The month of
December started with a Solemn High Requiem Mass for the repose
of the soul of Father Santiago Hughes from the Philippines. He had
worked with the Society for several years before passing away on
November 29, and had been directly responsible for the vocation
of one of our new deacons, Reverend Mr. Gerald Fallarcuna.
We also had
the blessing on the first day of the month of the arrival of a new
seminarian, this time from Indonesia, Christian Warella. It is a
great grace to receive a vocation from our northern neighbor that
has so few Catholics. May God grant him perseverance.
On Friday December
3rd, the Seminary celebrated with solemnity the feast of St. Francis
Xavier, patron of Australia, as also other mission lands. His patronage
and his feast are important to our missionary Seminary, and a great
consolation, especially to our 5 Indian and one Japanese seminarians.
4th was the day for the final monthly day of recollection preached
at the Seminary for 2004. It was preached by the Rector, whose principal
object was to prepare six seminarians to make their first oblation
or engagement in the Society of Saint Pius X, and another six seminarians
to renew their engagements.
6th saw the funeral and burial in our cemetery of one of our local
parishioners, Mrs. Betty Moore, accompanied to her grave by her
13 living children and their families, as well as by the Seminarians,
who sung the Requiem Mass for the repose of her soul.
8th was a great feast day for us in the Society of Saint Pius X.
It is on this day that the seminarians and priests renew their oblations,
until such time as they can make them for life. The Solemn High
Mass for their engagements was celebrated by the Rector. It was
followed by our end of year hike and outdoor barbecue. The Seminarians,
priests and brothers all traveled to Mittagong for the picnic, and
were met there by the priests from the Rockdale priory, Fathers
Robinson and Valan.
Minor Examinations for the Major Seminarians began on Tuesday December
7th, and continued in the evenings until the end of classes on Wednesday
December 15. They included Latin, Liturgy, Sacred Scripture, History,
Patrology and Canon Law.
The last day
of classes for the Seminarians was Friday December 10. Their
final examinations for the year ran all the following week, from
Monday December 13 until Friday December 17. A little celebration
on the evening of Thursday December 16 brought the school year to
a suitable end. It was the suitable opportunity to thank Miss Florence
Cullinan for her two years of devoted and generous service to Holy
Cross Seminary, and to assure her of our prayers as she tries
her religious vocation with the Franciscan Sisters of the Convent
of Christ the King in Kansas City, Missouri.
The Major Seminarians’
Major Examinations took place from December 21 – 23. As well
as the written papers, they had to sit oral examinations in the
major subjects. The ability to present the material verbally is
a sign of truly mastering their theology and philosophy.
year ended with 18 Seminarians, 3 pre-Seminarians, one Brother
Postulant and 16 Major Seminarians. The Seminarians left on
Saturday December 18, but the Major Seminarians and pre-Seminarians
stayed for the great feast of the Nativity.
24, Vigil of the Nativity, was a hive of activity, with cleaning,
end of year chores, and the construction of a large nativity scene.
The Matins was celebrating solemnly, starting at 9:45 p.m. All the
responsories were sung in Gregorian Chant for the first time. Father
Bourmaud officiated at the midnight Mass, and again at the Day Mass,
both of which were Solemn High Masses, thanks to the presence of
the new deacons. The other priests were out on the missions –
Father Scott inTasmania, Father Ortiz in Albury and Father Frament
in New Caledonia.
26 was the day set for the beginning of the first of the four Ignatian
retreats to dot the summer horizon at Holy Cross. It was preached
by Fathers Scott and Ortiz, and was attended by 20 men, with seminarians
and brothers providing for all the services necessary for the success
of the retreat. It ended, along with the year, with the singing
of the Te Deum on Friday afternoon, December 31.
The first week
of the month of November was one of great blessings for Holy Cross
Seminary. H.E. Bishop Tissier de Mallerais arrived from Sydney on
the night of the feast of Christ the King in preparation for the
ordinations to the Subdiaconate, which took place on Monday November
1, feast of All Saints. This was a first in the history of the Seminary,
since ordinations to the Subdiaconate have never taken place here
This is the
first of the Major Orders, and the one to which the vow of perfect
and perpetual chastity is attached, along with the obligation of
the daily recitation of the Breviary. The step forward by our three
Philippino seminarians, Reverends Gerald Fallarcuna, Albert Ghela
and Roy Dolotina, was a momentous one. The ceremony was attended
by friends and parishioners, notably those from Child Jesus and
St. Joseph church in Rockdale. That afternoon Solemn Pontifical
Vespers were sung, with one of the new subdeacons performing function
de Mallerais spent the rest of the week at Holy Cross, giving spiritual
conferences to the Seminarians. On Wednesday November 3 three concomitant
retreats began, one for the seminarians to be tonsured, a second
for those to receive the Minor Orders of Exorcist and Acolyte and
a third for those to be ordained to the Diaconate. The Seminary
professors helped the Bishop with these, finishing up on Friday
November 6, was the big day of ordinations, for on that day the
two Redemptorist Brothers received the clerical tonsure, three fourth
year seminarians received the orders of the Exorcistate and Acolytate
and the three new Subdeacons received the Diaconate, having received
the dispensation from the interval normally required between the
two Major Orders. The chapel was filled with friends and parishioners
for the joyful Pontifical High Mass that saw so many of our seminarians
climb up towards the altar and receive a greater power in the Church.
the night of the ordinations, one of the new deacons was able to
perform function of deacon at the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
Then on November 7, we had our first Solemn High Sunday Mass, as
is prescribed by the rule, and so appropriate and necessary in a
Seminary. Hitherto it had not bee possible. It was a very moving
High Mass, with the new deacons assisting the Rector at the Altar,
and the church filled with faithful singing with all their hearts
the well known Common Orbis factor and the Propers of the Mass of
the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost. Rarely is seen and felt the uplifting
power of the liturgy celebrated in all its beauty on a regular Sunday
10 was the day for the Seminary’s monthly excursion. The entire
community participated on this hike, which had as its terminus the
Wombeyan caves, in the nearby Blue Mountains National Park. The
seminarians divided themselves up into three groups, one for the
most energetic hikers, one for the still energetic hikers, and one
for the bikers.
Since the Seminary
has received the donation of around 20 bicycles, it has become possible
for the seminarians to go on bicycle rides as a group, which they
enjoy. At the end was a good barbecue picnic, on the Seminary’s
new portable gas barbecue, with sausages made at the Seminary from
our own beef. There was, however, a slight incident. Racing down
the steep mountains sides, and going too fast on a curve, one of
the Indian seminarians came off his bicycles, scraping his face
and hand. Thanks be to God it was not serious, and with a couple
of simple treatments all healed perfectly well.
24 was a full day hike and break for the Seminarians. They
went to their favorite private spot on the Shoalhaven river, when
they swam and played water polo, and became quite sunburned. They
now have to gear up for the last three weeks of classes in preparation
for the final internal examinations, that will start on Monday December
During the month
of November, the work on the double-layer gyp rock in St. Joseph’s
house continued, both upstairs and downstairs, along with a host
of minor projects, including the framing and construction of a fire
proof box to surround the chimney of the wood fired heating stove
that was fitted into the recreation room down stairs.
month of the Rosary we celebrated every day the Office of the Rosary,
namely the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, with the recitation
of five decades of the Rosary, each one introduced by a Gregorian
antiphon, and followed by the recitation of the Litany of the Blessed
Virgin Mary and the prayer to St. Joseph.
returned from their vacation on Saturday October 2, to start the
third and final term of the year. All returned, with the exception
of one Seminarian, bringing our numbers for the third term
to 17 Major Seminarians, 1 Brother Postulant, 3 pre-Seminarians
and 17 Seminarians: a total of 38 students, instructed by
four priests, four brothers and three lay teachers.
The first day
back, Sunday October 3, was the feast of St. Therese of the Child
Jesus, celebrated with great solemnity as is appropriate for a first
class patron in a mission country. The monthly day of recollection
was preached by Father Ortiz on Saturday October 9.
On Sunday October
24, Father Karl Pepping arrived from Tynong. He began the 6 day
retreat in preparation for the subdiaconate that night, preaching
to the three future subdeacons on the importance of the Divine Office,
the priest the man of prayer, and the spirituality of the vow of
perfect chastity. The retreat finished at lunch time on Saturday
October 30, allowing Father Pepping to return to Tynong for First
Communions, and the seminarians to participate in the Pontifical
High Mass and Procession for the feast of Christ the King in Rockdale.
In fact all three future subdeacons are in the Seminary schola,
which sung the Pontifical High Mass at the Rockdale town hall and
the procession to Child Jesus and St. Joseph church on October 31.
Meanwhile work has continued to advance on the St. Joseph House.
The electricians finished all the wiring, and the plumbers the interior
plumbing. The carpenters finished up all the supports, and the two
layers of specially fire rated gyp rock were attached to the ceilings
upstairs by volunteers. The walls and the downstairs floor have
yet to be done. The concrete rendering inside and out was also completed.
The month of
September began with the monthly Sung Requiem Mass for the repose
of the souls of the Seminary’s deceased friends and benefactors,
on Wednesday 1. Wednesday 3 was an important feast day at the Seminary,
and there were no classes. It was the feast of our patron, Saint
Pius X. Father Bourmaud celebrated the Solemn High Mass in honor
of our holy patron. Meanwhile, the Rector spent the weekend near
Tynong, preaching the annual recollection for the Society’s
Third Order members.
The next big
event was the exposition of the exact replica of the Holy Shroud
of Turin. It was brought by Father François Laisney on Friday
September 10, along with all the materials, books and videos, describing
this miraculous piece of cloth, relic of the Passion and Resurrection
of our Divine Savior. The exposition was set up in the vestibule
of the chapel, and remained there for one full month.
The next day,
Saturday September 11, was the beginning of our annual Family Weekend.
The morning Solemn High Mass was celebrated by the Rector for the
Solemnity of Our Lady of Sorrows. The long procession with the statue
of the Blessed Mother that followed the Mass, allowed for the recitation
of five mysteries of the Rosary, along with many hymns. At the end
of the procession the priests, seminarians, brothers and faithful
all joined with the Rector in renewing the consecration of Holy
Cross Seminary, and all its spiritual family, to the Sorrowful and
Immaculate Heart of Mary. This formula, already used last year,
was first used when the Society as a whole was consecrated to the
Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary on December 8, 1984. May
this consecration continue to bring many graces on our little Seminary.
The 50 faithful
who assisted stayed for the luncheon that followed, and the for
the afternoon conference given by Father Laisney. It was an explanation
of the Holy Shroud, and of all the proofs of its authenticity, and
its miraculous nature, and was appreciated by all.
The next day,
Sunday September 12, we celebrated the Solemnity of the Exaltation
of the Holy Cross, the patronal feast of Holy Cross Seminary. Father
Laisney celebrated the Solemn High Mass, that was preceded by an
outdoor procession with the relic of the True Cross, during which
procession the Litany of the Saints was chanted. Around 150 faithful
shared the outdoor barbecue with the Seminary. It was immediately
followed by games for the children, led by Brother Bernadine, and
by the renowned annual soccer match, now a three way competition
between Seminarians and visitors. As predicted, those won who were
best trained and most serious about the competition – yes,
the Seminarians. An edifying and encouraging weekend was enjoyed
Only one week
remained thereafter for the final classes of the second term, a
time of testing and rounding things off. Then, on Sunday September
19, nearly all the Seminarians left for a break, with those who
were not able to go home, taking refuge in the Society’s various
priories in southeastern Australia. That day ladies started to arrive
for the Ignatian retreat to start the next day. It was preached
by Fathers Ortiz and Scott to a total of 37 ladies – a busy
and full, but very successful retreat. It finished on Saturday September
25, and that very same day the five Society sisters from Rockdale
arrived, to start their annual six day retreat, preached by Father
work advanced rapidly on the St. Joseph House, with up to 10 workers
at a time working on the building. The new exterior windows are
now completely installed, all around the building. Mr. Madsen has
built a new porch over the entrance way, to match the style of the
building. Painting of the exterior walls is well advanced. The electricians
have been very busy doing all the electrical wiring to each room,
including the fire alarm system, with its light, detectors, and
speakers. The plumbers have practically completed all the interior
plumbing, and the interior pipe work for the hot water heating system
is now all installed. Renderers have spent many days doing concrete
rendering to the exterior walls, both inside and out. All is ready
now for the hanging of the dry wall, which is the next major job.
Donations have, however, slowed down, and it is not clear at this
stage whether the Seminary will continue being able to pay workers
to continue the work or not.
The first two
weeks of this month the pressure was on for all seminarians alike
to prepare for their exams, and to sit them. The last day of classes
for the Major seminarians was Tuesday August 3, and was followed
by three days of intense study without classes. Their Major Examinations
started on Monday August 9 and went through until Wednesday August
11, students having to present oral or viva voce examinations,
as well as written papers. On Tuesday August 10, visitor Mr. Augustine
Chow, left to return to Hong Kong, after his three week visit to
Holy Cross Seminary.
August 11, Father Fabrice Loschi, Prior of Corpus Christi Church
and St. Thomas Aquinas College in Tynong, arrived at the Seminary.
He kindly agreed to preach the three day retreat for the Major Seminarians
in preparation for the feast of the Assumption. It was providential,
since one of the first year seminarians, who received the cassock
on August 15, was Mr. Todd Stephens, one of his parishioners.
started on Thursday August 12 and continued until Saturday evening
August 14, concentrating on the detachment and mortification necessary
for the spiritual life.
were not able to assist at the retreat, and had to continue their
exams. They began on Monday August 9, and continued morning and
afternoon all week long, the series of exams being completed by
Religion and Latin on Friday August 13. These tiring exams were
followed up by a day of recollection preached to them by Father
Ortiz on Saturday August 14.
15, feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven,
was the day for our three first year seminarians to take the cassock,
thus marking their death to the world in order to give themselves
to the service of God. They are Mark Hardess from Brisbane, Lionel
Munusamy from Durban, South Africa, and Todd Stephens from Tynong.
and the vestibule were packed with the 150 visitors who came for
the occasion. All stayed for the luncheon in celebration, which
was followed in turn by three plays put on by the Seminarians
– one were scenes from Shakespeare plays they are presently
studying, and the other a comic invention of their own in honor
of the Rector’s birthday. All were suitably amused, before
returning to the chapel for Solemn Vespers.
16, was a date of relaxation after the exams and retreats. The whole
community went on an excursion to Major’s Creek, where after
a hike and a barbecue they were able to play soccer, under the direction
of Father Bourmaud. The following day, August 17, however, the classes
of the Second Semester began.
The month began
and continued with ongoing intense activity at St. Joseph House.
A very high (and rather expensive) scaffolding had to be erected
at the beginning of the month, allowing full access to the roof.
Then during the second week, the tiles were removed from the old
roof, new batons and insulation were added, and a new colorbond
roof was installed. Meanwhile, volunteers took advantage of the
scaffolding in place to strip and paint the exterior concrete walls
of the building, as well as the newly constructed eaves. At the
same time plumbers worked inside, installing new plumbing to all
the rooms in the building, each one of which will have its own sink.
Once the roof was completed the plumbers also worked on the guttering
and down spouts.
worked on the inside framing in all the new rooms upstairs, and
cutting the new roof and framing in the new skylight windows, which
already bring the warm winter sunshine into the future cells of
The first week
in the second semester was full of High Masses, to the delight of
the entire community. The month of July was brought in with a Solemn
High Mass for the feast of the Precious Blood, which fell this year
on the first Thursday of the month. It was followed by a Missa
Cantata the following day for the feast of the Visitation of
the Blessed Virgin Mary and then by another Missa Cantata
for the First Saturday of the month. The monthly Sung Requiem Mass
for the repose of the souls of the friends and benefactors of Holy
Cross Seminary was celebrated on Tuesday July 6.
few interruptions to the solid routine of studies during the month
of July. However, Alex Daniel from the Society’s Brisbane
(Oxley) chapel visited us during the first half of July. Also, we
had a visitor from July 14 – July 16 in the person of Father
Kim Holland, professor of Vianney College, the diocesan Seminary
of Wagga Wagga, who loves to celebrate the traditional Mass whenever
he can, and who appreciates the positions of the Society of Saint
On Friday July
16 also arrived the most recent addition to our community, in the
person of Bo Tamati, from St. Anthony’s in Wanganui, New Zealand,
who has joined the Seminary, bringing to 19 the present number
of Seminarians. Saturday July 17 was noteworthy, since it
was our first snow fall for the winter, and it amazed quite a few
of the seminarians, who had not seen snow before. It also brought
our first moisture for six months, putting a little water in our
tanks, that had practically run dry of drinking water.
The last half
of July also saw the purchase of a table tennis table, thanks to
the generosity of one of our friends. It was installed in the Seminarians’
recreation room, and became immediately a very popular game, especially
during the evening recreation. In fact, it became so popular that
Father Ortiz organized a tournament, in which priests, brothers
and Seminarians all competed against one another. The finals are
expected to take place on August 4. In fact, table tennis has become
so popular that the Seminary purchased a second table by the end
of the month.
21 was the day of our monthly hike and excursion. This time it was
a long hike in the Morton State Forest around the town of Bundanoon,
followed by an outdoor barbecue. God provided cool but very pleasant
weather for the occasions. We were delighted to be joined on that
occasion by the priests from Rockdale, Fathers Edward MacDonald
and Brendan Arthur.
23 saw the arrival of a couple of interesting distractions to Seminary
life, delivered by a van from the R.S.P.C.A. One of our parishioners,
Mrs. Caroline Murdoch had heard of a wild fawn, just a few months
old, being saved and handed in to the R.S.P.C.A. That the wild deer
might have some company they placed him together with a young lamb.
At any rate, the two were delivered to the Seminary, after four
months of paperwork, to be kept under the kind watchful eye of Father
Ortiz. They are presently being kept in the old tennis court, and
learning to be domesticated.
The end of
the month was also the opportunity for us to meet two international
visitors, who both came to contemplate the possibility of a priestly
vocation – Augustine Chao from Hong Kong and Daniel Valdez
from Los Angeles. During their stay here, they will be able to assist
at the classes for the year of Spirituality and the daily spiritual
conferences, and consult the priests, as we encourage young men
to do who are contemplating a vocation.
Meanwhile the remodeling of the new priest’s room is rapidly
advancing, thanks to the efforts of Mr. Jeff Madsen, who is presently
working on constructing built in bookshelves and closet space. Mr.
Jeff Raymund, a plumber, also spent several days here, re-routing
the plumbing to make possible the remodeling process.
Work on the
St. Joseph House advanced rapidly during the second half of the
month, with the roof of the garage and the exterior back half of
the building being completed. Mr. Anthony Tonkin, parishioner and
voluntary brick layer, bricked in new windows upstairs. The eaves
and fascia around the building were all renewed and completed, in
preparation for the installation of the new roof. Plumbers installed
the plumbing to the downstairs rooms and bathrooms, and the main
plumbing upstairs, and electricians rewired the garage.
month of the Sacred Heart, the priests and seminarians of Holy Cross
honored Our Lord by reciting the Litany of the Sacred Heart after
the Rosary every day. The day of recollection to begin this month
was preached by Father Adrian of St. Joseph, O.C.D. on Ember Saturday,
June 5. Father Adrian, who is Malaysian in nationality but Chinese
in extraction, has been in residence at Holy Cross Seminary since
escaping from the Novus Ordo last August. This contemplative monk
dedicated his recollection to the theme of the Sacred Heart.
The feast of
the Most Holy Trinity, Sunday June 6, was solemnized by a Solemn
High Mass. This day was also memorable, for it was the day on which
Brother Joseph fired up the wood boiler, finally giving heat to
many rooms in the Seminary building. On Monday June 7 the seminarians
chanted the monthly Requiem Mass for the repose of the souls of
the Seminary’s deceased friends and benefactors. On Tuesday
June 8, a new seminarian from South Africa arrived, the nephew of
former Rector, Father Coenraad Daniels, Mr. Dylan Hennessy.
Then on Thursday
June 10 we celebrated with solemnity Corpus Christi, given that
it is on the list of 10 feasts of obligation in the universal Church.
It was preceded by a full night of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament,
in which the seminarians all took their turn to spend an hour before
Our Lord. Then at 10:30 a.m. Father Adrian celebrated the Solemn
High Mass, with the outdoor procession and benediction with the
13 was the official day for the end of the first term, and the seminarians
for the most part were happy to leave for their vacation. However,
three seminarians left early to participate in the solemnity of
Corpus Christi at the Society’s Sacred Heart Church in Singleton,
N.S.W. Then on Monday June 14, it was the time for 16 men to arrive
for the 5 day Ignatian retreat to be preached by Father Bourmaud,
assisted by Father Brendan Arthur from the Society’s priory
week a second Ignatian retreat was preached, starting on June 21,
this time to 22 men, including 9 Maronites, by Fathers Scott and
Ortiz. The day that the retreat ended, June 26, as the retreatants
were leaving, the seminarians all started to arrive back for the
beginning of the second term of the school year.
on Monday June 28. With one seminarian not returning, the
total number of students for the beginning of the second term was
17 Major Seminarians, 3 pre-Seminarians, 5 Seminarians studying
at A level, and 13 Seminarians studying at IGCSE level, a
total of 38 students. The very next day, feast of the Holy Apostles
Peter & Paul, Holy Day of Obligation in the universal Church,
was a vacation day from classes, that it might be celebrated with
the greatest possible solemnity. The Solemn High Mass was celebrated
by Father Frament.
to the remodeling of St. Joseph House, this month of June was mainly
a month of waiting. The rendering of the exterior brick work on
the building was finally begun on June 21, after three weeks of
waiting. The roof trusses on the new addition were installed by
the carpenters during the last days of the month. Other work is
dependent upon the completion of the roof, which will be in a colorbond
galvanized iron, rather than the original tiles. All the finish
work, including interior walls, has obviously to wait until the
new roof is placed on the building. Meanwhile, Mr. Jeff Madsen moved
the staircase going to the upper level in order make more room for
cells in the interior.
At the same
time, Mr. Madsen has also begun work on the extensive remodeling
of room 103 in the main seminary building. It has been used for
priests in the past, but is very inadequate and quite dilapidated
and does not have a separate office, as a priest must have for counseling
people. This remodeling will increase the capacity of seminary professors,
and is consequently essential to the ongoing growth of Holy Cross
Seminary. His work has brought the echoing of a jack hammer and
sledge hammers to the seminary building, since it was necessary
to open up a solid brick wall, jack hammer a concrete floor, and
change the entire orientation of the room to allow for a separate
office, bedroom and bathroom. However, the destruction is now completed,
and the work of rebuilding can now begin.
Joseph has been working on major electrical and plumbing problems
in the Sacred Heart wing of the main building. The electrical wiring
is old and falling apart, and this wing is presently only supplied
by one of the three phases of electrical power. It will eventually
require a new electrical supply from the main board.
The month of
May began with a Solemn High Mass for the feast of St. Joseph the
Worker, along with a day of recollection, preached by the Rector
on the duties of clerics, inspired by the writings of the Belgian
priest, Father Edouard Poppe. This month of Our Lady is a great
joy at the Seminary for Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament is
celebrated every night at 6:55 p.m., together with the Office of
the Rosary. Antiphons are sung to introduce each mystery of the
The feast of
St. Pius V, May 5, saw the Seminary on a day long hike, our occasional
excursion. The hike was to a mountain camp, a former logging camp,
in the forest above Captain’s Flat. A great day was had by
all. The more adventurous seminarians climbed to a lookout tower,
the cyclists rode for hours on the mountain roads, and others contented
themselves with a more leisurely hike.
On the three
days preceding the feast of the Ascension, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
May 17 – 19, the Rogation processions were celebrated at the
Seminary. The blessing of the fields was particularly necessary,
since the ground is parched due to the drought that has set in over
the past several months.
May 20, a holy day of obligation, was a day off from classes. As
last year, the Seminary went on pilgrimage in its entirely to the
shrine of Our Lady of Czestachowa of the Pauline Fathers in Penrose
Park. A glorious sunny day greeted the pilgrims who joined the Seminarians,
parishioners from the Seminary as well as from the Society’s
chapels in Rockdale and in Albury. After a long walk, praying all
the while, an outdoor Missa Cantata was celebrated by Father
Anthony, C.Ss.R. from Papa Stronsay, whose company we have had the
honor of sharing this month. The Seminary and faithful then processed
to visit a selection of the traditional shrines to be found around
the monastery. Afterwards all enjoyed a very welcome picnic and
some ball games.
Sunday May 23
was the day set aside for all day adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
at Holy Cross Seminary. Every day one church or chapel of the Society
has the adoration, which makes up a perpetual adoration, in thanksgiving
for the consecration of the Society’s bishops, and begging
for the conversion of the modernist hierarchy. The next day, Monday
May 24, a Solemn High Mass was celebrated in honor of Our Lady Help
of Christians, principal patroness of Australia.
Sunday, May 30, the polyphonic choir, especially trained by Father
Bourmaud, sung to solemnize the external mission of the Holy Ghost
on the Church. It was also the day chosen for the special celebration
for the French students amongst the Seminarians, being the
feast of St. Joan of Arc. One of our parishioners, Mrs. Caroline
Murdoch, kindly organized a French speaking and eating dinner for
the occasion, so that the 11 Seminarians who study French
could practice their French conversation, as well as learn a little
of the niceties of French cuisine.
On Monday May
31, one of our Seminarians, Ruben Morales, decided to return
home, but was replaced that very same day by a new pre-Seminarian
from Japan, Hoai Pham.
work on St. Joseph House has continued to advance. The brick extension
on the upper level of the back has been completed as to its structure,
the new roof trusses placed on the work shop, doorways cut in the
former exterior walls, and also for three fire doors to be inserted
into the triple brick building. Many of the wall divisions on the
lower level have been completed.
project was not enough to keep Brother Joseph busy. The shed used
to store wood for the main boiler was falling apart, and leaked
so much last year that it was impossible to keep the wood dry. Brother
consequently decided to build a new shed, with aluminum supports,
brick walls and a new color bond roof, extending it at the same
time. The splitting and cutting of wood for the fires in the chapel,
the refectory, the Mater Dei wing, and for the main boiler in the
depth of winter (not yet) are a major preoccupation for Brother
Joseph and his seminarian assistants, including Mr. Ben Campbell.
Also, the water tank by the kitchen dried out, due partially to
the blocking of the gutters from an accumulation of leaves. After
cleaning out the tank and the gutters, Brother Joseph added additional
down pipes to increase the roof collection area for the water tank.
with a day of recollection preached on the First Saturday, April
3, by Father Ortiz. It was rapidly followed by Palm Sunday and the
ceremonies of Holy Week. For the first time at Holy Cross all the
ceremonies were celebrated in the solemn form, with the sacred ministers,
namely deacon and subdeacon. The Holy Saturday Vigil ceremony and
Mass ended at 1:30 a.m. on Easter Sunday morning, and was followed
by the traditional reveillon celebration, to which the Seminary’s
faithful were invited.
On Easter Sunday
the Seminarians were able to take off for a six day well earned
mid-term break. The Major Seminarians, however, had Easter Monday
only off from classes, and resumed normal classes on Easter Tuesday,
On Monday April
19, we had the sad duty of burying one of our parishioners in the
Holy Cross Seminary cemetery. It was Mr. Leo Moore, from Wodonga,
a parishioner of Our Lady of Fatima in Albury for many years. The
Sung Requiem Mass was sung at the chapel in Albury in the morning,
and then the entire Seminary gathered in the afternoon to meet the
hearse and to consign his body to the earth, together with his family.
Sunday April 25, saw a rather sad celebration. It was a departure
barbecue for Father Patrick Fox, C.M. Father Fox had been staying
with us since January 2003, and now in his 89th year, was a very
welcome addition to our community, in virtue of his experience,
and religious spirit. However, his Provincial Superior, Father Greg
Cooney, visited to recall him to his Vincentian community in Ashfield,
under the agreement that he would have every facility to celebrate
the traditional Latin Mass. His departure on Wednesday April 28
will be regretted.
April 27, a very welcome visitor arrived from Papa Stronsay monastery
in Scotland. It was Father Anthony, C. SsR., coming to visit the
Redemptorist seminarians who are studying with us.
work on the St. Joseph house has advanced rapidly. The new electrical
service has been installed, and plumbers have placed all new pipes
under the floor, connecting with the septic system. Bricklayers
have built the extension on the second floor at the back of the
house, and carpenters have modified and secured the roof, readying
for the putting on of a new color bond roof, to place the old tiles.
Meanwhile, much work has been done downstairs, replacing the old
rotten floor joists, and building the new wall frames that will
divide up the bedrooms. New windows have been purchased for the
entire building and preparations for inserting them have begun.
The month of
March began with a six day retreat for Third Order Carmelites, preached
by Father Adrian of St. Joseph, O.C.D., who is in residence at Holy
Cross Seminary. They took advantage of the last week of the summer
break for the Major Seminarians. However, the Seminary was entirely
full during this time, given the presence of 22 Seminarians,
along with all the retreatants.
6, was the day appointed for the return of last years 12 Major Seminarians,
who are now in 2nd, 4th and 5th years, namely six philosophers and
six theologians. Their entry retreat began the next day, and was
preached by Father Rainer Becher, who flew over from Perth. His
very edifying and instructive retreat was based upon the beatitudes
and the seven last words pronounced by Our Lord from the Cross.
13 was the day set aside for the arrival of the new first year seminarians.
This year we welcomed two, Lionel Munusamy from Durban, South Africa
and Todd Stephens from Tynong, Victoria. They began their introductory
Ignatian retreat, preached by Fathers Ortiz and Bourmaud, the following
day, whereas Monday March 15 was the official day for the recommencing
of classes for the Major Seminarians.
19, feast of St. Joseph, was a great celebration here at the Seminary,
with solemn First and Second Vespers, and a Solemn High Mass, celebrated
by the Rector, stating that we cannot expect the protection of this
great saint, unless we follow the example of virile responsibility
of this great Patron of the Universal Church. Also on that same
feast of St. Joseph arrived two further Major Seminarians, Brothers
Yousef and Jean-Marie, C.Ss.R. from the Redemptorist monastery of
Papa Stronsay. They will be studying their philosophy classes at
Holy Cross, bringing the number of Major Seminarians to 16. Together
with the 21 Seminarians, this brought to 37 the total number
of students at Holy Cross.
Once the first
year seminarians had finished their retreat, it was then time for
the Brothers, our faithful companions and assistants, to receive
their spiritual replenishing for the year. Their six day retreat
was preached by Father Jean-Baptiste Frament, starting on Sunday
March 21, and was much appreciated by all four of them. Meanwhile
the first year started their classes on Monday March 22.
had the joy of a three day visit of the District Superior for Australia
and New Zealand, Father Edward Black from Rockdale (Sydney). During
his visit he gave the seminarians a spiritual conference on the
Priesthood, leaning on his now 26 years of experience, and he celebrated
the Solemn High Mass for the feast of the Annunciation, Thursday
On Tuesday March
30 Brother Bernadine headed off to Sydney to pick up our newest
community member at the airport. Mr. Ryan Swart, from Cape Town,
South Africa, is a pre-seminarian, and his arrival brought the total
number of seminarians to 38. The next day, Wednesday March 31, was
the first all day community excursion for the year. It consisted
in hike in the Bungonia State Park, followed by a barbecue. The
more energetic followed the “red track”, with excellent
swimming in the Shoalhaven river as the goal, whilst the others
followed the more gentle “green track”.
work on the St. Joseph House remodeling has proceeded constantly.
Considerable brick work, including the filling in of unnecessary
windows and doors, has been accomplished. The new addition on the
back of the building, over the workshop is now well advanced. The
work of waterproofing the foundation was also completed. Contractors
have been lined up for some of the more major construction work
to take place in the next couple of months, and in fact the work
started on March 31, with electricians arriving to hook up a completely
new power supply and fuse box into the St. Joseph House, and plumbers
digging away to put in new septic connections and plumbing throughout
the entire building. It was terrific to say how fast they worked
on the vast project.
1 was a busy day at Holy Cross. For by this time had arrived not
just the 12 returning Major Seminarians, but also 2 Pre-Seminarians,
and 18 Seminarians, to which two more Seminarians were
added during the following week. Monday February 2, feast of the
Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was celebrated with appropriate
solemnity. The Rector celebrated a Solemn High Mass, assisted at
the altar by Fathers Bourmaud and Adrian. The Mass was preceded
by the blessing of candles, and an outdoor Candlemas procession,
to proclaim our Faith in our Divine Savior, Light of the world.
Also on that day of February 2, Father Bourmaud preached a day of
recollection to the Seminarians and pre-seminarians.
The Major Seminarians
do not normally return to the Seminary from their summer apostolate
during the month of February. However, this year they had the option
of doing an intense session of Latin, starting on Monday February
2, and going on until Ash Wednesday, February 25. All 12 opted to
take this option and work on their Latin. The conferences were directed
by Father Scott, whose daily conferences on the Orberg method Lingua
latina per se illustrata occupied the entire morning every
day. He was assisted by Father Adrian, who helped developed the
seminarians’ ability at translating and understanding the
original Latin text of the Acts of the Magisterium, and by Mr. McDonnell,
who guided the seminarians through the Latin of the Fathers of the
Church, and in particular St. Augustine. Throughout the entire time,
the seminarians were bound to speak only Latin at table, thereby
being forced to develop their Latin conversational skills.
This year Holy
Cross is accepting pre-seminarians, who are a category of students
somewhat distinct both from the Major and the Seminarians.
The Seminarians are high school students who desire to receive
a high level education that offers the possibility of following
a vocation afterwards. The Pre-Seminarians are young men in their
early 20s who have finished high school, and manifest a desire to
enter the Major Seminary, but who are judged to require additional
academic or spiritual preparation in advance. They do studies in
Latin, Religion, English, History and French with the Seminarians,
but follow the spiritual duties, including retreats and spiritual
conferences, together with the Major Seminarians.
The year started
with two Pre-Seminarians and 20 Seminarians, a total of 22.
Of these 7 are studying at A level, 6 at second year of IGCSE and
9 at first year of IGCSE. Of these 22, 11 are new and 11 returned
from last year, out of the 13 who finished the school year. Their
breakdown by nationality is as follows: 11 Australians, 4 Malaysians,
3 from the U.S., 2 New Zealanders, and one each from France and
initial day of recollection, the Seminarians entered immediately
into their studies. The biggest difficulty for them is to adjust
to discipline, in order to be able to use their study time efficiently.
However, they are rapidly learning, thanks to the structure and
order that the Seminary is able to give.
14, was the day set aside for the community outing. It was a hike
along Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra, terminating in a barbecue
lunch and a visit to the War Memorial.
The most memorable
event of the Latin session was a special Latin dinner or convivium
on Sunday February 22, organized by Mr. & Mrs. Scriviner, friends
of the Seminary who live close by. During this Latin only dinner,
each of the Major Seminarians had to give an impromptu speech in
Latin, not without some considerable amusement from all. Mistakes
not withstanding, everybody was able to make themselves understood.
The Major Seminarians
have taken in hand the teaching of music to the Seminarians.
They have chosen those who have the requisite aptitude for playing
the organ to accompany the Gregorian chant, and for singing the
chant, and taught them the necessary skills. In fact, the
Seminarians have formed their own Gregorian schola, and made their
debut on the First Sunday of Lent, February 29, by singing, and
quite well, the propers of the Mass.
with the influx of Seminarians, and with several Major Seminarians
expected to arrive in the coming weeks, Holy Cross is running short
of cells for the seminarians. A generous benefactor recently donated
three bunk beds, enabling two Seminarians to share the same
room. Hence the urgency of the work advancing on St. Joseph House.
During this past month, the work of stripping out all the rotten
flooring, old insulation, wall board and broken and deteriorated
finishing has been completed, filling several dumpsters. The work
of construction began with the pouring of a raised cement slab for
the fire exit from the upstairs level of the building. Brickwork
to close up unusable doorways and windows is now advancing, with
new doorways being opened up. The extension of the upper level,
over the bathroom and the workshop, is about to begin.
The New Year
at Holy Cross began with the chanting of the Veni Creator
before the High Mass on New Year’s day. Friday January 2 and
Saturday January 3 were busy and hectic days, for they were the
days announced for the working bee. Local families, as well as some
parishioners from St. Joseph and Child Jesus in Rockdale came to
help in the cleaning of the Seminary, refectory and kitchen, the
painting of the teachers’ staff room in the school building,
and the splitting of tons and tons of wood. A good spirit of camaraderie
accompanied the work, that went on well into the evening. The Seminary
is very grateful for the generous men, women and even children who
donated their time.
Ignatian retreat of the summer started on Monday January 5. It was
attended by 17 women, and was preached by the Rector, accompanied
by Father Ortiz.
Then on Monday
January 12, we had the funeral Mass and burial in Holy Cross Seminary
cemetery of Kathleen Rivers, from the Camden area. Having just recently
returned to Tradition, she was blessed to have the traditional Requiem
Mass and the burial in our cemetery, as she had requested. The funeral
was immediately followed by the third retreat of the summer, a five
day Ignatian retreat attended by 40 men. This time it was Father
Adrian of St. Joseph, O.C.D., who helped the Rector in the preaching
of the retreat. It was a challenging but rewarding retreat, since
many of the men were new to Tradition.
week it was time for the priests themselves to go on retreat. Father
Brendan King from England came over to preach the retreat, in which
he touched on all the major points and requirements for a good and
holy priestly life. The retreat, which started on Monday January
19, was attended by four priests from the Seminary, seven from the
Australasian District, and two priest friends, one Latin rite and
one Ukrainian rite. One of the retreatants stated that it was the
best retreat in his 30 years of priesthood.
- R: Frs. Brendan Arthur (Sydney), Patrick Fox (Vincentian),
Peter Scott (Rector of Holy Cross Seminary) Edward Black (District
Brendan King (retreat master), Andrew Cranshaw (Brisbane),
Karl Pepping (Tynong), Jules Belisle (Brisbane), Juan Carlos Ortiz
Adrian Wee (Carmelite) and Francois Laisney (Melbourne).
Then on Monday January 26, the fourth and final Ignatian retreat
of the summer began. It was preached by Father Bourmaud, helped
by Father Adrian, and was attended by 25 ladies. On the last day
of the retreat, January 31, the Major Seminarians returned in preparation
for their Latin session, and the Seminarians for the beginning
of their academic year.
Index of Seminary events
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