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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.


11TH JULY, 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.

Sunday Masses

This weekend (10th/11th July) we continue to welcome up to 300 people at each of the following Masses at the Cathedral:

5.30pm - Saturday
(including First Communion for 8 children)

8.00am - Sunday

10.30am - Sunday
(including Baptisms)

5.00pm - Sunday
(including First Communion for 10 children)

Entrance to the Cathedral continues to be from the South Transept and face masks are required for entry. All entering must either use the QR Code or sign in with pen and paper.

Masses during the week

12.05pm Mass on Fridays - back by popular demand!

During the coming week, Mass will be celebrated in the Cathedral each day with a maximum of 300 people in attendance. No registration will be required prior to attending, but upon entrance to the Cathedral (via the south transept door), use the QR code to register your attendance or sign in with the materials provided. Masks are required for entry.

Monday - 10.00am

Tuesday - 10.00am

Wednesday - 12.05pm - Anointing Mass

Thursday - 10.00am

Friday - 12.05pm
(preceded by Reconciliation at 11.30am)

Saturday - 10.00am
(followed by Reconciliation)

Morning Prayer         prayed each day (Monday – Friday) at 8.00am
Evening Prayer          prayed each day (Monday – Friday) at 5.00pm

With this further easing of restrictions, the Cathedral will be open each day not only for Mass, Morning and Evening Prayer, but throughout the day for individual prayer the opportunity to ‘make a visit’ – the Cathedral will be open from 8.00am until Evening Prayer at 5.00pm. Because of the requirement to register by either the QR code or paper and pen, entry will continue to be via the south transept door.

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Readings for this week:   Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

First:  Amos 7:12-15   Second:  Ephesians 1:3-14

Gospel:  Mark 6:7-13

Readings for next week:  Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

First:   Jeremiah 23:1-6 Second:  Ephesians 2:13-18

Gospel: Mark 6:3-34

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

Leo Patrick Gleeson, son of Mark and Ella

Edward Maxwell Michelson, son of Mark and Hannah

Emerson Katharine Lahey, daughter of Paul and Shauna

Oscar John Sullivan, son of Eamon and Michelle

Sinead Katharine Sullivan, daughter of Liam and Emma

“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.

Laurette Coombes, Tim Grant, Kathleen O'Brien

Graeme Ainley
Gerarda Bakker
Mark Baulch
Giovanni Cincotta
Joan Costelloe
Ivy Cummings
James Doherty CSsR
Luigi Gigliotti
Ian Grundell
Adeline Halliday
Noel Harris
John Hutchinson
Br Andrew Kennedy CSsR
Dorothy Lamond
Elsie Lewis
Baby Manilloombel
Veronica McAloon
Sile McCann

Gert McCracken
Cecil McVey

Keith Miller
Richard Mudra
Doris Ngip
Thomas Nolan
Ronald O'Loughlin

Gertrud Polak
Nazario Pomella
Kevin Rawlings

Marcelino Reyes
Duncan Smerdon
Margaret Taylor
Ruby Taylor
Maria Van Govan
Elizabeth Wynen

What would reconciliation in the Church look like?

On Sunday 4 July, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday marked the start of NAIDOC week. This year the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC) have adopted the NAIDOC theme for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday, Heal Country, looking at what reconciliation in the Church might look like. When exploring this notion, NATSICC is continuing to take steps towards First Nations people and culture finding a home in and being celebrated within the Church.

The question of what reconciliation in the Church looks like is one that many countries have had to consider in light of past injustices related to Church-supported colonisation. The first part to healing involves the relationship between First Australians and the Church. The Church needs to continue coming to grips with its own mistakes in this area: its involvement in the Stolen Generations, its running of missions in which children were taken from their parents, its involvement in missionary outreach work that did not adequately respect First Nations peoples and its ongoing Eurocentric worldview.

Healing this relationship is critical for the health of the Church in this country, the health of the land itself and the health of its First Peoples.

In his 2001 apostolic exhortation Ecclesia in Oceania, Pope John Paul II recognised that the relationship of the Church to the Aboriginal peoples and the Torres Strait Islander peoples remains vital but that it is also difficult because of past and present injustices and cultural differences. Pope John Paul II also recognised that the Church should more thoroughly study Indigenous cultures and communicate the faith in a legitimate way appropriate to Indigenous cultures. Pope John Paul II went on to state that the Church will support the cause of all Indigenous peoples who seek a just and equitable recognition of their identity and their rights.

He also acknowledged, ‘Whenever the truth has been suppressed by governments and their agencies or even by Christian communities, the wrongs done to the indigenous peoples need to be honestly acknowledged… The past cannot be undone, but honest recognition of past injustices can lead to measures and attitudes which will help to rectify the damaging effects for both the Indigenous community and the wider society. The Church expresses deep regret and asks forgiveness where her children have been or still are party to these wrongs. Aware of the shameful injustices done to First Peoples in Oceania, the Synod Fathers apologised unreservedly for the part played in these by members of the Church, especially where children were forcibly separated from their families.’

The question of reconciliation in the Church is particularly pressing, given 2021 marks the 250th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in Australia, and the 150th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity to the Torres Strait. Yet many First Australians recognise that the Spirit of God was poured out onto the original inhabitants of this great Southern Land many, many thousands of years prior. Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann, a respected Ngangiwumirr Elder, artist and 2021 Senior Australian of the year explains the importance of experiencing God’s presence in the Land: ‘My people today, recognise and experience in this quietness, the great Life-Giving Spirit, the Father of us all. It is easy for me to experience God’s presence. When I am out hunting, when I am in the bush, among the trees, on a hill or by a billabong; these are the times when I can simply be in God’s presence. My people have been so aware of Nature. It is natural that we will feel close to the Creator.’

Read more of this article here.


This weekend, at Saturday 5.30pm Vigil and Sunday 5.00pm Mass, we welcome the final group of children from our Parish celebrating their First Eucharist this school term.

We pray for these children and their families.


Alpha is a series of interactive sessions that create a safe and honest space, online or in person, where people can explore life, faith and meaning.  It is a safe environment for anyone and everyone who wants to explore life and the Christian faith, ask questions and share their point of view.

Alpha is free and everyone is welcome!

MacKillop/Glowrey Rooms
3 Lyons St South, Ballarat

From:   Wednesday 14th July, 2021
Time:    7.00pm (for 11 weeks)

What to expect:

Whether in person over a meal or virtually with a cup of tea, all sessions start with a time to connect, relax and build friendships.

The Alpha talks are designed to inspire conversation. They explore the big issues of life and faith, addressing questions like “Who is Jesus?”, “Why and how do I pray?” and “How does God guide us?”

One of the most important parts of any Alpha: the chance to share thoughts and ideas on the topic, and discuss in a small group. There’s no obligation to say anything and there’s nothing you can’t say (seriously).

For more information, please contact
The Church between "global West" and "global Catholic" Looking at different ways to assess the sins of the past
The world is burning. And one has the impression that the Catholic Church in it is burning, too. Sometimes the Church is burning quite literally. Take Canada, for instance, where unmarked graves recently have been found on the sites of former residential schools for indigenous children. Many of these were Church-run institutions and this has created another wave of anger. At least six church buildings on First Nations lands in western Canada have been badly damaged or completely destroyed by arson. The Catholic Church's co-responsibility for the colonial, anti-Indigenous features in these boarding schools is an issue that is being raised in the United States, too. A group of Indigenous who survived the abuse in Canada's schools will go to Rome next December for a meeting they requested with Pope Francis. One must assume that survivors of Catholic-run residential schools in other countries with will also seek an encounter with the pope.

The Church's reputation up in flames
Yes, the world is burning and it seems the Catholic Church in it is burning, too. But at times, it is "only" the Church's reputation that is on fire. In Italy, where the Parliament is debating an anti-homophobia bill, the Vatican made a rare diplomatic intervention to warn state authorities that the proposed legislation would infringe the Church's freedom to express its views on issues such as marriage and gender. It did so in the framework of the Concordat the Holy See signed in 1929 (and updated in 1984) with the Italian Republic. Looking at the reactions, it seems that even in this age of political and social inertia, the Italian tradition of laicità (secularism) and sovereignty of Parliament vis-à-vis the Church is alive after all. But it is also a reminder that Pope Francis' personal reputation cannot provide the institutional Church with unlimited credit. Then there is another, very different perception of the Catholic Church and of the Vatican.

Others continue see the Church as a "moral authority"
There is President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine who on June 30 invited the pope to visit his country, appealing to the Catholic Church's "moral authority". And there was the July 1st summit of Lebanon's Christian leaders who gathered around Francis in the Vatican for a day of prayer and reflection "to implore the gift of peace and stability" in that troubled Middle Eastern nation. The very next day Francis held a private meeting with the Prime Minister of Iraq. It came four months after the historic papal trip to that country, part of the Holy See's efforts to promote peace in the region. Finally, there is the new cardinal-prefect at the Congregation for the Clergy, the South Korean Lazzaro Archbishop You Heung-sik. His appointment has fueled hopes for a papal trip to North Korea in another effort to bring peace to the peninsula.

It's all matter of perspective
So, which Catholic Church is it?

Read more of this article by Massimo Faggioli in La-Croix here.

Wimmera-Mallee Parish

Bishop Paul has decreed the establishment of the new Saint Paul Vl Parish, Wimmera-Mallee.  The new parish includes the area of the former parishes of Hopetoun, Horsham, Nhill and Warracknabeal and the faith communities of Beulah, Dimboola, Hopetoun, Horsham, Kaniva, Minyip, Murtoa, Natimuk, Nhill, Rainbow, Rupanyup and Warracknabeal.  Monsignor Glynn Murphy and Fr Jim McKay currently serve in these parishes and will continue their service in the new parish.

The decision to invoke St Pope Paul VI as patron of the new parish does not change the names of the local churches and schools of the Wimmera-Mallee, but becomes the overarching patron for the newly established parish. Pope Paul was selected for his leadership of the Universal Church throughout the Second Vatican Council following the death of Pope John XXIII and into the post Conciliar years. He was also the first Pope to visit Australia in 1970.

Flashes of Insight:
Signs of hope that Synods hold for women
Women theologians warn that the non-involvement of people may have the inverse effect of opening up the Church.

Synods, seen by Pope Francis and many to be inclusive, have the possibility of becoming exclusive. The signs of hope that Synods hold for women and those within the Church who want to see change may deliver the opposite. The warning comes from involved and committed Catholic women in a conversation on Flashes of Insight. Saying that synodal discernment is neither easy nor fast, it leaves the question open to how much time and effort people will have to give to a process that perhaps seems to be better suited for church professionals.

The women warn the non-involvement of people may have the inverse effect of opening up the Church, implying it may return the Church walled garden albeit built by a minority view. Through groups, she is associated with in Australia, Auckland theologian and lecturer Jo Ayers is watching the Australian Plenary (synod) develop. From her involvement with these groups, she questions how inclusive the process is and suggests that excluding people from the conversation will have the significant potential to further alienate, perhaps the majority of Catholics. "There is a lot of discussion and struggle about the agenda for the (Australian) Plenary and who will be the members who make the decisions".

All four women on Flashes of Insight are hopeful and want to see change. While they acknowledge and accept that change is upon the Church, a niggling thread remains throughout the conversation about how much the Synods are in the hands of 'ordinary Catholics'? Australian pastoral worker, theologian and school chaplain, Elizabeth Young RSM admits the 'ordinary Catholic' question is a good one. She says there has been a diversity of view as to how much the Australian plenary processes have filtered down to 'people in the pews. 'She acknowledges there has been a considerable amount of hard work done by a lot of people who have been working to promote the Australian Plenary at a 'grass-roots' level. However, she admits the coverage has been a bit patchy. She says some people are feeling very distant, it is a process that is happening far away and leaving them wondering how they can get involved in it.

Describing the Australian Catholic Church as a "blokey culture at the top", Flashes of Insight host, Joe Grayland asks whether Synodality, the Australian Plenary is just another process that will end up in nothing. Fiona Dyball a theologian involved in Liturgy and faith formation with the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference disagrees, saying change is upon the Church. "We have to change and how we change is through relationships with people that we don't know".

Read more of this article here.

Israeli-Palestinian conflict: let's disarm religions!

(Image: PLANTU)

Organizers of an Israeli-Palestinian Peace Forum this week in Jerusalem believe the three monotheistic religions are the key to resolving tensions in the Holy Land.

The solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which has been going on for 73 years, will be political and diplomatic. The outline, which is part of the continuing negotiations, is widely known. In Israel, it is the political will that is lacking among those in power. In the Palestinian territories, it is the voters who are lacking, since elections have not been held there since 2006.At first glance, religions appear to be a major obstacle in this conflict that has obvious international dimensions. This is because of both theological and symbolic reasons. Theology because in the Bible, Israel's boundary is the Jordan River (Deuteronomy 11,31; Numbers 33,50; etc.). Certain powerful North American evangelical currents and some Jewish currents have made themselves the standard-bearers of a literalist reading of the scriptural texts. Theology again, for it is indeed a certain Sharia that makes some local Muslim leaders say that "if Muslim land is stolen, it is a duty to wage jihad", in this case against Israel.

Interpreting the texts
But the good news is that these obstacles can be overcome through interpretation! Contrary to popular belief, just because the Quran was written at God's dictation, thanks to the angel Gabriel, this does not mean that it cannot be interpreted. This applies a fortiori for the Sunnah (the rules of God) and the Hadith (words, acts and approvals of the Prophet Mohammad), because Muslims can rely on Taawîl (interpretation coming from scholars and respecting certain rules) and the Ijtihad (reflections of the ulemas and the muftis to interpret the texts and deduce Muslim law from them).The Tanakh (the Torah or Pentateuch, the Books of the Prophets and other writings) and the Christian Bible are, like the Quran, unalterable. But they are the subject of a long exegetical and hermeneutical tradition, and more recently of historical-critical reading. The three texts refer to a single God and to a common Patriarch -- Abraham -- who brings us together. They put fraternity at the heart of our humanity. In reality, religions are often instrumentalized by politics, for example when certain groups suddenly become the super defenders of Al Aqsa or the promoters of the "Great Israel". This was particularly evident last May during the 11 days of war in Gaza.

Read more of the article by Elie Barnavi, Ofer Bronchtein, Hamim El Karoui and Marco Impagliazzo here.


Each night, over 25,000 children are experiencing homelessness across the country. Their safety, their education, their emotional and physical health are all suffering. If we don’t help now, this moment of pain may turn into a lifetime of struggle.

Australia is in the middle of a homelessness crisis.

By supporting our Vinnies volunteers, you will help ensure that families at risk of homelessness get the financial and emotional support they need to keep their children safe.

To make a donation, envelopes are available in the Cathedral.  All donations may be made to the Cathedral Conference for the appeal by putting envelopes in the collection baskets at the Cathedral entrance or by submitting to the Parish Office.

Further details on the Appeal can be found here.

Expressions of Interest invited

for membership of the Diocesan Finance Council, the Committee of Management of the Catholic Development Fund and the Board of the Catholic Diocese of Ballarat Foundation

Ballarat’s Diocesan Finance Council, the Committee of Management of the Catholic Development Fund, and the Board of the Catholic Diocese of Ballarat Foundation are seeking expressions of interest from suitably qualified people (women and men) to join the advisory council, the advisory committee as well as the Foundation’s Board. 

We are seeking persons from across the Diocese who have experience in one or more of the following areas: Corporate Governance; Finance, Banking; Legal; and Philanthropy. 

Successful candidates will demonstrate a genuine commitment to the ethos and values of the Catholic Church, and possess personal qualities of integrity, collaborative approach, sound judgement, and excellent communication skills.

More information is available here at the diocesan website.

Contact Andrew Jirik, Diocesan Business Manager, 5337 7126.

The Eucharist is a schooling for sinners,
not a reward for the just

Looking from outside at the debates among American Catholics about whether President Biden should be refused communion has been a little like watching the crowd in a Rangers v Celtic game in Glasgow. Much that was said and done fervently in the name of faith showed little familiarity with it. To understand the issue we must enter the Catholic imaginative world in which the Eucharist is central.
This is built around the story of a God who in Jesus enters a fractured human world to offer healing, hope, freedom, wholeness and model a way of living. Jesus’ faithfulness to that promise and way of life ended in conflict with the powerful forces responsible for fracturing the human world and in the manifest defeat of a tortured and dehumanising execution. That defeat, however, turned out to be a victory. His rising from the dead vindicated his way of life, made him present to those who believed in him and promised a life beyond the conditions of this world.
In the Catholic imagination the Eucharist draws people into Jesus’ story at the eve of his trial and killing. It is the meal when they ‘do what Jesus did’. They are associated with the risen Christ in doing what Jesus did, namely offering themselves with him and with one another to live as he did. In receiving the Eucharistic body of Christ, they enact the commitment that ended with tortured body of Christ and are formed into the risen body of Christ as church.
That is a bald account of the Catholic imaginative world within which to set the United States Bishops’ discussion of the Eucharist and the proposal to exclude some politicians from it. In Catholic terms, the central question is whether such a proposal is compatible with doing as Jesus did. And to answer that question, we need to set what Jesus did against the two opposed constructions of human life revealed in his execution.
St Augustine gave a typically penetrating account of those two constructions, perhaps best described as operative imaginings of the world. The division between them is not between groups of people, but runs through each human being. One construction is bounded by individual desire without any reference to a benevolent God. It leads to a life based in self-interest, competition, violence, appeal to power, injustice, war, a unity based on power and exclusion, and self-righteousness. If it includes a God, it will be a God who demands compliance. For Augustine this construction was embodied in the Roman Empire. The second construction sees the world as bounded by love. In it God is a God of gift. This leads to respect for the world and other people, to fraternal relationships and to a hospitable community. Most people would recognise themselves as acting at different times out of each of these constructions.

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


Thank you for contributing to the Cathedral collections this week:

Parish $1,669.00
Presbytery $1,058.05

A reminder that new envelopes are available for collection from the Parish Office and that envelope numbers have changed.

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

Joke of the Week

A Baptist was stranded on a remote island for 20 years. When rescuers finally got to him, they found he had built three structures. When they asked him about them, the man pointed to one building and said, “That’s my house.” “And over there?” the rescuers asked.

“That’s my church,” the stranded man replied. “I’m Baptist and take my faith quite seriously.” “And over there? What is the third building?” the rescuers asked. “Oh,” said the man. “That’s where I used to go to church before the split."

Gospel Reflection
To be a disciple of Jesus is to experience a call. It is also to be sent on a mission in partnership with others, a mission invariably expressed in terms of preaching, teaching, healing, and/or driving out of demons or unclean spirits. In other words, it is to be authorised to do what Jesus did and to proclaim what he proclaimed. When we hear of Jesus casting out demons and telling his disciples to do likewise, we tend to think that whatever they did is something that belongs to another time and has little to do with our contemporary society.

In the cosmology of the time, there was a realm between the divine and the human that was inhabited by good and evil spirits (angels and demons). The divide between these realms was conceptualised as porous so that humans could be protected by the angels or “possessed” by the demons. While the cosmology of the twenty-first century has no “place” for such beings, the contemporary imagination allows space for a metaphorical engagement with the angelic and demonic. When we speak of “demons” now, we are talking about something recognisable in human experience, even if somewhat removed from the “demons” that beset the poor in the Roman imperial provinces of the first century.

Today’s parents spend much of their time casting out the “demons” that beset their children, as do our friends when they sit and listen to the pain in our hearts and help us to let go of the “demons” that so often inhabit our psyches. Many health professionals are paid to heal the hurts as well as the cuts and burns. They drive out the demons of fear and hate and prejudice and of paralysing mental illness. Educators also, aware that learning occurs only when students are relatively free from fear and anxiety, know what it means to drive out the demons.

It is significant that Jesus instructs the disciples to travel light. They need the basics to live and to do their job, but if their mission is to be effective, they must be free from the anxiety that comes from excess. Psychologist and social critic John F. Schumacher suggests that societies with the most material goods tend to be the most anxious. “Mutual respect, community-mindedness, an eagerness to share, reverence for nature, thankfulness and love of life”, it seems, are the major ingredients for a stress- or “demon”-free personal and community life. There would be no need to shake the dust from our feet for want of hospitality if that were the way we all chose to live. What’s more, there would be enough for all on our planet, the human and other-and-human, to live in dignity and peace. The experience of Covid-19 has been devastating in so many ways. While the only way out is widespread vaccination, many are fearful and anxious of being vaccinated. To allay the fears in our neighbours and friends is to live the gospel at this time.

Veronica Lawson RSM
St Joseph —
“A Just Man” REFLECTION - JULY 2021
Generally, when the saints are presented to us as models for imitation, we are shown how they embodied some particular virtue shown in them.
In the case of St Joseph, we are told that he is “a just man” in the context of his deciding to put Mary away privately or divorce her informally. Ever since the early Church, people have wondered why this particular action makes St Joseph just.

One suggestion is that he knew Mary’s chastity, and wished to conceal in silence what he did not understand. But if Mary wasn’t really at fault at all and Joseph knew this, then she would be treated unjustly by being put away, quietly or not. On the other hand, if she is indeed guilty of adultery, concealment of the sin would seem to be participation in her injustice.

The text suggests, rather, that Joseph really was ignorant of what the reality was and the guilt or innocence of Mary. And his justice in this situation is that he does not expose her to a public trial for a private sin that, in all likelihood, she might not have been guilty of. At the same time, he also does not want to prejudge the issue of guilt. So he decides to balance what the law requires of him with mercy towards her.

Joseph’s example helps us as we work out how to live justice in our day-to-day lives.

Often the Christian imperative to mercy is misinterpreted, so as to suggest that in all situations, it is the only possible Christian response to any injuries that one has suffered, particularly private injuries. In particular, we do this in relation to families and often in the confessional. But mercy needs also to satisfy the demands of justice and restoring the relationship and the order damaged by the injury. And behind those abstractions of “relationship” and “order” lies human suffering in all its painful reality. To ignore this is itself a denial of mercy towards someone who has suffered injustice.

On the other hand, justice, if it is to be justice, should be marked by the mercy which recognises the humanity and dignity of both the person who committed the injury and the person who suffered. It should leave the road open to someone’s innocence or their conversion, as well as account for the limitedness of our knowledge. Not to allow for this is to be unjust in the sense of not giving someone their due.

Thus, mercy and justice, far from being opposed to each other, actually undergird and enable each other.

The Scriptures call St Joseph ‘just’ after showing us a situation which he initially misread because of his limited understanding of what was happening. This should encourage us not to set aside the quest for justice as impossible in view of our limited knowledge or our own sinfulness or the sinfulness of the world at large. It should lead us not to set mercy in opposition to justice to the detriment of both, but trust that if we aim for it in union with God, we too can attain it through his mercy and his grace.

Fr Robert Krishna OP is a Dominican priest and chaplain to Monash University

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