I do find the ritual of the Mass comforting and more often than not uplifting'.

'I was fortunate to attend 5.00 pm Mass on for the first Sunday of Advent. I felt safe in attending due to the protocols, organisation of the seating and instructions provided on arrival. Thanks to Father Barry for his homily and bringing our attention to the plight of the Indigenous in regions of Papua New Guinea THANK YOU to all who have helped to make attendance at Masses possible. I can only imagine the time and energy needed for Masses to be held safely. We are blessed to have people willing to do what is required. Again, thank you to all'.

The Sunday Masses are 6.30pm (Saturday Vigil), 8.00am, 10.30am and 5.00pm. Register your attendance through the Parish Office.
Planning for Christmas has commenced. Much remains unknown as to how we will be able to celebrate and we will await further announcements. The liturgy group are proposing the following Masses for our Cathedral Parish this Christmas and we express our gratitude to St Patrick’s College for their willingness to allow us to use their Chapel for Masses on Christmas Eve that will allow us to cater for more people to participate in a Christmas Mass.

Masses on Christmas Eve

6.00pm St Patrick’s College Chapel
6.30pm Cathedral
6.30pm Cathedral Hall
8.00am St Patrick’s College Chapel
9.00pm Cathedral
12 Midnight Cathedral
Masses on Christmas Day
8.00am and 10.30am Cathedral

Registrations for these Masses will open on Tuesday December 8th. Please contact the Cathedral Office (open 10am – 5pm) to register your attendance at one of these Masses.

At all gatherings contact details are to be collected, contact surfaces sanitised, social distancing observed, hand sanitiser provided and face masks must be worn.

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

“The Church gives the faith to your children through Baptism and you have the task to make it grow…” Pope Francis.

Axel Scutcheon Escobar, son of Mathew and Jenny

Alexander Sale Radcliffe, son of Daniel and Jela May

Laila Grace Jennings, daughter of Alexandra and Michael

May these children grow in faith with the support of their families and
our Catholic Community

Vinnies launches 2020 Christmas Appeal
The St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia is asking people in a position to do so to dig a bit deeper this year as the Society launches its Christmas Appeal after a very tough year. 

To donate go click here
View from Rome
Pope Francis will today create 13 new cardinals, although due to the Covid-19 restrictions two of those due to receive red hats will not be in Rome. Bishop Cornelius Sim of Brunei and Archbishop Jose Advincula of Capiz, in the Philippines, will be handed the cardinal’s regalia by a representative of the Pope.

Rome is normally in celebratory mode when new cardinals are created. Not so on this occasion. Most cardinals will be logging in to watch the event online. The stripped-down consistory points to the uncertainty that the world and the Church still faces. And it comes just under three weeks before the Pope turns 84, a reminder that time is not on his side.

The Jesuit Pope is not planning on leaving office any time soon – he is ramping up his work rate rather than slowing down. But the pre-conclave manoeuvres rumble on. After today, Francis will have appointed 57 per cent of the cardinals who will elect his successor, a significant proportion. Yet a powerful faction – which includes some bishops and cardinals – is still trying to neutralise the Francis reforms. They murmur that while the Pope may be connecting with many of those outside the Church, he is “confusing” faithful Catholics.

Read this article by Christopher Lamb that was published in the U.K. Catholic Journal 'The Tablet' here

Pandemic and the dilemma of Catholic liturgy

A parish priest in New Zealand voices concern over the way the Church has responded to lockdown

COVID-19 has prompted many different liturgical and ritual responses.

It has revealed the dilemma of modern of liturgy, namely the place of the baptized in worship. It has shown that the default setting of many Church members (clergy and laity) is the ritual of saying Mass, not so much the experience of doing liturgy.

Many correspondents have identified the nature of home prayer, the task of the domestic Church and the impact of clericalism in our general response to this huge liturgical crisis.

In this reflection I wish to focus on three areas: home or bubble prayers, online Masses and the domestic Church of the clergy, and the liturgical place of the baptized lay faithful in public worship.

As the pastor of three parishes in a small rural diocese in a small, secular country the key experience has been the realization that Church is deemed a "non-essential service" in terms of the economy, our politics and our social structure.

Thus, the context of my contribution is as important as the contribution itself.

Read this reflection by Fr J.P. Grayland of Palmerston New Zealand here


Thank you for contributing to the Cathedral collections this week:

Envelopes: $ 676.00
Presbytery:  $ 534.10

Due to the cancellation of Masses, should you wish to continue your Planned Giving or contribution to the First Collection, please hand your envelope into the Parish Office, phone Finance Officer Kerrie to receive a Direct Debit form, or put your offering in an envelope into the mailbox near the front door.

Any queries or concerns, please contact the Parish Office
or email Finance Officer Kerrie.


Gospel Reflection
Second Sunday of Advent

The first verse of Mark’s gospel evokes the opening words of Genesis and thus situates the saving presence of Jesus the Christ in relation to the creation of earth and of all earth beings. The whole of Mark’s story of Jesus is presented as a beginning. It is the beginning of a faith journey into which the listener/reader is invited. In some manuscripts of the Greek text, there are only five words in this verse, seven in other manuscripts, and twelve in our English translation. The term gospel (euangelion) means good news. It referred originally to the news of victory delivered by a messenger, usually in time of war. The good news in this context is about Jesus, a name meaning “Yahweh saves”. The reader learns that this Jesus is the Christ, the Anointed One of God, Israel’s longed for Messiah. The actors within the story have to discover this truth as the drama unfolds. The two additional words present Jesus as “son of God”, as one having the characteristics of God.

John the Baptizer is identified as the messenger who proclaims the need to prepare the way for the arrival of a new Presence in our world. Mark creates the impression that something big is happening here. John draws massive crowds from city and country alike. They come to him in the wilderness, the home of the other-than-human, home to diverse forms of life. At a metaphorical level, wilderness recalls Israel’s experience in the Sinai desert. It is the place of testing and of new beginnings for God’s people, the place of God’s coming or God’s “advent” to Israel. Jesus will be impelled by the Spirit into the wilderness where he will pass the tests that the people Israel failed.This reading invites us to prepare for God’s advent or coming by ritualising metanoia (usually translated as “repentance”), and thus being ready for the one who comes. The translation “repentance” does not convey the nuances of the Greek term metanoia which literally means a “change of mind” and suggests an “expansion of horizons”. God’s advent demands a new mindset that will predispose us to receive the gift of God’s forgiveness and to be open to feel the pain of earth as well as the pain of those rendered poor.

Mark’s depiction of John evokes the image of the prophet Elijah in 2 Kings 8 and the “hairy mantle” of the prophet in Zechariah 13:4. John is a prophet who, like the prophets of old, calls God’s people to reconsider where they stand in relation to God. He is also the one who heralds the advent of the “stronger” one who will baptize “with the Holy Spirit”. And yet there is nothing in the subsequent narrative about Jesus baptizing. As we reflect attentively on Mark’s gospel during this liturgical year, we might ask ourselves what it means to “baptize” with the Holy Spirit and what it means to follow one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.

Veronica Lawson RSM

Maintenance works - December 2020

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