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.



7th February 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:  Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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

Gospel: Mark 1:29-39

Readings for next week:  Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

First:   Leviticus  13: 1-2. 44-46  Second:   1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1

Gospel:  Mark 1:40-45


Abigail Ballinger
Therese Black
Janina Borecki
Sr Lua (Byrne)
Theodora Finke
Hedwig Harasimowicz
Mary Hennessy
Filip Hetrich
Eileen Kelly
Mary Kennedy
Margaret LeMarshall

John (Frank) Leonard
Aileen Moore
Ben Murphy
Thomas Riley
John Ronan
Isabel Schepis
Eileen Stout
Ken Stout
Strecko Uljanic
Nora Walsh
Brenda Woodruff
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.

PLEASE NOTE: from 3rd February 2021
Those attending Mass are required to wear required to wear their face masks while inside the Church.

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.
Word of God Sunday
Setting our Hearts on the Word

He opened their minds to understand the scriptures.” (Luke 24:45)

Pope Francis begins his apostolic letter Aperuit Illis[1] with this quote from Luke, which resounds so appropriately to instituting the Sunday of the Word of God in this time. Immediately we are transported to the road to Emmaus, walking with those disciples going away from Jerusalem in the aftermath of the death of Jesus.                                                              

Here in Australia we are emerging into a COVID-normal following a time when so many have been unable to pray and celebrate Eucharist together in the way we have been accustomed. This wonderful invitation of Pope Francis is timely for us to set our hearts on the Word on the first Sunday in February.                                                                                                                   
In making his declaration, Pope Francis encourages that this would be “a celebration, study and dissemination of the word of God” and, at the same time, an opportunity “to strengthen our bonds with the Jewish people and pray for Christian unity.”[2] In these words there is an invitation to return to our home with God, gathered “as one” around the sacred Scripture (Neh 8:1) just as those returning after the Babylonian exile, and just as those disciples on the road to Emmaus who on hearing the scriptures and breaking the bread returned to Jerusalem (Luke 24:33).                                                                                                 
In many parts of world and in Australia, perhaps especially in Victoria through the long lockdown, we have been dispersed. Opportunities to join livestream Mass, Lectio Divina and Liturgy of the Word via audio or shared-video options have assisted us to be connected to the nourishment of our souls through the Word. At a time when it was hard to remain hopeful, praying with the Word and with each other revealed the invitation of God.

Read this reflection by Rosemary Canavan here

Opening School Masses
During the week Loreto College celebrated their opening school Mass with Fr Justin. It was the first time that the whole school community had been able to come together in the one place since March 2020. The Year 7’s and Year 12’s processed in together with the mural they had created as a way of focussing on the 2021 Loreto value of Felicity – “that disposition of heart a disposition of the heart which manifests itself in cheerfulness, good humour, joy, happiness, hope, optimism, friendliness, courtesy, positive thinking, inner peace, self-acceptance and courage.”

In this coming week Fr Justin will celebrate the opening school Masses with St Thomas More Alfreton and Siena Primary School at Lucas.

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, details as follows:

Further information may be found on our Parish website:

Making space for conversation

Anyone interested in the United States Catholic world will have noticed the sharp differences of opinion among Catholics and Catholic publications about many areas of church and national life. Some commentators claim that it amounts to a schism. In Australia there is similar polarisation, but no talk of schism — Australians don’t do disaster movies. In both nations the exchanges within churches echo trends in national life that heighten disagreements, lessen respect, and tend to confine conversation circles to people of similar views. People become annoyed if those opposing their views gatecrash their forums. This trend creates problems for Church sponsored publications.
Participants in Catholic conversations often accuse their opponents of politicising faith. Sometimes the charge is true. It is easy to seek support for political allegiance by appealing to faith. One blatant example was of Donald Trump conspicuously holding a Bible when photographed outside a Washington church. Such practices, of course, are not confined to one side of politics.

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

Ash Wednesday Masses
17th February 2021
Cathedral                            7.00pm (Vigil Mass, Tuesday evening)

                      7.30am, 10.00am, 12.05pm, 5.30pm

St Alipius Ballarat East    12 Noon, 7.00pm

St Aloysius Redan            8.00 am 12.30 pm

St James’ Sebastopol     9.30am , 6.00pm

Responding to the removal of ribbons from the fence on Tuesday morning, February 2nd 2021
Today’s removal of the ribbons from the Cathedral fence has not been authorised by me or anyone else from the Catholic Diocese of Ballarat.
Their removal has provoked a strong reaction from many who are understandably hurt and angered. The way forward can only be through genuine dialogue amongst people who seek to work together to ensure that survivors of child sexual abuse know that their experience is never forgotten, that institutions such as ours ensure that the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults is one of our greatest priorities and that justice for survivors is an essential dimension to healing.

The ribbons serve to continually remind us of these critical issues and the ongoing impact within our community. For those of us within the Church they are a daily call to humility, remembering our past and recommitting ourselves to responding compassionately to the many affected by child sexual abuse.

Fr Justin Driscoll, Administrator

Taize at the Anglican Cathedral of Christ the King


Thank you for contributing to the Cathedral collections this week:

Envelopes: $ 791.00
Presbytery:  $ 884.25

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

Gospel Reflection
In Australia, Sunday of the Word of God is celebrated this weekend. It comes at a time when our planetary community is in need of deep healing. It invites us to bring the distress of the Earth community into dialogue with the gospel. In the first century Mediterranean world, sickness was attributed to social rather than to physical causes. The corollary of this was that healing focussed principally on restoration of the person to her or his place or status in the society or community. Healing of an individual brought not only the person but the community itself to wholeness.

Last Sunday, we reflected on the “healing” of a man with an “unclean spirit”. Jesus, healer and teacher, expelled the unclean spirit and thus restored health to the man as well as to the worshipping community. The healing took place in the Capernaum synagogue on the Sabbath. This story began Mark’s account of a typical day in Jesus’ ministry. Today’s gospel passage continues that account. Jesus leaves the synagogue and moves, in the company of two of his new disciples, to the house of Simon and Andrew. In other words, he shifts from a long established gathering place for God’s people to a prospective new locus of communal engagement, the house church. This new locus does not preclude the older locus: Jesus continues to teach and heal in the synagogues throughout Galilee

In this new place of encounter with God, Jesus heals a woman with a “fever” who is identified only in relation to her son-in-law, Simon. Jesus takes her by the hand and raises her up. She is the first human character in the Markan gospel story who is said to “minister”. In other words, the love of God working through Jesus draws her beyond herself to engage in a ministry of leadership in the community of God’s people. Earlier in Mark’s gospel we heard that angels “ministered” to Jesus in the desert. In other words, God looked after Jesus as he began his mission of bringing God’s love into a broken world. Jesus will later insist that he came “to minister” (10:45). This woman is caught up in the same mission of bringing the community to health and wholeness.

That same evening, Simon’s house becomes a magnet for “the whole city”. Jesus heals their sick and afflicted and, early in the morning, seeks the solitude of a “desert” place for prayer. The disciples seek him out, as everyone is looking for him. Jesus makes it clear that he must move on and bring God’s word and healing beyond the city to the neighbouring Galilean towns. God’s word in this gospel story is for us as well as for those early disciples. Amid all the troubles besetting our world, we too must search out the solitude of a “desert” place for prayer, and engage with renewed energy and insight in whatever each new day brings.

Veronica Lawson RSM

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