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.


8th NOVEMBER, 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: Thirty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

First:   Apocalypse 7:2-4, 9-14  Second: John 3:1-3

Gospel: Matthew 5:1-12

Readings for next week: Thirty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

First:  Proverbs 31:10-14 19-20. 30-31   Second: Thessalonians 5:1-6

Gospel: Matthew 25:14-30

Mario Meggetto, Tony McInerney, Ethel O'Brien


Catherine Ackland
Trudi Barausky
Gladys Barr
John Blasiak
Guiseppe Bongiorno
Giacomo Costa
Joseph Dawson
Jean Favaloro
Veronica Flynn
Marlene Fox
Kevin Garland
Arthur Gillett
Myrtle Goodwin
Bruce Green
Kath Harman
Yvonne Hassell
Schmider Ham Hoffman
Edwin Holloway
Shirley Isaacs
Belloman Julie
Anni Langhammer
Benidito Mascarenhas
Kevin Meiklejohn
Gerald Meich
Ronald McBride
Janice McDonald
Rebecca McKenzie
John McLaren
Maree Menzel
Thomas Mitchell
Lillian Mullins

Caroline Sinclair
Catherine Unsy
Bernie Weightman
Pat White

Provisions for Regional Victoria from Wednesday, October 28th 2020

Ceremonies and Religious Gatherings

Indoor religious gatherings:
Allowed for up to 20 people, plus one faith leader;
Strict requirements to be contained in a COVIDSafe Plan;
Can only have one gathering at a time

Please note this is slightly different from the last round of restrictions we operated under.

Up to 10 people outdoors, including couple and two witnesses.
Celebrant and one photographer excluded from cap.

Indoors - up to 20 people;
Outdoors - up to 50 people. 
Infants under 12 months and people to conduct funeral not included in the cap.

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

With the easing of some restrictions,
how will the Cathedral reopen?


We continue to be guided by Government regulations, which means we are still required to limit the number of people who are able to attend Mass, keeping them at the appropriate distance from each other, keeping a record of all who attend (for contact tracing) and ensuring that the necessary cleaning is undertaken.

We again proceed very slowly. 

We are aware that there will be many desiring to join in the celebration of the Eucharist, far more than can be accommodated.  To ensure that we can uphold all of these requirements, we are able to have:


20 people will be able to celebrate Mass each day in the Cathedral at 10.00am. Registering via the Parish Office will still be necessary, where your name and contact details will be required.

The limits will be strictly enforced to enable as many people as possible to have the opportunity to attend, therefore, you will not be able to attend more than once a week.

As we gradually re-open we now offer (also for 20 people):
5.30pm Vigil Mass each Saturday evening
8.00am and 10.00am on Sunday morning
5.00pm Sunday afternoon

Please register your desire to attend via
email or by phoning the Parish Office on 53 312 933 during office hours.

Please note: 
Those attending will be asked to remain in the designated area of the Cathedral for Mass. 
A face mask must be worn at all times whilst visiting the Cathedral (your face mask may be removed when receiving Communion or reading, but must be worn again immediately afterwards).

For the moment these are the only occasions that the Cathedral will be open. 

If all goes well, we will steadily increase the availability of opportunities for prayer and worship in the coming weeks.

We are delighted that so many parishioners are so keen to celebrate Mass. We are wanting to ensure equity and a 'fair go' to enable as many parishioners as possible the opportunity to participate in the celebration of the Eucharist.

Those seeking the Sacrament of Reconciliation are asked to contact the Parish Office to arrange a time.

For the foreseeable future, Fr Justin will continue to celebrate 11.30am Mass each day, live streamed from the Chapel at St John of God Hospital.

To see the Cathedral Parish COVIDSafe Plan, click here.
NAIDOC Week: Always Was, Always Will Be

The theme for NAIDOC WEEK 2020, ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’, recognises that First Nations People have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years.

Click here for the seven ideas for engaging with NAIDOC Week this year.

The post-pandemic Church –
business as usual?
by Joseph O'Hanlon
The once and future Church
Image:     Opening Mass for a KHS pirtual Holy Land pilgrimage (Mazur/

When exile and despair chilled the hearts of God’s people, when none were found to sing the Lord's songs, prophets and priests, in order to be that to which they were called, sought to create a future. When God’s people had become, not a light to the nations, but a byword for godlessness, God uncovered their transgressions and poured out indignation, creating a ruin where once glory had shone round about. When exile and its concomitant ills followed godlessness and profanity, those few who dared to speak in the Lord's name set about doing a theology that would be heard in the market-place, and would re-create a residence befitting divine glory.
For at the heart of prophetical discourse was the conviction that the world is the place where God’s steadfast love governs, the kingdom where God’s will is done, not to inflate the divine ego, but to sow love and mercy and justice and peace, in short, to make God’s people safe.

Read the article here.

Patchwork quilt church inhibits national action
There is a good reason why the term Australian Catholic Church is frowned upon in official circles. It does not exist. Instead, it is a patchwork quilt of fiefdoms called dioceses. It lacks an energising central authority which, when it needs to, can generate and shape a national church response.
The kindest thing we can say about the Catholic Church in Australia in this regard is that we celebrate diocesan and other differences. The quilt shines forth in different colors and patterns. That has benefits, but it also has limitations. It can reduce the Catholic experience in Australia to a lucky dip.

During the pandemic Australians have learned a lot about federalism, including the strength of state borders and the limitations of central authority. The national cabinet has worked to respect the independence of the eight state and territory jurisdictions while maintaining some semblance of national cohesion.

Similarly, Australian Catholics are learning a lot about the territorial divisions within our church as it attempts to pull together in the lead up to our greatest contemporary challenge, the national Plenary Council (PC). If Scott Morrison finds national leadership difficult then so must Mark Coleridge, president of the Australian Catholic Bishops conference (ACBC) and Tim Costelloe, chair of the Bishops Commission for the Plenary Council. They wouldn’t even identify with the term national leader.

There are 28 territorial dioceses in Australia, plus five Eastern Rite dioceses. Imagine if the Australian federal system was dismantled and replaced by that many states and territories. How well would we have dealt with the pandemic and how would we have managed borders? That is the situation we are dealing with within the church.

Read the article here.

Survey bucks notion Australia is increasingly secular
Though attendance rates have declined, the report says most Australians consider themselves as religious or spiritual (Bigstock)

Religion and spirituality are becoming more important to Australians, according to a new report that could inspire Christian leaders to be more proactive in evangelisation and outreach. Source:
The Catholic Leader.
The new report by McCrindle Research reveals key trends that could help church leaders buck the dominant perception that Australia is an increasingly secular nation, including data that shows Australians are not just spiritually open, but actually spiritually hungry.

The Future of the Church in Australia report was based on 30 interviews with church leaders, including Melbourne
Archbishop Peter A. Comensoli, Sydney archdiocese evangelisation director Daniel Ang and Alpha founder Nicky Gumbel, as well as a survey of more than 1000 Australians.
Lead researcher Mark McCrindle, himself a Christian, said the research showed the church in Australia was undergoing its “biggest shifts” in national history.

“The church is already dealing with the perception issues and actual challenges of past issues, and the Royal Commission brought that to the fore,” Mr McCrindle said.

Use Covid to be better people, says Cardinal Tagle

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

The Covid-19 pandemic can draw out “a social type of love” as people come together to cope with the consequences of the spread of the coronavirus, according to Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle.
But the president of Caritas Internationalis also warned that there is a danger that people will focus on their own personal concerns faced with the difficulties of the pandemic.
“This pandemic affects all and while it is legitimate to think of one’s security and the safety of family members, we hope it will challenge all of us to contribute to the solution or at least the slowing down of this. That means a social type of love. We hope it can help us to a better humanity and a better human family,” he said.
Yet there was also a danger, Cardinal Tagle said, because “human beings try to secure themselves when there is a threat and they do the same for their families and close friend. “The threat of individuallism is always there.”
The Church’s role during the pandemic, he said, is to stand alongside the most vulnerable and help build their resilience.

Read the article here.


Thank you for contributing to the Cathedral collections this week:

Envelopes: $ 1,416.00   Presbytery:  $ 811.05

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

32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
(Matthew 25:1-13)

How many times were you told as a child to be ready for an outing or for the arrival of visitors or for dinner or for something else when you simply wanted to stay as you were? There are times when it matters little whether we are ready or not. COVID-19 is teaching us that sometimes it really matters and today’s gospel parable depicts a situation where it is of crucial importance to be prepared. Wisdom resides in readiness, foolishness in failure to prepare.

The imminent event in today’s parable is a wedding celebration. The betrothal period is over and the bridegroom has left to bring the bride from the home of her parents to his family home. Ten young women of his household will watch for the arrival of the couple and will light their way into the wedding feast. These young women can expect to be welcome at the feast. Five are well prepared for the arrival and five are not. The five who bring (olive) oil for their lamps are designated “wise” while the other five who bring no oil are said to be “foolish”. Negotiating the terms of the marriage contract takes longer than expected so that the bridegroom is delayed. The young women wait and wait, then fall asleep. At midnight, the bridegroom’s arrival is signalled and the young women rise to trim their lamps in readiness for their role of lighting his way.

The bride is invisible in the telling of the story, presumably because the focus must be on the bridegroom alone. Earlier in Matthew’s gospel (9:15), Jesus is depicted as “the bridegroom”. The attentive reader of the gospel is aware that the parable is about Jesus and that it forms part of Matthew’s end-time discourse (24:1-25:46). The delay of the bridegroom evokes the community’s expectation that Jesus who has died and been raised will return at an undisclosed time. In the interim, the members are to be actively watchful and ready, living in the spirit of Matthew’s first discourse (5:1-7:29) with its emphasis on right relationship. Matthew 7 concludes with reference to wise and foolish decisions: the foolish build on sand while the wise build on rock.

The behaviour of the “wise” in today’s parable is as puzzling as that of the “foolish”. The “foolish” fail to prepare: they have no oil and cannot expect to light the way without it. The “wise” have prepared and they receive their reward. Is there any wisdom, however, in sending their “foolish” companions to buy olive oil at midnight? There are more unanswered questions than we can address in this little reflection. We can identify with both the wise and the foolish. We can identify with the foolish in our inattention to the plight of our planet. We can identify with the wise insofar as we have the wisdom to ensure that the produce of God’s Earth, represented by the olive oil, is received as gift and used in right measure and in right relationship.

Veronica Lawson RSM
St Patrick's Cathedral Parish, Ballarat
- St Patrick's Hall -

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