ABOUT OUR DIOCESE
The Catholic Diocese of Ballarat is a diverse and geographically extensive Diocese of forty-one parishes which covers the western third of Victoria, extending from the Murray River in the North to the Southern Ocean. To the west it is bounded by the Archdiocese of Adelaide and the Diocese of Port Pirie, to the north by the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes and to the east by the Diocese of Sandhurst and the Archdiocese of Melbourne.
The Diocese has a number of provincial centres and large rural areas. There is a wide range and mix of primary and secondary industry and tourism and many places of natural beauty – the Great Ocean Road, the Grampians, the towns of the Murray River, the Little Desert and the goldfields.
The total population of the Diocese is 422,854 and the Catholic population is 95,696 (2016 Australian Census). There are forty-one parishes in the Diocese comprising one hundred and twelve church communities. There are twenty nine priests working in parishes, one of whom also has a significant role in tertiary education. Their work is supported by retired priests. Two priests work in pastoral care. Three priests work outside the diocese in tertiary education. Twenty-seven of the forty-one parishes have a parish priest who also cares for another parish. There are two parishes who have formal lay-leadership with a Supervising Priest and a Visiting Priest(s). Many lay people have leadership roles in parishes and many parishes share resources within one of the ten Ministry Districts in the Diocese, including sharing lay personnel.
The Diocese has 11 Catholic Secondary Colleges and 53 Catholic Primary Schools (including one P-8), who together with Catholic Education Ballarat educate nearly 18,500 students in the diocese.
Centacare is the main social welfare organisation of the Diocese. Based in Ballarat it also has offices in Daylesford, Hamilton, Horsham, Maryborough, Mildura, Swan Hill and Warrnambool. Its services include in the areas of employment, housing, disability services, counselling and family services, mental health services, victims assistance program, homelessness support and community and advocacy support.