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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.


15TH 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.

* * * * * *

Mass will be celebrated in the Cathedral with a maximum of 100 people in attendance. No registration will be required prior to attending, however, you may choose to register (via call to the Parish Office or via email) prior to weekend Masses to ensure a place;
one Mass per person per weekend please to enable the opportunity for as many parishioners as possible to attend.

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 to Thursday - 10.00am
Friday 12.05pm (Reconciliation preceding Mass at 11.30am)
Saturday 10.00am (Reconciliation to follow Mass)

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

Saturday Vigil 5.30pm
Sunday 8.00am, 10.30am, 5.30pm

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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

For further information, please visit the Parish website:

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:   The Assumption of Mary

First:  Apocalypse 11:19; 12:1-6, 10 Second:   1 Corinthians 15:20-26

Gospel: Luke 1:39-56

This weekend we welcome families with their children who have prepared for Baptism through the Rite of Christian Initiation (RCIC) process.

Holly Kate and Sophie Ella Johnson, children of Gary and Rebecca
Pippa Eliza Walker, daughter of Scott and Julia

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

Marlee Elizabeth Jacobsson, daughter of Brent and Leticia

Nadia Dianne McVeigh, daughter of Eamonn and Brigitte

Addyson Kathleen Black, daughter of Kasey and Jessica

Lachlan Ronald Jay Meehan, son of Jay and Jennifer

Wyatt Fletcher Kolkenbeck-Ruh, son of Gareth and Samantha

Hallie Mae Reid, daughter of Ben and Kaitlin

“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.

Frank Nicol, Noel (Shoo) O'Reilly

Leonard Basham
Philip Chatham
Antonio Churkovich
Leda Chwesik
Herbert Cluff
Thomas Coffey
Joanne Duke
Joan Fanning
Laurie Franklin
Elizabeth Goodwin
David Griffiths
Rosalie Henseleit
Mary Hutchinson
Margaret Hyland
Kirk Kelevitz
Monica Lange
Irene Loverso
Doug McIntosh
Michael and Loreto Melican
Kevin Nester
Molly Nunn
Jack Nuttall
Mary O'Brien
Irene Parkin
Philomena Reidy
Michael Wethling

Lord Have Mercy, Sunday 22nd August 2021

The team at the National Day of Prayer & Fasting, in consultation with many church leaders and prayer networks, including Bishop Philip Huggins and the National Council of Churches, is calling Australia to united prayer in the light of the current COVID-19 crisis.

We are drawn to pray together across the land, given the current level of need and distress.

Our theme is found in this beautiful liturgical prayer: “Lord have mercy — Jesus have mercy”. Inspiration for this prayer is found in the story of the blind beggar in Luke 18:35 and his cry to Jesus for healing. This simple prayer for mercy is found throughout the scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments.

Our eyes look to the Lord our God till He shows us His mercy.” — Ps. 123:2

Many Hearts, One Voice online Conference
Wednesday 1 – Friday 3 September, 2021

This conference aims to: empower people with a vision of mission that is collaborative, scriptural and deeply theological, one that affirms, enables, encourages and inspires. It aims to hear the many and varied voices and to encourage “dialogue among all people of good will” [Fratelli Tutti #6]

There are several outstanding keynote presenters including:
- Dr Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann AM, Aboriginal elder from Nauiyu and renowned artist, activist, writer and public speaker.

- Cardinal Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle   Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Metropolitan Archbishop Emeritus of Manila.  Ordained to the priesthood in 1982, Cardinal Tagle has served as a parish priest, spiritual director, and taught philosophy and theology

Mr Craig Foster AM, Human Rights Activist, Sport & Social Responsibility, Author, Adjunct Professor, Broadcaster, Former Socceroo

-  Mr Hugh Mackay AO, social psychologist and researcher, and the bestselling author of 21 books, including eight novels. His new book, The Kindness Revolution, will be published in May 2021.

-  Dr. Ursula Stevens,   Chief Executive Officer, Catholic Social Services Australia

- Mr. Robert Fitzgerald AM,  NSW Ageing and Disability Commissioner. Robert, a commercial lawyer by profession, has a diverse background and extensive experience in commerce, law, public policy and community services.  He is currently Adjunct Professor at University of Western Australia and Patron of Justice Connect and SAMSN (Survivors and Mates Support Network).

Catholic Mission and St Patrick’s Cathedral Parish are offering this opportunity for parishioners to participate in these 3 days by coming together in the Glowry and MacKillop rooms at the Cathedral.  Come for one, two or even three days!! See the program here including speakers and great workshops.

Due to COVID-19 there is a restriction on the number of participants. Register with Sue Searls, Ballarat Diocesan Director for Catholic Mission, 0403 902 921

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.

The challenge of Church leadership
Among Australian Catholics the Plenary Council and the preparations for the Synod in Rome on Synodality have aroused hope and stirred scepticism. It is clear that a Church diminishing in numbers of participants in its public life and in its financial resources, and discouraged by the extent of child abuse by its officers, must find new ways. But that the processes of the Council and the Synod will spark fresh energy for change is not a given.
Two recent books set out the size of the challenge and the kind of leadership for meeting it envisaged by Pope Francis in his Synodal process. As its title suggests, Wrestling with the Church Hierarchy takes a critical view of the leadership of the Catholic Church. It comprises annotated articles and talks of John Warhurst, a political scientist and long-standing columnist in Eureka Street. The collection gathers together descriptions of the Australian Catholic Church and its relationship to the State, correspondence, advocacy and personal views.

It begins with the findings of the Royal Commission on Sexual Abuse, which offered a study of an organisation whose operative values differed sharply from its professed mission both in the action of some of its officers and the cover up of their crimes. It led a group of Canberra Catholics to which Warhurst belonged to advocate for church reform in response to this event, and later to the announcement of the Plenary Council.

Warhurst brings to this work his extensive participation and experience in Catholic agencies concerned with social justice. In his engagement with Catholic leaders about the Plenary Council and its processes he found them generally intent on avoiding engagement. The overall tone of his writing is not polemical but explanatory and persuasive, respectful of persons and positive in proposing necessary reform. He was clearly frustrated by the difficulty of persuading Church leaders to engage in ways that are recognised commonly as good governance. He sees the defects of Catholic hierarchical leadership as structural, leading to a lack of transparency, accountability, consultation, inclusivity and humility, and a surfeit of clericalism. In that sense the tone of the book is elegiac.

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



This weekend we welcome children from the Cathedral Parish who are preparing to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation in September.

Due to COVID restrictions and gathering limits, children will be preparing in the Cathedral Hall on Saturdays at 5.30pm and Sundays at 10.30am or 5.00pm for the next three weekends
(14th/15th, 21st/22nd and 28th/29th August).

At this stage, celebration dates are the weekends of
4th/5th and 11th/12th September
We keep the children and their families in our prayers.

PLEASE NOTE: Sacramental Certificates for children who have completed all their Sacraments of Initiation (Confirmation and Communion) are now available for collection from the Parish Office during the office hours of Tuesday to Friday, 10.00am to 5.00pm.
The intimacy that a familiar rite produces should not be lightly disposed of
Pope Francis has abrogated Summorum Pontificum, a 2007 motu proprio that made significant accommodation for those who wished to worship using the older form of the Catholic liturgy: what Benedict XVI labelled the “extraordinary form of the Roman Rite”. Benedict’s hope was that the liturgy wars already bubbling up might be calmed; instead they were inflamed, and Francis’ initiative is unlikely to heal the rift.

I’ve long been hovering round the margins of Catholic circles as a theologian and an Anglo-Catholic, and I have always found the range of Catholic attitudes on liturgy, especially as regards the traditional Latin Mass, rather bizarre. From my tradition’s perspective, a reverent liturgy was the obvious and automatic corollary of a Catholic theology. So it was a shock to encounter Catholics who believed in transubstantiation and the magisterial authority of the Pope but at the same time are obstreperous in their opposition to kneeling to receive Communion and insist on guitars rather than organs. (That’s not to say there weren’t plenty of shocks from the other direction. It was no less bemusing to encounter people who believed it was gravely irreverent to receive the Eucharist in the palm of one’s hand, or thought that reading the Bible in English profaned the purity of the traditional liturgy.)

Coming from the outside, a lot of fiercely contested dividing lines look faintly absurd. Why do so many aspects of the Vatican II-inspired liturgical reforms seemingly try to ape Protestant tendencies? What exactly is the desperate attachment to clerical celibacy in a context where child sex abuse had been historically rife, and vocations were drying up? And what is the big problem if some Catholics would rather worship using the language and forms that had been in use in the previous 400 years, rather than those in use for the past 70?

Read this article by Sebastian Millbank in the 'Tablet' here
Gospel Reflection

A visit to the Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem in 1973 was a moment of enlightenment for me, a moment to reflect on Mary’s life, her death and her “assumption” to the fulness of life in God. Just over five years ago, the Greek Orthodox Church of the Dormition in Aleppo, Syria, was badly damaged by an underground explosion, yet another victim of a cruel war. The news report of that tragedy reminded me that Orthodox Christians and Eastern Catholics have long celebrated the “Holy Sleep” or “Dormition” of the Virgin Mary. Mary’s “sleep”, the reunion of her whole being with God, is celebrated as the feast of the “Assumption” in the Latin Rite. On November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII defined Mary’s assumption as a dogma of the Catholic faith, a dogma grounded in tradition.

Today’s gospel offers the story of the young pregnant Mary travelling “in haste” from her home town of Nazareth to a town in the hill country of Judaea, some 130 kilometres to the south, to be with her cousin Elizabeth who is also pregnant. The details of that long and demanding journey are left to our imagination. In the loving embrace of the two women, the Spirit-filled life gestating within Mary encounters and physically affects the life that is coming to birth in Elizabeth. Elizabeth’s words resound throughout the ages in the prayer we know as the Hail Mary: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb….” These words are addressed by one prophetic woman to another prophetic woman. Elizabeth recognises that Mary is blessed by God because she believed that God’s promise to her would be fulfilled. Elizabeth gives expression to the faith that is to be embraced by all those who accept that Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Mary of Nazareth, is the Holy One of God (Luke 1:35). The lives of both women have been transformed through the power of God’s Spirit. The birth of their children will usher in an unprecedented event in human history.

Elizabeth’s proclamation of the blessing of God on Mary is found daily on the lips of countless faith-filled Christians across the globe. In our times, God’s blessing on the Earth community can only become a reality when, like Mary, we open our hearts to a world in need, when we learn to read the signs of the times and work together to address the underlying causes of global distress. This gospel story invites us to ponder the various ways that God calls us to sustain life. We might turn for inspiration to Mary who, as theologian Elizabeth Johnson reminds us, is “truly our sister”. Though pregnant, Mary was prepared to do “the hard yards”, the whole 130 kilometres, to be with an older cousin in need. Celebrating this feast might mean doing the hard yards by “being there” for someone in need despite the personal cost.

Veronica Lawson RSM

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