No. 51January 2008

Regnavit a ligno Deus

January 2, 2008
Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus

Dear friends & benefactors of Holy Cross Seminary,

What a blessing a priestly ordination is for the Church! What a joy it is for us here at Holy Cross Seminary to see our efforts achieve their goal, a priest ordained forever according to the order of Melchisedech, a man who is henceforth to be another Christ, a Mediator to bring God to souls! What a consolation to know that we can play some small part in the continuation of the true priesthood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in providing for thirsty souls the Mass of all time, that opens the gates to eternity! Such were our convictions on the feast of St. John the Evangelist, December 27. Allow me to offer you this brief pictoral presentation of the momentous events of last month.


His Lordship, Bishop Bernard Fellay, preaches during
the December 27 Ordination ceremony in the tent “cathedral”
erected for the occasion on the grounds of Holy Cross Seminary.

A view of the assistance in the tent
during Bishop Fellay’s sermon on the holy priesthood.

His Lordship together with the newly ordained Father Claret
and the three newly ordained deacons in Sacred Heart courtyard.


Saturday December 8 was a great day in the Seminary, as everywhere in the Society of Saint Pius X. For on this day, the seminarians make their engagements as members of the Society, being thereby attached to the Church, as members of a Society of Common Life without Vows, and hence capable of receiving the various degrees of Holy Orders. This year our only second year seminarian made his first engagement, Mr. Benedict Gill from London, England.


Mr. Gill makes his first engagements in the Society of Saint Pius X
on the feast of the Immaculate Conception
in the presence of the Rector, delegate of the Superior General.

Mr. Gill then receives a medal
of Saint Pius X as a sign of his membership
in the Society of Saint Pius X.

Three retreats were preached to the seminarians simultaneously during the final two weeks before Christmas. The District Superior, Father Edward Black, preached to the ordinands to the priesthood and diaconate at the same time as Father Ortiz preached a 10 day Ignatian retreat to the nine seminarians in 1st year & the pre-seminary, and Father Pfluger preached to the five candidates for Minor Orders.

Mr. Liam Cadogan installs missing baseboard in the Theology classroom,
matching the grand style of the old central building that dates from 1873.


Everything was then set for the great week of Christmas. On the Vigil Bishop Fellay celebrated a Pontifical High Mass of ordination at which the tonsure was administered to Mr. Gill, the Minor Orders of Porter and Lector to Mr. Hennessy, and the Minor Orders of Exorcist and Acolyte to Mr. Todd Stephens, as well as to Brothers Yousef and Jean-Marie, C.Ss.R. The Seminary then had the pleasure of Bishop Fellay’s presence for the solemnities of the Christmas Vigil and day. Wednesday 26th was the day of the administration of the sacrament to Confirmation to 10 persons.


The reading of the admonition by the Archdeacon,
warning the ordinands of their obligation to be canonically regular,
which admonition must precede every ordination ceremony.

Conferring of the Clerical Tonsure on Mr. Benedict Gill
by His Lordship Bishop Fellay
during the Pontifical High Mass of December 24.


Mr. Dylan Hennessy from South Africa
kneels before the bishop during the recitation of the prayers
during the conferring of the Minor Order of Lector.

Mr. Todd Stephens, from Tynong, Victoria,
receives the power of the Minor Order of the Exorcist,
as the Bishop touches his hands to the Roman Ritual,
which contains the Church’s exorcism prayers.


Br. Yousef receives the candle and candlestick
during the ceremony of ordination as an acolyte,
receiving the power to enlighten hearts by his example,
as well as the church by the carrying of candles.

Bishop Fellay along with the five ordinands
and the ministers on the Seminary front steps
after the ordination to the Minor Orders.


However, the big day for the Seminary was the ordination ceremony of Thursday 27th, so important for the life of the Church. Reverend Father Jean-Baptiste Claret was ordained to the Holy Priesthood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, with 15 priests present imposing their hands along with the bishop. The ceremony was attended by around 250 faithful from all over Australia, including West Australia, South Australia, Queensland and of course Victoria and New South Wales. Father Claret spent the first three years of his formation at the Society’s mother house in Econe, being transferred to Holy Cross Seminary for his three years of Theology.

Along with Father Claret‘s ordination, three subdeacons were ordained to the diaconate: - Reverend Gregory Noronha from Bombay, India, Reverend Jordie Stephens from Melbourne, Australia and Reverend Ben Campbell from Orlando, Florida, USA. They have completed five of the years of formation for the priesthood and have one more to go.

Prostration of all four ordinands during the singing of the Litany of the Saints,
begging God’s blessings before the ordination ceremonies.


Imposition of the stole, followed by the dalmatic,
the vestments of the deacon, signifying eternity and joy,
on Reverend Mr. Campbell as part of the ceremony of his ordination.

The bishop imposes both hands on Reverend Claret’s head.
This is the matter of the sacrament,
as defined by Pope Pius XII.


Reverend Claret now kneeling before the bishop after each of the 15 priests had imposed his hand upon the head. Each holds his right hand upright during this ceremony, signifying the union of the presbyterium with the ordaining bishop.

After his ordination, and after receiving the priestly vestments, Father Claret kneels to receive the bishop’s blessing. Note that the back of the chasuble is tied up until the newly ordained priest receives the power to forgive sins, at the end of the Mass, after Holy Communion.


Consecration of the newly ordained priest’s hands with the Oil of the Catechumens, that they might receive the power to bless, consecrate and sanctify, in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The newly ordained priest receives the chalice with wine and water, and the paten with a host, receiving from the bishop the power to offer sacrifice to God and to celebrate Mass for the living as well as for the dead.


This is the true concelebration as practiced for many centuries in the roman rite. The newly ordained priest kneels down with a Missal, and recites together with the ordaining bishop all the prayers of the Mass from the Offertory until the end, including the words of consecration. Notice the respect and dignity. Father Jean-Baptiste Claret is assisted at the Missal by his older brother, Father Antoine Claret.

Towards the end of the ceremony of ordination, after having promised obedience to the bishop and to his successors, the newly ordained Father Claret receives the pax, or kiss of peace, from the bishop. Notice again the dignity of this profound gesture, peace depending upon hierarchical obedience.

Although the attendance was somewhat diminished this year, there was nevertheless a great enthusiasm for this celebration of the priesthood, center of the life of the Church, following Bishop Fellay’s moving sermon. The faithful all stayed to receive the new priest’s blessing and also for the luncheon celebration, but then that afternoon we had to farewell Bishop Fellay, our spiritual father, as he headed for Perth and back to the General House in Switzerland.

Friday 28th was the day for the First Solemn High Mass of Father Jean-Baptiste Claret. It was also celebrated in the large tent erected for the occasion. Father Jean-Baptiste Claret was assisted at the altar by his brother, Father Antoine Claret, also a priest of the Society of Saint Pius X. He had come over from France for the occasion, together with his mother and sisters. The polyphonic Mass was sung by a mixed choir from the chapels of Hampton and Tynong, Victoria.


The sacred ministers at the altar during Father Jean-Baptiste Claret’s First Mass. Note the presence of the assistant priest, only allowed for a priest’s First Mass, who in this case is Father Antoine Claret (in cope at the Missal).

The sacred ministers are here seen at the Offertory of the Mass, with Father Antoine Claret assisting his brother in cope at the Missal.

Elevation of the Sacred Host by Father Jean-Baptiste Claret at his first Mass.

Father Jean-Baptiste Claret with the sacred ministers and clergy
in the Sacred Heart courtyard after his First Mass.


May this little presentation help us to understand in a concrete way that “the priesthood is a great gift of the Divine Redeemer, Who, in order to perpetuate the work of redemption of the human race which He completed on the Cross, confided His powers to the Church which He wished to be a participator in His unique and everlasting Priesthhood”, as Pope Pius XII so aptly puts it in Menti nostrae, §7. May it help to encourage the miracle of priestly vocations, upon which the very existence of this Seminary and of the entire Church depends.

This is a time of dearth of vocations in Australia. I am ashamed to admit it, and it is a sad reflection of the lukewarmness of our families and chapels, that in 2008 we will have no Australian vocations under fifth year, nor even at the present time any application or interest. However, you ought to be aware that at this poor rate, the Society in the future is not likely to be able to expand its work, nor place real pressure on the modernist establishment to return to Tradition and to restoring all things in Christ. “Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into his harvest” (Mt 10:1), and if you are a young man, shocked to hear this story of lack of generosity, reflect that it may well be you whom the Good Lord is calling to His Sacred Heart.

Yours faithfully in the Holy Name of our Divine Savior,
Father Peter R. Scott



Menís 5 day: †           Monday January 14 - Saturday January 19, 2008
                                Monday June 16 - Saturday June 21
                                Monday September 15 - Saturday September 20
Womenís 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