Holy Cross Seminary

Past Events


On Wednesday 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.

Father Frament 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.

Meanwhile the 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.

During the 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 of November.

On Thursday 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.

Wednesday November 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.

Meanwhile Seminarian 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.

H.E. Bishop Bernard Fellay

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 & cassette).

Bishop Fellay meets with priests and parishioners

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 10 months.

Bishop Fellay and Confirmation recipients

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).

On Tuesday 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, necessary maintenance.

During this 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.

On Saturday 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 members.

Saturday September 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.

Monday September 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 Davis.

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.

Saturday September 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.

Sunday September 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.

The picnic 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.

Monday September 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 Ortiz.

Monday September 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.

Monday August 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.

The Seminarians 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.

On Wednesday 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 Seminarians.

Friday August 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.

Monday August 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.

Classes resumed 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.

On Saturday 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.

JULY 2003

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.

Friday July 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!

Wednesday July 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.

Saturday July 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 remodeling project.

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.

JUNE 2003

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.

Mr. Christopher Brown

Mr. Christopher Brown

On Tuesday 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 teach Latin.

Pentecost Sunday, 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.

Trinity Sunday, 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 Joseph.

The Seminary 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’ high school.

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.

Two Solemn 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.

MAY 2003

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.

On Saturday 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.

On Thursday 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.

Thursday May 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.

Outdoor processions 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.

On Tuesday 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 chilly climate.

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.

However, it 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.

The Pauline 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 pilgrimage.

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 Ortiz.

APRIL 2003

Brother Joseph 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.

Brother’s 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.

During the 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.

His fourth 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.

The return 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.

On Saturday 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.

The Rector 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 High Mass.

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.

Monday April 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 April 30.

MARCH 2003

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.

This month 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.

The First Year's Ignatian Retreat preached by Fr. Couture and Fr. Ortiz

Before leaving 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 from Queensland.

Meanwhile professors 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.

Wednesday March 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.

Tuesday March 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 class feasts.

On Thursday 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.

The Seminary 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.

The 15 minor seminarians

A view of the 15 seminarians together with instructor Mr. Des McDonnell on
the left, instructor Mr. Bill Pointing on the right, alongside the seminary rector.

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.

The 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.

Classes proper 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.

The Seminarians 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 large household.

Mr. 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).

The intense 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.

On Saturday 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.

Already on 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 March 1.


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.

However, as 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.

camp pillow fight  
camp pillow fight

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 practice.
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 excursions.
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.

On Tuesday 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.

Saturday January 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.

On Thursday January 30 the first of the seminarians began to arrive, gearing up for the school year to start the following Saturday.

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Holy Cross Seminary, Goulburn, Australia