and a small group of Major Seminarians returned from their retreat
on Tuesday March 1. The Seminarians welcomed them back, not
the least on account of their help with the duties of running the
house, and especially the Gregorian Chant.
On Sunday March
6, the opening retreat for the Brothers began. It was attended by
the four professed Brothers, the two Brother Postulants, and the
one returning seminarian who was not able to follow the thirty day
retreat. It was preached by Father Jean-Baptiste Frament.
The Major Seminary
year proper started on Saturday March 12, with all the Major Seminarians
returning back for another year’s formation and study. All
the Major Seminarians from last year are back again this year, with
the addition of a third Redemptorist from Papa Stronsay, in second
year, and a French seminarian now entering into fourth year. In
addition, there are two seminarians entering into first year, one
Australian and one from South Africa. One of them, Mr. Garth McKenna,
was two weeks late arriving from West Australia, but when he came
for Easter, it brought the number of Major Seminarians up to a total
of 20, distributed over all six years of seminary studies: 3 in
6th year, 3 in 5th year, one in 4th year, 8 in 3rd year, 3 in 2nd
year, and 2 in first year. They are divided up into three Redemptorists,
five Australians, four Indians, three Philippinos, two from the
U.S. and one each from New Zealand, South Africa and France. May
God grant them perseverance in their holy determination.
we started this year, then, with 20 Major Seminarians, 15
Seminarians and 2 Brother Postulants in formation, a total of 37.
In addition, our community at the present time has four priests,
four professed brothers, 3 teachers and 2 lay workers. Also, during
the month of March, we were privileged by the visit of Brother Wolff,
C.Ss.R. from the Redemptorists of Papa Stronsay. His example and
hard work edified the entire community. However, the choir in the
chapel is now very full, with 31 religious and clerics filling the
choir stalls. We thank God that we have to squeeze up a little more.
On Palm Sunday,
March 20, we celebrated the Church’s Liturgical ceremonies
with solemnity, the recently ordained deacons being able to chant
the Passion for the first time. After the procession and Mass, the
seminarians and faithful attended a conference given by Mr. Gustavo
Saborido on the Society’s missions in Paraguay, together with
a fascinating audio-visual presentation.
The Holy Triduum
was a time of peace, prayer and preparation for Easter. The Holy
Thursday Mass of the Last Supper was celebrated by the Rector, the
Solemn Afternoon Liturgy by Father Ortiz, the Easter Vigil by the
Rector, and the Solemn Easter Mass by Father Ortiz, Father Bourmaud
being in Albury and Father Frament in Mildura. After the Easter
Sunday Mass 10 of the Seminarians took off for a well-earned
few days mid-term break with friends and/or family. The other five
were happy to stay at the Seminary, where they could study in a
more relaxed atmosphere than usual.
March 28, was a day of recreation for the seminarians. Many of them
went on a relaxing trip to Bateman’s Bay, on the coast, where
they were able to see up close and touch tame Australian animals
of all kinds in a protected reserve. It was back to classes for
the Major Seminarians on Tuesday March 29.
The Major Seminarians
present at the Seminary on Sunday January 30 all left to head down
to Victoria for a private retreat center in Marlo, near Orbost,
where they followed a thirty day Ignatian retreat for the entire
month, finishing only on Tuesday March 1. The retreat was preached
by former Rector, Father Coenraad Daniels, assisted by Father Dominique
Bourmaud. Fourteen seminarians, two going into second year, six
going into third year, and six theology students followed the retreat.
Consequently there is not too much news to report for this month
– just meditations, conferences and the regular life of prayer.
Brother Xavier, who served as cook for the 30 day retreat
retreat center had been unexpectedly discovered at the last minute.
It was certainly a great blessing for everybody. It helped the Major
Seminarians to make a truly profitable retreat, away from their
books and studies, which are the distractions into which seminarians
are most likely to fall. It was also a great help for the
Seminarians, who had more freedom, given that they did not have
to coexist with the retreatants.
The first week
of the month of February was one of intense preparation for the
arrival of the Seminarians, who arrived little by little throughout
the week, the last arriving on Saturday February 5. They are fifteen
in number, nine returning from last year, and six new students.
They are divided up by nationality as follows: five from Australia,
four from the U.S., three from Malaysia, two from Canada and one
from Indonesia. They are divided up by level fairly evenly, with
seven at A level, seven at IGCSE and one doing a combination of
Seminarians playing handball in the Seminary's squash court.
The year got off to a positive start with a one day recollection
preached by the Rector on Monday February 7. Classes started on
Tuesday February 8. Mr. Edmund O’Shea from Zimbabwe is the
new member on our faculty, having taken the place of Miss Florence
Cullinan. He has ten years experience teaching French and Latin
at high school level, and has taken over those departments here
at the Seminary. In the absence of Brother Xavier, who was the cook
for the thirty day retreat, it was Brother Bernadine, who supervised
all the recreations and activities for the Seminarians during
this month, introducing them to gymnastics exercises, amongst other
of the Major Seminarians for their retreat was also a great help
for our work team. It freed up the chapel of Our Lady upstairs for
the first time in two years. This enabled the half-completed remodeling
job of three years ago to be brought to completion, under the capable
hands of Mr. Jeff Madson. He first replaced the entire floor, rebuilt
the altar platform and repaired the ceiling. Workers them came in
to install the solid wood parquet tiles throughout the chapel. The
altar was then reinstalled. We are now in the process of repainting
the chapel, making up new skirting to complete the partial skirting
that remained from the past, and of finding suitable Communion Rails.
Madson working on the new floor of the chapel of Our Lady.
view of the completed new parquet tile floor, looking towards
the sanctuary area. The altar has yet to be reassembled.
view of the same floor looking backwards towards the entry
into the chapel.
The month of
February without Major Seminarians was also a challenge for the
Seminarians in the execution of the Liturgy. It forced them
to serve all the functions of High Mass, and to sing all the Gregorian
propers. The result was very satisfactory, the High Mass being sung
with Gregorian Propers on the Second Sunday of Lent, as well as
for the First Friday and First Saturday of February and the feasts
of the Chair of St. Peter and of St. Matthias.
On Sunday February
27, the Seminary community indulged in a little celebration. It
was a farewell party for Miss Florence Cullinan, former Latin, English,
French and History teacher of the Seminarians. She is leaving
for the U.S. to join the traditional Franciscan Convent of Christ
the King in Kansas City. In fact, most of the parishioners were
also present at the going away celebration, which was held at the
country home of the Tonkin family.
27 was also a notable one for the parishioners of Our Lady of Fatima
chapel in Albury, which is served every Sunday by the priests from
Holy Cross Seminary. It was on this day that the entire parish consecrated
itself to the Blessed Virgin Mary, according to the formula of total
consecration to Jesus through Mary of St. Louis Grignon de Montfort.
Father Scott had been preparing the parish for five weeks for this
important event by a series of sermons and daily prayers, especially
designed to enable the offering to be more complete.
word continued on the St. Joseph House during this month. Finally
the plasterers finished their job of plastering the interior walls,
upstairs and down. At the same time, the rather uneven old floors
upstairs have been sanded down. Likewise the remodeling of the car
repair/mechanical garage at the back of the St. Joseph House was
completed. Reduced somewhat in size, it has entirely new three phase
electrical throughout, as well as a good coat of paint. Now work
has started on the waterproofing and painting of all the exterior
walls, particular those walls at the back that are most vulnerable
to the weather. The next job is the construction of closets in each
one of the rooms, after which the interior painting can be done.
newly sanded old wood floor
in the hallway of the St. Joseph House.
actual sanding of the floor in the hallway.
Stankowski, Brother Postulant,
paints the walls of the workshop
in the St. Joseph's House.
retreat of the summer began on Monday January 3rd. It was preached
by Father Scott, assisted by Reverend Mr. Ghela, preaching his first
Ignatian retreat. 17 ladies followed the five-day Ignatian retreat.
The following Monday, January 10th, it was the turn of Father Ortiz
to preach a retreat to 30 men, assisted by Reverend Mr. Dolotina,
also preaching his first Ignatian retreat. As always with Ignatian
retreats, the happy results and peace of souls were in proportion
to the spiritual efforts that the retreatants put into their retreat.
week it was the opportunity of the priests to follow their own annual
retreat here at Holy Cross, starting on January 17. It was preached
by Father Paul Morgan, District Superior of Great Britain, whom
Father Black had invited to Australia for the occasion. He preached
to the 13 priests who followed the retreat, including three of the
Seminary professors, Father Gerspacher from the Philippines, Father
Lafitte from New Zealand, Father Patrick Fox, C.M., Father Black
and six of his priests from Australia. The peace and prayer, as
well as the reminders on the essentials of the priestly life were
appreciated by all.
Then came the
final retreat of the summer break, a five day Ignatian retreat for
women, preached to 15 ladies by Father Scott, assisted by Reverend
Mr. Dolotina. The Seminary was privileged to have the assistance
of several seminarians during these retreats, to help with the community
services required for such an event.
Scott and Reverend Dolotina (a seminarian from the Philippines in his final year)
together with the ladies who followed the retreat they preached January 25-30.
Index of Seminary events
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