Holy Cross Seminary

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MARCH 2005

Father Daniels 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.

Altogether 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.

Easter Monday, 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.


FEBRUARY 2005

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 in kitchen
Brother Xavier, who served as cook for the 30 day retreat

This 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 the two.

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 things.

The departure 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.

Mr. Madson working on the new floor of the chapel of Our Lady.

A view of the completed new parquet tile floor, looking towards the sanctuary area. The altar has yet to be reassembled.
A 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.

Sunday February 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.

Meanwhile, 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.

The newly sanded old wood floor
in the hallway of the St. Joseph House.
The actual sanding of the floor in the hallway.
Mr. Stankowski, Brother Postulant,
paints the walls of the workshop
in the St. Joseph's House.

JANUARY 2005

The second 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.

The following 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.

Father 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.


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Holy Cross Seminary, Goulburn, Australia