Holy Cross Seminary

Recent Events

DECEMBER 2005

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.

The storm, 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.

Sunday December 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 Mass.

On Wednesday 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.

The evening 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.

Classes came 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.

The Seminary 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.

Tuesday December 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.

The majestic 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 sung.

Bishop imposes hands on new priest
Four New Priests
Bishop de Galarreta Imposing Hands on Fr Ghela
Four 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 respectively.

Fr Couture Imposing Hands
Fr Dolotina Touching Chalice & Paten
Fr Couture Imposing Hands
Fr 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.

Fr Taouk's after the Consecration of Hands  
Fr Fallarcuna's Consecration of Hands
Fr Taouk's after the Consecration of Hands
 
Fr 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.

Meanwhile, 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.

On Thursday 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.


NOVEMBER 2005

All Saints’ 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 play soccer.

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 Seminary.

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.

We celebrated 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 the occasion.

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.


OCTOBER 2005

Saturday October 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.

Meanwhile, 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 in Scotland.

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.

The frequent 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.


SEPTEMBER 2005

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.

Intense activity 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.

The seminarians 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.

The following 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.


AUGUST 2005

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 – Wednesday 10.

These examinations 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.

Meanwhile the 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.

Monday August 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.

Meanwhile, 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.


JULY 2005

The beginning 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.

The Rector 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.

On Tuesday 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 building.


JUNE 2005

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.

The faculty 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.

Sunday June 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.

Every year 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.

During the 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.


MAY 2005

During the 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.

Also, during 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.

On Wednesday 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.

On Wednesday 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.

During this 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 the chapel.

Work advanced 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.


APRIL 2005

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.

The Seminarians 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.

On Tuesday 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.

On Wednesday 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 painting.

On Thursday 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.

On Tuesday 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 holding candles
The ordinands about to be ordained - 7 to the Tonsure and 3 Subdeacons.

Bishop Fellay near altar
Bishop Fellay performs the Tonsure
Bishop Fellay during his sermon
Bishop Fellay performs the Tonsure

The surplice is imposed
ordinand receives crucifix
The surplice is imposed upon a newly tonsured cleric
Lawrence D'Souza from Bombay receives the blessed crucifix after his ordination to the Tonsure

The subdeacons lay prostrate
The touching of the chalice
The prostration of the subdeacons.
The touching of the chalice during the ceremony of ordination by New Zealander Rev. Michael Lavin.

The imposition of the surplice
The incensation of Bishop Fellay
The imposition of the surplice on newly ordained subdeacon Reverend Christopher Curtis from Melbourne.
The incensation of the Pontiff (Bishop Fellay) at the throne after the chanting of the Gospel.

The Bishops, ministers, ordinands and all the seminarians after the odinationsThe Bishops, ministers, ordinands and all the seminarians after the odinations
The 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.

Wednesday April 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.

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