Mass of the Oils 2024

On Monday, March 25, 2024, the beginning of Holy Week, the Mass of the Oils was celebrated with priests and people from around the diocese. This Mass also acknowledged the 150th anniversary of the Diocese of Ballarat.

As part of the ceremony in marking the 150th anniversary year, each parish was asked to provide a symbol of their parish to be presented at the beginning of Mass.  This was a photo or some other item of significance from the parish and was brought forward by nominated parishioners.

The Chrism Mass celebrates the unity of the diocese where priests, deacons, 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 and at ordinations.

The Main Celebrant was Bishop Paul Bird CSsR, along with Bishop Emeritus Peter Connors, Fr Marcello Colasante, Vicar General and Fr Ed Moloney, Administrator of the Cathedral Parish.  Clergy celebrating a jubilee were also invited to con-celebrate Mass.  Bishop Paul acknowledged the clergy jubiliarians for 2024.  Deacon Cay Xuan Trinh and seminarians Simon Zakari and Channa Tilakarathna were also in attendance.

Clergy Ordination Anniversaries 2024:

50 years:  Fr Eric Bryant, Fr Patrick Mugavin, Fr Michael O’Toole
25 years:  Fr Ed Moloney

Bishop Paul’s homily from the Mass can be read here.
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Members of the diocese fulfilling ministries at the Mass this year were:

Altar Servers:
Martin Nguyen & Tommy Nguyen – St Mary MacKillop College, Swan Hill
Channa Tilakarathna & Simon Zakari – Seminarians: Diocese of Ballarat

Deacon:  Rev Cay Xuan Trinh

First Reading:  Sr Berenice Kerr rsm – Sisters of Mercy South B Community
Cantor:  Adrian Newman:  Teacher – Damascus College, Mt Clear
Second Reading:  Marie Shaddock – St Joseph’s Parish, Ouyen
Gospel Procession:  Tanya Kehoe – Campus Pastoral Associate: Campus Ministry, Australian Catholic University
Gospel:  Rev Cay Xuan Trinh – Deacon:  Diocese of Ballarat
Presentation of the Gifts:  Sr Maree Holt csb – Holy Spirit Parish, Gariwerd and Anne Eskdale – St Patrick’s Parish, Gordon
Assistance with the parish symbols and distribution of oils:  Matilda Jenkins and Idaho Jenkins – Loreto College, Ballarat
Commentary:  Dr Peter Morris – St Patrick’s Cathedral Parish, Ballarat

Choir:

Gerry Vytilingam  – Song Writer / Singer

Loreto College Ballarat:
D Anwyl                     B Ballesty              E Demunk                 L Eales
R Figiel                      C Gibson                M Goodbourn          G Harbour
I Hanley                     B Jans                     O Jones                    A Keem
A McCarthy              M Read                   A Singh                     H Streulens
G Wemyss

St Patrick’s College, Ballarat:
Henry Bennett        Patrick Bennett       Will Charles             Cayde Constable
Lachlan Hodge       Oskar Kaletsch        Lucas Martin          Lachlan McColl
Liam Morrison        Toby Pearse             Gabriel Vivian-Fagan

Oil of the Sick procession:
David Wilcox – Pastoral Care: Mercy Place Warrnambool
Sofie Mazzotta – Captain: St Mary MacKillop College, Swan Hill
Lucas Wells – Captain: Damascus College, Mt Clear
Sr Sipona csn – Nazareth House, Ballarat
Flagon:  Peter McMaster – Pastoral Practitioner: St John of God Hospital, Ballarat

Oil of Catechumens procession:
Oliver Foster – Monivae College, Hamilton
Paris Govan – Captain: Damascus College, Mt Clear
Tyler Cowan – St Patrick’s College, Ballarat
Kaylene James – East Wimmera Parish
Flagon:  Brian Northern – Catechumen: St Mary’s Parish, Colac

Oil of Chrism procession:
Noni Blanchett – Monivae College, Hamilton
Otto Conlan – Captain: St Mary MacKillop College, Swan Hill
Liz McGuane – St Brendan’s Parish, Cororooke
Noah Quick – Captain:  St Patrick’s College, Ballarat
Perfume:  Bernadette Lynch: – Parish Coordinator:  St Aloysius Parish, Redan
Flagon:  Fr Paddy Mugavin PP – Jubilarian:  Diocese of Ballarat

To acknowledge the 150th anniversary of the diocese, there were a few changes to the music for the Mass this year.  Two of the three songs that were written for the anniversary year were included.  The entrance hymn was, “Together, We Build Our Place” written by Roger Hillman & Sr Anne McMillan rsm.  The communion reflection “Humble Service” was performed by singer/songwriter Gerry Vytilingam.  Gerry played her guitar and sang her song from the choir loft, assisted by the choir.  This was a beautiful time of reflection during the Mass.  Thanks to Roger, Gerry and Fr Andrew Hayes for all of their work and talents in providing these three songs for the anniversary year (the songs can be accessed here).

The choir for this year was a combination of students from Loreto College, Ballarat and St Patrick’s College, Ballarat.  We are very grateful to staff members Simone Jans, Loreto College and Mitchell Leviston, St Patrick’s College, for their willingness for students to be involved in this choir and the time that was  dedicated to organising and rehearsing with the students prior to the Mass.

The choir was once again beautifully led by Conductor Roger Hillman, Organist Geoff Martin (Diocesan Liturgical Commission) and Flautist Adrian Newman, who was also the Cantor for the Mass.  Adrian’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.  Bishop Paul was assisted in the distribution of the oils by Deacon Cay, Idaho Jenkins and Matilda Jenkins from Loreto College.  Following Mass all were invited to the Hall to share in lunch, which was provided by Brett Hayward from ACU Ballarat Campus Canteen.  In the MacKillop/Glowrey Rooms, there was a visual display of photos, a small display from the Archives and an interactive timeline from the Diocesan website available to peruse.  A tour of the diocesan archives was also available with a number of people taking the opportunity to look through the historical display set up by Archivist, Dr Samantha Fabry.  Many thanks is offered to Sr Berenice Kerr rsm for her time and effort in assisting with the preparation of the materials available.

There are many people involved in the success of this Mass and thanks is extended to our very capable Altar Servers Martin, Tommy, Simon and Channa, those who prepared the oils, participated in the various ministries, welcomers, ushers, Deneise Walsh for the decor in the Cathedral, Kay Curran and Susan Crowe for overseeing the set-up for the Mass, Peter Morris for the commentary and as Sacristan, Noeline Hogan for the distribution of oils, Paul Demunk from Vision by Demunk for the livestream of the Mass and members of the Pastoral Ministry Office and Diocesan Liturgical Commission.

We also acknowledge and appreciate those who travelled vast distances to be parish representatives for the symbols and collection of oils.  We pray for safe travels for all.

Watch the livestream of the Mass
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A copy of the Mass book can be read here
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Resources and information of the 150th Anniversary of the Diocese is available here
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