The month began
on December 2 with a muddy effort to bury the drainage pipes around
the new addition of the boiler room. The trench, that goes around
the new addition was dug out by a back hoe several days ago, but
filled with water each time it rained. Finally it was pumped out,
and Brother Joseph and his helpers worked hard all day to bury the
pipes draining storm water from the roof, finally finishing as a
ferocious storm arrived in the late afternoon, just before the Solemn
Vespers of St. Francis Xavier.
in fact, did much more damage in nearby Canberra, deroofing and
destroying many buildings. It is hardly a surprise, however, given
that that very day, December 2, the A.C.T. Chief Minister, Mr. John
Stanhope, announced new legislation giving same-sex couples the
right to having their relationships recognized as civil unions,
being a first step towards gay marriages. Rather, it is surprising
that God’s punishment was not greater.
4, was a joyful day for the parishioners of the Seminary, who celebrated
the reception of First Holy Communion by three children at the High
December 7, we had a pleasant visit from Father Valan Rajakumar,
who is presently stationed at St. Joseph and the Child Jesus in
Rockdale. He preached a one day recollection to the two second year
seminarians, preparing for their First Engagements in the Society
of Saint Pius X. The Solemn High Mass of the feast of the Immaculate
Conception was celebrated by the Rector. At the Offertory of the
Mass, Mr. Mark Hardess from Oxley, Queensland, and Mr. Todd Stephens
from Tynong, Victoria, both made their first Engagements in the
Society of Saint Pius X. 12 older seminarians renewed their engagements
during the same ceremony, some for one year and some for three years.
They may make their engagements for three years once they have received
the subdiaconate, to which the vow of perpetual chastity is joined.
Immediately after the Mass in honor of Our Lady, the entire community
left on its end of year hike and barbecue.
of December 8, the community celebrated the fiftieth anniversary
of the first vows of Brother Peter Whittle. They were made in South
Africa on December 8, 1954 in the community of the Oblates of Mary
Immaculate. He was forced to leave on account of the modernism,
destroying the rule, and took refuge in the Society of Saint Pius
X in 1987. His sister, Mrs. Ann Conway, who is one of the Seminary
parishioners, also took part in the celebration.
rapidly to an end this final term. For the theologians the last
class was on December 7, for the Seminarians it was on December
9, and for the Philosophers and the year of Spirituality, it was
on December 13. The examinations followed, slightly staggered due
to the different schedule that each group of students follows. The
Minor Seminarians had examinations all day, morning and afternoon,
from Monday December 12 until Friday December 16. The Theologians
finished their examinations on Friday December 16, and the Philosophers
and year of Spirituality on Wednesday December 21.
As every year,
the Minor Seminarians and their teachers had a break up dinner on
the last Thursday of their term, December 15. It was interesting
to note that this year, for the first time, none had left in the
course of the year, and that all 15 who had started the year finished,
with the addition of one new Minor in September.
was blessed by the visit of Father Albert, O.P. a Dominican from
Avrillé, France. He was on his way to preach a retreat to
the Dominican sisters in Wanganui, but kindly stopped in to visit
the Seminary from December 11 – 13, and to speak to the seminarians.
We were also privileged by the early arrival of Father Daniel Couture
on December 14. He came to preach the retreat of preparation to
the seven ordinands to the priesthood and diaconate. On Saturday
December 17, he headed off with them to a retreat facility in Marlo,
Victoria, for the six day retreat required by Canon Law.
The three day
retreat in preparation for the Minor Orders was preached by Father
Bourmaud, December 21 – 23, the community being once again
reunited for the Vigil of Christmas and for last minute preparations
for this great feast, as well as for the priestly ordinations. The
Christmas Matins, midnight Solemn High Mass and Lauds were all celebrated
by Father Baudot, the Society’s General Bursar, who arrived
on December 22, for a one week visit. The day Solemn High Mass was
celebrated by Father Couture, District Superior of Asia.
Then on Christmas
afternoon H.E. Bishop Alfonso De Galarreta arrived at the Seminary,
just as Vespers were ending. Then took place the solemn blessing
of the granite crucifix in the cemetery. The bishop processed mitre
and crozier from the sacristy to the cemetery during the singing
of the Vexilla Regis. After the long prayers of blessing, highlighting
the symbolism of the Cross, the rock solid foundation of our eternal
salvation, came the incensing of the Crucifix, followed by the kissing
of Our Lord’s feet by the Bishop and by old the clergy present.
Many graces will henceforth be received by all those who come to
pray for the repose of the souls of the faithful departed who are
buried around the Cross.
On Monday December
26, Bishop De Galarreta began the Solemn Pontifical Mass of ordination
at 9:30 a.m. It was celebrated in the tent erected on the field
in front of the Seminary, and was attended by around 50 faithful,
as well as several priests and the community members. After the
Introit of the Mass came the promotion to the Clerical Tonsure of
the two seminarians in second year, Mr. Mark Hardess and Mr. Todd
Stephens, both Australians, much to the delight of both sets of
parents, present to witness their sons’ giving of themselves
to God as their portion and inheritance.
After the Kyrie
came the ordination to the four Minor Orders. The eight seminarians
in third year, six of the Society of Saint Pius X and two Redemptorists
of Golgotha Monastery, received the first two minor orders of Porter
and Lector. Then the one seminarian in fourth year, Mr. Jean-Baptiste
Claret from France, received the second pair of minor orders, namely
those of exorcist and acolyte. The Mass continued in recollection
and joy, and the faithful present then stayed for the meal of celebration
in the Seminary refectory.
27, feast of St. John the Evangelist, was, however, the great day
on which Our Lord’s mystery of love, the holy priesthood was
to be communicated to four young men. An atmosphere of excitement
and anticipation preceded the ceremony, with innumerable vehicles
from five states arriving. It was exactly at 9:00 a.m. that Bishop
De Galarreta began the solemn procession from the sacristy to the
tent, preceded by the seven ordinations, first of all the three
subdeacons who would receive the diaconate and then the four deacons
who would become priests.
ceremony, attended by 700 faithful from all over Australia, and
as far away as Singapore, the U.S. and France, proceeded with only
two hitches. Two radio microphones had inadvertently been interchanged
with one another, confusing Brother Joseph, the audio technician.
The sacristans had also placed out the Sacred Chrism instead of
the Oil of the Catechumens for the anointing of the priests’
hands. However, once these difficulties were remedied all went well.
After the Epistle came the prostration of the ordinands during the
singing of the Litany of the Saints. Then came the imposition of
the right hand of the bishop, begging that the strength of the Holy
Ghost flow into the new deacons’ souls, after which they received
the stole and dalmatic, signs of their office, and book of the Gospels,
that the senior of them, Reverend Mr. Michael Johnson thereafter
de Galarreta Imposing Hands on Fr Ghela
New Priests after the Imposition of Hands
After the Gradual
came the ordination of the new priests. After the bishop had imposed
both hands on their heads, then came the turn of the 25 priests
who had come for the ceremony. They included all the priests of
the Australian District, the previous two Rectors of Holy Cross
Seminary, Fathers Daniels and Peek, who had come from South Africa
and the U.S. respectively, the Superior of the Asian District, Father
Couture, the Society’s Japanese priest, Father Onoda, and
Fathers Baudot and Egli, who had come from Switzerland and Italy
Couture Imposing Hands
Dolotina Touching Chalice & Paten
After the singing
of the Preface of ordination came the imposition of the folded chasuble,
sign of priestly charity, and then the anointing with the Oil of
the Catechumens of the hands that now had the power to bless and
consecrate. The Mass that followed was concelebrated, from the Offertory
until the end of the Mass. The bishop recited all the prayers of
the Canon aloud with the four new priests reciting the prayers together
with him, each one guided by a priest assistant. After Holy Communion
came the transmission of the power to forgive sins, and the promise
of obedience of each priest to his Ordinary. Then came the profession
of Faith and the acceptance of the penance of celebrating three
Masses, one of the Holy Ghost, one of the Blessed Virgin Mary, one
for the repose of the faithful departed.
Taouk's after the Consecration of Hands
Fallarcuna's Consecration of Hands
After the photos
the crowd all waiting in anticipation to receive the first blessings
of Fathers Roy Dolotina, Albert Ghela, and Gerald Fallarcuna from
the Philippines, and Father Raymund Taouk from the Sydney area,
a large contingent of whose Lebanese family had come for the occasion.
All joined in the outdoor celebration picnic that followed.
The First Masses
took place the next day, Wednesday December 28, as foreseen. The
7:00 a.m. Mass, a low Mass in the Seminary chapel read by Father
Ghela, was entirely overcrowded. Then followed the Missa Cantata
sung by Father Dolotina at 8:00 a.m. in the tent, the Solemn High
Mass sung by Father Fallarcuna at 9:30 a.m., also in the tent, and
the low Mass at 11:00 a.m. celebrated by Father Ray Taouk. Many
of the faithful, not content with gaining the plenary indulgence,
passed from one Mass to the next. All participated in the meal afterwards
in the Seminary refectory, a time of joy and celebration in the
spirit of Christmas.
work continued apace on the Seminary’s projects. The metal
frame for the Seminary chapel was completed during the month of
December. The boiler room for the St. Joseph house being added to
the school wing also advanced greatly, with the underground pipes
and cables hooking it to the St. Joseph House being installed, as
well as the lower rungs of brick and the concrete floor.
December 29 a three day working bee began, with several projects
meriting special attention. Mr. John McAuliffe led the team of fencers
to extend the cemetery enclosure, and to repair fallen down and
broken fences throughout the property. Mr. Anthony Tonkin, a bricklayer,
was helped in the erecting of the walls of the boiler room for St.
Joseph’s House. A team of men cut and split wood that has
been piling up for several months, and another team concentrating
on exterior painting of the school building – all this in
heat of 100 F. May God bless these volunteers for their generosity.
Day, 35th anniversary of the official approval of the Society, we
had a Solemn High Mass early in the day. The reason for this was
to combine a Holy Day of Obligation, on which we never have classes,
with a community hike, the first of the third term of the year.
Father Bourmaud had designed a challenging hike through the woodlands
just outside of Canberra, finishing up with a barbecue and picnic
on grounds just alongside the war memorial. After lunch, those who
still had some energy left were able to visit the war memorial or
On All Souls’
day we received the bad news that the motor on our recently purchased
Toyota van had seized up on the return from Rockdale, and that a
new motor would have to be found. Some generous faithful from the
Tynong chapel undertook to obtain a reconditioned replacement motor,
and ship it to Goulburn.
The rest of
the month of November was quiet and hardworking. The Seminarians
in their second or third years here finished their examinations
on Thursday November 17. In order to give them a break, and to motivate
them for the final three efforts work towards the internal examinations
at the end of the year, Brother Joseph organized a weekend camp
in Nowra North, on the south coast from Friday November 25 –
Sunday November 27. Despite the rain the boys were able to plan
a variety of games, and go swimming on a secluded beach, enjoying
a well-merited break from the demanding regular schedule of the
The week starting
November 14 was a busy one for construction here at the Seminary.
For this week, three new projects were all begun at the same time.
The first was the preparing of the foundation and the pouring of
the base, more than three foot high, for the erection of a granite
crucifix in the cemetery. The second was the preparation of the
ground and pouring the foundations for a new chapel in the cemetery,
for Requiem Masses to be offered near to the tombs of the faithful
departed. The third was the preparation and pouring of the cement
foundations for the boiler room for St. Joseph House. This room
is being added on to the end of the school wing, with underground
pipes connecting it to the St. Joseph House, with which it will
provide the hot water necessary for the heat system. The wood boiler
is already on site, waiting for the addition to be completed so
that it can be installed.
Meanwhile the official occupancy permit for the St. Joseph House
was granted on November 21.
Tuesday November 29, centennial birthday of Archbishop Lefebvre,
by a Sung Thanksgiving Mass in honor of the Immaculate Heart of
Mary. In the evening we watched a video of the historical ceremony
of the episcopal consecrations of 1988, and had a barbecue to celebrate
Then on Wednesday
November 30 came the erection of the granite crucifix, in the rain,
in the center of the cemetery. The contrast between the white granite
corpus and the black granite upright and cross pieces makes our
Crucified Savior stand out in the cemetery, source of all relief
for the suffering souls in Purgatory and for the glory of the blessed
in heaven. The same day the metal structure and beams for the cemetery
chapel were also erected.
1 was the day set for the return of the seminarians for the beginning
of the third and final term of the school year. Our greatest regret
was that Father Frament was no longer in our midst, having been
transferred to the mission in Gabon, and having left during the
Seminary vacation. He is not, alas, to have a replacement this year.
For the third term of the school year his subject matters were divided
up between Mr. Des McDonnell, Seminary professor, and historian,
who took over the classes in Church History. His classes in Ethics,
in Patrology and in Latin were taken over by Reverend Mr. Raymond
Taouk, a deacon having already completed the final three years of
his formation at St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Winona, and now
waiting his priestly ordination, due to take place in December.
We are certainly very grateful for Reverend Taouk’s presence
during these three months of the final term.
A second addition
to our Seminary was in the person of Dominic O’Farrell, from
Ireland, who arrived on the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. He has
come to study in the Seminary, in preparation for eventually
entering the Major Seminary. He was the 16th Seminarian. Finally,
on Saturday October 15, arrived Mr. Daniel Valdez from California.
He is a pre-seminarian, and will be working on preparatory academics
and humanities studies before entrance into the Major Seminary.
He is our second pre-seminarian.
at the end of the September break we were saddened to bid farewell
to Brother Bernadine, who had been here at Holy Cross Seminary for
five years. He has decided to try his vocation with the Redemptorists
The new term
began quietly, as all managed to get back into full gear for the
studies. The feast of St. Therese of the Child Jesus on Monday October
3, was celebrated with solemnity, since it is first class here in
Australia, given that St. Therese is patron of the missions. Her
feast is of great importance for this missionary seminary.
The major seminarians
were able to enjoy the spiritual repose of a day of recollection
on Saturday October 8, preached by the Rector on the importance
of the message of Fatima, and of living a life of reparation.
On Friday October
21 we had a major power outage in the Sacred Heart wing of the Major
Seminary, due to the frizzling up of the neutral connection on one
of the sub-boards. Electricians had to reestablish a new connection
with the main board, replace much old and perished wiring throughout
the wing, and prepare for the rewiring of some of the other sub-boards,
also in a perilous condition.
On Tuesday October
25 & Wednesday 26, we had a visit from Father Rainer Becher
from the priory in Hampton, come to enjoy the spiritual peace and
calm of the Seminary for a couple of days.
light falls of rain have made this Spring a pleasant and agreeable
one – except that the tractor became bogged in some marshy
ground during the cutting of the grass for the soccer field.
On the feast
of Christ the King, a group of seminarians traveled up to Child
Jesus and St. Joseph church in Rockdale to sing the Solemn High
Mass and assist at the annual public procession from the town hall,
which went ahead despite the rain. Meanwhile, the Seminary
schola sung the Solemn High Mass here at the Seminary, and we had
our own procession, the rain holding off for the duration, but not
for the afternoon soccer game – not deterring the seminarians
in the least.
The month started
with the feast of our patron, Saint Pius X, on Saturday September
3, with a Solemn High Mass and sermon preached by Father Ortiz.
The following Saturday came our monthly day of recollection.
occupied the first half of the month, to ready the St. Joseph for
its inauguration on September 18. The electrical fixtures were finished
off, as well as some plumbing, the installation of hot water services,
and the final touches to the fire alarm system. Finally came the
two galvanized steel fire escapes required by code, the installation
of which required the use of a sizable crane.
were able to actually move themselves and their things into the
house on Thursday September 15, being all ready for the open day.
Over the third
weekend of the month the annual Family weekend. On Saturday September
17, Father Ortiz celebrated the Solemn High Mass for the Solemnity
of Our Lady of Sorrows, preceded by a procession, with recitation
of the Holy Rosary, and renewal of the consecration of the Seminary
to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. After an enjoyable lunch with our
friends, all were able to assist at Father Ortiz’s power point
presentation of his extraordinary collection of photos on the life
of our founder, Archbishop Lefebvre. It was our way of marking the
centennial of his birth, November 29, 1905.
An all night
of adoration followed, and then on Sunday September 18, the Solemnity
of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, with a procession with the
relic of the True Cross preceding the Solemn High Mass. The procession
stopped at the remodeled and rebuilt St. Joseph House for the blessing
of the building, of the crucifixes for the rooms, and of the donated
statues. Afterwards the faithful were able to inspect the building,
share their picnic, and participate in the awaited three-way soccer
tournament between Major Seminarians, Seminarians and Visitors.
This year, the visitors took the cup.
Monday, September 19, began a five day women’s retreat. 28
ladies followed the retreat and profited from the numerous graces.
It was preached by the Rector, assisted by two deacons, Reverend
Ghela and Reverend Taouk, happy to complete their training by the
experience of preaching the Exercises of St. Ignatius. The following
Sunday, September 25, a six day retreat for the Sisters of the Society
of Saint Pius X from Rockdale began, preached by the Rector. Their
presence at the Seminary was an edification for the several seminarians
who made up the skeleton staff during that time.
As the month
began the last of the minor examinations were being completed for
the Major Seminarians. They were followed by three study days at
the end of the first week (August 3 – 5) to prepare for the
Major Examinations, in the most important subjects, such as Dogmatic
and Moral Theology, Logic, Metaphysics, Ethics, Apologetics, Spirituality
and Acts of the Magisterium. These took place from Monday 8 –
were followed by a well-earned break for spiritual recollection.
It was the three day mid-year retreat that precedes the feast of
the Assumption. This year it was from Thursday 11 – Saturday
13, and was preached by Father Michael Delsorte, who is presently
Prior at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Hampton, Victoria. He
chose the inspiring subject of the Sacred Heart for his meditations
and practical advice.
Seminarians had to prepare for their mid-year examinations.
They took place all week long, from Monday 8 –Friday 12. At
the end the exhausted Seminarians followed a one day recollection
preached to them by Father Ortiz.
15, feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven
is an important feast at Holy Cross Seminary. It is on this day
that the first year seminarians receive the cassock, sign of their
death to the world, and giving of their lives in the service of
the Church and Our Lord Jesus Christ. This year two young men, Mr.
Dylan Hennessy from South Africa and Mr. Garth McKenna from West
Australia, took the cassock. They both had the joy of the presence
of their families for this momentous occasion.
On the feast
of the Assumption, after the Solemn High Mass celebrated by the
Rector, all the friends and faithful in attendance were invited
to the celebration in the Refectory, consisting of lunch and a series
of 3 plays and a variety of musical pieces, prepared by the seminarians.
All were much entertained, and afterwards were able to assist at
Vespers and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
The next day,
Tuesday August 16, a long excursion with a hike and barbecue near
Mittagong, was organized to allow everyone to relax and blow off
a little steam. Wednesday August 17 it was back to classes for the
Majors. However, Mr. Elliott, the Physics teacher for the Seminarians
had organized a tour of the Snowy hydro-electric scheme, and so
they all took this day off for the field trip.
On Monday August
22, the Seminary united itself to the priests and superiors and
faithful of the Society in Fatima, by reciting before the Blessed
Sacrament, the act of consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Act
of Mary, as originally recited by Archbishop Lefebvre.
during this rather interrupted month of August, the final work was
done on the St. Joseph House. The final touches were given to the
painting, both interior and exterior, and the final electrical fixtures
were installed, with activation of the fire alarm system, and the
installation of the carpets was begun. Other odd jobs, numerous
in number were performed by Brother Joseph, assisted by volunteer,
Mr. Liam Cadogan, from Sydney. Brother Joseph also poured the footing
for the metal fire escapes, soon to be installed.
On the feast
of St. Louis, August 25, we received delivery of seven new members
of the community – 7 calves about six months old. They will
be allowed to graze and grow for 12 – 18 months. One such
fully grown steer keeps the Seminary in meat for one month.
Also, on Friday
26, the Seminary purchased a 1991 Toyota Hi-Ace van, with a seating
capacity of 15. It was long overdue, and replaces a 1978 Ford in
very poor and unreliable condition.
of this month brought with it some cooler weather, so that all appreciated
the wood burning boiler and the stoves burning in the chapel, in
the refectory and in the hallway of Mater Dei wing. However,
most welcome and necessary were some good falls of rain, bringing
four inches of rain, two inches of which were during the night of
Friday July 8 – Saturday July 9. The seminarians took
advantage of this to take to their canoes on the then large expanse
of the flooded Mulwarree ponds on our property. It was followed
the following Saturday by a canoe regatta competition for the seminarians
not hesitant to brave the cold.
was absent for the first several days of the month, being present
at a meeting of Seminary Rectors that followed the priestly ordinations
in Ecône, Switzerland. At that meeting the Rectors discussed
with the Society’s Superior General a plan of action to face
up to the instability of young men who feel themselves called to
the priesthood but who are so often unable or unwilling to follow
through with a vocation. Individualism, the lack of a family spirit,
the lack of a true sense of paternity and of the role of authority
were some of the reasons invoked.
Life at the
seminary was regular and calm during this month of intense work,
preparing for the mid-year exams, to start at the end of the month,
and to go through until the second week of August. It was announced
that Father Jean-Baptiste Frament, Professor of Ethics and Cosmology,
Church History and Patrology, who has been with us for two years,
is being transferred to Gabon, and will be replaced by one of his
former professors, Father Dominique De Vriendt, former philosophy
professor at the Society’s seminary in Flavigny, France, but
presently assigned in Calgary, France. However, just a few days
after this was announced it was learned that Father De Vriendt had
had a sudden, unexpected heart attack, necessitating bypass surgery.
We are praying that Father De Vriendt has a rapid and complete recovery,
although we cannot expect that he will be able to Holy Cross come
any time soon.
July 26 the mid-year examinations for the Major Seminarians began
with the Latin examinations directed by Mr. O’Shea. The lesser
examinations take place a little earlier, whilst the classes continue.
On Thursday July 28 were the examinations in Liturgy, on Friday
29 in Canon Law and Patrology and on Saturday 30 in Pastoral Theology,
for the final year seminarians only. On Saturday July 30 a visitor
left us, Nicholas Nienaber from Kansas City, who had spent six weeks
of his summer vacation visiting Holy Cross and his brother, Thomas,
who is in his third year at the Seminary.
Work continued to advance rapidly on the St. Joseph House. This
month one of our parishioners from Lightning Ridge, N.S.W., Mr.
Jed Hutchison, a plumber, generously donated two weeks of his time
to install all the toilets, hand basins and other fixtures. Likewise,
Mr. Tony Vanderlinden of the Hampton chapel donated one week of
his time, painting, laying tiles, fixing trim and door handles and
the like. Meanwhile the new cedar front door was installed, and
Brother Joseph completed numerous little details, permitting the
interior painting team to bring its laborious finishing work nearly
to completion. Electricians also installed many of the new light
fixtures, including exit signs and emergency lighting.
A rather overdue
project was also accomplished towards the end of the month of July.
It was the strengthening of the foundations of the St. Joseph House,
that had been damaged by a large plane tree removed two years ago.
A contractor excavated under the foundations and poured cement under
them to underpin them and prevent any subsiding or movement in the
The month of
the Sacred Heart at Holy Cross began with the monthly Sung Requiem
Mass for the repose of the souls of the Seminary’s deceased
friends and benefactors, sung on Thursday 2nd by the Seminarians’
schola, as it is every month. It was followed, the next day, by
a Solemn High Mass for the feast of the Sacred Heart.
and priests of Holy Cross Seminary held a farewell dinner for Mr.
Bill Pointing on Thursday June 2. The purpose was to express our
gratitude to Mr. Pointing for his devotedness in organizing the
Seminary curriculum, and in teaching the Mathematics and Science
program alone for two and a half years. His contribution will not
be forgotten. His last class was on Friday June 3, on which day
the Seminarians themselves held a farewell for him. Mr. Elliott
will take over these classes at the beginning of the second Semester.
5 was the last day of the first term, a long and intense one, especially
for the Seminarians, who had been going since the beginning
of February. There was a mass exodus as the seminarians took off
for their obligatory break to replenish their energy for the last
part of the First Semester of the year.
On Monday June
6 a five day men’s Ignatian retreat, preached by Father Dominique
Bourmaud, assisted by Reverend Mr. Fallarcuna, the last of the Seminary’s
deacons to preach his first Ignatian retreat. 22 enthusiastic men
of all ages took advantage of this opportunity. It had barely finished
when 20 third order Carmelites arrived on the evening of Saturday
June 11 for their annual retreat, preached this year again by Father
Adrian, returning back from the Carmelite convent in Quievrain,
Belgium, for the occasion.
On Friday June
17, the final step in the completion of the remodeled chapel of
Our Lady upstairs took place. It was the erection of the Stations
of the Cross, by the Rector. The Brothers and Seminarians who were
present assisted at this ceremony, following the Way of the Cross
station by station as each one of the small size stations, recently
donated for the purpose, was erected.
On the last
day of the break the brothers helped butcher two of our two year
old steers. The seminarians returned for the beginning of the second
term on Saturday June 18. Many of them had visited the Society’s
priories in Tynong, Rockdale, Singleton and Park Ridge for the break.
Others had stayed back to help out with the retreats. The addition
of the votive prayers for rain to the Mass coincided with good rains
during this first week back. If the drought was not thereby broken,
it has eased somewhat.
the feast of Saints Peter & Paul is a great feast day for the
Society of Saint Pius X, for it is on that day that the priestly
ordinations are held in our mother house, in Ecône, Switzerland.
This year Reverend Father Sayed Elias, from Sydney, who spent three
years at Holy Cross Seminary, was ordained to the priesthood. Father
Scott was able to be present for the occasion. Meanwhile, at Holy
Cross Seminary itself, Father Valan Rajakamur, came down from the
priory in Rockdale to celebrate the first anniversary of his own
priestly ordination. Father Rajakamur, who is from India, spent
the first three years of his seminary formation at Holy Cross Seminary.
He celebrated the Solemn High Mass for the feast of Saints Peter
and Paul, and then accompanied the community for its regular hike
in the woods, followed by a barbecue.
month of June, work continued to advance rapidly on the St. Joseph
House. The interior painters completed much of the upstairs interior
painting. Meanwhile, the interior closets in all 22 bedrooms were
all completed. Mr. Eric Hardess, one of the parishioners from Our
Lady of Lourdes in Oxley, near Brisbane kindly donated one week
of his time to help us with his skills as an electrician, attaching
most of the electrical fixtures.
first week of May, Holy Cross Seminary had the special joy of celebrating
a Sung Mass every single day. After the Solemnity of St. Joseph
the Worker on Sunday May 1 came the three Rogation Days. The Rogation
procession started every morning at 6:30 p.m., with the blessing
of our fields being in a different location, the seminarians and
faithful singing the Litany of the Saints during the procession.
It was immediately followed by the Sung Mass of the Rogations.
this month of May we celebrated every evening a Benediction of the
Blessed Sacrament, with the singing of antiphons to introduce each
mystery of the Rosary. Starting on Friday May 6, we began the annual
novena in preparation for the feast of Pentecost, consisting of
the chant of the Veni Creator before Compline.
May 4, Father Bourmaud, prefect of the library, organized the first
library painting party. It consisted of some of the seminarians
giving up their usual Wednesday afternoon recreation to paint bookshelves.
In fact this project had been going for two weeks previously, since
Father Bourmaud and the seminarians had constructed the bookshelves
during the Saturday morning woodwork class. The additional bookshelves
were necessitated by the growth in the library, the previously available
space on the bookshelves, having become inadequate.
The feast of
the Ascension, Thursday May 5, is traditionally a holy day of obligation
in Australia. For the third year in succession the Seminary headed
off for a pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Mercy of the Pauline
Fathers in Penrose Park. Walking and praying the last several miles
to the shrine grounds, the Rector celebrated the High Mass of the
Ascension on an outdoor altar dedicated to Our Lady, followed by
a visit to some of the principal shrines, renewing the consecrating
to Our Lady of the Rosary, and Our Lady of Fatima. There were notably
fewer faithful in attendance than the previous two years, but the
pilgrimage was a great success, and was followed by an agreeable
picnic and some games.
May 18 Mr. Bernard Elliott arrived as our most recent faculty member.
He will be taking over the instruction of Physics and Mathematics
to the Seminarians during the second term, replacing Mr. Bill
Pointing. Mr. Pointing was instrumental in starting the
Seminary curriculum with Cambridge International Examinations,
and has been invaluable as the coordinator of the program since
its inception in December 2003.
On Sunday May
22, we had our bi-annual day of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
It is the Seminary’s participation in the Perpetual Adoration
of the Blessed Sacrament, which takes place in one of the Society’s
churches or chapels somewhere in the world every day of the year.
Then on Wednesday
May 25, the Blessed Sacrament was exposed for all night adoration
in preparation for the feast of Corpus Christi, which was celebrated
by a Solemn High Mass and procession around the Seminary buildings.
Then, on Sunday May 29 three seminarians participated in the solemn
procession organized by the Society in Singleton, N.S.W.
month of May, Brother Xavier worked on stripping the new communion
rail for the chapel of our Lady, as well as staining and preparing
the new and old skirting board that will complete the finish of
rapidly on the St. Joseph House. The waterproofing for the upstairs
and downstairs bathrooms was completed. Most of the tiling in all
the bathrooms was installed, as also were the remaining doors and
door jams. The built in closets for the bedrooms are being constructed
off site, and brought here as they are completed. The interior painters
also began their laborious task of the final sanding in preparation
for the painting.
For the first
few days of this month, starting on Monday March 28, and going through
until Saturday April 2, the two first year seminarians followed
a five day Ignatian retreat, preached by their Spirituality master,
Father Ortiz, assisted by Father Bourmaud.
returned from their few days off on Saturday April 2. The very next
morning, we received the news of the death of Pope John Paul II,
for the repose of whose soul we prayed, celebrating a Mass for this
intention on the first free day, Tuesday April 5. It was on Saturday
April 9 that we started a novena of prayers for the election of
the next Sovereign Pontiff, that was completed on Sunday April 17.
During this time we recited the Veni Creator, the Prayer for the
Election of the Sovereign Pontiff from the Missal and an invocation
to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.
April 5, we had a special going away celebration for Mr. Stephen
Ashelford. It was hosted by Mrs. Murdoch, one of our regular parishioners
from Goulburn, and all our priests and staff were present. It was
a sad occasion, though, for us, since Mr. Ashelford has been a part
of the Seminary for no less than ten years. As general maintenance
man he knows the intricacies of all our buildings and equipment.
It will be impossible to replace him, but we are looking for someone
to at least in that direction. Mr. Ashelford will be returning to
Bathurst to take care of his elderly parents.
April 6 a new set of Stations of the Cross for the Lady chapel upstairs
was delivered. The small stations will fit in very well with the
remodeling. Also, on Thursday April 7, Mr. Ashelford brought back
from his parents’ home in Bathurst a beautiful old wooden
Communion Rail, just the right dimensions for the chapel of Our
Lady. It will be stripped of the white paint and restored and re-stained
before being installed. Over the past couple of weeks Brother Xavier
has been working on stripping the old skirting from the room that
is now the Lady chapel. He will re-install it, with some new skirting
that we are presently having made up to complete the project.
Over the first
two weeks of April one of our parishioners has kindly donated some
tables, chairs, pot plants and decorations for the porch outside
the bookstore, to make it a very attractive solarium, a sitting
place for visitors that attracts that afternoon sun.
Work has been progressing steadily at the St. Joseph House. Mr.
Madson has been working on the interior trim, and in particular
the skirting boards throughout, as well as finishing the ceiling
and partitions and doors in the downstairs bathroom. Meanwhile,
Brother Wolf-Maria, a visiting Redemptorist from Papa Stronsay,
has been helping Mr. Stankowski in the external waterproofing and
April 14 we received a new seminarian in the person of Mr. Nino
Nakila from the Philippines. He has been preparing to come here
at the Brothers’ Novitiate in Iloilo, and has now finally
arrived. He will start off as a pre-seminarian, learning the prerequisites
for entry into the Major Seminary.
On Sunday April
17 our Superior General, Bishop Bernard Fellay, began his annual
visit. He administered the sacrament of Confirmation to six persons
before Sunday Mass, and then spent some time with the parishioners
after Mass. The following day, Monday April 18, he preached the
monthly day of recollection to the seminarians, combined with the
preparation for the orders to be administered the following day.
April 19, Bishop Fellay celebrated a Pontifical High Mass, during
which seven seminarians received the clerical Tonsure, making them
officially members of the clergy, with the obligations and privileges
of that state, so necessary for the Church. Then three seminarians
received the Major Order of the subdiaconate, consecrating themselves
to God at the same time by the vow of perpetual chastity and binding
themselves to the recitation of the breviary for their whole lives.
The entire community joined in the celebration of this great event,
which enables our seminary to have Solemn High Masses every Sunday,
given that we now have three subdeacons and three deacons.
ordinands about to be ordained - 7 to the Tonsure and 3 Subdeacons.
Fellay during his sermon
Fellay performs the Tonsure
surplice is imposed upon a newly tonsured cleric
D'Souza from Bombay receives the blessed crucifix after his
ordination to the Tonsure
prostration of the subdeacons.
touching of the chalice during the ceremony of ordination
by New Zealander Rev. Michael Lavin.
imposition of the surplice on newly ordained subdeacon Reverend
Christopher Curtis from Melbourne.
incensation of the Pontiff (Bishop Fellay) at the throne after
the chanting of the Gospel.
Bishops, ministers, ordinands and all the seminarians
after the ceremony in front of the Seminary.
On Wednesday April 20, we received the news of the election of Cardinal
Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI, and begin immediately to pray for
his fidelity in his awesome task. The same day the Superior General
left for his visit of the Australian district. On Sunday April 24
Reverend Mr. Michael Johnson performed the function of Subdeacon
for the first time during the Solemn High Mass. Henceforth, Holy
Cross Seminary can celebrate a Solemn High Mass with deacon and
subdeacon every Sunday, as is done in the other Seminaries of the
Society of Saint Pius X.
27 was the day set aside for the first all day excursion of the
year. It was a choice of a hike and a bike ride. The cyclists rode
from Moss Vale to the location of our barbecue picnic at Fitroy
Falls. The hikers walked for miles along the trails in the Morton
National Park, appreciating the magnificent views of cavernous valley
floors, looking over steep cliff faces. On Friday April 29 Mr. Arthur
Cormican from Adelaide arrived for ten days, to appreciate the peace
and silence of the Seminary, and to help with the outdoor work.
Index of Seminary events
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