ABOUT OUR DIOCESE
The Catholic Diocese of Ballarat is a diverse and geographically extensive Diocese of twenty nine 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 450,401 and the Catholic population is 89,131 (2021 Australian Census). There are twenty-nine parishes in the Diocese comprising sixty nine church communities. There are twenty seven priests working in parishes. Their work is supported by retired priests. The Bishop and Vicar General work full-time in the diocesan offices. Two priests work in tertiary education – one in the diocese and one outside the diocese. One priest is working overseas. Ten of the twenty nine parishes have a parish priest who also cares for another parish. There is one parish that has formal lay-leadership with a Supervising Priest and a Visiting Priest. Many lay people have leadership roles in parishes and many parishes share resources within one of the eight Ministry Districts in the Diocese, including sharing lay personnel. Click here to download the parish map of the diocese.
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.
CatholicCare 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.