Holy Cross Seminary

Past Events

DECEMBER 2004

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.

Saturday December 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.

Monday December 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.

Wednesday December 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.

Meanwhile the 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.

The school 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.

Friday December 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.

Sunday December 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.


NOVEMBER 2004

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 before.

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 of subdeacon.

Bishop Tissier 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 night.

Saturday morning, 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.

Already on 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 basis.

Wednesday November 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.

Wednesday November 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 13.

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.


OCTOBER 2004

During the 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.

Seminarians 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.

SEPTEMBER 2004

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 by all.

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 Laisney.

Meanwhile, 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.


AUGUST 2004

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.

On Wednesday 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.

The retreat started on Thursday August 12 and continued until Saturday evening August 14, concentrating on the detachment and mortification necessary for the spiritual life.

The Seminarians 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.

Sunday August 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.

The chapel 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.

Monday August 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.

Meanwhile carpenters 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 seminarians.


JULY 2004

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.

There were 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 Pius X.

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.

Wednesday July 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.

Friday July 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.


JUNE 2004

During the 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 Blessed Sacrament.

Sunday June 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 in Rockdale.

The following 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.

Classes resumed 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.

With respect 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.

Meanwhile, Brother 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.


MAY 2004

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 Rosary.

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.

Ascension Thursday, 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.

On Pentecost 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.

Meanwhile the 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.

However, this 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.


APRIL 2004

April began 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, April 13.

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.

Anzac Day, 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.

On Tuesday 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.

Meanwhile, 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.


MARCH 2004

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.

Saturday March 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.

Saturday March 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.

Friday March 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.

The Seminary 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 March 25.

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”.

Meanwhile the 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.


FEBRUARY 2004

Sunday February 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 Mexico.

After their 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.

Saturday February 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.

Meanwhile, 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.


JANUARY 2004

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.

The second 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.

The following 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.

Australian priests on retreat with Fr. King

L - R: Frs. Brendan Arthur (Sydney), Patrick Fox (Vincentian),
Peter Scott (Rector of Holy Cross Seminary) Edward Black (District Superior),
Brendan King (retreat master), Andrew Cranshaw (Brisbane),
Karl Pepping (Tynong), Jules Belisle (Brisbane), Juan Carlos Ortiz (Goulburn),
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.


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