December 3, a Solemn High Mass was celebrated in honor of St. Francis
Xavier, who is honored with a First Class feast in this mission
country. It was a great joy for the Indian seminarians to see their
missionary and patron celebrated with true solemnity, both First
and Second Vespers, as well as the Solemn High Mass.
preached the day of recollection to the Major Seminarians on Saturday
December 6, instructing them on the importance of our attachment
to the Church through the Society of Saint Pius X. Then on Monday
December 8, feast of the Immaculate Conception the six seminarians
in third and fourth years renewed their engagements in the Society
of Saint Pius X at a Solemn High Mass celebrated by the Rector.
The final hike
in the bush for the school year took place on Wednesday December
10. The entire seminary went to the upper reaches of the Shoalhaven
river, the hike taking the community through fords up to their armpits.
After the barbecue the seminarians played water polo for the afternoon.
The minor examinations
for the Major Seminarians started on Tuesday December 9. These examinations
are for Sacred Scripture, Liturgy, Church History and Canon Law,
and were spread out over one week. The last day of classes for the
Major Seminarians was Monday December 15. After three days of intense
study, they started the Major Examinations on Friday December 19,
finishing on Tuesday December 23, allowing the Vigil of Christmas
to prepare for the great feast.
last day of classes for the Seminarians was Friday December 12.
Their final examinations started the very next day, Saturday December
13, and continued on uninterrupted until Friday December 19. A social
get together with their teachers and the brothers on Thursday December
18 gave them the opportunity to express their gratitude. Then on
Saturday December 20, very early in the morning, they headed off
in all four directions to their homes.
The feast of
Christmas was celebrated with great solemnity by a somewhat reduced
community. The seminarians sang the entire office of Matins and
Lauds, with the midnight Mass, followed by the traditional reveillon.
Father Ortiz presided and celebrated both the midnight and day Masses,
while the other priests took care of diverse missions.
The very next
day, feast of St. Stephen the first martyr, 26 men arrived for their
five day Ignatian retreat, preached by Fathers Scott and Ortiz.
Starting in the afternoon, it continued with great intensity until
the afternoon of Wednesday December 31, finishing with a Benediction
of the Blessed Sacrament, and the chanting of the Te Deum
to end the calendar year.
month of December most of the work was concentrated on stripping
out St. Joseph’s House to prepare for remodeling and pouring
the concrete slab and building the metal roof and walls of the large
storage facility, into which three carports have been converted.
The month began
with a Solemn High Mass for the feast of All Saints, celebrated
by Father Delsorte, assisted at the altar by Fathers Ortiz and Frament.
Holy Souls day was celebrated this year on Monday November 3, with
a High Mass, as well as all the other Masses, as each priest celebrated
three Masses on this day. The cards containing the names of all
the Seminary’s deceased friends and benefactors, and deceased
relatives and friends were all placed on the altar for the month
November 6, the Ignatian exercises came to their end, and Father
Delsorte departed for Sydney before going back to New Zealand. The
seminarians were all very grateful for his visit, and for his expertise
in preaching Ignatian retreats.
12 was the day for the first all day community hike for the third
term. It was organized by Father Bourmaud in the Bungonia National
Park, and involved a demanding hike, descending into the steep gorge
of the Shoalhaven River, walking alongside the river for several
miles, and then climbing back up to the end point, where a barbecue
was appreciated by everybody.
The month was
a busy month of studies for the seminarians and of work for the
lay helpers. No less than four skilled tradesmen came to help us
in the innumerable maintenance, remodeling and repair projects around
the Seminary. Mr. Steve Ashelford and Mr. Jeff Madsen, have all
but finished the newly remodeled priest’s office and bedroom
in the Sacred Heart wing, soon to be occupied by Father Bourmaud.
Mr. Madsen has also been working in St. Joseph House, and has stripped
all the downstairs level of the dry wall and finish that is falling
apart, in preparation for the remodeling to begin. Together with
Brother Joseph, they have also started in building a large storage
area that corresponds to the three bays in the large car port at
the back of the Seminary. The main items that have been placed in
St. Joseph’s House will be stored in this storage area.
Mr. John Porsha
spent one week with us working on the electrical wiring of the school
building. He replaced the main wires leading to the junction box,
and from there to the classrooms. Meanwhile, Mr. Liam Cadigan spent
several weeks with us working on replacing the rotten wood in the
windows in the main building.
Gerard Tyler was able to bring his project to completion. Having
erected an attractive arbor for climbing roses at the entrance to
the Seminary, on November 19 he helped pour the cement for the concrete
footpath that now leads up to the Seminary’s main entrance.
He also planted pencil pines for decoration.
During this month also, our volunteer cooks, Mr. & Mrs. Noel
Mosen were forced to resign on account of ill health. The Seminary
is very grateful for their many months of hard work. Providence
provided a replacement, Mr. Guy Finnie, an experienced cook, who
started working full time as of Tuesday November 25. His efforts
are also very much appreciated.
An all night
of adoration was held on Saturday November 29 through till Sunday
November 30. It was the customary all night adoration that prepares
for the time of Advent.
The feast of
St. Therese of the Child Jesus, secondary patron of Australia, fell
on Friday October 3, during the Seminarians’ vacation. Nevertheless,
the Mass was sung by the seminarians who were present. The others
returned from their vacation the following day, Saturday October
4. The following night, Sunday October 5, the Rector picked up at
Canberra airport the Superior General, H.E. Bishop Bernard Fellay,
for his two yearly visit to the Seminary. This time he was accompanied
by the Society’s General Bursar, Father Eméric Baudot.
They stayed five days, until the following Friday October 10.
Classes for all seminarians resumed on Monday October 6 for the
beginning of the third trimester of the year. Then on Tuesday October
7 they were suspended for the Major Seminarians, so that they could
assist at a day of recollection preached by the Superior General
himself on the Minor Orders (available from the Seminary on CD &
Wednesday October 8 was reserved for Confirmations. Seven children
received the sacrament of Confirmation after a Pontifical Low Mass.
In addition the four Indian seminarians elected to receive a conditional
Confirmation, due to doubts concerning the validity of the Novus
Ordo confirmations. After the ceremony, the Bishop attended a little
reception in his honor organized by the faithful from the Seminary.
Also on that day arrived the newly completed set of Pontifical High
Mass vestments that Miss Sue Evans had been working on for the past
Thursday October 9 was the day for the Pontifical High Mass of ordination.
The new vestments were grandiose and majestic, and certainly worthy
of a grand ceremony. During the Seminary five seminarians received
Minor Orders. The three seminarians in third year, namely Michael
Johnson, Michael Lavin and Christopher Curtis, receive the first
Minor Orders, that is those of Porter and the Lector. Two of the
Seminarians in fourth year, Gerald Fallarcuna and Albert Ghela,
receive the second Minor Orders, namely those of Exorcist and Acolyte.
Mr. Roy Dolotina, who had already received these orders in Ecône
was M.C. for the ceremony. During his stay Bishop Fellay was also
able to give two spiritual conferences on the relations between
Rome and the Society (available on C.D. and cassette).
October 7, the job of replacing the numerous broken windows in the
Seminary buildings was completed, at a cost of $4,000. It was, however,
month, the bulk of the work on the new priest’s office and
bedroom were completed. This was a remodeling of an unused part
of the building, that had fallen into a state of complete disrepair.
Mr. Jeff Madsen, who had come down from Queensland to start work
on the remodeling of St. Joseph’s House, was asked to help
complete this project first. Presently, Father Frament is in temporary
accommodations. Father Bourmaud will take the new room, ideally
located for an Ignatian retreat master, and Father Frament will
take his room.
October 25, Brother Bernadine taught two of the Seminarians how
to slaughter, skin and cut up two of our sheep, enabling the Seminary
in some small way to live off its own produce.
On the feast
of Christ the King, Sunday October 26, 7 seminarians were privileged
to be invited to sing the Mass of Christ the King organized by St.
Joseph and Child Jesus Church in Rockdale. This year the public
procession of the Blessed Sacrament in honor of Christ the King,
was presided over by H.E. Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General
of the Society.
On Monday October
27, a ten day Ignatian retreat began here at the Seminary. It is
a part of the spiritual formation for the first year seminarians,
all six of whom followed the retreat. Father Michael Delsorte kindly
agreed to fly over from Wanganui, New Zealand, to direct this retreat,
in which he was assisted by Father Ortiz, director of the year of
spirituality here at Holy Cross.
The first important
event of this month was the feast of our holy patron saint, Saint
Pius X on Wednesday September 3. The Solemn High Mass was celebrated
by Father Ortiz, assisted at the altar by Fathers Scott and Frament.
He preached on the greatness of St. Pius X, as explained in Pope
Pius XII’s 1954 decree of canonization. The seminarians were
especially glad to have a day off from classes in honor of our holy
patron. On Thursday September 4, the Seminarians sung the monthly
Requiem Mass for the repose of the souls of the Seminary’s
deceased friends and benefactors. On Friday September 5 the Rector
left for Tynong, where he preached a recollection for 31 Third Order
6 was the day of a mini working bee. The seminary had been donated
fallen timber for firewood, but had only a few days to cut it. So
several chain saws and willing hands of parishioners and seminarians,
under the direction of Brother Joseph, were able to cut and pile
about 20 tons of wood.
8, feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was celebrated
by a Missa Cantata celebrated in the morning. That afternoon Mr.
Frank Carleton gave a conference to the Seminarians on some personalities
of the Benedictine foundation in Sydney during the first half of
the 19th century, in particular Abbot Henry Gregory and Bishop Charles
The end of
the week was marked by preparations for the annual Family Weekend
celebrations. Not the least of these preparations was the construction
of a handsome frame for climbing roses as an entrance to the chapel.
Seminarian Gerard Tyler was responsible.
13, first day of the family weekend, was the Solemnity of Our Lady
of Sorrows. The Solemn High Mass was celebrated by Father Ortiz,
in the presence of an excellent attendance of around 100 faithful,
in addition to the community. It was followed by a procession in
honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, carrying a statue suitably adorned
on a bier. At the end of the procession all present made the consecration
of Holy Cross Seminary to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, according
to the formula used for the consecration of the Society of Saint
Pius X to the Immaculate Heart at Ecône on December 8, 1984.
Afterwards all joined the Seminary for lunch in the Refectory, an
enjoyable occasion that would have been a disaster if it had not
been for Mr. Mosen, cook’s ingenuity. In fact overnight one
of our refrigerators failed, and all the meat and food prepared
for this luncheon had spoiled. Yet fast work and many hands were
able to repeat the previous day’s preparation in the two hours
that preceded the Mass.
At 3:00 p.m.
Father Scott delivered a conference on the Virtues of St. Pius X,
in honor of the centennial anniversary of his election to the Papacy
on August 4, 1903. Cassettes and CDs are available. Then at 5:00
p.m. Solemn Vespers was celebrated, followed by Exposition of the
Blessed Sacrament for all night adoration, both faithful and seminarians
signing up for hours of adoration and reparation.
14 was the Seminary’s patronal feast day, feast of the Exaltation
of the Holy Cross. Father Scott celebrated the Solemn High Mass,
assisted at the altar by Fathers Bourmaud and Adrian. He preached
on the necessity of being not just friends of Holy Cross Seminary,
but friends of the Cross itself. The Mass was followed by a Solemn
Procession with the relic of the True Cross around the Seminary
and its grounds, following by blessing with this relic. Apart from
the strong winds, the morning was a great success. The Mass was
attended by some 150 faithful, including many families, and many
who came from Child Jesus and St. Joseph church in Rockdale.
to follow was marred by increasingly cold, blustery and inclement
weather, that sent the faithful to take shelter under the Seminary
verandahs. The rain that eventually turned to hail did not deter
the soccer fanatics from their annual game. This year it was a three
way challenge, Visitors vs. Seminarians. Much to the chagrin of
the Seminarians, who had been practicing, and of their coach Father
Bourmaud, it was the visitors who took the cup.
15, feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, meant back to class for the final
week of the second term. It was after the High Mass on Sunday September
21 that the Seminarians took off for their well-earned Spring break.
On Monday September
22, it was the opportunity for 24 women to take advantage of the
Seminary peace and calm. They assisted at a five day Ignatian retreat,
preached by Fathers Scott and Bourmaud, finishing up on the Saturday
afternoon, September 27. They kept the silence like angels, and
all agreed that they received many graces and inspirations during
these blessed times of prayer and meditation.
That very same
evening of September 27 the five Sisters of the Society of Saint
Pius X from Rockdale arrived at the Seminary to begin their annual
six day retreat. This year it was preached by Father Juan-Carlos
29, feast of St. Michael the Archangel, was the annual feast of
the Brothers of the Society. Although many of the Seminarians were
away on vacation, it was celebrated with solemnity at Holy Cross,
for on that day Brother Xavier pronounced his first vows in the
Society of Saint Pius X. The Rector celebrated the Solemn High Mass,
assisted at the altar by Fathers Frament and Adrian, preaching on
the purifying power of religious vows as a second baptism. Brother
Bernadine also renewed his vows on that day. During the same ceremony
one of the children who attends Mass at the Seminary, 7 year old
Isaac Moore, received his First Holy Communion.
Taking of the Cassock
Photos of the
taking of the cassock for 6 Seminarians, in Holy Cross Seminary,
Australia on August 15, 2003...more
The month began
with the First Friday votive Mass of the Sacred Heart, sung in the
morning, and the Holy Hour of reparation to the Sacred Heart in
the evening. The last of the Minor Examinations for the Major Seminarians
also took place on August 1, namely in Liturgy I & II.
4 was the first day of a three day break in classes for the Major
Seminarians. This gave them the time to study intensely for the
Major Examinations, namely in Metaphysics, Cosmology, Apologetics,
Dogma I & II and Moral Theology. The first of these exams was
on Thursday August 7, with the written exams being followed by a
viva voce interrogation for all those students in Philosophy
and Theology. They continued on August 8 & 11.
began their exams on Saturday August 9, and then continued them
on August 11, 12 & 13, writing at the end quite fatigued by
the close series of examinations, two hours in length, up to three
in one day. It was a new experience for most of them.
On August 12,
13 & 14 Father Edward MacDonald preached the mid-year retreat
to all the Major Seminarians, six of whom were to receive the cassock
on August 15, and five others of whom are preparing to receive Minor
Orders in October. Brother Xavier, who is preparing for his first
vows also assisted at this retreat, during which Father MacDonald
preached on the fundamental questions of eternity, purification
of the soul and the life of grace.
August 13 we were blessed by the arrival of an additional priest
to join the community of Holy Cross Seminary, Father Adrian of St.
Joseph Wee, Discalced Carmelite. He flew in from Singapore to stay
at the Seminary, having recently made the decision to cease the
Novus Ordo Mass, and join up with Tradition. On Thursday
August 14, Father Bourmaud preached a day of recollection to the
15, feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin into heaven, was
a great day for the Seminary. At the Solemn High Mass celebrated
by the Rector the six first year seminarians received their blessed
ecclesiastical habit, or cassock, sign of their death to the world,
without which they could not give themselves to God. The ceremony
was attended by around 70 parishioners from the Seminary and from
Rockdale and Albury chapels, as well as the Sisters of the Society
of Saint Pius X in Rockdale. After the Mass a reception was held
in the Refectory to which all were invited. After the feast prepared
by Mr. Noel Mosen, the Seminary cook, the Seminarians put on a variety
of musical and humorous recitals. Included in these were two performances
of Shakespeare by the Seminarians, one from Romeo and Juliet, and
one from Macbeth. Mr. McDonnell had trained them well, and all were
edified by their performance.
18 was a day of recreation to follow the examinations. The entire
community went hiking along the box trail near Mittagong, followed
by the usual soccer game afterwards. The Seminary also saw the arrival
of its new and fourth professor, Father Jean-Baptiste Frament, having
just flown in from France to take up his new assignment. He will
be teaching Philosophy, Patrology and History.
for the beginning of the second semester on Tuesday August 19.
Also on Tuesday
August 19, one of our great friends and benefactors come here to
stay. It was Miss Joyce Catherine Kelley from the Rockdale parish,
who had chosen to be buried here at the Seminary cemetery. The funeral
cortege arrived at 1:00 p.m. after the Requiem Mass in Rockdale,
and was met by the community, who accompanied her to the graveside.
Joyce became the fourth person to be buried in the Seminary cemetery.
Also on Tuesday
August 19 arrived a new Seminarian, namely Mervin Chandrapal from
Malaysia. After four months spent at the Brothers’ Novitiate
in Ilo Ilo, he is well prepared to continue his studies and spiritual
formation here at Holy Cross.
On Sunday August
24 a further new Seminarian, the 13th, arrived in the person of
Joel Haxell, eager to begin studies in the intense and spiritual
environment of the Seminary.
On Monday August
25, the major task of painting the exterior windows and walls of
the Seminary got underway. This maintenance had been put off for
several years, the last painting having been done over 15 years
ago. Dunne painting, who painted the Seminary when the Society first
purchased it, worked on this painting project for two weeks solid.
Also on August 25 began the novena in preparation for the feast
of St. Pius X.
August 30, Father Patrick Fox had to be hospitalized, due to an
infection established in a leg wound that he had received while
being x-rayed a few days previously. The Seminary is praying for
his rapid recovery and return home.
This calm month
of intense work and study began with a Solemn High Mass for the
feast of the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ on July 1,
celebrated by Father Ortiz, accompanied at the altar by Fathers
Scott and Bourmaud. The first week of the month also included three
other Sung Masses, for the feast of the Visitation on July 2, and
for the First Friday and First Saturday, on July 4 & 5. Wednesday
July 9 was the day for the monthly Sung Requiem Mass for the repose
of the soul of the Seminary’s deceased faithful friends and
benefactors, sung by the Seminarians’ schola.
18 saw the delivery of 100 tons of coarse gravel. The road into
the Seminary has been for years a track filled with ruts whose only
value is as a speed trap. The gravel was delivered, and then graded
and rolled into place to make for a solid gravel road from the gate
to the house, much to the appreciation of visitors and parishioners,
who are no longer held back by the speed trap!
23 was the first whole day for the community outing for the second
term. The entire community, seminarians, priests and brothers drove
to Fitzroy Falls in the Blue Mountains, where we had a great hike
overlooking spectacular gorges, followed by a barbeque, and the
usual soccer game.
26, feast of St. Anne, saw the first real work towards remodeling
of St. Joseph’s House. It consisted in the cutting down of
a huge plane tree between the school building and the future seminarians’
building. It was encroaching on both buildings, and threatened their
structural integrity, as well as making it impossible to grade the
land so that water would flow away from the buildings. It took three
men, with equipment and two trucks all day to cut the tree down,
and cut it up, and they were not able to work on the stump. The
wood is not dry, but is stored for future heat of the Seminary.
On the same
day our architect, Mr. Nick Proscurin, arrived with the final plans,
ready to be submitted to the local council for approval for the
On July 26,
feast of St. Anne, we also finished the novena to Archbishop Lefebvre
for the miraculous cure of 14 year old Jessica Memmolo, that we
had recited at the Seminary, in union with Child Jesus and St. Joseph
in Rockdale, of which she is a member.
On Sunday July
27 a new seminarian, Brendan Dunne, arrived just in time for the
weekly soccer match in the afternoon after lunch. He is trying out
the Seminary, to determine whether or not it is God’s will
for him to receive his high school education here, bringing the
number of seminarians to 11.
On Monday July
28 the Examinations for the Major Seminarians began with exams in
Canon Law, Scripture and Latin. They were followed by other exams
on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. This was the last week of classes
for the Major Seminarians, before a three day study break in preparation
for the Major examinations at the end of the First Semester.
On Monday June
2, the Seminary chanted a High Requiem Mass for the repose of the
souls of our friends and benefactors who have passed on. It was
also a special day for our Seminarians, since their schola made
its debut, singing the Requiem Mass alone, and very well. Six of
the Seminarians, with good voice and an aptitude form the Seminarians’
schola. However, all the Seminarians study and practice chant, with
classes lasting 30 minutes four days a week. In addition, six of
them are studying organ accompaniment, so that they can learn to
accompany the Divine Offices, such as High Mass, Vespers and Compline.
June 3, we welcomed the visit of Mr. Christopher Brown, professor
of Latin from the University of Kentucky in Lexington. He is a specialist
in the Orberg method of teaching Latin, which we have been using
at the Seminary for the past six months. It is a method that brings
Latin to life, as a language that is actively spoken and written,
and not just read. Mr. Brown was extremely busy for the time that
he was here, given 4 – 5 classes and conferences every day,
divided into four levels. There are two levels among the Seminarians,
namely the beginners, and the more advanced class. Then there is
the class of First Year Major Seminarians, and then finally he gave
four Seminars to the Professors, Latin teachers, and older seminarians
on the teaching of Latin and the Orberg method. His visit was a
great encouragement, and motivated seminarians and faculty alike
to apply themselves with greater diligence to the study of Latin,
in order to be faithful to the encyclical Veterum sapientia
of John XXIII from 1962, which outlines perfectly the Church’s
wisdom and teaching in the matter. His classes lasted for the duration
of his stay at the Seminary, namely from Tuesday June 3 –
Saturday June 7. May God reward him for his sacrifice in coming
such a great distance to teach Latin, and to teach us how to best
June 8, was the last day of the First Term, and so Major and Seminarians
all headed off for two weeks well earned break – taking with
them, of course, their books and homework assignments.
June 15, saw the invasion of the Seminary by 32 men, who started
their 5 day Ignatian retreat with a 4:30 p.m. Mass, celebrated by
Father Ortiz. Fathers Scott and Bourmaud preached the retreat, which
was attended by men from the chapels of Hampton and Tynong in Victoria,
from Rockdale and Singleton in New South Wales and from Oxley in
Queensland. All prayed hard and we were blessed by sunny weather.
However, the men appreciated the effective heat system run by Brother
arrived back at the Seminary on Saturday June 21 after their vacation
break, while the Rector flew across to New Zealand for the annual
feast and procession in honor of St. Anthony in Wanganui, and to
present the Seminary to the parents of the children in the boys’
On Monday June
23, a former seminarian from Holy Cross, who had transferred to
Ecône, returned to Holy Cross to complete his theology. Mr.
Roy Dolotina is from the Philippines. This brought the number of
Major Seminarians up to twelve, three in theology, three in philosophy,
and three in the year of spirituality.
Also on Monday
June 23, the Seminary was privileged by the visit of Mr. Frank Carleton,
historian from Sydney. He gave a very interesting conference to
the Seminarians on the Benedictine foundation in Sydney in the first
half of the 19th century.
High Masses were celebrated during the first week of the second
term, namely for the feast of St. John the Baptist and for the feast
of the Sacred Heart. However, it was a discouraging week for the
Seminarians, since six of their number decided not to continue their
studies. Being older and from a background of home schooling, they
simply were not motivated to achieve the academic excellence that
is essential to the life of the Seminary, and this despite the remedial
classes that were offered to them. They decided not to complete
their high school. However, on Sunday June 29, a new Seminarian
from the U.S. arrived, by the name of Martin Moylan, bringing the
total number of Seminarians to ten.
The month of
May was ushered in by the feast of St. Joseph the Worker, Thursday
May 1, on which day Father Ortiz celebrated a High Mass, sung by
Father Bourmaud and the Seminarians. Throughout the month of May
the community sings the Office of the Rosary before the Blessed
Sacrament every evening. Each decade of the Rosary is announced
by a Gregorian antiphon, and Our Lady is honored by the recitation
of the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
On May 1 also
our architect, Mr. Nick Proscurin, and Brother Joseph, met with
various contractors concerning the heating, plumbing and windows
to be used in the remodeling of the barn for the Seminarians.
May 3 Father Ortiz preached the monthly day of recollection for
First Saturday to the 11 Major Seminarians. He concentrated on the
theme of Paschaltide, and the graces to be obtained during it.
May 8 the Seminary cooks, Mr. & Mrs. Mosen, took delivery of
the caravan that they are now living in, and which is parked in
close proximity to the kitchen in order to facilitate their work.
The following day, Friday May 9 a second hand commercial Hobart
mixer arrived. This expensive piece of equipment is nevertheless
entirely necessary for the efficient running of the Seminary kitchen,
and has already been put to innumerable uses, to increase the variety
and quantity of home made foods that the kitchen can provide.
15 was the exact anniversary to the day of the celebration of the
First public Mass in Australia and in New South Wales, on Sunday
May 15, 1803, by Father Dixon, with the authorization of Governor
King. The Seminary wished to celebrate this great anniversary with
due solemnity, and so the Rector celebrated a Solemn High Mass,
assisted at the altar by the other professors, Fathers Bourmaud
and Ortiz as Deacon and Subdeacon respectively. After the Mass there
was an outdoor procession of the Blessed Sacrament, followed by
Benediction, and the singing of the Te Deum in thanksgiving for
the great grace of the first public Mass.
were frequent during this month, since it contained the Rogation
days, Monday May 26, Tuesday May 27 and Wednesday May 28, at which
the Minor Litanies were sung in procession. The ceremonies on these
three days started early in the morning, with day just dawning,
at 6:30 a.m. The processions went outside to the fields on the Seminary
property, on Monday to bless Engaddi, Father Bourmaud’s vegetable
garden, which is presently in serious need of prayers, and on Tuesday
to the fields to the west, and going down to our much neglected
orchard, and on Wednesday to the south.
May 27, Father Scott made the announcement that the bid for heat
in the barn to be remodeled was to be $33,000. It seems high, but
it includes a wood burning boiler, pipes and plumbing and radiators
in all 22 rooms, as well as the recreation room. This would be the
only efficient and economic way to heat the barn when remodeled.
Since the Seminary does not have these funds, the Rector asked all
to offer up the daily prayer to St. Joseph for that intention, namely
that the Seminary might receive the funds necessary to install a
heat system as part of the remodeling of the barn. Otherwise, it
would have to be omitted. He promised St. Joseph, however, that
if the funds came through, the barn would no longer be known as
the barn, but henceforth as St. Joseph’s house out of gratitude
for his consideration for the Seminarians who have to live in this
The same day,
Brother Joseph fired up the main boiler for the main Seminary building.
It had been previous run on propane gas, but this turned out to
be prohibitively expensive. And so, Brother Joseph converted the
old boiler back to its original use, namely burning wood. It works
well, but will take a considerable amount of wood and work to keep
it going. Any donations of burnable logs would be much appreciated.
was on Ascension Thursday that the Seminary had its longest procession.
For it was this day that was chosen for a pilgrimage to the shrine
of Our Lady of Jasna Gorna of the Pauline Fathers, about one hour
drive north of the Seminary off the Hume Highway just south of Mittagong.
The 34 members of the community were all present, with the exception
of Brother Peter, for whom a place could not be found in our vehicles.
Many of our parishioners also attended, along with a sizable group
from St. Joseph and Child Jesus in Rockdale, bringing the size of
the pilgrimage to 120 persons.
Fathers’ shrine is unique in that they have allowed the construction
of more than 20 traditional chapels on the shrine, all commemorating
the shrines of Christendom, in the mother countries of the pilgrims
who now live in Australia. After processing from the highway to
the shrine grounds, the Rector celebrated a Missa Cantata of Ascension
Thursday on an outdoor altar set up as a shrine to Our Lady. The
pilgrimage procession then continued to visit several of the shrines
in succession: to that of Our Lady of the Rosary to make the consecration
of Pope Pius XII to the Queen of the Holy Rosary, to that of Our
Lady of Fatima to renew Archbishop Lefebvre’s consecration
of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to the grotto of Our
Lady of Lourdes to offer ourselves to Our Lady Help of Christians,
patroness of Australia, to the shrine of St. Therese of the Child
Jesus, secondary patroness of Australia to ask for the grace of
imitating her childlike spirituality, and finally to the shrine
of St. Joseph. In between hymns, and litanies were sung, as well
as the Rosary, all lasting about four hours.
After a break
for a picnic lunch on the very picturesque grounds of the shrine,
all returned to follow the outdoor Way of the Cross found on the
shrine grounds, after which the boys entertained themselves with
the inevitable football games until the Rector called to order,
so that the community could return to the Seminary to sing Solemn
Vespers. It was edifying and encouraging for everybody, and most
agreed that they would come back next year to participate in the
The month came
to an end with the Feast of the Queenship of Mary, Saturday May
31, celebrated at the Seminary by a Missa Cantata, sung by Father
has been a great blessing to Holy Cross Seminary in the few weeks
since he arrived, in the middle of February. He is a master builder,
and is finding ample scope to use all his skills in the maintenance
and improvements to be done at Holy Cross Seminary. One of his first
major projects was repiping the water supply from our main tank
to the cow paddock and chicken pen. We had been losing large quantities
of water, due to leaky pipes.
second project was a quite major one. The Seminary has had for quite
some time a problem of flooding in the St. Ignatius hall, the general
conference room, which is in a half basement. The reason for this
was blocked pipes. Brother’s successful response was the radical:
- installing a whole new system of drainage pipes and a pit to carry
water away from the building. He completed this during the first
half of April.
last week of April Brother discovered and started working on a third
major project. It was the pipes under the floor of the Mater Dei
wing. He discovered that several pipes are badly broken and are
leaking sewage and have been doing so for years, causing smell and
dampness and some structural damage due to sinking of the foundation.
He has put all his efforts into fixing these as soon as possible.
project is the supervision of the remodeling of the barn, that he
is doing along with Rockdale parishioner and architect, Mr. Nick
Proscurin, who is kindly donating his time for this project. The
first meeting with the shire council on April 16 was very successful,
and it seems that the necessary approvals will be rapidly forthcoming.
of our new cook, Mr. Noel Mosen, on April 11, was a most welcome
day. He had taken a short trip back to New Zealand with his wife
to collect their things, before taking up permanent residence at
the Seminary. His professional touch certainly adds to the interior
life of the Seminary in more ways than one, and his presence is
appreciated by all the community members.
April 5, the Rector preached a day of recollection to the 11 Major
Seminarians. It was a preparation for Passiontide, and he took as
his theme, the symbolism of this time in the Church’s year,
in which the contemplation of the reality of Our Lord’s passion
enables us to have a greater participation in His grief for sins,
and a greater understanding of our own ingratitude and wretchedness.
celebrated the blessing of the Palms, the procession and the High
Mass for Palm Sunday on April 13, leading into Holy Week, the great
week in the Church’s year. He also celebrated the Mass of
the Last Supper, assisted at the altar by his two assistants, Fathers
Bourmaud and Ortiz. It was a joyful occasion for seminarians and
faithful alike. It was then Father Bourmaud who celebrated the Good
Friday solemn liturgy, before heading off to Tasmania on Saturday
morning. Father Ortiz celebrated the Easter Vigil and Easter morning
On Easter Sunday
the seminarians were able to leave for one week mid-term break.
However, the Major seminarians stayed behind at the Seminary. After
a one day break from classes on Easter Monday, April 21, they were
immediately back in classes for the rest of the Easter week. The
Seminarians returned to the regularity of Seminary life on Sunday
April 27. However, the Rector had occasion to rebuke them, since
not all had done their vacation assignments, and had to impose lunch
time detentions on them to make up the missing work.
On Monday April
21, Easter Monday, Mr. Steve Ashelford took up the old carpet in
the sanctuary, which had been stuck down around 12 years previously,
and was very worn. A special glue remover was required to cleanse
the attractive tile floor. Then he laid down removable rugs, that
had been purchased by the Rector from a wholesale seller in Melbourne,
thanks to the generosity of several of the Seminary’s parishioners
and benefactors. The matching oriental rugs for the altar, for the
main altar, and for the celebrant’s seat are very attractive,
the deep rug contrasting well with the light colors of the altar.
28 was blessed by the visit of Sydney traditional Catholic, book
expert and historian, Mr. Frank Carleton. He gave a fascinating
90 minute lecture on the first public Mass in Australia, celebrated
in Sydney on Sunday May 15, 1803 by Father Dixon, one of three Irish
priests deported to the colony of New South Wales as convicts, the
others being Fathers O’Neill and Harrald. It was to last less
than one year, until March 1804, after which the Catholics of the
colony had to wait until 1820 to see the resumption of the public
worship of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Recordings of this conference
are available from the Seminary in the form of audio cassettes ($6
each) or CDs ($16 for the set of two CDs).
The month ended
with First Vespers of St. Joseph the Worker on the evening of Wednesday
On Monday March
3 the Seminary received a 17th Seminarian in the person of Garth
McKenna from West Australia. However, at the end of the first week
of March two of the Seminarians decided to leave, not having the
desire to profit from the spiritual life of the Seminary. There
can be no doubt that the daily meditations, Mass, Rosary, and heavy
schedule of classes and chores are all a formidable challenge to
most of the Seminarians. This brought the number back down to the
original number of 15, 12 of whom are now in IGCSE level, and 3
in A level classes.
of March initiated the custom of the singing of the Votive Mass
of the Sacred Heart on First Fridays and that of the Immaculate
Heart of Mary on First Saturdays, much to the delight of the Seminarians
who were able to participate.
The month of
March was blessed by two retreats by two visiting priests. The first
retreat was preached by Father Laisney to the five returning seminarians,
who had all arrived back by Saturday March 8. The retreat was during
the week from March 9 – 15. The second retreat was preached
by Father Daniel Couture, District Superior of Asia, to six new
Major Seminarians in first year, from March 16 – 22. Of those
six new seminarians, four are from India, one from the U.S. and
one from Australia. On Sunday March 9, Ben Campbell from St. Thomas
More chapel in Orlando, Florida arrived at the Seminary and on Saturday
March 15 Jordie Stephens from the chapel of Our Lady of Perpetual
Succor and St. Andrew in Hampton, Victoria. This brought our community
to a total of 15 Seminarians, 11 Major Seminarians, 4 Brothers,
4 Priests, 2 lay workers and 3 teachers. On Friday February 28 we
were also were happy to welcome Mr. Noel Mosen from Wanganui, New
Zealand, and his wife. Mr. Mosen has agreed to be our cook. This
brings our community to 41 members.
First Year's Ignatian Retreat preached by Fr. Couture and Fr. Ortiz
for Melbourne, Father Couture honored the Seminary community and
the parishioners with a fascinating conference on the activities
of the Asian missions, together with a slide show of his various
voyages. He gave it on Sunday March 9.
The end of
March saw one of our Seminarians leaving for health reasons, but
another young lad joining us, keeping the number of Seminarians
still at 15. The new member of our community is Jeremy Stratton
and seminarians alike are getting used to this year’s schedule.
Classes for the Major Seminarians in years 2 – 4 started on
Monday March 17 and those for the Seminarians on Monday March 24.
The schedule is more hectic for the Professors than last year, given
that they have quite a few additional classes to give. For this
year that the Seminary has Spirituality, Philosophy and Theology
students, whereas last year there were only Philosophy students.
19 was a day off classes for both Major and Seminarians. The feast
of St. Joseph is a Holy Day of Obligation in the universal Church
and is always celebrated as such in the Society’s seminarians.
Father Couture celebrated the Solemn High, assisted by Fathers Scott
and Fox, whereas Fathers Bourmaud and Ortiz helped the seminarians
out with the chant.
25 was also a great feast day for the Seminary, given that it was
on this day of the Annunciation that the mystery of the Incarnation
was accomplished. A Solemn High Mass was celebrated by Father Ortiz,
and Solemn First and Second Vespers were sung, as for all first
March 27, Father Bourmaud sang a Votive Mass of the Holy Ghost,
with which the Seminary year customarily begins. Before the Mass
the Seminary Professors all recited together in Latin the Tridentine
Profession of Faith, followed by the Anti-modernist oath.
is grateful for the 5 men and 10 women who volunteered their time
to come to the working bee on Saturday March 29. Two of the large
walk-in refrigerators, were cleaned, scoured and repainted, as well
as much of our large kitchen, and other jobs were accomplished.
The month of
February at Holy Cross started off in a very busy way. 12 Seminarians
had arrived to start the first and new year for the Seminary on
Saturday February 1. Three more arrived during the following week.
Then the very next day, Sunday February 2, 22 Third Order Carmelite
retreatants arrived to begin their annual retreat. For the following
week the house was filled to the gills, with four of the Seminarians
having to stay in the barn, and the volunteer cooks having to board
with friends of the Seminary.
view of the 15 seminarians together with instructor Mr. Des McDonnell
the left, instructor Mr. Bill Pointing on the right, alongside the
On Sunday February 2, the Seminary could not perform the usual Candlemas
ceremonies. The Seminary professors were all out helping with the
apostolate. This left our venerable 87 year old guest, Father Patrick
Fox, to officiate. Father Fox is a Vincentian priest who has never
celebrated the New Mass, and is now in the 63rd year of his priesthood.
Having recently closed up his Mass center in East Linfield, a Sydney
suburb, he requested to come and spend this school year at Holy
Cross Seminary, while his own religious house is being remodeled.
At the same time, he has agreed to teach History to the Seminarians.
His impeccable memory and long experience will aid him greatly,
for he taught Church History at the Seminary of his order in New
Zealand from 1947 until 1964.
On the evening
of February 2, a second Mass was celebrated for the Third Order
Carmelites, arriving to do their retreat. There were 16 women and
6 men. They were all lodged in Sacred Heart wing of the Seminary.
Father Black preached their retreat to them, finishing up on Saturday
morning February 8.
Third Order Carmelites
Meanwhile, the Seminarians were lodged in Mater Dei wing, which
they will henceforth share with the brothers. The overflow of four
Seminarians had to stay in the barn for the first two weeks of February.
Their school year began on February 3 with a short two day retreat
following the method of St. Ignatius, preached by the Rector, who
is also their Religion instructor. During the first week of the
school year the 15 Seminarians, and three Brothers used the chapel
of Our Lady for their prayers, Masses and Divine Office. However,
it was quite overcrowded and the community was delighted to be able
to move down to the main chapel at the end of the Carmelite retreat
for the second week of the school term.
began on February 5, but on that very day the father of one of our
teachers passed away. Mr. Cullinan was a very pious traditional
Catholic and died a holy death, being buried out of the Society’s
new Corpus Christi church in Tynong, Victoria. Miss Florence Cullinan
teaches History, English, Latin and other remedial subjects as needed.
It was providential that during the several days that she had to
take off for her father’s funeral, a father of a Seminarian,
Mr. Nienaber, visiting from the U.S., was able to take her place
in the classroom.
started the year with an excellent attitude, determined to live
the full Seminary rule, along with daily meditation, Mass, Rosary,
Gregorian Chant and Divine Office. The silence is the biggest mortification
for them, but is absolutely essential to the life of the Seminary.
Their studies are intense, since classes go from 9:00 a.m. until
4:15 p.m. and this is followed by study hall until 6:30 p.m. However,
they do have one hour a day of organized sports, as well as Wednesday
afternoons free to go on a supervised outing. It will take a while
for the Seminarians to get used to the routine elements of Seminary
life, such as the recitation of the Divine Office, and the numerous
kitchen and other chores that are a part of the functioning of any
Behrtel, father of two boys at the Seminary, with Fr. Scott,
standing in front of the new pigeon boxes for distribution of mail
built by him during the week he stayed at the Seminary.
On Sunday February 9 the Seminary’s catechism classes resumed.
They will continue to be held every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month.
Three different levels of classes are held for the children who
attend Mass at the Seminary, given by the brothers and seminarians.
The Rector gives the adult catechism classes. These latter classes
are recorded and are available on audio cassette (A$5 each) and
CD (A$10 each).
life of the Seminary continued the following week with a 5 day Ignatian
retreat for women starting on Monday February 10, and going until
Saturday February 15. It was preached by Fathers Scott and Ortiz,
and was attended by 11 women from the parishes in Hampton, Tynong,
Rockdale, Wanganui, New Zealand and from the Seminary chapel itself.
February 15, just as the women retreatants were leaving, sanctified
by the retreat, the Seminary received two welcome additions to the
community. The first was Brother Joseph, the oldest of the Society’s
brothers in Australia, who entered the Brothers of the Society in
1984, and has been stationed in Rockdale every since. His addition
has brought bring the community of Brothers to four members, the
other brothers being Brother Peter, Brother Bernadine and Brother
Xavier. The community life of Brothers is essential to their vocation
and to the good and survival of the Seminary. The well formed and
established community of four brothers will help a great deal. Brother
Joseph has been reassigned to Holy Cross Seminary to help with the
supervision of the Seminarians and also to take over the incredibly
challenging task of maintaining these old and rundown buildings.
He will be looking for all the volunteer help he can find in this
challenging task. He will also be teaching the Seminarians their
weekly woodworking and construction class, as well as his responsibilities
for their supervision. The second addition was Anthony Garner, who
arrived two weeks late to join the Seminary. He was the sixteenth
Seminarian to arrive.
On Monday February
17, Father Bourmaud returned from his vacation to France and from
his participation in the Priests’ Meeting organized for the
District of Asia the preceding week in Manila. He immediately went
to work, preaching the annual retreat to the four brothers, which
took place from Monday February 17 – Saturday February 23.
Sunday afternoon February 23 additional black cassocks could be
seen around the Seminary. Most of the priests from Australia and
New Zealand were arriving for their annual priests’ retreat,
which was to start the following day, Monday February 24. Father
François Laisney preached the retreat. He is presently the
Prior at Our Lady’s church in Hampton, and was the Society’s
General Bursar until last August. In all 12 priests assisted at
this retreat, arranged by the District Superior, Father Edward Black;
two from New Zealand, six from the Society’s priories in Australia,
the three Seminary priests, and Father Pragash Suresh from India,
who is presently stationed in South Africa, and who came the farthest
distance for the retreat. The retreat finished at Noon at Saturday
The New Year
at Holy Cross Seminary started with the singing of the Veni Creator
at midnight. Two days of rest was all that the Seminary had before
the arrival of 25 boys, aged 7 – 14 years, along with several
adult supervisors who were to kindly donate 10 days of their time
for the success of the summer camp. Father Bourmaud, together with
Brothers Bernadine and Xavier and seminarian Mr. Curtis guaranteed
the spiritual direction and the strict discipline in the camp, from
morning prayers and Mass and morning line up until night prayers
and lights out.
well as the catechism instructions and prayers, there were numerous
games, long and short, sing-a-longs and a presentation of skits
on the last night of the camp, Saturday January 11. Amongst the
games was an overnight camp in the bush along the Shoalhaven river,
much appreciated by the campers.
On Holy Cross Seminary grounds St. Michael's Boys Camp was
organised early January for ten days brushup on all that
concerns bodily and spiritual health. The soul was cared
after by daily prayers, rosary, Mass, catechism and liturgical
The body was duly cared for by our three Samoan cooks. Whatever
was gained at the table was burnt up within the day by unceasing
sport and game activity in the seminary campus. The most
part of the time was spent in jogging, hiking and waterpoling
The boys also during recreation learnt Australian folk songs.
The staff members, engrossed by the influx of parents, were
entertained by the last evening concert and presentation.
Having accepted an invitation to a pillow fight, the instructors
and children's fathers stormed the boys dormitory to restore
order in a
45 min. combat.
January 7 Mr. McDonnell arrived at the Seminary, together with his
wife. He will be teaching humanities subjects (Latin, English, Literature
and History) to the students in the seminary, when it opens its
doors at the beginning of February. His house was not quite ready,
but within a couple of day the interior had been sufficiently finished
that he could move in.
On Friday January
10, Miss Florence Cullinan agreed to teach at the Seminary. In addition,
on January 24 Mr. Stephen McInerney agreed to teach English literature
to the A level students, bringing to four the number of teachers
for the 16 boys enrolled for the seminary. May God bless our teachers
for their many and generous sacrifices on behalf of our young men.
11 was a men’s working bee. Eleven men took part in the work,
which was mainly directed at the finishing the teacher’s house
and the classrooms to be used by the seminarians. The exterior of
the school verandah was painted, and much progress was made towards
finishing the one classroom that had not yet been finished. The
floor was repaired, and new dry wall was placed on the ceiling and
the painting begun. Unfortunately a sad accident marred the day,
since one of the volunteers, Mr. Matthew McAuliffe fell off a scaffolding,
seriously cutting his hand and requiring microsurgery to it. Pray
that he might have rapid and full recovery, since the full use of
his hands are necessary to the support of his young family.
On Monday January
13, the second Ignatian retreat for the summer began. It was preached
to 29 women by Fathers Bourmaud and Becker. After a one week respite
the third Ignatian retreat was preached to 17 men by Fathers Scott
and Ortiz, starting on Sunday January 26. Both retreats were a great
success, although hard work for the seminarians spending their summer
“break” at the Seminary.
The ladies working
bee was a great success. It started on Monday January 20, and had
to be extended for an additional day. A team of 15 women cleaned
and repainted the kitchen, much to the delight of the Seminary cook,
Brother Bernadine. The next working bee, a one day working bee for
both men and women, was set for Saturday March 29.
January 30 the first of the seminarians began to arrive, gearing
up for the school year to start the following Saturday.
Index of Seminary events
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