Holy Cross Seminary

Events of 2013


Volleyball Tournament

The Seminary's annual volleyball tournament took place this year during October and November. Below are some shots from the action.

A confrontation at the net
Rhys OBeirne serves up the ball
A dig
Returning the ball

24-27 OCTOBER 2013

Visit of Bishop Fellay

At the end of October, Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X, made his yearly canonical visit to Holy Cross Seminary. During a canonical visit, the head of the SSPX speaks with each of the members of the house: priests, brothers, and seminarians. Bishop Fellay also performed a ceremony of Confirmation during his stay, and spoke to the community on the pontificate of Pope Francis. Then, on the Feast of Christ the King, the entire community traveled to Sydney, where the priests and seminarians served a Pontifical High Mass celebrated by Bishop Fellay.

Bishop Fellay gives a conference to the seminarians
A series of flags symbolising the reign of Christ the King
Bishop Fellay carries the Blessed Sacrament during the procession
The Sisters of the SSPX lead the school children during the procession

(left column) Bishop Fellay gives a conference to the community at Holy Cross and carries the Blessed Sacrament during the procession for the feast of Christ the King.
(right column) During the procession, a group of men carried the flags of various countries, symbolising the dominion of Christ the King. Meanwhile, the Sisters of the SSPX stationed in Sydney led the schoolchildren of St. Dominic Savio school in the processional hymns.

15 AUGUST 2013

Tonsure and Minor Orders

One new cleric, John Mwangi (front left); two new Porter/Lectors, Anthony McNamara and Nicholas Stamos (front center);
and two new Exorcists/Acolytes, Marcel (front far right) and Joseph Ockerse (second row, far left)

Both Rev. Fr. Alain-Marc Nély, Second Assistant to Bishop Fellay, and His Lordship Bernard Tissier de Mallerais were present at the Seminary during the week of the feast of Our Lady's Assumption. Fr. Nély preached the four day recollection that preceded the ceremony performed by His Lordship on that feast. During his sermon, His Lordship explained the cause of the special privilege of Our Lady and how she is connected to the tonsure and minor orders which he conferred. He began by quoting the Pius XII's definition of the dogma of Our Lady's Assumption, in the document Munificentissimus Deus of November 1950, which reads: "the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory." In these titles given to Our Lady, and containing three of her privileges, His Lordship explained, are contained the reasons that the additional privilege of the bodily assumption were given to Our Lady:

  • Immaculate: Our Lady was without any stain of sin. Thus, she did not deserve to undergo the corruption of the tomb.

  • Mother of God: She contained God Himself in her womb and formed Him out of her own flesh. Thus, it was not fitting that her body undergo the corruption of the tomb.

  • Virgin: Our Lady was completely pure in her body, being virgin before, during and after the birth of Her Divine Son. Thus, she did not deserve to undergo the corruption of the tomb.

Meanwhile, Our Lady has a special relationship to those who advance toward the priesthood of Her Son, His Lordship noted, by linking her to the orders that he conferred on the Holy Cross candidates that day:

  • Tonsure: The tonsure ceremony makes one a cleric, a Greek word meaning "chosen" or "elect." Our Lady was chosen to play a special role for God when He asked Her to be His Mother, and likewise, though in a far lesser degree, the cleric is set apart in special way for the advancement of the designs of God. On the day of his tonsure, the new cleric is chosen by God with a particular love, but he also becomes a special object for the affections of Our Lady.

  • Porter: One in this office is to open the doors of the church to the faithful and shut them on the unfaithful. But he must also live a godly life, by opening his heart to the influences of the Holy Ghost and shutting them to the invitations of the world, as Our Lady did in the highest degree.

  • Lector: Lectors obtain the power and privilege of reading the prophecies of the Old Testament in the liturgical ceremonies. Many of these prophecies foreshadowed the coming of Our Lady. Bishop Tissier gave the example of the manna which was contained in the uncorruptible wood of the ark of the covenant in the Old Testament. This manna was only a shadow of the Bread of Life, which would be contained in the womb of the uncorruptible Virgin. In receiving his order, the Lector receives the privilege of singing the praises of this Virgin, foreshadowed in the Old Testament.

  • Exorcist: The position of being at enmity with the devil and his seed belongs firstly to Our Lady, as declared by God in the Garden of Eden, in that She brings the Redeemer into this world and leads Him to the Cross. But it likewise belongs to the exorcist in a special way and, in the reception of his order, he pertains to the seed of Our Lady in a special way. The devils tremble at the mere mention of her name, for to them, she is as an "army arrayed in battle."

  • Acolyte: A twofold power is given to the acolyte in reference to the body of Christ, and it is for this reason that Acolyte is the highest of the minor orders. Firstly, the acolyte has power over the Mystical Body of Christ, in that he holds the light that illumines the chapel for the faithful. Meanwhile, it is Our Lady who brought into this world its very Light, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and, by this, she is the mother of that Mystical Body. Secondly, the acolyte is given power over Christ's physical body, in that he is given power to present at the altar the very materials, notably the wine, that are to become the Body of Christ. Meanwhile, it is Our Lady who bore the Body of Christ in her womb for nine months and brought Him forth into this world and even unto the altar of sacrifice.

His Lordship concluded his beautiful exhortation by inviting the seminarians to have great confidence in Our Lady and continual recourse to her.

Click on this link to see a slide show of the ceremony.

7 JUNE 2013

Engagement & Taking of Cassock

The Feast of the Sacred Heart this year was chosen as the day for the first engagement of the second year seminarians and the taking of the cassock for the first years. On that day, John Mwangi of Kenya joined the Society of St. Pius X, while five other seminarians put on the religious habit.

Group photo after the ceremony
John Mwangi makes his first engagement into the Society of St Pius X
The three Nigerian seminarians at Holy Cross

The top photo shows the one seminarian who made his engagement and the five seminarians who took the cassock.
From left to right: Patrick Kennedy of Australia, Amalan Gnanaraj of India, Edward Campbell of the United States, John Mwangi of Kenya, Kolbe Hungerford-Morgan of New Zealand, and Martin Anozie of Nigeria
Of the lower photos, the left one shows John Mwangi pronouncing his first engagement into the SSPX, while the one on the right is a picture of the three Nigerian seminarians at Holy Cross.

MAY 2013

Seminary Activities

The Seminary has been active in the past few months. Firstly, in being faithful to daily spiritual duties, including the midday office pictured below. There have also been a few "wood chopping days", wherein classes are cancelled for a day and the seminarians forage over the Seminary property to collect the necessary firewood for the winter. Fires are now blazing throughout the Seminary, keeping parts of the building warm, thanks to the resources available in the wood shed. On Pentecost Monday, the Seminary took an outing to Jervis Bay, two hours drive to the southeast. While there, seminarians made friends with a kookaburra and buried one of their classmates in the sand.

In prayer for midday office
Anthony Okafor with future firewood
Nicholas Stamos clambers over the woodpile
The splitter cuts the logs down to size
M. Ockerse offers the kookaburra some fruit
Edward Campbell buried in the sand

MARCH 2013

Beginning of Academic Year

The academic year 2013 here at Holy Cross began with two retreats preached by USA District Superior Rev. Fr. Arnaud Rostand. During the week of March 4, he preached a retreat to 8 returning seminarians and 2 priests on the spirituality of St. Teresa of Avila. The following week, an Ignatian retreat was given to 4 returning seminarians, 4 new seminarians, and one priest.
Community photo 2013
The Holy Cross Community, with the addition of visiting priests
Fr. Fullerton and Fr. Rostand (to the left and right of Fr. Griego) and Fr. Bochkoltz (far right)


Month of Retreats

The new year always begins at Holy Cross with a series of retreats. The Seminary, being situated out in the bush, away from the buzz of city life, and providing ample space for retreatants, both in its buildings and in its walking area, is ideal for a week of recollected prayer. Thus, the first Monday of January saw 31 women arrive for a 5 day Ignatian retreat, then on the 14th, 15 priests came for a retreat on the Holy Ghost preached by former District Superior Fr. Edward Black. Finally, at the end of the month, Frs. Robinson and Curtis preached the 5 day Spiritual Exercises to 30 men.
Group photo after the priests retreat
Fr. Edward Black (bottom center), preacher of the retreat, is flanked by new District Superior Fr. John Fullerton (left) and Fr. Shane Johnson (right), District Assistant.
Mens Ignatian Retreat Group Photo
Fr. Christopher Curtis (left) and Fr. Paul Robinson (right) with the 30 attendees of the Mens'Ignatian Retreat, including Fr. Jules Bélisle.

Index of Seminary events

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Holy Cross Seminary, Goulburn, Australia