Welcome to the Cathedral Parish e-News for this weekend. If you experience difficulty accessing any content, please visit
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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.


29th AUGUST, 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.

* * * * * *

Religious gatherings and ceremonies: No in-person gatherings permitted.
(Premier of Victoria)

Sunday Mass, August 29th, will be celebrated and live-streamed from the Cathedral at 10.30am

Weekday Masses this coming week will be celebrated and live-streamed from the Chapel at St John of God Hospital on:

Monday - 11.30am
Tuesday - 5.30pm
Wednesday - 5.30pm
Thursday - 5.30pm
Friday - 11.30am

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:   22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

First:  Deuteronomy 4:1-2. 6-8   Second:  James 1:17-18, 21-22, 27

Gospel:  Mark 7:1-8. 14-15. 21-23

Readings for next week:  23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

First:  Isaiah 35:4-7    Second:   James 2:1-5

Gospel: Mark 7:31-37

Mass for You at Home has been broadcast since August 1971. It is believed to be the longest-running program on Australian commercial television. Mass for You at Home airs on Channel 10 and WIN at 6am each Sunday, and also on Aurora (Foxtel Channel 173) at 10am. It can also be accessed on this website from 7am on Sunday.

Anne Briody, Jim Hunt, Ian Kennedy,

Emma Basham
Bruno Bulich
Stephen Callahan
Padraic D'Arcy
Patrick Darmody
Catherine Garvey
Patricia Grace
Eileen Hague
Geoffrey Hall
John Hardbottle
Alfred Jones
Brenda Kelly
Rev Bob Markey
Mary McCuskey
Catherine McLenehan
Connie McMahon
Mark Milne
Kathy Muir
Stjepan Nikolic
Anne Nuttall
Benjamin Reyes
Kevin Sculley
Johanna van Stekelenburg
Fr Peter Taffe
Janet Taylor
James Trainor
Margaret Trevenen
Thomas Wilton

Clergy Appointments

This week Bishop Paul communicated with the people of the Diocese -

Following consultations over the past few weeks, I am pleased to announce an appointment to the parishes of Mortlake and Terang.
From September 20, 2021, Fr Gary Jones, currently Parish Priest of Creswick and Daylesford, will become Parish Priest of Mortlake and Terang.
For most of this year, Fr Mick McKinnon has been serving the communities of Mortlake and Terang while he has been waiting for an opportunity to travel to Peru for ministry there in collaboration with the Columbans. Fr Mick has recently received notification that he will be able to travel. I offer my thanks to Fr Mick for his care for the parishioners of Mortlake and Terang for these past months. He will continue as Administrator of these parishes until September 19.
I thank Fr Gary Jones for his years of service to the communities of Creswick and Daylesford and pray for blessings upon him as he prepares for the move to Mortlake and Terang.
From September 20, there will be interim arrangements in place for the care of the Creswick and Daylesford parishes, until longer term provision can be made.  
I hope to announce further appointments by the end of September, to take effect in the new year.  

Introducing Annette Hirth
Our Cathedral Parish welcomes Annette Hirth to the position of Spiritual and Pastoral Carer for Catholic patients and families at the Ballarat Base Hospital and Ballarat Health Services.

Annette has been appointed to this role following the advertising, shortlisting and interview process. Thank you to Bronwyn Wood, Coordinator of Pastoral Care at St John of God Hospital who greatly assisted Fr Justin in this recruitment process.

Annette will undertake this ministry while continuing her teaching at Loreto College, however she will not be able commence visiting until the restrictions are lifted to allow visitors to the facilities of the Ballarat Health Services.

Annette follows in the footsteps of some amazing women who have ministered in spiritual and pastoral care at the Base Hospital – these include Tracy Sillekens, Kerrie Gunsser, Kaye Stringer, Kathy Pollard and Sr Paula Fleming SJG.

We acknowledge the generous contribution of the Ballarat Diocese Foundation for partnering with the Cathedral Parish for the ongoing funding of this spiritual and pastoral care position.


The St Vincent de Paul Winter Appeal provides emergency relief to people at risk and experiencing homelessness.

Your donation will help our Vinnies volunteers to rebuild lives.

All donations may be made to the Cathedral Conference for the Appeal by submitting envelopes to the Cathedral Parish Office.

Further details on the Appeal can be found here.



Due to the Victorian COVID lockdown, the preparation program for the Sacrament of Confirmation has been paused.

Families will be notified as soon as we have further information

Victoria’s bishops express solidarity with
Afghan community
People outside Kabul airport react to gunfire (CNS/Asvaka News via Reuters)
The bishops of Victoria have expressed their solidarity and support with the local Afghan community and their families back home in a joint statement released yesterday.
Victoria is home to the largest number of Afghan-born people in Australia, and the bishops affirmed that “Afghans hold an important place in the hearts of Victorians, especially at this difficult time”.
“We know there is deep concern from the Afghan community in Victoria for their family members and friends who remain in Afghanistan. We join with them in this concern,” the bishops wrote.
“While we recognise the limitations of the role that Australia can play in the context of this international crisis, and the complexity of the situation, we affirm that a just and compassionate response should guide our Government’s decision making.
“Our country’s involvement in the conflict should urge a just and compassionate response to the current situation now, and our policies should be person-focused, and adapt to the fundamentally changed situation.
“Families being able to be together safely should be a priority at this time.”
Catholic organisations, hospitals, parishes, schools and communities across Victoria continue to support those in the Afghan community through this difficult time.

The full statement from the Bishops of Victoria can be found here.
Praying in the midst of the oppression of tedium

Pray that the Spirit meets us in the swings and roundabouts of the mood changes and then welcome the calm of God's peace when it arrives.
The tedious life inflicted by trying to prevent the spread of the coronavirus is also an opportunity for many other things than just being bored. Yes, we can spend a lot of time just waiting for a change and lamenting the containment, restriction and boredom that come with trying to prevent the spread of the virus to us and through us. But there are also benefits coming our way if we choose to look for them. They include increased time for being with those we are closest to (even if virtually), reading, exercising, losing weight and also something not often considered – renewing a prayer life as a contemplative person.
Contemplation may not be something we've considered much in the time poor lives we've led at a frenetic pace in our pre-pandemic lives. But actually, I have discovered we can start an attempt to be more contemplative from the moment we open our eyes in the morning. My mother taught me that as a small child. She encouraged me to make a prayer when I first became conscious in the morning. She suggested that I pray "Thanks Lord for bringing me to this new day". That then allows a conscious focus on finding and engaging with God as we await God's still small voice to respond to my prayer of gratitude and appreciation.

Read this whole article by Michael Kelly SJ here.

Mass to honour Australia’s saint-in-waiting

A special Mass was held on the Feast of the Assumption to honour Sydney saint-in-waiting Eileen O’Connor, who had a profound devotion to Our Lady.

Source: The Catholic Weekly.
Eileen O’Connor (Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor)

The Mass was held at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Waterloo – the church where O’Connor was likely first inspired to say “Yes” to God and commit her life to serving the disadvantaged.

The Mass, celebrated Fr Paul Smithers, was part of broader commemorations throughout 2021 to mark the centenary of O’Connor’s death.

The Feast of the Assumption Mass was livestreamed on the parish Facebook page to hundreds for an occasion which would normally have packed the Waterloo church, had it not been for COVID-19 restrictions.

As co-founder of Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor in 1913, alongside missionary priest Fr Edward McGrath, Eileen O’Connor helped establish a religious order, based at Coogee, committed to nursing the sick poor in their own homes at a time when there was no free government healthcare scheme.

In his homily, Fr Smithers spoke of O’Connor’s profound devotion to Mary, who like O’Connor, was inspired to care for the vulnerable. “It’s said that Our Lady appeared to Eileen in her room at Coogee and I have no doubt that Our Lady did do so in order to inspire such greatness in someone so vulnerable,” Fr Smithers explained.

Read the article here.

What good may come from
Australia's Plenary Council?

The Plenary Council will be worthwhile if it can produce real reform of the liturgy, if we can get the reforms made by the
Vatican Council put into practice.
Anyone who's been an active Catholic for 80 years, as I have, may well have heard at different stages of life, five or six bishops extolling the achievement of the Council of Jerusalem but has likely never heard any bishop quote St. Luke's key words "after much disputing".

Success at the Council of Jerusalem was achieved only "after much disputing" to quote chapter 15 of the Acts of the Apostles. Success at the Second Vatican Council was achieved only after much disputing and nothing worthwhile will emerge from the Plenary Council without "much disputing”. If we want results we'll have to fight for them, as bishops had to fight for necessary reforms at the Vatican Council. The Plenary Council will be worthwhile if it can produce real reform of the liturgy, if we can get the reforms made by the Vatican Council put into practice. Two major changes are required; music must be enlivened and the readings must be clearly heard and meaningful. We are taught to suspect that serious musicians are preoccupied with their own development to the exclusion of other motives for working. Exuberance is anathema, for what have we to be happy about?

The second person of the blessed trinity has become one of us, lived for us, died for us, rose from the dead, promised that we also will rise from the dead and promised to care for us in the meantime. What have we to be happy about? The reality is that serious musicians are no more prone to narcissism than any other group in the community. Most of them understand that they will not develop as musicians unless they concentrate on serving their listeners. The parable of the talents points out to us that talents are to be developed; burying talents is a sure path to unhappiness. But when we hear a good singer are we not inclined to say: "that's quite a talent. How about you bury it in the church choir".

Read this article by Jim Jones here.

Diocesan Liturgical
Commission Membership

The Ballarat Diocesan Liturgical Commission assists the Bishop with diocesan liturgies, liturgical matters of the diocese and provides formation to assist the growth of good liturgical practices. Membership of the Commission includes representation from priests, religious and laity throughout the diocese.

The Commission is currently seeking new members from all areas of the diocese. Membership is for an initial term of three (3) years with the option of two further terms (3 years per term). The Commission meets five times per year in Ballarat. Video linking facilities are available for meetings. All members of the Diocesan Liturgical Commission must hold a current Working with Children check or VIT (Victorian Institute of Teaching) registration. The Charter of the Liturgical Commission is available from the diocesan website. Expressions of interest can be forwarded to:
Bishops lead preparation for Season of Creation
Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington plants a tree at St Mary’s School in Landover Hills, Md. Bishops worldwide are actively engaging with Laudato Si’.
CNS photo/Andrew Biraj, Catholic Standard

The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales have given a big push this year to the Season of Creation.

The global ecumenical celebration of prayer and action to protect our common home, Planet Earth, starts each year on September 1 and finishes on the feast of St Francis, October 4. Pope Francis has been promoting the Season and the World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation.
Cafod’s webpage on the Season of Creation provides Liturgy resources to help parishes celebrate the Season and a Climate Sunday Mass in September. The urgency of care of creation was highlighted on 9 August by the latest UN Climate Report, which signalled a “code red” for humankind in terms of extreme weather events, and by the UK hosting the COP26 climate summit in November, which Pope Francis may attend.

The parish of Blessed James Bell in Warrington, Liverpool diocese is among those that have worked to integrate the message of Laudato Si’ into the life of their parish. A presbytery garden has been turned into a green space for the local community and a tree planted in the lawn in memory of those who have died of Covid-19.

St Peter’s Catholic High School in Manchester has an eco-committee of 100 students, about 10 per cent of the entire school. It has been reducing the school’s carbon footprint and engaging with the wider community on environmental protection. Pupils’ activities have included planting trees, building “bug hotels”, energy monitoring, “switch-off” initiatives, litter picks and more. They have cut St Peter’s carbon footprint in half.

Read this article by Ellen Teague here.
James Martin SJ on Learning to Pray
Our friends at BBI – The Australian Institute of Theological Education recently hosted a chat with bestselling Jesuit author and speaker, Fr James Martin SJ, following the release of his latest book Learning to Pray: A Guide for Everyone.

Dr Michelle Jones and Fr James explored prayerful practices that are often simple and open to all, as many reviews of Learning to Pray suggest, including this from the US based National Catholic Reporter:

"For many Christians, prayer means attending Mass or service and saying prescribed prayers such as the Our Father. While making clear that such things can be important in a life of faith, Martin writes that they are not the only way to pray. For me, this is where Learning to Pray seemed to shine the brightest, by encouraging everyone to open their hearts, minds and ears to God in a wide array of options."

Learning to Pray: A Guide for Everyone is available from Garratt Publishing. To order your own copy, or copies for your loved ones, click here.

Grab some time, a coffee, and sit back and enjoy the conversation here between Fr James and BBI – TAITE’s Dr Michelle Jones that offers some great insights for Australians – regardless of their spiritual persuasion – on how to discover, or rediscover prayer.


Thank you for contributing to the Cathedral collections this week:

Parish $385.00
Presbytery $30.00

New envelopes are available for collection from the Parish Office during the office hours of Tuesday to Friday, 10.00am - 5.00pm

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

Gospel Reflection

After a lengthy detour over some weeks into the gospel of John with its focus on Jesus as the Bread of Life and the Bread of Wisdom, we return to Mark’s gospel and a legal dispute about ritual purity. The parties to the dispute are Jesus, the Pharisees, and some of the scribes or teachers of the law. It is worth noting that Mark’s non-Jewish readers, at a later time and in another place, need to be given detailed information about certain Jewish traditions.

At issue for the scribes and Pharisees in the story is the failure of Jesus’ disciples to respect their oral tradition, in this instance to perform ritual washings before eating. From their perspective, the disciples are not “walking” according to the tradition of the elders. For the Markan Jesus, “the command of God” is paramount, not some distorted interpretation of it. He offers a hard-hitting counter-critique of their attitude to law. He calls them “hypocrites” and informs them that the condemnation of the prophet Isaiah was intended for them. They have so distorted God’s law, substituting their own observances for the “commandment of God” that their prayer amounts to nothing more than lip-service, their hearts are far from God, and their worship is worthless!

For Jesus, there are criteria other than such observances for determining who is clean or unclean. He has already declared the leper clean (Mk 1:41-45). For Jesus, the “heart” is the locus of purity and impurity. For him as for all his people, the heart was the seat of the intellect and of morality as well as the seat of the emotions. In the kin-dom of God, therefore, one’s thoughts, desires, and intentions render one clean or unclean, not one’s attention to hygiene. The latter is important of course, as the experience of pandemic has taught us, but it is peripheral in the context being addressed in the gospel. It is worth applying the criteria provided at the end of the passage to discover whether or not our “hearts” are near or distant from our God. The real-life Pharisees of the first century were the respected teachers of God’s law. It is imperative that stories such as we find in today’s gospel are not used to denigrate the Jews or to pit Christianity over against Judaism. We have to keep reminding ourselves that time and again we are dealing with in-house debates between Jewish groups.

Finally, this episode, with its attention to ritual washing, raises the issue of the right use of water, that precious earth element without which there would be no life at all on our planet. Plastic free July this year alerted us once more to the problem that the plastic bottling of water has brought to the future of life on our planet. It may be time to bring out our “keep cup” and reaffirm our commitment to protecting God’s creation.
Veronica Lawson RSM

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