Holy Cross Seminary is a community of religious brothers as well as priests, and a brothers' novitiate as well as a seminary. The brothers of the SSPX take the religious vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, but they live out those vows according to the Rule established by Abp Lefebvre. The Archbishop wanted his priestly communities to have religious present with the priests, in order to strengthen and assist them.
The brothers at Holy Cross help maintain the religious spirit of the house, its supernatural atmosphere, by their prayer and work done in a state of consecrated life. They also form part of the seminary staff, fulfilling essential duties without which the seminary could not survive. Brother Joseph from Australia performs building maintenance and construction, Brother Patrick from the Philippines does cooking and laundry, while Brother Joseph Xavier from Canada looks after seminary accounts, leads the schola, and plays the organ.
The brothers’ novitiate at Holy Cross currently has one novice, Br Daniel Giuseppe from India. God willing, he will make his first profession of vows on 29 September. This same day will also mark the 35th anniversary of Br Joseph taking his first vows as a brother. The brother novices lead a more cloistered life than the seminarians. They are only able to leave the novitiate if they are accompanied by novice master and, preferably, the brothers' community. As such, when there are novices present at Holy Cross, there is usually at least one extended excursion during the year.
As such, the brothers went on a five-day excursion with novice master Fr Paul Robinson to visit several inland country towns within the region of the Our Lady of Fatima chapel at Albury. Their first stop was Beechworth, where the brothers became acquainted with the history of one of Australia’s most colourful characters, Ned Kelly, an Australian outlaw folk hero who constructed bulletproof armour to last longer in gun fights. They also sampled some of the town’s famous honey. The brothers also visited a deer farm and enjoyed a round of mini-golf there before visiting the Brown Brothers winery in nearby Milawa. During their trip, the brothers were welcomed warmly into the homes of faithful of Albury.
The high point of this excursion was the Sunday sung mass at Our Lady of Fatima chapel, which the Brothers served. Fr Robinson preached on the Brothers of the SSPX and their importance and role in the overall mission of the society. This excursion served as well-deserved holiday for the brothers and an opportunity for the faithful to meet the brothers and be reminded of the important role they play in the SSPX family.