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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.

19th SEPTEMBER, 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.

Cathedral Clergy: Frs Justin Driscoll and Eladio Lizada
Parish Coordinator: Anita Houlihan
Finance Officer: Kerrie McTigue
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ST PATRICK'S CATHEDRAL is closed to the public.

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As the City of Ballarat enters a 7 day lockdown, St Patrick's Cathedral will be closed as 'no in-person gatherings permitted' (Premier of Victoria)

Mass will be livestreamed daily from the St John of God Hospital Chapel and St Patrick's Cathedral as follows:

Friday 17th - 5.30pm
Saturday 18th - 11.30am
Sunday 19th - 10.30am
Monday 20th - 5.30pm
Tuesday 20th - 5.30pm
Wednesday 21st - 5.30pm

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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:   25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

First: Wisdom 2:12, 17-20  Second:   James 3:16 – 4:3

Gospel:   Mark 9:30-37

Readings for next week:  26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

First: Numbers 11:25-29   Second:   James 5:1-6

Gospel:   Mark 9:38-43. 45. 47-48

Frances Elliott, Charlie Mallia

Ernest Auchettl
Mark Bourke
Catherine Cullen
Francis Curran
Robert Elliott
William Fogarty
Brian Frawley
Helen Griffin
Jean Hayes
Ann Julian
Leonie Kelly
Angela Lazzo
Mark Leonard
Sheila Lourey
Margaret Mahar
Jamie Marek
Steven Molloy
Luigi Palanca
Ruth Rush
Kenneth Russell
Christine Rylance
Kathleen Sims
Frances Sloan
Wilma Tagliabue
Frances Wilson
Diocesan e-News

For recent news of events and celebrations, see the latest Diocesan e-News here at this link.  You can also subscribe to receive e-News directly to your inbox on this same page.
Catholic Social Services Sunday, 19 September

– a time to reflect and give thanks
On 19 September 2021, we mark Social Services Sunday. On this day we invite all to give thanks and pray for all who stand with and provide support to those who are marginalised and vulnerable within our communities. We recognise with deep gratitude, those working within Catholic Social Services Victoria’s 43 member organisations, the 7,000 staff and 17,000 volunteers, who together, serve more than 200,000 people in need each year. We also give thanks for all in our parishes, who are so often at the forefront of providing practical support and care to those in need within their local communities, and beyond.

We call to mind the recent 2021/22 Social Justice Statement – Cry of the Earth Cry of the Poor – released by the Australian Catholic bishops, which reminds us of the social mission of the Church and which urges us to reflect on ‘the bigger picture’ and to act together on social, economic and ecological issues. Together, we all have a role to play in building a just and equitable society, where all have equal opportunities to flourish and prosper.

Prayer for Wonder and Awe

God of wonders,
you show us your beauty in all created things.

Help us to pay attention:
to the taste of the ocean on our lips, the warmth of the sun on our hands,
the song of birds in the morning and evening, the fragrance of the earth after rain,
and to the star that guides us.

Creator God,
we stand in awe of all that you have made.
Fill our hearts with gratitude for every good gift, great and small, that feeds and forms us,
inviting and enabling us to become people who are fully alive in your amazing grace.


This prayer was provided as part of the
2021-22 Social Justice Statement
Cry of the Earth Cry of the Poor

Digging deep in our time of need
GENEROUS:  Kim Boyd, John Fitzgibbon, Andrew Pock, Kaz Thomas, Kevin Elliott and Graeme Trethowan with one of 16 pallets of groceries donated to relief agencies through the 3BA Winter Appeal  Picture:  Kate Healy

More than $100,000 has been provided to Ballarat's four main welfare agencies to help vulnerable families, thanks to the annual 3B Winter Appeal.

In its 21st year, the appeal supports Uniting Ballarat, Anglicare, the Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul Society to assist the many less fortunate and struggling families throughout Ballarat during winter.

3BA Community Appeals ambassador Peter Caligari said the more than $100,000 raised was a very satisfactory result considering the extremely difficult year which so many Ballarat businesses and community members had unfortunately experience.

The article, written by Erin Williams, can be found in the Ballarat Courier (17th September edition).
Epidemiologists and unexpected lessons

A striking feature of the Australia’s path through Coronavirus has been the coming out of epidemiologists and social biologists. From being little known members of small institutes they became rock stars, invited to press conferences, deferred to by politicians, selectively chosen for comment by the media, but also resented by representatives of big business and defenders of individual freedom.
The resentment is understandable because their expert advice has urged restrictions on freedom that business groups wanted removed, and their advice has prevailed. But perhaps it also points to deeper differences between the two approaches. The business lobby looked for a response that focused on the big, the certain and the technological. Scientists concerned with the spread of epidemics and the response to them focus simultaneously on the big and the small, on the probable and the human.  

Those who wanted to remove restrictions in the interests of economic growth wanted certainty in naming a timetable for freedom and in fixing in advance the conditions that must be met, and promising certainty. Without certainty about laying in supplies, contracting staff and opening premises, it is difficult for big businesses to operate. They wanted a hard science that could deal with large quantities, organise deliveries on time, find the technological challenges to sourcing and delivery. If they had in mind a relevant field of expertise it would be mechanical engineering.

Instead of that, they got epidemiology, assisted by the human sciences. It is paradoxical in that it also deals in very large numbers — trillions of viruses, large human populations and potential infections. But at is centre is the need to predict the behaviour of small and uncertain things and to give advice based on that behaviour. The cause of the pandemic was the simplest and smallest of beings — a protein and a prick, as the Coronavirus was described. It had the capacity to change unpredictably and so defeat the defences marshalled against it. Those defences lay partly in technology — vaccines — but also necessarily in the changed behaviour of large populations of people and in the acceptance by individual persons of those changes.

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

Pope Francis says he has never denied Communion, warns against politicizing Eucharist
Pope Francis answers questions from journalists aboard his flight from Bratislava, Slovakia, to Rome Sept. 15. (CNS/Paul Haring)

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM BRATISLAVA — Pope Francis on Sept. 15 said the question of whether pro-choice Catholic politicians should receive Communion is "pastoral" and warned against bishops and priests who wade into politics.

"What should a shepherd do? Be a shepherd and not going around condemning or not condemning," the pope said. "They must be a shepherd with God's style. And God's style is closeness, compassion and tenderness."

Francis said he did not want to specifically address the particular situation in the United States, but added that "if we look at the history of the church, we will see that every time the bishops did not act as shepherds" it was a "problem."

Although the pope identified no politician by name, his remarks come at a time when the U.S. Catholic bishops are very publicly divided over Joe Biden, the nation's second Catholic president. Biden's support for legal abortion has led to calls by a number of conservative bishops for him and other pro-choice Catholic politicians, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, to be denied Communion.

On the papal flight, Francis also reiterated his opposition to abortion, saying "abortion is homicide."

"Scientifically, it is a human life," the pope regarding the status of an embryo.

Francis was asked whether he had ever denied the Eucharist to someone who presented themselves for Communion and he said "never."

"No, I have never denied the Eucharist to anyone, to anyone!" he said. "I don't know if someone came to me under these conditions, but I have never refused them the Eucharist, since the time I was a priest."

Read this article by Christopher White here.

St Joseph - Model for Fathers
Even though God was Jesus’ father, St Joseph lovingly took on the paternal role and taught the young Jesus various skills, the value of work, reverence for the Lord and fidelity and obedience to God’s will. He also had to keep his family safe during the difficult period of their exile to Egypt. So, girls, spend a moment thinking about how special your father is to you. Fathers, take a moment to reflect on your daughter and how she has grown from being the one who called you daddy, to the young lady she is to you today calling you dad and hopefully still laughing at your dad jokes. In our sometimes dysfunctional world, the special relationship between father and daughter can be perceived as being not so common

Our dads are sometimes the people who have paid for our special surprises, worked long hours sacrificing family time to earn a living and the one who was climbed all over when you were little, took you to the park and bottle-fed you through the night when you were at that stage and sat through numerous dance concerts and plays, despite his favourite sport team being on TV live.

Read this reflection by Robyn Rodwell here.

Applications invited for Study and Mentoring (SAM) Program
Since their foundation and throughout their 164-year history, the Sisters of the Good Samaritan have been committed to the flourishing of women. They have educated girls and women from pre-school to tertiary levels and have been engaged in adult education and adult faith formation.

Not only have they educated women, they have companioned them as mentors, counsellors, spiritual directors and simply as friends. The Good Sams recognise the need for women’s leadership within the Church, for only when women contribute their experience and wisdom can the Church truly fulfil God’s mission. The Church suffers when women’s gifts are not called upon.

The Sisters of the Good Samaritan Study and Mentoring (SAM) Program offers financial assistance for women undertaking tertiary studies at a recognised theological institution. Core components of the program include opportunities for spiritual direction, mentoring and dialogue with like-minded women.

Financial assistance will be offered to a maximum of $A8000 per year. The grant can be spent on tuition or other expenses associated with the completion of the qualification.

More information can be found here.
St Vincent's makes jabs mandatory for all workers
St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne yesterday became Victoria’s first public hospital to make COVID vaccinations compulsory for all staff, contractors and volunteers. Source: Herald Sun.

That mandate will cover St Vincent's Health Australia's 16 public and private hospitals and 23 aged-care facilities across three states, including its Victorian hospitals in Fitzroy, East Melbourne, Kew and Werribee. The deadline for all employees – more than 70 per cent of whom are already vaccinated – to be jabbed has not yet been set.
St Vincent’s Health Australia chief executive officer Toby Hall said the measure was “fundamental to ensuring the safety of patients, residents and staff”.

He said the current Covid outbreaks in NSW and Victoria – and the extremely contagious nature of the Delta variant – have confirmed for St Vincent’s Health that this is the right policy for its services, its people, its patients and residents, and the community which depends on them.

NSW has already announced it will require all hospital workers to be fully vaccinated, while the Commonwealth Government has made it compulsory for aged-care workers to have had a jab by September 17.
All public and private hospital workers, GP and medical clinic staff, paramedics and other health professionals will need to be fully vaccinated under an Andrews government plan.

It is understood the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee is preparing advice for national cabinet on Friday, in a bid for Australia-wide agreement on mandatory healthcare worker vaccinations.

Legion of Mary pleads for lay people to
be allowed to help

Mary and Bill Peffley talk with Francis "Frank" Duff, the founder of the Legion of Mary, in 1956. CNS photo/courtesy Father Francis Peffley

A leading member of the Legion of Mary, which is celebrating the centenary of its foundation, has appealed to priests to allow the lay apostolic association help them revitalise Irish parishes.

Bernard Spillane, who is acting president of the Legion of Mary in Cork, told the Irish Examiner that despite falling vocations and increased workload, some priests are reluctant to allow the Legion of Mary to work in their parishes.

He said members of the Legion, which was founded by Frank Duff in Dublin in September 1921, “are up to the challenge of parish work, and we are ready and willing to assist priests – if priests want us to do it”.
“As we mark our centenary, we would like to bring the legion back into vogue again,” he said.

At a Mass in Dublin to mark the centenary of the Legion of Mary, Archbishop Dermot Farrell of Dublin noted how the Legion of Mary had grown out of the St Vincent de Paul Society and spread all over the world.

Frank Duff’s vision for the lay apostolic movement was “to offer concrete ways for Catholic lay people to live out the gospel,” Archbishop Farrell said in his homily at St Nicholas of Myra Church.

He described Frank Duff as “a man ahead of this time” and “prophetic in the true Christian sense of that word: someone sensitive to the call of God and utterly dedicated to God’s will”.

Read this article by Sarah MacDonald in the UK Tablet here.

Safeguarding the Sanctuary

The issue of COVID vaccinations has raised matters of conscience in both theological and civil legal terms
As an infant-school student, my first introduction to the notion of conscience was not the Penny Catechism, nor the good Josephite sisters, but courtesy of Jiminy Cricket in Walt Disney’s cartoon adaptation of the story of Pinocchio. That little chirper sang the memorable line, “Always let your conscience be your guide”.

Of course, the principle, of the primacy of conscience – that is, one’s personal conscience as the ultimate guide in all our moral activity – predates Jiminy by some seven centuries. Such was clearly established by one of the Church’s greatest theologians, the Dominican St Thomas Aquinas. He even proposed that an erroneous conscience was morally binding, provided one had made every possible effort to inform one’s conscience.

The Second Vatican Council beautifully defined conscience some fifty years ago:

“Conscience is the person’s most secret core, and their sanctuary. There they are alone with God whose voice echoes in their depths.”

A sanctuary. And, significantly, “alone with God” – no props, no bible, no parish priest leaning over one’s shoulder or a canon or civil lawyer over the other. Just you with your integrity and with God.

The recently canonised St John Henry Cardinal Newman underscored this primacy in a letter to the Duke of Norfolk (England’s leading Catholic at the time) in 1875:

Certainly, if I am obliged to bring religion into after-dinner toasts, (which indeed does not seem quite the thing) I shall drink – to the Pope, if you please, – still, to Conscience first, and to the Pope afterwards.

A boldly forceful position, especially given that Newman penned this only five years after the First Vatican Council declared the doctrine of papal infallibility.

However, appeal to the primacy of conscience comes with certain expectations. One’s moral position cannot be just a whim, or based on ignorance, or a prejudice. The moral person is expected to have an “informed” or “formed” conscience. That is, time must be taken, and effort expended, to first gather all the data.

Freedom of conscience, of course, does not mean “do what you will”. To have a properly informed conscience, one must seek out either the Church’s tradition and teaching, or a properly enacted State or National law. Next pray and seriously reflect over it. Then try to bridge any gaps, if such exist, between that teaching or position and your own considered beliefs. Matters of gravity are not to be treated lightly or slickly. Only then one can act in good faith and in good conscience. By way of example in the Church forum, I would suggest there are many Catholic couples who, in good conscience and after prayerful reflection, have considered Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical naming artificial forms of birth control “intrinsically evil”, but then discerned with integrity to choose what they see as a higher value. In their sanctuary before their God.

Read this article by Fr Ross Jones SJ here.


Thank you for contributing to the Cathedral collections this week:

Parish $912.10
Presbytery $807.00

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

Most of us have to admit to being like the disciples whom Jesus was trying to bring from blindness and ignorance to insight and understanding. Like them, we are often afraid to ask for explanations when we fear that we may not be able to deal with the responses we receive. We so often choose to live in denial. No matter how strongly Jesus insists that the way of the gospel will lead to his violent death, his closest followers persist in their refusal to accept the inevitability of suffering in the life of one who so openly challenges abuses of power.

More focussed on personal recognition and status, the “twelve” engage in a childish argument about who is the greatest among them. They are inside “the house” in Capernaum, the home of Jesus. They are understandably silent when Jesus questions them about the discussion they had “on the way”. They have much to learn and he needs their attention if they are to understand who he is and what it means to be his disciple. They need to learn that being first has nothing to do with seeking the limelight, with hierarchy or status, with power or adulation. It has everything to do with engaging in ministry without distinction or discrimination, with being “servant of all”. Like us, they have much to learn from “the way” itself, the path they tread through the land.

An engaging scene follows this discussion. They are “inside the house”, an open house where all are welcome. Jesus places a child in their midst. The child is unnamed. We might give this child a name so that she or he is a real person for us. Jesus seemingly gathers the twelve in a circle around him. Taking the child in his arms, he tries to show them that gospel leadership resides, not in privilege, but in the welcome offered to those whose voices are rarely heard and whose needs are frequently ignored.

Jesus, the suffering Messiah or Christ, actually identifies with a defenceless child, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me”. His identification with the defenceless is as intimate as his identification with God, “the one who sent me”. As a church, we might well hear today’s gospel story as a call to respond with compassion and justice to those who have suffered the indignity and injustice of abuse in their childhood. We might also hear it as an invitation to listen to the cry of our sisters and brothers who continue to seek the dignity and justice that belong to all of God’s people. We think especially at the moment of those who suffer at the hands of the Taliban in Afghanistan. It is time for us to remember that whoever welcomes even one of these into our homeland in the name of the Christ is truly welcoming the suffering Christ.
Veronica Lawson RSM

Getting too comfortable...

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