SOUTHERN SENTINEL

No. 49 October 2007

Regnavit a ligno Deus
HOLY CROSS SEMINARY
FATHERS OF THE SOCIETY OF SAINT PIUS X

J.M.J.
October 15, 2007

Dear friends & benefactors of Holy Cross Seminary,

          It is with great joy that I announce to you the ordinations for Holy Cross Seminary for December 27, 2007, which will be performed this year by our Superior General, His Lordship Bishop Bernard Fellay. One priest will be ordained, Reverend Jean-Baptiste Claret, who has spent the past three years of his formation here at Holy Cross, having spent the first three years of his Seminary at the Society’s mother house in Econe. In addition, the same day the three subdeacons who are just completing their fifth year will be ordained to the diaconate, Reverend Jordie Stephens from Melbourne, Reverend Ben Campbell from Florida and Reverend Gregory Noronha from Bombay, India. It will be an important day for Tradition for all four countries involved, and I do encourage as many of you as can do so to make the effort and to profess your Faith in the true and unchanging Priesthood of Our Lord Jesus Christ by your presence here.

          A view of the retreatants before the altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary
at the end of the Marian retreat, after having made their total consecration to Jesus through Mary
according to the method of St. Louis de Montfort.


          In addition, Bishop Fellay will administer the Tonsure and Minor Orders on the Vigil of Christmas, and Reverend Claret will celebrate his First Mass here at the Seminary on December 28, feast of the Holy Innocents. I invite any of you who might be able to stay, to remain here for a two day working bee on December 29 & 31, just before the first of our retreats begins. Last year’s working bee was attended by more than 50 of our friends, and was a great help to the Seminary. Food and male accommodation provided.

          One of the faithful from Corpus Christi church in Tynong, Mr. Tony Ward, who has his own painting business, has kindly offered to give up one week of his time to direct the re-painting of the Seminary chapel. This is going to take place once all our retreats are over, starting Monday February 4, 2008. However, he will require around 8 capable volunteers to make this possible. Men willing to help out in this much needed task are asked to contact him, Brother Joseph or myself. It truly is for the greater glory of God and for the edification not only of the Seminary, but also of the retreatants, parishioners and visitors whom God sends here.


FIRST PROFESSION

          Of recent events, I would like most especially to mention the First Profession of the three vows of religion in the Society of Saint Pius X by Brother John, formerly a parishioner from Tynong, who has spent 4 ½ years here at Holy Cross. He pronounced these vows during the Solemn High Mass on the feast of St. Michael the Archangel, September 29, renouncing the world and offering himself as a holocaust, a perfect sacrifice, for the service of the priesthood in the Society of Saint Pius X, and for the salvation of souls, starting with his own. The generous example of religious vocations, committing themselves to a life of complete poverty, of perfect chastity and of entire obedience and abandonment of self will, is essential to the Church’s spirituality, to the life of our own Society, and as a manifestation of the Church’s mark of holiness. May many other young men (and women) follow along the same path, aspiring to evangelical perfection: “Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect’” (Mt 5:48). The lack of such vocations amongst our young people is a punishment, and even a terrifying indictment of our lukewarmness as traditional Catholics. May the Good Lord spare us from the scourges we deserve and send us the many, holy, religious vocations for which we pray every day with our Rosary.

Brother John
 

Brother John makes his First Profession
before the main altar of the Seminary chapel
on September 29.

Brother John together with the Rector, Fathers Loschi and Wailliez,
and the altar boys for the Solemn High Mass.


          The recent vacation break was also the opportunity for the preaching of retreats here at Holy Cross. The Women’s Ignatian retreat was followed by 27 women, and the Women’s Marian retreat according to the spirituality of St. Louis Grignon de Montfort by 33. This latter was an experiment that seemed to have been successful. Consequently, we plan to offer next September a Men’s 5 day Marian retreat, provided that the men show enough interest and sign up for it.

          Meanwhile, the remodeling and repairs to the Seminary keep apace with 4 men working here at all times. As well as the ongoing construction of the cemetery chapel, a leaking covered walkway is being replaced and a new one constructed to join the classroom building with the main building. Repairing of water leaks and interior and exterior painting also continues. In addition, the Seminary is looking to hire a full-time grounds keeper and gardener, our seminarians and workers simply not having the time to do this work.

Brother John
 

          The Marian procession of the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows descends the hill to the pond, the statue of Our Lady following the sacred ministers.

          An extended view of the procession as it makes it way down to the bottom paddock.



THE POPE & CHINA

          I would like to use this opportunity to say a word about a recent Papal document that has received little publicity. It is Benedict XVI’s letter of Pentecost Sunday this year to the Bishops, Priests and faithful of the Catholic Church in China. Leaving aside for now the very worrisome ecclesiological aspects of this letter, allow me a simple comment on its attitude towards the Communist regime, which has constantly persecuted the Catholic Church from 1949 until this very day, which has imprisoned innumerable bishops and priests of the underground church, and which continues to do so even since the publication of this letter, distribution of which has been forbidden in China, even electronically, which continues to consecrate bishops without Papal mandate in the schismatic Patriotic church under Communist party control, and which continues to enforce, by force of law, immoral and perverse practices such as the one-child-per-family policy and obligatory abortion.

          We certainly cannot blame the Pope for expressing his desire for “the normalization of relations with the People’s Republic of China” or for “concrete forms of communication and cooperation” (§4), nor his desire to avoid “conflict with the legitimate civil authorities”, and we applaud his demand for “the State to guarantee to those same Catholic citizens the full exercise of their faith”(Ib.). However, it seems that his naïve efforts for dialogue are fruitless and unrecognized by the communist government, but to the contrary productive of great confusion among the faithful, and this on account of the increasingly obvious overlap between the Patriotic (=schismatic, excommunicated and communist-controlled) and Catholic (=underground) churches. For many bishops and priests, not to mention the faithful, pretend to belong to both at the same time. The Pope explicitly admits this, explaining that he has received into his communion bishops consecrated in the Patriotic Church, and “granted them full and legitimate exercise of Episcopal jurisdiction“ (§8) and yet “in most cases priests and the faithful have not been adequately informed“ of this regularization and “some legitimized Bishops have failed to provide any clear signs to prove that they have been legitimized“ (Ib.). This means that they still act publicly as bishops and priests of the Patriotic Church, satisfying their “conscience” by a hidden, private arrangement with Rome, but failing to profess the Faith and to all intents and purposes remaining under control of the communist-run church. Given such infiltration of Catholics in China, is it any surprise that the Chinese government has no desire to dialogue? It is entirely in the driving seat.

          The Pope’s reaction to this state of affairs was not, as one might have expected, to cease the insincere legitimization of weak, untrained clerics without conviction, who refuse to abandon their comfortable compromise and entirely leave the communist-controlled Patriotic Church. No, it was exactly the contrary, to discourage the clandestine consecration of bishops (§8), and to withdraw their faculties from the suffering priests of the underground church: “Considering in the first place some positive developments of the situation of the Church in China, and in the second place the increased opportunities and greater ease in communication, and finally the requests sent to Rome by various Bishops (belonging to which church? Perhaps to both?) and priests, I hereby revoke all the faculties previously granted in order to address particular pastoral necessities that emerged in truly difficult times“ (§18). What a suicide, an abandonment of those priests of the underground Church who refuse all contact with the Patriotic Church, and who are still living in as truly difficult times as ever! It will take a miracle for them to persevere and for the Church to continue. But miracles will and do happen, provided that we pray for them.


COMMUNISM

          Furthermore, Benedict XVI in his letter makes no mention at all of Communism, the most frightful and horrifying error of modern times, the cause of nearly 60 years of persecution in China, and still exercising its tyranny over the most populous nation of the world. In this he certainly keeps the bad company of Vatican II, on behalf of which Pope John XXIII had agreed in 1962 not to condemn Communism. Archbishop Lefebvre comments: “The agreement was concluded, the betrayal completed…And Communism was not condemned; or, rather, the Council, which had given itself the responsibility of discerning the ‘signs of the times’ was condemned by Moscow to keeping silence on the most obvious and the most monstrous of the Signs of this time! It is clear that there was, at the Second Vatican Council, an agreement with the enemies of the Church, so as to finish off with the existing enmity towards them. But this is an agreement with the devil!” (They have uncrowned Him, p. 215).

          Allow me to briefly compare the encyclical letter written by Pope Pius XI in 1937 in response to the attacks on the Church by Atheistic Communism, especially in Russia, Mexico and Spain. His reason for writing is not a political one, nor is it dialogue, for this is explicitly excluded. It is simply because the Apostolic See is the “Teacher of Truth” (§6) and thus “could not and does not remain silent” about this “satanic scourge”(§7),“the fatal plague which insinuates itself into the very marrow of human society only to bring about its ruin…that infamous doctrine of so-called communism which is absolutely contrary to the natural law itself, and if once adopted would utterly destroy the rights, property and possessions of all men, and even society itself” (§4). He further points out that it is a religion in itself, and a false one, “a false messianic idea” in which there is no room for God nor for the soul, nor for virtue, merit, goodness nor for any life after death. Yet “concealed under the most seductive trappings…the class struggle with its consequent violet hate and destruction takes on the aspect of a crusade for the progress of humanity”  (§9).


NO COLLABORATION

          Is it any wonder that Pope Pius XI was most adamant in his refusal not only of all compromise, but even of all collaboration with a Communist regime:

“In the beginning communism showed itself for what it was in all its perversity, but very soon it realized that it was thus alienating the people. It has therefore changed its tactics, and strives to entice the multitudes by trickery of various forms, hiding its real designs behind ideas that in themselves are good and attractive…Without receding an inch from their subversive principles, they invite Catholics to collaborate with them in the realm of so-called humanitarianism and charity; and at times even make proposals that are in perfect harmony with the Christian spirit and the doctrine of the Church. Elsewhere they carry their hypocrisy so far as to encourage the belief that communism, in countries where faith and culture are more strongly entrenched, will assume another and much milder form. It will not interfere with the practice of religion…See to it, Venerable Brethren, that the faithful do not allow themselves to be deceived. Communism is intrinsically wrong, and no one who would save Christian civilization may collaborate with it in any undertaking whatsoever. Those who permit themselves to be deceived into lending their aid towards the triumph of communism in their own country, will be the first to fall victims of their error.” (Divini Redemptoris §57 & 58).

          Would that Pope Benedict XVI had re-read this Papal text and punished with excommunication any association at all with the Patriotic church. Would that he had not made his own the following statement of his immediate predecessor: “The Church has very much at heart the values and objectives which are of primary importance also to modern China: solidarity, peace, social justice, the wise management of the phenomenon of globalization” (§3). To the contrary, it is prayer and penance that the persecuted Catholics of China need, and that the Church has very much at heart, as Our Lady of Fatima requested of three little children on July 13, 1917, to obtain the conversion of Russia and the end of the First World War: “Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say often, especially when you make some sacrifice: ‘O Jesus, this is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary‘”. We must admit that we have done so little in the past and redouble our efforts for these martyrs of the 21st century, so unknown to us, and yet so real.

          Yours faithfully in the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary,
          Father Peter R. Scott


Brother John
 

The Seminary’s cattle watch with curiosity
as the Marian procession returns up the main road
to the Seminary.

The faithful gathered around the main Seminary entrance
before the statue of Our Lady to renew the consecration
of the Seminary to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.


soccer team    

          The ‘Secular Saints’, as they call themselves:
the winning team in the annual soccer tournament that closes the family weekend.


UPCOMING EVENTS AT HOLY CROSS SEMINARY

Please make a note of the following public events, in which all our friends and benefactors are invited to participate:

  Sat. Dec. 8:   Engagements of Society members
    10:30 a.m. Solemn High Mass:
Priestly Ordinations.
 

Mon. Dec. 24:

  Ordinations to the Tonsure & Minor Orders
     9:30 a.m. Pontifical High Mass of ordination:
  Wed.Dec. 26:  11:00 a.m. Confirmations & Pontifical Low Mass:
  Thur. Dec. 27:   Ordinations to the Priesthood & Diaconate
     9:00 a.m. Pontifical High Mass of ordination:
  Fri Dec. 28:  9:00 a.m. First Solemn High Mass of Father Claret: 9:00 a.m.
       
  Sat. Dec. 29:   Working bee
  Mon. Dec. 31:   Working bee


2008 IGNATIAN RETREAT DATES AT HOLY CROSS SEMINARY:

COME & BRING YOUR FRIENDS!

Men’s 5 day:             Monday December 31, 20071 – Saturday January 5, 2008
                                Monday January 14 - Saturday January 19
                                Monday June 16 - Saturday June 21
                                Monday September 15 - Saturday September 20
Women’s 5 day:        Monday January 7 – Saturday January 12, 2008
                                Monday January 28 - Saturday February 2
                                Monday September 22 - Saturday September 27

 
Holy Cross Seminary, Goulburn, Australia