On Monday, April 3, 2023, the beginning of Holy Week, the Mass of the Oils was celebrated with priests and people from around the Diocese.
The gathering celebrates the unity of the Diocese where priests, religious and laity renew their commitment to call to serve in Christ’s name as baptised members of his Church. We acknowledge all those who share their gifts and ministries in the service of his Kingdom. The Holy Oils were blessed and consecrated and distributed to all the communities of our Diocese for the celebration of the Sacraments.
The Oils – Oil of the Sick, Oil of Catechumens and the Holy Chrism – will reach those in our Diocese who become sick and are anointed; every baby in our Diocese who is baptised; and every young person and adult in our Diocese who are fully initiated into the community of the Church.
The main Celebrant was Bishop Paul Bird CSsR, along with Bishop Emeritus Peter Connors, Fr Kevin Maloney, Vicar General and Fr Ed Moloney, Administrator of the Cathedral Parish. Clergy celebrating a jubilee were also invited to con-celebrate Mass. Our seminarian Cay Trinh was also in attendance. Bishop Paul acknowledged the clergy jubiliarians for 2023.
Clergy Ordination Anniversaries 2023:
50 years: Fr Lawrence O’Toole and Fr Bill Van de Camp (an apology for the Mass)
40 years: Mons Glynn Murphy
20 years: Fr Jorge de Chavez OSJ and Fr Andrew Hayes
10 years: Fr James Kerr
Bishop Paul’s homily from the Mass can be read here.here.
Members of the diocese fulfilling ministries at the Mass this year were:
Harrison Bowd – St Mary MacKillop College, Swan Hill
Thomas Kennedy – St Mary MacKillop College, Swan Hill
Lachlan Brodie – St Patrick’s College, Ballarat
Max Brodie – St Patrick’s College, Ballarat
Seminarian: Cay Trinh Peter
First Reading: Bernadette Wurlod – Our Lady of Mercy Parish, Hampden
Cantor: Mitchell Leviston – St Patrick’s Cathedral Parish, Ballarat
Second Reading: Zeena Lazarus – Our Lady Help of Christians Parish, Wendouree
Gospel Procession: Ally Steenhuis – Liturgy Captain: Loreto College, Ballarat
Gospel: Fr Jorge de Chavez OSJ PP – Jubilarian: Diocese of Ballarat
Presentation of the Gifts: Timothy & Mary Greene – St Mary’s Parish, Colac
Commentary: Dr Peter Morris – St Patrick’s Cathedral Parish, Ballarat
Oil of the Sick procession:
Margaux Chant – Acting Pastoral Services Co-ordinator: St John of God Health Care Ballarat
Anthea Hinchey – Chair: Ballarat Diocesan Social Justice Commission
Pat O’Shea – Parish Leadership Team: Cororooke Parish
Maria Noonan – Director of Nursing: St John of God Health Care Ballarat
Flagon: Sr Lusila Tautunu csn – Sister Superior: Nazareth House, Ballarat
Oil of Catechumens procession:
Professor Bridget Aitchison – Campus Dean (Ballarat): Australian Catholic University
Alexandra Grieve – Co-Captain: Loreto College, Ballarat
Sam Clark – Captain: St Patrick’s College, Ballarat
Michelle Haeusler – Principal: St Mary MacKillop College, Swan Hill
Flagon: Jayme Naeff – Catechumen: St Patrick’s Parish, Gordon
Oil of Chrism procession:
Michael Marshall – Candidate: St Alipius Parish, Ballarat East
Laura Avery – Faith Formation & Religious Education Officer: National Catholic Education Commission
Matthew O’Brien – Vice-Captain: St Patrick’s College, Ballarat
Rachael McGuinness – Candidate: St Patrick’s Cathedral Parish, Ballarat
Perfume: Tommy Sims – Confirmation Candidate: St Brigid’s Catholic Primary School, Ballan
Flagon: Fr James Kerr PP – Jubilarian: Diocese of Ballarat
The music was beautifully led by Choir Conductor Roger Hillman, Organist Ann-Maree Caligari and choir members from the parishes of Ballarat. The Cantor for the evening was Mitchell Leviston from St Patrick’s Cathedral Parish, Ballarat. Mitchell’s rendition of the psalm filled the Cathedral and encouraged participation from those in the congregation. Many thanks to all the musicians for their commitment to the hours involved in rehearsals and during the Mass. The music was very fitting for such an important diocesan celebration.
Before the final blessing, Dr Peter Morris called representatives of the parishes of the Diocese forward to collect the Oils from Bishop Paul. Following Mass all were invited to the Hall to share in supper, which was provided by Brett Hayward from ACU Ballarat Campus Canteen.
There are many people involved in the success of this Mass and thanks is extended to our very capable Altar Servers Harrison Bowd, Thomas Kennedy, Lachlan Brodie and Max Brodie, those who prepared the oils, participated in the various ministries, welcomers, ushers, Deneise Walsh, Carole Barr and Mary Howard for the decor in the Cathedral, Jim Houlihan and Tony Beggs from the Ballarat Cathedral parish office, Kay Curran and Susan Crowe for overseeing the set-up for the Mass and members of the Pastoral Ministry Office and Diocesan Liturgical Commission.
We also acknowledge and appreciate those who travel vast distances to collect the oils for their parishes and we pray for the safe return home for all travellers.
A copy of the Mass book can be read here.