St Christopher's Cathedral Parish
(incorporating St Peter Chanel's Church, Weston Street, Yarralumla)
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Parish Office, Ground floor, 55 Franklin Street Forrest ACT 2603, Australia
Most Rev. Christopher Prowse DD. STD.; Fr Trenton van Reesch - Administrator; Fr Norvin Dias - Assistant Priest
(02) 6239 9846
8.30am-12.15pm, 12.45pm-4.30pm Mon-Fri. In case of emergency 0415 305 155

Parish News

Annual Pledge Form

Pledge form

Delete 3 - Pledge card 2020 single A4 portrait version May 2020.pdf
Church denounces malicious emails claiming to be from Catholic sources

Letter from the Bishops

Delete 3 - Church denounces malicious emails claiming to be from Catholic sources June 2020.pdf
Cathedral Parish Finances

Parish income & expenditure summary for the calendar year ending 31 Dec 2019

Delete 3 - 2020 Bulletin Finance Report income and expenditure summary yr end 31 Dec 2019.pdf
Prayer from the Australian Bishops

Entrusting Australia to Mary Help of Christians

Delete 3 - 200515_Entrustment Prayer Card.pdf

Parish Newsletters


5 July 2020

Delete 1 - 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time- Year A - 5 July 2020.pdf

28 June 2020

Delete 1 - 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time- Year A - 28 June 2020.pdf

21 June 2020

Delete 1 - 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time- Year A - 21 June 2020.pdf

14 June 2020

Delete 1 - The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ- Year A - 14 June 2020.pdf



to St Christopher's Cathedral Canberra


(Note: Up to 100 people can attend Mass from the 20th of June onward. There is no need to 'pre-register' for these Masses. Parishioners however are asked to sign in on the Mass Attendance register when entering the church.  Attendees will be counted (including children) and only 100 will be allowed to enter.  Use one line per person on the register please.   Please use hand sanitiser supplied.  The Cathedral has marked out the correct distance on the pews for social distancing purposes and every second pew has been closed)


Saint Christopher's Cathedral

5:00pm Vigil Mass

8.00am Mass

9.00am Mass, 

11:00am Mass 

(live-stream on

5:30pm Mass


St Peter Chanel's, Yarralumla

6.00pm Vigil

9.30am Mass

2:00-3:00pm Adoration and Confessions


St Christopher's Cathedral

7.30am Mass

12:15pm Mass

5.00pm-6.00pm   Holy Hour (Tuesday-Friday)

St Peter Chanel's, Yarralumla

Tuesday 5.30pm Mass

Thursday 10.00am Mass



Saint Christopher's Cathedral





St Christopher’s Cathedral

Wednesday: 11.30am—12:00 noon

Thursday: 6.00 - 6.30pm

Saturday: 11.30am - 12 noon

St Peter Chanel's, Yarralumla

Tuesday: 6.00pm-6.30pm

Thursday 5.15pm-5.45pm


Tuesday-Friday: 5:00-6:00 


*SCC - Saint Christopher's Cathedral; SPC – Saint Peter Chanel’s.

*Please note times are effective as of 8 June 2020.


Anointing of the Sick, home visitation, & support

Please contact the Parish Office, or call (02) 6239 9846


To organise or discuss the Sacrament of Baptism, please contact the Parish Office, or call (02) 6239 9846


To organise a funeral contact the Parish Office or call (02) 6239 9846


To organise a wedding contact the Parish Office or call (02) 6239 9846.


Latest Covid-19 Health Protocols

ACT Parishes

Effective Friday 19 June 2020


Masses are to be celebrated with no more than 100 people, respecting the 4sqm per person rule (including priest and those involved in liturgical ministries).

-Communion is to be carefully ministered the hand.

-Only Sacred Host, not the Precious Blood is to be offered.

-There is no contact during the sign of peace.

-No collection plates are to be used, but money/envelopes placed at collection points.

-The 4sqm per person rule is to be observed: Seating, Standing, During the Communion Procession, During the movement to place money/envelopes at the collection points.

-Hygiene practices are to be observed

-Sanitisation of hands before entering the church

-Wiping down of pews and common areas at conclusion of Mass (This will also be conducted at the end of the day).

-Priest and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion to purify hands with sanitiser before and after offering Holy Communion.

- Use if hymn books will be limited, and sanitised between use.

-Parishioners names/contact will be Registered upon entering the church

-These records will be securely retained (respecting privacy laws) for 28 days for chief medical officer.


No more than 100 people, respecting the 4sqm per person rule (including clergy and liturgical ministers). Funeral directors to keep register of people who attend.


No more than 100 people, respecting the 4sqm per person rule (including clergy and liturgical ministers). Church to keep register of people who attend in accord with 9(g).


No more than 100 people, respecting the 4sqm per person rule (including priest and those involved in liturgical ministries).


First Rite of penance, with priest and penitent respecting the 4sqm per person rule.

Second Rite of penance to be celebrated with no more than 100 people, respecting the 4sqm per person rule (including priest and liturgical ministers).

Prayer and Social Gatherings

No more than 100 people whether inside Church or other Church facility, respecting the 4sqm per person rule.

NSW & ACT Parishes

Effective immediately

Communion to Sick and Elderly Persons

-Normal pastoral practice resumes. Communion to sick persons in hospitals, aged care homes and private homes.

Anointing of the Sick

-Normal pastoral practice resumes. Anointing of the sick in hospitals, aged care homes and private homes.

-If the person has COVID 19, please consult the Vicar General.

-Hospital rosters resume in the ACT.

First Penance, First Holy Communion & Confirmation

-Normal pastoral practice resumes, respecting liturgical and pastoral protocols.

Father Anthony Percy

Vicar General

16 June 2020


Upcoming Events!

School of Religion - Sacrament Program to Recommence

We are pleased to announce that we can now run the School of Religion program for First Reconciliation, First Eucharist and Confirmation.  First Reconciliation and First Eucharist programs will be run on the same date starting 17 August 2020.  First Reconciliation classes will be held in the St Peter Chanel's Parish Room at 6pm for 4 weeks and the First Eucharist classes in St Peter Chanel's Church at 6pm for 5 weeks.  The Confirmation program will start on 12 October for 5 weeks at St Peter Chanel's Parish Room at 6pm.

The Sacrament of First Reconciliation will be on Wed 9 September, 6pm at St Peter Chanel's Church.

The Sacrament of First Eucharist will be on Sunday 20 September, 11am at St Christopher's Cathedral.

Confirmation Mass will be on Wednesday 18 November, 6pm at St Christopher's Cathedral.

For more information on each of these programs, download the Letter to Parents found under 'PARISH NEWS'.  Download the Sacramental Program Enrolment form found in the main menu under 'APPLICATION FORMS'.  To register, please complete the enrolment form and send back to the Parish Office with the program fee as soon as possible.

         14th Sunday In Ordinary Time, Year A         Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday

This Sunday marks Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday, the beginning of a week where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people celebrate their spirituality, identity and culture. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholics bring beautiful gifts and wisdom to the Church in Australia. The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC), has chosen “Together in the Spirit” as the theme for 2020 ‘Together in the Spirit’ Learn from Me for I am Gentle and Humble in Heart ... Matt 11:29 (from the NATSICC) As a Council, we prayed upon and discerned for many months as to the theme for this year’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday. While there were many options discussed, the developing COVID-19 situation and its widespread effects and concerns throughout our communities, made our decision on the theme clear. Together in the Spirit. Whether we are able to come together physically in Churches, or via a digital platform, we feel enriched by the fact that, as Australians, will be ‘Together in the Spirit’ on 5 July 2020. The Gospel of the day calls for those of us that are weary, to share our burdens with God. Communities around Australia, both First Nations and non-Indigenous, have endured bushfires, droughts and now a pandemic, it is only natural that our spirit also becomes weary. There are already many burdens that exist in our communities. With the new challenges presented in times like these, it is important that we continue to place our trust in God, and try even harder to embody the spiritual gifts of empathy, friendship and love for one another. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced NATSICC to rethink the ways in how we empower Catholics to celebrate our special day. This year, by modifying our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday resources to work in a digital setting, we are also holding the first-ever livestreamed, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday Mass from the St Francis Xavier Cathedral in Adelaide from 11am EST. We are inviting everyone around Australia - and the World - to join us on 5 July 2020, as we come ‘Together in the Spirit’ to celebrate the gifts of spirituality and culture. National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council


Archbishop Christopher's Pastoral Letter: The Return to Our Eucharistic Home 19th June 2020

COVID-19 restrictions on the numbers allowed at Mass are slowly being relaxed. Thanks be to God! We continue patiently to pray for this terrible pandemic to cease in all its extensive and serious consequences. We pray for all those impacted in the world, especially in the health and economic areas of human endeavour.
As the doors of our Churches slowly open to congregations, let us reflect on the “Eucharistic fasting” that we have all being doing. Eucharistic fasting is not new to Australians.


First, 2020 marks the bi-centennial anniversary of the first official Catholic priests allowed to offer pastoral care in Australia. Before this a number of priests did come to Australia on the many ships bringing people of all sorts of backgrounds to these shores inhabited by Aboriginal peoples for millennia. These priests, however, were only able to stay short periods. Their presence was often seen as a threat to the colonial authorities. Upon departing they did leave the Blessed Sacrament, nonetheless, with some colonial families – the Davis and Dempsey families.

During the many years prior to 1820, Catholics gathered near Sydney Cove for prayers and Eucharistic devotion in these family homes. There was no Mass.

After the official priests (Fr. John Joseph Therry and Fr. Philip Conolly) arrived and celebrating Mass was permitted, the great Eucharistic missionary efforts began systematically in this new but ancient land. We are now heirs of that Catholic evangelising impulse of over two hundred years ago. We are truly grateful.

It was a long Eucharistic fast!


Secondly, great Eucharistic piety was demonstrated in another type of fasting of only a few generations ago.

So many of us can remember stories of the long Eucharistic fasting requirements of earlier times. The liturgical demand was to fast from the night before one could receive Holy Communion at Mass. Perhaps, with lenient fasting rules presently applicable, we have lost a sense of the long spiritual tradition of fasting before the Eucharistic feasting. Should this be considered afresh today?

Notwithstanding current assessments on this matter from present sensibilities, these older requirements did raise up generations imbued with a solid understanding of the piety needed to reverently receive Holy Communion. The stomach pains of hunger did remind the pious of the spiritual hunger for “panis angelicus” (the bread of angels). In rural areas, there are many examples too of the long distances that fasting families needed to travel to the nearest parish for Mass. Few complained. The love and respect of the Holy Mass matured. We ought to learn from this with docility.


Thirdly, I believe that the current Covid-19 induced “Eucharist fast” is deepening our Catholic instinct that the Eucharist is the very centre of our lives in Christ, Jesus.

Over these months I have heard of our Catholic people yearning for Mass and reception of Holy Communion. Sure enough, there has been a huge uptake on online daily Masses. Here “spiritual communion” is explained and appreciated by those participating from home. However, as one committed Catholic mentioned to me recently, “We are not really “e-Catholics” in the sense of electronic Catholics, but we are “E-Catholics” in the sense of Eucharistic Catholics.

This is the Catholic instinct arising within us. I see it as a wonderful sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit in this “valley of tears”.


Some lonely voices are already saying that Mass numbers will not return to their earlier numbers once all Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. Some suggest that the movement from comfortable couches and armchairs to wooden Church pews is a distance too far. I respectfully disagree.

Clearly, we are learning of the usefulness of modern technology in advancing our faith. Online platforms for Mass ought to continue in some form in the future, especially for the sick and elderly. But the thousands who have participated in online Masses contain many who had previously lapsed in the practice of their faith. Some speak of their re-engagement in the Catholic Mass over these months of online Masses. Unless there is a good reason, the Catholic instinct will not be satisfied with simply a “stay at home” faith. We are radically communitarian both as human beings and as people of Christian faith.

Making the step to return to Masses in parish will be sheer joy for many. It will be a transition that will be difficult for some for all sorts of reasons.

Yet the gathering of the People of God for the gift of the Eucharist that Jesus gave us at the Last Supper is irresistible to the depths of the human spirit. Ask those adults that have become Catholics in recent years. They will tell you as they have told me: “Fully participating in the Mass we find our true home!”

Let us prepare now to welcome everyone’s return to our Eucharistic “home”.


Archbishop Christopher Prowse

Archbishop of Canberra & Goulburn

Entrusting Australia to Our Mother, Mary Help of Christians

The Australian Bishops have announced that they will entrust Australia and all her people to the protection of Mary Help of Christians, as so many continue to suffer during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mary Help of Christians has been the patroness of Australia since 1844. This feast day is celebrated on the 24th of May, which this year coincides with the Feast of the Ascension, the 7th Sunday of Easter. The entrustment prayer, lead by Archbishop Christopher can now be viewed on the Archdiocesan youtube page and CatholicVoicewebsite. More information, as well as the prayer of entrustment can be found at, and can be downloaded on the left of this page under 'Parish News'. Please pray this prayer as a family and in your own time as we unite under the protective mantle of our Blessed Mother.

Youth Ministry Update

Hi St Christopher’s Parish, 

My prayers have been with you in this time. A sense of loss without being with one another and especially receiving the sacraments is a great sorrow, but as Catholics we know this time is adorned in Hope of Christ’s power that is moving amongst us, especially through celebrating the resurrection where victory was won forever. 

During this time we having been working behind the scenes re-planning and preparing for when we return. So here is an update on some current initiatives and for what lies ahead!

from Chiara 

St Christopher's Parish Youth Minister 


On the 5th of July we'll be launching our youth group 'Adventurers!' that will kick off at 8:45am around the context of Sunday 9:30am Mass at St Peter Channel’s. We would really appreciate your input on this (what time it should run, what you would like to see, etc.) You can do this here: 

We have activity sheets for mass available on our website under 'news' on the side bar!

'BEYOND' videos and worksheets 

Our Archdiocese has released a new series called 'Beyond'.  You can watch these videos that feature our Administrator Fr Trenton and our Youth Minister Chiara.  New episodes are made available every Saturday 7am on the Catholic Voice Website. 

Episode 1

Episode 2



On the 28th of June join us for 11am Mass at the Cathedral followed by brunch together!  Please email me at so we can reserve your place at mass! 

Young adults and professionals

  • Bible study is continuing every Thursday night 6:30-7:30 on Zoom. Join ‘Canberra Cathedral Young Adults’ on Facebook to keep updated on all these events.
  • This month we’ll be starting some online inputs and Q & A with Fr Trenton. Stay tuned for more info to come very soon.

Primary School Students

  • Starting on the 10th of May there will be pages available for you to print out and use on Sunday as you watch mass.
  • When we return we’ll be starting a youth group that will run around the context of Sunday 9:30am Mass at St Peter Channel’s. We would really appreciate your input on this (what time it should run, etc) You can do this here:


High School Students Years 10-12 YOUTH ALPHA 

Want to meet new people, play games and talk about more of those deeper questions? Then definitely come to Youth Alpha. Starting the 12th of May we’ll be running ALPHA every Tuesday 7pm-8pm on Zoom. This is open to all senior students years 10-12 and it's a combined effort with youth ministers and their students from all over Canberra schools and parishes.

Here is a video to see what it's all about.

See you Tuesday 7pm!!

Here is the link

Meeting ID: 991 3926 7513

  • When restrictions are lifted we will be running an event series for high school students to gather with friends, and hear from some great speakers with the opportunity for Q and A on topics that are important to you. So stay tuned for this!


Here is something to print off for this Sunday! Stay tuned for when we return because there will be a primary school youth group starting up!  Do you have any suggestions for what you would like to do?  Send it in here!

Children worksheet download to print off under 'Parish News'.

UPDATE: Covid19 Protocols and directives - 30 May 2020

Pastoral Visits:

Our utmost concern and priority at this time is the pastoral and spiritual care of our parish family. In these days where isolation has become the new norm, the pastoral arm of the Church must be more than ever front and center. Those who do regular home visitations are encouraged to now begin visitations once more. Phone calls, checking-in and assuring each other of thoughts and prayers is also still very important. The priests of course will continue to do home visitations.

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion can resume their ministry, where appropriate and safe. All ministers must have had a flu shot and need to provide proof of this before they recommence ministry. EMHC must contact Fr Norvin if engaging in this ministry. 

The Mass:

One of the greatest changes we face as Catholics in these months is that of how we participate in the Mass. This can be the most confronting and challenging. At the same time however, this moment can become a place of deepening understanding and growth. The Mass is the heart, the ‘source and summit’ of the Christian life. It is our identity. Indeed without the Eucharist the Church does not exist, God remains distant. And so how are we to understand our present situation? When the Mass is offered the priest (in the person of Christ the Head) offers the Sacrifice with and for the Whole Body of Christ (the totus Christus), whether all the baptised are physically present or not. This means that all the baptised by virtue of their baptism and being a member of the Body, participate in that one Sacrifice, with the priest acting as its head. As a parish this situation gives us an opportunity to broaden our understanding of our Catholic faith, its heart in the Mass, and the Truth it makes present to us, to deepen our understanding of who we are as members of Christ’s Body.

This is what it is to be a member of Christ’s Body the Church. This is a great teaching point for us all, but especially our children. Some ways you might do this are by:

  • Sharing and praying with the Sunday readings.
  • Making an act of Spiritual Communion (See below).
  • Viewing the daily and Sunday Mass on the Catholic Voice website (

Here are some other resources available to support our faith life in these days. 

  • The daily Gospel, daily commentary (Living Word) and prayers of intercessions are available for personal and family prayers.
  • Liturgical and Scriptural resources (
    This is not the first time in history that Catholics have been unable/prevented from receiving the Eucharist in the context of the Mass. In fact it was in these moments that understanding of the Church’s nature grew, and as the Church began to learn more of who She was, Her understanding of Spiritual Communion emerged. Such an understanding giving a window into the life and nature of the Eucharist and the Church.

    Prayer and Obligations now...
    As you know all Catholics of Canberra and Goulburn have been dispensed from their Sunday obligation. But we have not been dispensed from prayer. We are encouraged to pray with the daily readings, perhaps a daily rosary and to make a daily act of Spiritual Communion
    There are countless storms the Church has weathered throughout history. Plagues, famines, wars and persecutions. In times of trial the Church has always had to exist in a different way, and in fact it is in them that She has flourished – devotion increased and understanding deepened.

    What is a “Spiritual Communion?”

    For various reasons throughout the Church’s history the faithful have been prevented from receiving the Eucharist in the Mass. Many of the great Saints made an act of spiritual communion when this as the case. The Church encourages us to make such an act where we unite ourselves to God through prayer. It is a beautiful way to express to God our desire to be united with him when we are unable to complete that union in the reception of Holy Communion.

An Act of Spiritual Communion Prayer:

My Jesus,

I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.

I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.

Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at

least spiritually into my heart.

I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly

to You.

Never permit me to be separated from You.




  • Sung Vespers - First Sunday of the Month (suspended until further notice).


As our churches are not open for Masses due to Corona Virus, our weekend collections are not being taken up.  If you would like to contribute to the First Collection, you can make a direct transfer from your bank account. 

The First Collection is for the support of clergy in the parish and beyond.  Each priest in a parish draws a personal stipend from the first collection for living expenses, food and housekeeping.  Funds are also directed to:

·         Priests in parishes where the first collection is insufficient to meet their stipend

·         The support of the Archbishop, Vicar General and Chancellor

·         Priests in remote dioceses across Australia

·         Clergy Retirement Foundation (in support of sick and retired clergy)


Account Name:        CATHEDRAL

BSB:                           062-786

Bank Account:          000029248

Reference:                FORREST & SURNAME

The below web address can also be used to make a online payment directly to the First Collection via the Commonwealth Bank Bpoint payments.  This is a secure link for payments. 

The Second Collection, which includes the planned giving program, is the main source of our parish income. The second collection funds are used for the day to day running of our parish.  That is to pay for the repairs, wages, insurance, utilities and the many other expenses incurred to keep our parish functioning.  If you would like to give towards the Parish expenses and are not currently registered for Planned Giving, please deposit into the following bank account:

Account Name:  St Christopher's Cathedral

BSB: 062786

Bank Account: 000015080

Reference: - Planned Giving Number and Surname (only for current Planned Givers);  or

- Donation (for donations by parishioner's not registered Planned Givers).

Qkr App

An alternative way of making contributions to the parish is via the Qkr app.


At Saint Christopher’s Cathedral Parish

Is carrying cash no longer your style?

Join us in our trialing of Qkr! Similar to swiping your phone at an EFTPOS Machine you can now use our purpose-built secure parish app to contribute to our parish community. Payments for 1st (Clergy) & 2nd Collection (Parish) are listed. Please ensure you include your Planned Giving number for 2nd Collection contributions. Contact the Parish Office if you have forgotten your Planned Giving number on 62399846.

Caritas Project Compassion is also currently listed under “Special Appeals”. Details of the Appeal are listed within the App payment description.  

Sponsored by the Archdiocese of Canberra & Goulburn Catholic Development Fund, with the assistance of the Commonwealth Bank and Mastercard, Sydney.


St Christopher's Catheral Parish Office
Ground Floor 55 Franklin Street Forrest ACT 2603
© Copyright 2020 CG.ORG.AU